March 22

1 Samuel 13-14, Psalm 81

Corrie Ten Boom said: “Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible”. As we reflect on our own lives, are they examples of faith, trusting in God, or are they examples of the world calculating our every move from an earthly standpoint.

We see in today’s readings a stark contrast between Saul, a man of the world, full of pride, and Jonathon, a man of faith. In every conflict Saul chooses to seek a solution using his own ingenuity. Samuel was very specific in his instructions in 1 Samuel 10:8, “You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.” We see Saul impatiently taking things into his own hands in 13:7-8, “…As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. So Saul said, “Bring me a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering.” No soon as Saul finished with the burnt offering, Samuel appeared and said in 13:11, “What have you done?” We see Saul continually numbering his soldiers to see how they stacked up against the Philistines (1 Samuel 13:15, 14:17). We see Saul acting before seeking God, as we read in 1 Samuel 14:36, “Now Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and plunder them until the morning light; and let us not leave a man of them.”” … Then the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” As a result when Saul finally asked the counsel of God in verse 37, God did not answer Saul. Saul was typical of the people in the book of Judges in that he did what was right in his own eyes.

Contrast this with his son, Jonathon. We see him step out in faith, putting all of his trust in God. He was out manned and was in a vulnerable position (had to scale a cliff). We read in 1 Samuel 14:6, “Then Jonathon said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” Jonathon’s two man attack makes no earthly sense, but rests solely on God as we read in 14:10, “But if they say this, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up. For the Lord has delivered them into our hand, and this will be a sign to us.” In faith he realized that with God, everything is possible.

Romans 8:31 says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Do we believe this? If we believe this, do we step out in faith, like Jonathon, and believe that God will act on our behalf? Or do we calculate all the odds in our own wisdom, play it safe, like Saul, and see no power in our life. It is one thing to talk about our faith, but do we act upon it? God promises over and over in His Word, that if we trust Him and step out in faith, then we can see the Holy Spirit do amazing things in our lives.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato