Thursday October 1, 2020

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 28:4-19

 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets

1 Samuel 28:5-6

Reflection: The assurance of God’s favor is a blessing to be humbly counted and valued. Nearing the prophesied end of his reign as king of Israel, Saul slowly begins to realize his own weakness without the favor of God. Saul’s kingship is crumbling because he has failed to obey God’s direction. Moreover, an upcoming battle against the Philistines has filled Saul with fear. In his desperation, Saul seeks help from God. But because of Saul’s history of rebellion against God, God does not answer him. So Saul, desperate for help, seeks evil forces to wake the dead prophet Samuel. From Samuel’s grave, Saul receives a devastating confirmation: that God has indeed turned His back on Saul because of Saul’s rebellion. Without God’s deliverance, Saul and his sons will die in battle against the Philistines and Israel will suffer a crushing defeat. Saul will perish in frailty because he has taken for granted the favor of God. He will be lost because he has refused God’s direction.

We cannot expect God’s favor to be with us if we are not first following Him. Saul was quick to rely upon God when he wanted help, but even quicker to ignore God’s guidance when it came to obeying God. This was not as much an performance problem as it was an attitude problem for Saul. Saul revealed throughout his reign that his motivation for being Israel’s king was not to lead others to serve God (as God had wanted), but instead to have God serve him during his time as king over the people. And God would not be in favor of what was in direct opposition to His Will.

Do you seek God’s favor and involvement in your life? Then, family in Christ, you must seek His direction. For God is not a genie ready to wave a wand at our every vain desire. The epitome of God’s favor has already been expressed to us in what God has done through Jesus. The assurance of His favor is a blessing which overflows from submission to Him.

Prayer: Lord God, You are exalted above the heavens and the earth. Your favor upon me is undeserved. Thank You for guiding me in Your Way and by it blessing me so richly. Please help me to remain constantly surrendered to You. Help me to seek Your Will only and not my own. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Romans 15:1-13; 1 Samuel 27-28; Psalm 70