Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 15
Key Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22
So Samuel said: "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams…"
Saul's lame excuses for disobedience brought a sharp "Be Quiet" from the Prophet. Samuel was harsh with the King, and at the same time the last verse of our reading tells us that he mourned for Saul. Saul showed such promise. God gave him a new heart, but Saul's will was not fully yielded to God's will. Saul's biggest problem was himself. He wanted to build a kingdom for himself. It was all about him and not about God's continued sovereignty over Israel. When Saul disobeyed, he tried to blame it on others and to justify himself. Then he immediately followed up by building a monument to himself.
Upon hearing God's verdict on his actions, Saul's biggest concern was his reputation. He begged Samuel to make him look good. Saul's successor, David, sinned also, but the difference was that David did not offer any excuses or try to justify himself. He repented with godly sorrow, and took all the blame. Honest repentance brings God's forgiveness. God will not tolerate a self-centred focus on the part of His leaders. He's a God of mercy, but the time comes when justice must be meted out. How thankful we are that our judgment was borne by Jesus as He took our place in his suffering and death. God Himself, in the Person of His Son, took the full force of the penalty for the disobedience of all humanity. Justice was satisfied, and we who believe in Jesus are the beneficiaries.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Thank You Jesus that You have taken the judgement we deserve. We receive your forgiveness and cleansing today. Amen!
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