I am so, so sorry that I am late in posting the tuesday blog! I have failed you, but I hope that you have noticed that I am tardy and that you are keeping up with the blog as well as the reading through the Bible in 2011.
In I Samuel 11, we see that King Saul is an encourager to the people of Israel as they are discouraged and disheartened against the Ammonites and the threats that they are communicating against Jabesh Gilead. His encouragement is a reminder that sometimes all we need to attack the enemies that we are facing is an encouragement from someone around us to not give up.
In I Samuel 12, Samuel reminds the people of Israel that they must followw the Lord are they are doomed to repeat their past. If they disobey they remove the hand of God's blessings and bring upon them pain, but if they obey their is blessing. they have a choice and he encouraged them to obey and follow the Lord under King Saul.
In I Samuel 13. we find the 1st battle mentioned under King Saul as he faced the phillistines. We kind that King Saul could not handle the process of waiting. This is a process that many people fail at. Ultimately, King Saul acted rashly as he could not wait on Samuel to come to him and took on Samuel's responsibility. For this reason Saul's kingdom would not last within his family, but because of his actions the kingdom would not stay within Saul's family.
In I Samuel 14, we see King Saul's son Jonathan and his armor bearer who had great loyalty towards Jonathan. Their courage and loyalty brought great destruction to the Phillistines and great glory to the Lord. We also find that King Saul is still making rash statemnets about what the Israelite army is to do and not do. His rule to not eat until the Phillistines were defeated or else there would be death had nor Godly or Biblical merit whatsoever.
In I Samuel 15, we see a very specific set of instructions given to King Saul from the Lord through the Prophet Samuel as Saul was to go to face the Amalekites and kill everyone taking nothing. King Saul goes to battle and wins, but his obedience is partial and he attempts to pass off his partial obedience as complete obedience to the Prophet Samuel. How many times have we wanted our partial obedience to be seen as complete obedience? The Prophet Samuel confronts the king and at the point that the king can't ignore the truth any longer he states,
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king." I Samuel 15:22-23
What God is looking for from His followers is our obedience even when its is hard and even when it makes no sense. We are to obey. To not obey is to rebel. May we not forget the lesson from King Saul as he lost the kingdom for his family and for himself.