April 28, 2017

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) — 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Their were two kings in the bible that were exposed by God’s word. There was King Saul and King David.

King Saul was told by God to destroy the Amalekites.

1 Samuel 15:1–3 (NLT) — 1 One day Samuel said to Saul, “It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord! 2 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. 3 Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”

So Saul takes his army and goes out against the Amalekites.

1 Samuel 15:7–9 (NLT) — 7 Then Saul slaughtered the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, east of Egypt. 8 He captured Agag, the Amalekite king, but completely destroyed everyone else. 9 Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.

As you can see he didn’t do what God asked. The prophet Samuel now exposes Saul with God’s word.

1 Samuel 15:13–23 (NLT) — 13 When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!” 14 “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded. 15 “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the Lord told me last night!” “What did he tell you?” Saul asked. 17 And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?” 20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

Saul started to make excuses for his sin saying that he intended to offer the cattle he had spared as a sacrifice to the Lord. He wouldn’t humble himself and repent of his sin. Samuel told him that obedience is better than sacrifice. I wonder if sometimes we are like Saul. We don’t want to give up a pet sin or we don’t want to tithe or we continue to hold a grudge and like Saul we justify it because we have regular attendance at church, we help the poor in our neighborhood, we have regular devotions, we don’t swear, get drunk or abuse our wife, and we lead a bible study. In other words our sacrifices that we make to do good surely should make up for the little bit of disobedience in our lives, right?

King David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. To cover up the sin he had Uriah, who was one of his best soldiers, put in the front lines of a battle so that he was sure to be killed, and he was. So you can add murder to his sin of adultery. When God sent the prophet Nathan to expose David’s sin with God’s word, here was David’s response.

Psalm 51:1–17 (NLT) — 1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. 5 For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. 7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. 16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Now you know why God said this about King David:

Acts 13:22 (NLT) — 22 But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’

Are you a Saul or a David when you are exposed by the Word of God? If you continue to resist God’s word when you are exposed you will become desensitized to the sin like Saul. If you respond with repentance you will remain like David, a person after God’s own heart.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Verse 23 says, rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. Ouch! Rebellion or stubbornness can be hiding in so many areas of our lives just waiting to jump out unless we’re willing to expose it as sin and repent. We even use being a rebel or being stubborn as a teasing remark of ourselves or others. Not so funny I guess. This could easily cause us to be insensitive towards both. I vote for David’s plan!

  2. Mary Anne Frank says:

    I find it revealing that Saul does not reference God as “the Lord my God “but says to Samuel in verses 15 and 30 ” the Lord your God”. It shows that his heart has changed at this point. In our culture today we often hear angry and bitter people say “if Your God is…….” .
    Lord, you are MY God…may I never doubt that.