Friday, April 21, 2017

Lessons from Life of Saul (Part 2)

God has rejected Saul as King.  1 Samuel 15:26 tells us..."But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”..."

We tend to put the parts of our life into 'boxes'  - work, family, spiritual walk, relationships, friendships.  But life is not made up of boxes, it is relationship - firstly with God and then with others.  
In Luke chapter 12:13-21 Jesus told the parable of the rich fool.

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Bible Gateway, NIV)
In Saul we see the outward appearance of a king, but he had a flawed heart.  We read through the saga of Saul's life, how Samuel mourned for Saul after God rejected him.  It must have been incredibly difficult for Samuel to then go to Bethlehem and anoint one of Jesse's sons as the next king, whilst knowing the first King was still on the throne.  
Did Samuel hope for Saul to realize his pride and disobedience and repent?  Perhaps.  Samuel knows though that is Saul finds out about the anointing of a king to replace him, then Samuel would most likely face the sword.  Even though we see Samuel's fear, we also see his obedience in the face of the fear.  He went to Bethlehem, and there God shows him that although man may look at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.
So Samuel went as directed by God.  Jesus told his disciples, "my sheep know my voice and follow me." (John 10:27)
There are people who are physically grown, yet spirituality they are small children and behave as such.  There are elders/leaders who trade in the currency of power and control within our churches, not in love and grace.
We have an enemy who dedicates himself to distracting us with lesser things so that we lose our focus and become sidetracked by strife and attitudes.  When this happens we don't build people up, we tend to start tearing them apart.
What you are (what people don't see, what's in your heart) is way more important than what you 'appear' to be.
Saul disqualified himself by what was in his heart.  David, we are told in the Bible was "a man after God's heart".(Acts 13:22)
Did David feel qualified for the role of King?  No.  He obeyed.  His love of God went more than the appearance of obedience.  He desired God's presence more than anything else.  He wasn't perfect.  Saul had the appearance of obedience and love for God, but David had the heart of obedience so much so, that he wrote psalms about longing for God's presence in his life.
Psalm 139 we read..."I am fearfully and wonderfully made...

We don't need to live for the praises of people which are fleeting and temporary, as Saul experienced.  We need to live for what God wants and desire like David, to be a person after God's heart.  

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