Monday, April 18, 2016

The Great Cost of Sin

1 Samuel 21:1-2

David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” David answered Ahimelech the priest, “The king charged me with a certain matter and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about your mission and your instructions.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place.

David was on the run. He was on the run from Saul. It was official, he became public enemy number one in Saul's eyes. In light of that revelation he runs to a temple. Great run to God! But that is not what really happened. Instead, what he does is to lie to everyone there. He lies to cover his behind and get the resources he needs to survive. Sounds logical. I mean it's not like he took a whole lot. Except, later we learn that Saul kills everyone in that town. Many people paid for the lie that David did. He lied to others in order to survive. However, other people paid the price for his survival with their very lives. Sin, regardless if even done with good intentions has consequences.

I was told once that though you may think you are taking something for free, someone pays for it. There is a price for your sin, a price for your actions. Sometimes we all get caught up in our own progress or our own forward progression and we ask people for support, we fail to see the cost for them. I was reminded in a podcast yesterday of opportunity cost that would be missed if we commit to something else. Decisions, especially sinful ones have a lot of missed opportunity cost to them. The lesson here is that sin has a cost, and that I as a Christian, must be very aware that of my actions. The saving grace though is that there will be a cost to our sin, our Lord God can turn what was meant for evil to good. Our God is great.

Thank you Lord for this reminder of cost of sin and the missed opportunity that it has.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Slow Decline

1 Samuel 18:8-9

Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom? ” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

The last words to Saul from Samuel was that his reign over Israel was to end. Saul was very aware of this. So when his replacement comes into place and it is obvious that there is a replacement coming, he freaks out. He becomes jealous. He becomes a control freak and then he beings the end of his reign hunting David as a criminal of Israel. But all this could have been prevented back in the other chapters as he could have give his heart to God and followed Him, with all his heart. But Saul chose not to. Thus resulting in what we see here, the beginning of the end. But it's not sudden, no it isn't it is slow fade away. Like a horrible day that never ends, is the end of Saul's reign of Israel.

There is so much to learn here, Saul has such dichotomy in his personality and it is blatant to see that there is issues, what we fail to see is that the same issues are also within us. Saul's jealousy was due to the part because he desired to be adorned and garnered with praise, his desire to be king was not out of humble origin, but of esteemed presence. He felt he was entitled to it. And what a king wanted, he got. We too like to have a certain way. Sometimes it is mostly due to our desire to do things our way. Unfortunately God's desire is not to have this type of attitude. Our attitude needs to be that of love for Him, putting Him first. If we fail to put him first we begin a slow decline to chaos.

Lord thank you for this lesson of decline. Help me to focus in upon you.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Partial is not complete

1 Samuel 15:22-23

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.”

Saul in trouble. He really did not follow the Lord in this instance. Prior to these verses, he was instructed by Samuel to absolutely destroy the Amalekites. Destroy everything, leave nothing alive behind. Which in a way is a harsh command. God wanted them totally destroyed and that is what Saul did. Well, mostly did. He took a prisoner and he kept the good cattle and was going to use it as a "sacrifice" to the Lord. Though he may have had good intentions to do that, it was not the instructions. However he justified in his head that it was okay to bring back the cattle and bring back a prisoner. A closer look at this and the issue may not have been that Saul did all this, the issue seems to be that Saul's heart was not in the right place. In prior chapters this was a common occurrence, Saul in 1 Samuel 13 breaks protocol and offers sacrifices with out the priest Samuel. In chapter 14 he issues this decree only to make exceptions for his son. There is a pattern of not following the Lord. It appears that Saul's heart is not first committed to God. Later on when Samuel tasked to find Saul's replacement he is instructed by God to not look at the outside when selecting a king, God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). Saul's heart was not in the right place. Saul's order of importance in his heart was not God first.

Now as I look at this often times I am conflicted with what is first in my life. And I have to admit that often times it is not so much that the things that I want to see done are bad, they are just not completely in line with what God wants done. God wants your heart to be 100% for Him, that is all that he wants. It means sometimes that we may have to do things that do not make sense, or take on challenges we don't want to do. The Lord though wants us to give our whole heart to Him. That may look different in many ways, but what is certain is that if our heart is not fully committed to Him, then we cannot experience the full life He has for us. It didn't happen for Saul so we can't expect that for us.

Lord sometimes I know I have split heart, now Lord I want to give it all back to you. Help me with that and help me do what is needed to accomplish that.