I Samuel 15 part 2–I surrender Some

There is an old hymn that I sang as a child—I Surrender All, by J.W Deventer that always haunted me.  The Hymn is very straight forward and simply speaks of a walk with God that pictures complete surrender and the freedom that brings.  Sadly, as I compare that to my life, I find that rather challenging.  So did Saul. God’s command was clear.  Completely destroy the Amalekites, leave nothing alive.  Saul mostly destroyed the Amalekites, he kept the King and some of the livestock, but, the issue was not an issue of misunderstanding, it was an issue of Lordship.  This became obvious as Saul was building a monument to himself after the battle, it was also obvious as he told Samuel he kept livestock to sacrifice to the Lord “Samuel’s” God. God always looks at the heart, and Saul had made Saul lord of his life.

We often battle the same temptation.  We set out to follow the Lord and surrender to his leadership, but, somewhere on the way, we decide to amend God’s plan to benefit us –just a bit.  We think ourselves clever—we figure God will understand.  Sadly, the Lord does not take partial allegiance.  His throne only has one seat.  He is a gentleman—he will only take charge if invited to.  But, he will never condone partial surrender.  This journey has to be under his care and authority.  That allows God to provide and protect those in his family. If we only partially surrender, there can be no consistency and no real faith.  When circumstances get easier, then we reassert our Lordship—We do it our way.  As with Saul, God says, I cannot allow a shared throne, I neeed a leader that is seeking me with his heart.  As Joshua said—choose this day whom you will serve…As for me and my house—We will serve the Lord.

God Bless You

Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”

13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”

14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”

Ruth 1 part 1–Just Do It

We try not to burden others when we are facing tragedy.  We do not want others to have to experience the pain or loss we are experiencing.  It takes a person that really cares and is wise to understand that our polite offers to allow others not to be burdened are a combination of fear and confusion.  Naomi needed Ruth.  God had a plan for the two of them.  Yet, Naomi in grief tried to send Ruth away.  Ruth, in love refused. She was family and that is not how family behaves.

We are often tasked with opportunities to come along side of our friends and family and simply meet the needs that are before them.  When we ask, we are told that they are fine and under control. We, like Ruth, must be committed to doing the things necessary to assist family.  We have to become a part of their lives and love them.  That is what will make the difference in the lives of those in need. Nike’s Logo says it best—Just do it.  Please keep our friends and neighbors in OKC in prayer.  The tragedy in Moore—Yesterday was horrific.

God Bless You

  Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.