Sunday, August 9, 2015

1 Samuel 15

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Samuel 15. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Earlier in the Bible, when the Israelites (God's people) were leaving Egypt, the Amalekites ambushed them. In today's reading God instructs Saul to kill all of the Amalekites along with their livestock.
  • Instead of fully following this order, Saul kills most of the Amalekites. He takes the king captive and keeps the best cattle to use for his own purposes. (If he had been fully obeying God's order, he wouldn't have spared any person or animal.)
  • God is angered by Saul's disobedience and sends Samuel to tell Saul that his disobedience is unacceptable. Because of this disobedience, God rejects Saul.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • As King, Saul let the power go to his head. At one point, in verse 12, it turns out he even built a monument in his own honor. Saul turned from worshipping God and started worshipping himself. This turned out to be a grave problem for him. Similarly, if we're not careful, pride can wreck our lives. 
  • We need to constantly assess our motives. If our actions are not motivated by God but are instead motivated by the desire to advance our own desire or agenda or success, it can cause big problems. To combat this we need to keep God at the center of our lives by regularly talking to him, reading the Bible, and putting him first in all of our decisions.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Is there an area of your life where your pride has overpowered God? Maybe your pride and desire for your own gratification has led to an unhealthy relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Maybe your pursuit of success has led you to abandon your loved ones.
  • Whatever your situation may be, commit today to reorient your life around God. Maybe you need to make a phone call or meet with somebody to admit your mistake. Admitting you're wrong may be difficult, especially if you have a lot of pride. But breaking down your pride is the first step toward becoming more obedient to God.