The Daily Word: Friday, May 14th, 2021
1 Samuel 15:1-16:23
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” – 1 Sam. 15:13-14
Saul had simple instructions: “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them.” Saul was commanded to annihilate Israel’s enemy. He was to completely destroy them, and completely destroy all they had: “…ox, sheep, camel and donkey” (v 3).
But Saul didn’t finish the job. He killed all the people, but spared Agag, king of the Amalekites. He also kept “the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and [was] unwilling to utterly destroy them” (v 9). Saul destroyed what he didn’t want! But he kept what he wanted. Saul was obedient to the border of convenience! But when it was no longer desirable and comfortable to follow God’s command, he jumped ship. He “[swept] down on the spoil, and [did] evil in the sight of the Lord” (v 19). When God called Saul on his sin, Saul pretended nothing was wrong. “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord,” he said (v 20)! But God was not fooled, and He certainly was not impressed.
Don’t pretend you fulfilled God’s command if you didn’t! Don’t claim to have honored God’s will if you don’t do what He says. Now, there is room for error. There is forgiveness for mistakes! There is grace for imperfection. The blood of Jesus atones for all your sin: past, present and future. But the mature believer looks at God’s command and keeps it. He repents when he misses the mark, instead of acting like nothing is wrong. He asks the Holy Spirit for help, knowing that he can accomplish nothing on his own.
Be mature. Finish the job! Say what you mean, and mean what you say! Don’t pretend you were perfectly obedient if you were not. And if God tells you to do it, get it done in Jesus’ name.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – Jas. 1:22
Father, help me to finish the job! I want to be a doer of the word. Whatever I have left undone, strengthen and inspire me to do it, in Jesus’ name!
© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.