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Tell-Tale Heart

July 29, 2017

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Tell-Tale Heart

Sometimes,  we’re not all  that we’re cracked up  to be.     People might judge  by one’s good looks,  strength,  certain talents,  and accomplishments  that a particular person  certainly will be  a good leader — an ideal friend — a dependable helper,  etc.

But,  such opinions  are not based  on that person’s inner being,  which is where a person  really needs  to be evaluated.   Such was  the case  of the people’s opinion  of Saul,  before he became King Saul,  the first king of Israel.     Saul’s sad story begins  in  1 Samuel,  chapter 9  and goes onward  through chapter 31,  which tells  of his demise.

Saul seemed shy  and unassuming  in the beginning,  but the people loved him  for his good looks  and strength.     One’s just gotta have  a good looking king,  you know.     But,  Saul’s problem was  that he didn’t really believe  in God.     In his pride,  he trusted  in his own ability  to get the job done  “right”.

God’s Spirit was with Saul  in the beginning,  when he was more humble.     But,  God will not guide someone  filled with pride  and faithlessness.     That became the story  of Saul’s life  —  pride  and faithlessness.

Saul demonstrated his unbelief  in his actions  —  right where it counts.     There had been times  when Saul was disobedient  to God’s command,  but the big turning point  in Saul’s life begins  in  1 Samuel 15.

Saul had been commanded  by God,  through the prophet Samuel,  to totally destroy  the Amalekites  and absolutely everything they had  because of their wickedness.     Instead of obeying,  Saul thought it would be  a better idea  to save the Amalekite king  and the best  of the sheep  and cattle.     In other words,  Saul proudly felt  he knew better  than God.     Surprise!

It is never a good idea  for anyone  to disobey God’s  direct commands  —  even today.     We need  to learn  from Saul’s experience  and really  take it to heart  —  remembering  that God’s commands  to us today  are written  in His eternal word.     We are not  without knowledge.

When the prophet Samuel  found out  about Saul’s disobedience,  he approached Saul  about it.     Of course,  Saul wanted  to defend himself  and said in  1 Samuel 15:20-21,

I did obey  the voice  of the LORD…….  and have brought back Agag  the king  of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed  the Amalekites.      But the people  took some of the spoil,  sheep  and oxen,  the choicest  of the things devoted  to destruction,  to sacrifice  to the LORD  your God  at Gilgal.

Note  how right in the middle  of his “self-defense”,  Saul admits  —  and justifies  —  his disobedience  in keeping Agag alive  and then,  blames his soldiers  for keeping the choice livestock.     When we want  to justify ourselves,  we too,  have a tendency  to place the blame  on someone else.

We don’t want  to take responsibility  for our disobedience,  pride  and arrogance.     We’ll boldly lie  through our teeth,  so we can hold our head up high.     But,  that is not good  for our lives.

Then the prophet Samuel speaks  God’s judgment  on all our disobedience.     In  verses 22-23  he declares,

Has the LORD  as much delight  in burnt offerings  and sacrifices  as in obeying  the voice  of the LORD?

Behold,  to obey  is better  than sacrifice,  and to heed  than the fat  of rams.

For rebellion  is as the sin  of divination,  and insubordination  is as iniquity  and idolatry.

Because you have rejected  the word  of the LORD,  He has also rejected you  from being king.

When we knowingly disobey  the commands  God has given  for of all His children,  that is rebellion  and insubordination.     It is an out and out rejection  of our LORD  and Savior.

After hearing God’s judgment  on him,  Saul’s main concern  was still to “look good”  in the eyes  of the people  by having the prophet Samuel go  to worship the LORD  with him.     And,  isn’t that how we are?     There was no real repentance  —  just a “I want to look good” concern.

When we need  to have a true,  heartfelt repentance  and honestly change our ways,  we still want to “look good”  in the eyes  of everyone else.     “Looking good”  becomes more important  than having a real change  of heart  —  a real change  of ways.

But,  it is the real change  of heart  and ways  that lead  to the kind  of repentance  that brings forgiveness.     Forgiveness is what we need.     Why throw away  the opportunity  for forgiveness,  just so we can hold our head up  a little while longer?

It’s what happens  in eternity  that will bring us  the most joy  —  or despair.     We can’t afford  to let our tell-tale heart  tell a tale  of pride  and disobedience.

Instead of justifying our sins,  let us humbly see the LORD’s love  in reprimanding us  and guiding us here  in this life.    Then let us rejoice  that God  still loves us enough  to give us  all these fair warnings.     We don’t have any excuse  for not obeying God’s command  because God has the power  to bless us  when we obey.

Then,  we will truly say,  “Hallelujah!     God is so faithful  in showing us the right way  to go,  even after  we’ve sinned.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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