Wednesday, July 22, 2020

2020.07.22 Hopewell @Home ▫ Read 1 Samuel 14:24–46

Questions from the Scripture text: How do the men of Israel feel in 1 Samuel 14:24? Why—what had Saul done? What had the people not done? To what does the army come in 1 Samuel 14:25? What do they find there (1 Samuel 14:26)? What didn’t the people do? Why not? What does Jonathan do in 1 Samuel 14:27? With what result? What does one of the people say to him in 1 Samuel 14:28? What does Jonathan say that his father had done (1 Samuel 14:29)? What does Jonathan wish the people had done (1 Samuel 14:30)? What would have happened in that case? What had the people done 1 Samuel 14:31? How did this make them feel? What did they do, in 1 Samuel 14:32, when victory had been secured? Why was this a problem (1 Samuel 14:33)? What does Saul ask for in verse 33b? What was the purpose of the stone (1 Samuel 14:34)? What did Saul build in 1 Samuel 14:35? What did he propose in 1 Samuel 14:36? What do the people say? What does the priest say? Of whom did does Saul ask counsel in 1 Samuel 14:37? What doesn’t God do? What does Saul assume is the reason for this (1 Samuel 14:38)? What does he propose to do (1 Samuel 14:39)? What does he do to find out whom to blame (1 Samuel 14:40-42)? Whom does it end up being? What does Saul ask Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14:43? What does he decide to do in 1 Samuel 14:44? But how do the people answer, and what do the people do (1 Samuel 14:45)? Where do the respective armies/commanders go in 1 Samuel 14:46?
Our sin can turn a day of salvation (1 Samuel 14:23) into a day of distress (1 Samuel 14:24). Saul, who failed to wait for Samuel’s sacrifice in 1 Samuel 13:9–13 has employed the rejected house of Ichabod (1 Samuel 14:3) to overcompensate with unrequired priestly services (1 Samuel 4:18–19) to go with his unrequired and foolish oath 1 Samuel 14:241 Samuel 14:29-30.

In fact, after Yahweh had saved them anyway (1 Samuel 14:231 Samuel 14:44-45), Saul was more committed to his manmade religious ideas than justice to save the life of his son who hadn’t even heard the oath (1 Samuel 14:43, cf. 1 Samuel 14:27a).

This is the great danger, when the principle of our religion is “do whatever seems good to you,” which becomes something of a refrain in 1 Samuel 14:36 and 1 Samuel 14:39. That’s an apt summary of how Saul has been operating. And, too often, it is an apt summary of the worship and service of the church.

But, if our trust is that Yahweh is saving us, we will be content to offer Him as religious service exactly whatever He has commanded, then go out and serve and obey, knowing that He is free to do all His holy will, and that He is pleased to do us good by His own grace for His own glory. That was how Jonathan was operating (cf. 1 Samuel 14:6), in stark contrast to his own father.

The real question for us is if that is how we are operating. Do we believe that the Lord accomplishes all, by Christ’s finished work and the Spirit’s application of that work? Are we content to offer as worship, and do for discipleship, merely those things that He has commanded? Do we then obey and serve in the world, with the daring and diligence to know that the Lord will surely accomplish His own will?

Much religiosity has as its foundation unbelief and fear like Saul’s and can result in resisting the Lord Himself and endangering the very best of His people. May the Lord protect us from it!
What is your religious life like? What daring and diligent things has trusting Christ’s success freed you to do?
Suggested songs: ARP131 “My Heart Is Not Exalted, Lord” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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