Bible Pathway - Apr. 5, 2011

Highlights:

Saul makes a foolish vow (I Sam. 14:24-30). Then he disobeys the direct command of God. First we read of Eli the priest, then Samuel the prophet, and Saul the king. Next enters David the shepherd boy who becomes the God-anointed king of Israel. His Seed (Descendant) will be our promised Savior, our High Priest, Prophet, and King of kings.

Influenced by the godly prophet Samuel at the beginning of his reign, Saul served the people as the servant of God. But it wasn't long before his decisions were calculated to heighten his own agenda. Samuel also said unto Saul . . . hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. . . . Now go and smite Amalek . . . But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the oxen . . . and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them (I Sam. 15:1,3,9).

Saul wanted Samuel's blessing, but when he had to make a choice between Samuel's approval and maintaining his own popularity, he chose to please the people.

Desire for popularity held a firm grip on Saul's heart when he admitted he was afraid of the people. Saul was more concerned about pleasing them than in having God rule his life. Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the Commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice (15:24).

We need to remember and live by Samuel's powerful words: Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. . . . For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry (15:22-23).

There is nothing so subtle or destructive to our spiritual growth as pride. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises. . . . if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (II Pet. 1:4-10). Nothing but the Word of God can expose our pride. The Word of God is quick (living), and powerful (Heb. 4:12). Believing and receiving His Word will lead us to true humility (Rom. 12:1-2; II Cor. 10:5; Phil. 2:5-8).

All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (I Pet. 5:5). Those who are truly called of God will recognize that their ability to fulfill His call comes only from the Lord and His Word. Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called (I Cor. 1:26).

Thought for Today:

Thou shalt fear (highly respect) the Lord thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His Name (Deut. 10:20).

Christ Revealed:

Through David's name (I Sam. 16:13) which means beloved. David is a type of Jesus, whom the Heavenly Father called My beloved Son (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35).

Word Studies:

14:24 adjured threatened under oath; 14:31 smote struck down; 14:41 perfect lot right answer; 14:47 took the kingdom took possession; vexed harassed; 14:52 sore fierce, severe; 15:29 repent change His mind; 15:32 delicately fearfully; 16:18 comely handsome.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. Peter King (NY) and Rep. Reid Ribble (WI) • Country: Brunei (400,000) on the northern coast of Borneo • Major languages: Malay and English • Limited religious freedom • 66% Muslim; 19% Chinese religions; 6% animist; 4% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to write His precepts in your heart (Col. 3:16).

Optional Reading: Acts 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:9

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