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Showing posts from March 31, 2013

Obedience

Have you ever instructed a child in what he is supposed to do and then come back to him later and seen that he has not done what you told him to do and then lies about it? It goes to the nature of a person to understand why this happens.
Saul acted like a child before Samuel. God had told Saul through Samuel to totally destroy the Amalekites who had been evil to Israel when they came out of Egypt. Saul goes but decides to spare Agag the King and the best of the animals.It was clear that this was disobedience but Saul was able to weave a story to make it alright.
Upon his return, Saul meets Samuel and says, "I have carried out the Lord's instruction." (1 Samuel 15:13) This is a bold face lie. Samuel confronts Saul because he can see Agag and hear the animals that accompany him. A new lie is woven. It is blamed on the soldiers who spared "the best...to sacrifice to the Lord..." (1 Samuel 15:15) A supposed good purpose is created out of a disobedient action.
Samu…

Mentoring

It took the insignificant task of searching for lost donkeys to bring the young man Saul to the residence of the prophet Samuel. Saul had wandered for three days with his servant searching for the herd of donkeys which were property of his father. They were eventually found by someone else but on that journey Saul found something quite different.
When Saul and Samuel, the first prophet, crossed paths Samuel was in the later part of his leadership of Israel. The people had already come asking him to give them a king. Samuel's initial response was one of dismay but God assured him that this was the path of the future for Israel. (1 Samuel 9:16) With this revelation in hand, God brings Saul to Samuel. Both men are seeking: Saul seeks direction about the whereabouts of some donkeys and Samuel seeks a man who will lead Israel.
Here is the moment a mentor is born. Samuel "talked with Saul on the roof of his house." (1 Samuel 9:25) At that moment a friendship was initiated bet…

Slavery

It seems within the nature of man to keep enslaving himselfto others. Samuel was the last of the judges to guide the people of Israel. It had been over four-hundred years and over fourteen different judgeships that God had led the people of Israel. But now things were changing; the people want a king.
They came to Samuel and said, "appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." (1 Samuel 8:5) Samuel is hurt by this but is reassured by God that this is the path that must be traveled by the people. He does allow Samuel to "splain" to the people what this will mean in real terms. He says that a king will do the following:
Turn your sons into soldiers (8:11)Turn your sons into farmers (8:12a)Sons will become manufacturers of warfare (8:12b)Daughters will become perfumers, cooks and bakers (8:13)Take the best of your fields and give them to his attendants (8:14)Tax you 10% of your grain and wine production (8:15)Take …

On Time Jesus

Thereis a story relayed in three of the Gospels which helps us to understand the timing of God in our lives. It takes place the night of the feeding of the five thousand men found in Matthew14, Mark 6 and John 6.
At the end of the feeding of the five thousand, around 5pm, Jesus tells the disciples to gather up the leftovers and Matthew notes it to total twelve full baskets. Then they are told to get in the boat and begin the trip across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus stays to dismiss the crowd and also to spend time alone on the mountain, promising to join them later.
The disciples are halfway across the sea when they experience a violent storm. They are fearful but continuing to row. “During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.” Matthew 14:25
The Jewish night of twelve hours was broken into four watches, each three hours long and beginning at 6pm. So, when Jesus comes to them it is after 3am, the start of the fourth watch. The disciples had been in thei…

Truth Telling

There is nothing more powerful than telling the truth. When we do not know the truth or choose not to believe it, we spin "yarns" in our head that include our perception of the truth and the stories of others that enhance this perception. Then we choose to live life based on this false truth and it distorts our attitudes and actions.
Note the story of Jephthah's defense of Israel's battles with Ammon, Moab and Edom before they entered the promise land. In Jephthah's time the king of the Ammonites said, "When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably." (Judges 11:13)
Jephthah then tells the true history of the time the king of the Ammonites is talking about. He corrects his false story with four truths:
Israel didn't steal any land; they captured it in war because these nations wouldn't let them pass peaceably through their land but fought agai…

Pretenders

We all have seen people who act like they are rich but in reality are only pretending to be rich. They are not wise or humble but prideful and destructive to their own testimony among others. Solomon wrote this terse statement concerning show offs, "Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food."(Proverbs 12:9)
This is a message from God to all who would fake it in life. Trying to live like a rich person will not change who you really are. He suggests the better course of action is to be practical and live within your means; that you not lie to yourself and others about your state in life.
Trying to be a somebody without the means to support it is vain, stupid and eventually will be exposed. There is a consolation in knowing who you are rather than in showing who you think you should be. How are you living life, as a pretender or as you are in truth? Living a good life within your means trumps living a fake life outside your means eve…