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How Long Will You Grieve?

August 6, 2017

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How Long Will You Grieve?

We people  have many things  we mourn over  —  not the least of which  is the spiritual faltering  of a loved one.

It can take  a long time  to get over  the demise  of a dear one.     The Bible  has a number  of instances  where it relates  a story or situation  of grieving  over the spiritual welfare  of those we love.     One of those instances is  in 1 Samuel 15:35  and 1 Samuel 16:1.     They read:

And Samuel  did not see Saul again  until the day  of his death;  for Samuel grieved  over Saul.      And the LORD regretted  that He had made Saul  king over Israel.

Now the LORD said  to Samuel,  “How long  will you grieve  over Saul,  since I have rejected him  from being king  over Israel?      Fill your horn  with oil,  and go;  I will send you  to Jesse  the Bethlehemite,  for I have selected a king  for Myself  among his sons.

In this account,  Saul had become a very proud,  disobedient king  for Israel.     Saul had no faith  or respect  for the LORD  any more,  and showed it  through all of his actions  and attitude.     The LORD had been patient  with Saul  for a long time,  but it appears  that Saul probably imagined  the LORD’s patience  as an “okay”  for him  to take over all authority.     The LORD’s patience  might have been seen  as a weakness.     So,  instead of looking  to the LORD  for guidance,  Saul made decisions  all by himself.

What Saul did was  to allow his own pride  to harden his heart  in defense  of all  of his sins.     Saul had no remorse  or repentance  when his sins  were pointed out  to him  by the prophet Samuel.     How sad.

When Samuel pointed out  King Saul’s sins,  it was all  in a special love  for Saul  and a devout love  for the LORD.     Although King Saul recognized Samuel  as a true messenger  of the true LORD,  that did not lead him  to a remorse  or repentance.

Saul’s pride  and concern  for having all the Israelites  look up to him,  caused him  to fear losing his position  as king  —  more than he feared God.     Being king  had become  so important  to his self-esteem,  that he became blind  to the eternal consequences  of his fears.

He could have been  a really great king,  if only  he had learned  to humbly follow  the LORD’s directions.

But,  as it was,  Saul became  more and more hardened  into his sinful lifestyle.

Samuel’s love  for Saul  caused him  to really grieve  and mourn  over Saul’s behavior.     Samuel’s sadness  was such  that God finally said, How long  will you grieve over Saul,  since  I have rejected him…?”     God had Samuel  anoint David  to be the next king.     In his grief,  the old prophet Samuel  had to  get on with life.

Most likely,  many Christians  face the same grieving  and mourning  that Samuel did.     We see friends,  relatives  and acquaintances  reject God’s love  practically every day.     In their pride,  they feel  they are “king”  over their own lives  and can lead  their life  as they please  —  having no regard  for the love  and patience  God has shown  towards them  —  having no regard  for all the opportunities  they daily have  to draw near  to their Savior  —  having no regard  for the Christian hearts  that mourn  for them.

Paul described  the moral life  of a Christian  to the Thessalonians  and mourned the fact  that there would be  some who would want  to continue  their sinful lifestyles.     In 1 Thessalonians 4:8  he concludes,

Consequently,  he who rejects this  is not rejecting man  but the God  who gives His Holy Spirit  to you.

In our grief  and mourning  over those we care about,  we can only put  all things  in God’s hands,  continue praying,  and continue living  as God desires  —  even as  we have to get on  with our own lives.

It is possible  that they will choose  to be lost forever.     But,  in all their struggles  to find true love  and meaning  in their lives,  maybe  —  just maybe  —  they will listen  to Jesus’ loving invitation  in Matthew 11:28-30,

Come to Me,  all who are weary  and heavy laden,  and I will  give you rest.     Take My yoke  upon you,  and learn  from Me,  for I am gentle  and humble  in heart;  and you shall find rest  for your souls.     For My yoke  is easy,  and My load  is light.

When they do see  God’s love  for them  and the importance  of obeying  that love,  then we will surely say  right along with them,  “Hallelujah!     The LORD’s mercy  is most awesome!”

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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