Posted in Devotions

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.”

Posted in Devotions

I Samuel I Part I–Fervent Prayer

When we are hurting, there is nothing more powerful than prayer.  Prayer is our ongoing conversation with the one that created and loves us unconditionally.  The greatest gift we have is the ability to talk to God Directly.  We do not need an intermediary—we have Jesus the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. God wants to hear from us directly.  He wants the good and the bad.  He knows us, sees us and loves us.  Hannah cried out to him and God heard her prayer.  It did not happen overnight, but, he heard and he answered in a huge way.

We have to continue to cry out to God.  He is not Santa and he is not always going to change things instantly—but, like any father, He is always listening, loving and looking for ways to provide and protect his kids.  We may receive taunting, it may seem like you have prayed forever—but pray knowing he hears you and is preparing the best for you.

Help me Lord to seek you, and wait upon your answer—it is the best.

God Bless You

 And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion[b] because the Lord had given her no children. So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle.[c] Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.

“Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

Hannah’s Prayer for a Son

Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle.[d] 10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. 11 And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.[e]

12 As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!”

15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”

17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”