Sacrificial LoveWhat does it mean for you to carry your cross?
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1 Samuel 13:5-14
Your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought
out a man after His own heart. The Lord has
already appointed him to be the leader of His
people, because you have not kept the Lord’s
An impromptu high-wire act by a 26-year-old man
caused a portion of Dongguan, a city in China,to experience a blackout. The man had lost his job and chose to drown his sorrows by drinking heavily.
After his binge, the drunken one climbed a high voltage
cable tower and began walking and hanging on the
power cables. When firemen couldn’t coax him down,
they ordered the electricity to be shut off so he wouldn’t
electrocute himself. Four hours later, the guy finally fell
. . . landing softly on a safety cushion where he was
“greeted” by police.
King Saul once had a power surge (1 Samuel 10:6), but
he lost it all due to a rash decision. In the span of just four
chapters, we find the prophet Samuel anointing Saul as
Israel’s king (13:1) and then informing him that God had
rejected him as ruler of His people (v.14). Why the abrupt
change? Samuel made it plain to Saul: “Because you
have not kept the Lord’s command.”
The command was clear. Samuel told Saul to camp out
at Gilgal for a week until he arrived there to “sacrifice
burnt offerings and peace offerings” (10:8). But the king
got uptight when the mighty Philistine army with “as many
warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore” (13:5)
caused his army to begin “trembling with fear” (v.7).
With his army defecting and growing smaller by the
hour, Saul (literally) chose to play with fire and did the
burnt offering himself (v.9). That’s when Samuel caught him red-hot-handed and
gave him the bad news—his days on the throne were numbered.
Have you been tempted to make a rash decision—one that doesn’t honor God?
Fear can cause us to short-circuit our faith and future. Let’s choose to obey God
instead. He’s got all the power we need. —Tom Felten
If once wasn’t enough,
later Saul disobeyed
another divine command
(ch.15). Read verse 22
to learn what Samuel
told the fallen king about
what God truly values.
What fear or concern is
causing you to consider
a decision that will defy
God’s commands? Why
is it vital that you choose
to obey God instead?
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