Thursday, May 26, 2011

taking matters in my own hands

And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever."
1 Samuel 13:13

Society may admire self sufficiency. But that is not the kind of thing that brings spiritual strength. In fact, as evidenced by Saul, it is highly destructive. Saul got impatient. He wanted to do the right thing (offer a sacrifice to the LORD before a major military engagement), but he did it in a wrong way (not waiting for God's priest, Samuel, to arrive to properly offer the sacrifice). The result was this foolish act. The king himself performed the sacrifice.

God saw this for the sin it was, and Samuel quickly reprimanded Saul for his hasty disobedience. It cost him the future of the kingdom. It is true that Saul continued to reign for some time, but after this foolish act, God decreed that his kingdom would not last. There would be no dynasty from Saul's line. His was a dead-end future, because of his haste to take spiritual matters into his own hands.

The lesson here is that waiting on God is a good thing. And we can sin by being impulsive... even impulsive in a "good thing". It was good to want to honor God by sacrifice. But ultimately, it was disrespectful to do so in a manner that showed no regard for His Law. We cannot take just the parts of a relationship with God that we want. We have to take all the obedience God demands of us. This is why Christians are warned against things like neglecting to assemble together with other believers, making light of the significance of the Lord's Table, and not paying attention to the careful teaching, and learning, from God's Word.

Faith is humble submission. It is that simple... and that difficult. Any time I take control, humble submission does not mark my life. It is hard not to want to take things in my own hands. But the consequences of doing so are severe, painful, and warn me to watch my own heart.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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