[Quit Making Excuses] – “Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.’ Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night” (1 Samuel 15:10-11, NLT).
The other night in my quiet time I was reading through my One Year Bible and came upon the famous passage of the downfall of King Saul. I immediately thought of this verse from Deuteronomy 17:14-15, NLT that says:
“You are about to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you take it over and settle there, you may think, ‘We should select a king to rule over us like the other nations around us.’ If this happens, be sure to select as king the man the Lord your God chooses…”
The Lord knows the condition of our hearts (Jeremiah 17:5). In fact he is the king of my heart.
He knows that we are human and can change our mind (1 Samuel 15:29). He knows how easily swayed by other people we are, and our desperation to please others. We desire to be King and Queen, but what about the condition of our heart?
Are we willing to accept the responsibility? To carry out the task with honor?
Do we cave under pressure?
Can we carry out the commands the Lord gives us personally to do?
What we really need is people like Samuel, AKA a harvester, who is willing to go and serve the people of the Lord by pointing out their sin. Had Samuel never gone to Saul to confront him–who knows what would have happened.
But who wants to be the bearer of bad news?
Samuel to King Saul: “Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight? What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
Then, after all that Saul said he disobeyed because he was afraid.
Thankfully, we serve a God “who has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust” (Psalm 103:12-14, NLT).
Lord, help us not to judge the condition of others heart, only our own!
“Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the Lord was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel. Don’t judge by his [the next king] appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 15:35 & 16:7, NLT).
You detest the sacrifice of the wicked, but you delight in the prayer of the upright. Hear my prayers oh God. I confess my sins to you for I fall so short of Your glory. What you require, O God, is obedience. Above all else, hear me and answer my prayers. Restore me so that I can be the King or Queen you created me to be. Give me a heart like King David’s. In Jesus’ name, Amen.