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march 31, 2020

- 1 Samuel 15 5/5

32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the King of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. 35 and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

This seemingly cruel judgment commanded by God was eventually performed to the letter by the servant He could trust, Samuel.

Sin was slain so it couldn't rise up in Israel. Likewise, our sins need the same punishment, or they rise up in our families. As a vivid picture of what we are to do with sin, Samuel "hewed Agag (sin) in pieces."

When we can't seem to overcome sins and faults, it may be because we don't entirely want to? Do we want the Godly regime plus the booty (the sin), as in Saul's case? Saul tried to have it both ways. He wanted the Heavenly appointment, but still desired the earthly treasures. He wouldn't kill off his worldly desires. He wouldn't put to death the items of wealth and substance. 

Many times in our lives, we come to crossroads like Saul's, where it is clear the Lord wants us to eliminate the desires, but all we do is reduce them. Hence, we have acted like Saul and disobeyed the full instruction. 

This is also why addictions remain in our lives, whatever they may be, because we are not entirely committed to ridding ourselves of them. We want the booty (money, feelings, look-at-me honour, joy, entertainment) brought by those addictions plus the praise from God for obeying His Word.

It does not work that way. We will never be rid of addictions and the deeper causes of our double-hearted Christianity until we are fully committed to choosing the Lord over the booty. This is the only way we can follow the Lord whole-heartedly

Saul's desire for booty, which became more potent than his desire to please God, may not have been apparent until he became King. The new position and money brought his temptations within reach.

We are foolish to say that will never happen to us. It has happened to kings, politicians and even ministers of religion from time immemorial, so why can't it happen to us? Winston Churchill was supposed to have stated this quote, "Madam, we've already established what sort of person you are. Now we are haggling over your price." Our job is to overcome and obey, not just hold out for a better price. 

What a tragedy for King Saul and Israel. We may ask why God couldn't see that Saul had such a severe fault line in his make-up. He saw his fault lines, as clearly as He sees ours; but He also hopes we will rise to overcome them to pursue the prize of the high calling of GOD in Christ Jesus. Not one of us is without a fault line. 

Many Olympians start out with physical, mental and character deficiencies (fault lines) related to their chosen sports. Yet, all of them, ALL OF THEM, decide to fight and overcome those defects to win a position on the team. 

Would Saul have had to do much to overcome his personal issues? 

How many faults did he display in the scenes of Chapter 15? I mean the ones that got him offside with God? It only seemed to be three or four. 

If he worked on those, he might have had a better outcome and been a worthy king instead of a laughing stock. 

How many issues do you have that will prevent you from your position with God?

The last thing we would want to be is one of those people who prefer God only after they have every comfort known to them for this life.

Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the summary of this chapter. It is illuminating to see how similar my faults are to Sauls. Please help me rid myself of everything that interrupts our relationship. I seek to rest in you every day, not create instances of dishonour. Please help me with my efforts. 

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