Reflection on 1 Samuel 16:1-23

Scripture

The Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Observation

The Lord sends Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. Samuel takes a heifer with him and invites Jesse and his sons to a sacrifice.

Samuel looks of each of Jesse’s son’s in turn, thinking they must be the Lord’s anointed servant, but the Lord rejects each one. Finally, Jesse sends for his youngest son David, and the Lord tells Samuel to anoint him as the next king.

The Spirit of the Lord has left Saul, and he is tormented by a spirit of depression and anxiety. Saul’s servants send for David to come and play music for Saul to soothe his spirit. David becomes Saul’s armour-bearer and is greatly loved by him.

Application

The Lord does not judge us by our outward appearance, but by what is in our hearts.

People made all sorts of judgements about people they have never met based on their appearance – ethnicity, clothing, apparent wealth, and so on. In fact, the fashionable ideology of Critical Race Theory says that everything about a person is determined by race.

God looks at your heart, the “content of your character” as Martin Luther King described it. Everything else is secondary .

If you love the Lord, it doesn’t matter whether you are short or tall, fat or thin, young or old, European or Asian. These things are secondary to our love for the Lord and our desire to walk in the ways of Jesus.

Prayer

Lord, thank you that you love me for the person you created me to be. Thank you for your unfailing love. Amen.

Quote for the Day

We are highly favoured by God because of what Jesus did for us—He bled and died for us and rose from the dead. Because He chose to suffer for us, we can now come with all boldness and confidence and stand before His beautiful throne of grace and ask for His intervention in every situation. Becky Dvorak

Reflection on 1 Samuel 15:1-35

Scripture

“Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice

And submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,

And stubbornness is as bad as worshipping idols.”

Observation

Samuel tells Saul that the Lord has decided to settle accounts with the Amalekites. Saul is to go and destroy them completely – every person regardless of age and all of their livestock.

Saul and his men slaughter the Amalekites, but they spare King Agag and only kill the weakest of the animals.

Samuel finds saul and confronts him about sparing the animals. Saul says they only kept them to sacrifice to the Lord. They destroyed everything else.

Samuel says that obedience not sacrifice is what pleases the Lord. Rebellion is as bad as witchcraft or idolatry.

Samuel tells Saul that because Saul has rejected the Lord, the Lord has rejected him as King over Israel. Samuel then kills King Agag.

Application

Obedience to God is far more important than religious sacrifices or heroic deeds.

We must settle it in our hearts that, regardless of the cost, we will always obey the Lord. That is what it means when we say that Jesus is Lord; Jesus is King, Master, the one who directs our lives.

Any other attitude towards Jesus is of the same category as witchcraft or idolatry.

The Lord does not want our tithes and offerings, our attendance at church meetings, or anything else. He wants me and my heart surrendered to Him.

Prayer

Lord, I see that obedience is far better than sacrifice. Please help me to yield to you in everything I do. Amen.

Quote for the Day

All too often we crowd our schedules with things that don’t make a lasting difference in our lives. We fail to realise that our time in the Word can become a powerful time of direct fellowship with His Spirit. In the Bible is where Holy Spirit reveals life-changing truths that help to heal and set us free from the weight of the world.  Becky Dvorak

Reflection on 1 Samuel 14:24-52

Scripture
Now the men of Israel were pressed to exhaustion that day, because Saul had place them under an oath, saying, “Let a curse fall on anyone who eats before evening – – before I have full revenge on my enemies.”

Observation
In the aftermath of the battle with the Philistines, Saul orders his men to not eat until they have full victory. Jonathan did not hear that order, and when he comes across some honeycomb he dips a stick into it and gets some honey which immediately refreshes him.

Evening comes, and the men slaughter the captured animals for food. They are so desperate to eat that they fail to drain the blood from them first. Saul sets up an altar to the Lord and orders his men to slaughter the animals in a way that honours the Lord.

Saul goes on to secure his grasp on the throne. he successfully defends Israel from attacks from the neighbouring nations, but the Philistines continue to be a problem for him

Application
Saul seems to be a man who recognised the authority of the Lord. He wanted to do what was right and sought the Lord’s directions on some key decisions. On the other hand, he could be impulsive and foolish, and this got him into trouble.

One key to living successfully with the Lord is to submit everything to Him. It is easy to remember to commit the big decisions to the Lord. The daily decisions that we make in our family, our relationships, and at work, often set our directions over the longer term.

We need to learn to live in constant communion with God, listening to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit as we navigate through our days.

Prayer
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening. Amen.