Thursday 18 December 2014

Bible Book:
1 Samuel

“Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the LORD was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.” (v. 35)

1 Samuel 15:34-35 Thursday 18 December 2014

Psalm: Psalm 30


There's something energising about seeing potential in a personand watching as they explore the new possibilities opening upbefore them: a career or ministry that they had never thought ofsuddenly becomes imaginable.

Then, occasionally, it comes crashing down - because of a stupiderror or because a weakness took control - and all thepossibilities are lost, maybe forever.

At the end of 1 Samuel 15 we leave Saul as a broken man. He isstill king because he wears the trappings of office, but he haslost the blessing of God. It has been torn from him with theprophet's robe (1 Samuel 15:27) and for all the years remainingto him he is in power but without God's authority.

And we read that Samuel grieved. More seriously, we read thatthe Lord was sorry he had made Saul king. For the Creator to haveregrets is a big deal.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Saul's strengths were also hisweaknesses. His daring in battle won him astonishing victories butalso made him dangerously unpredictable: conducting a sacrificeinstead of waiting for Samuel (1Samuel 13:9); making a rash oath that almost got his sonJonathan killed (1 Samuel 14:24-30).

It had been a turbulent time in Israel's history and Samuel hadfound himself both rejected by the people and still required by Godto keep the king on track. In the end he was left with a rejectedSaul whose kingdom had been torn away from him and a God who wasregretting what he had done.

To Ponder

  • Jesus says, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is yourFather's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12: 32). Howdo you live up to the responsibility?
  • Is a God who might regret a decision less almighty? Why?
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