Scripture: (1 Samuel 15: 5-9) Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” 4 So Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers, and ten thousand soldiers of Judah…7 Saul defeated the Amalekites… 8 He took King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the cattle and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was valuable, and would not utterly destroy them; all that was despised and worthless they utterly destroyed.
Observation: King Saul mostly followed the direction of God, but not quite. This was not the first time. So God would later replace Saul with a young man named… David.
Application: If you follow this blog you know I’ve been making an effort to take rest/Sabbath – which is hard to do as a pastor (well, for everyone really). Fridays and Saturdays are my stated days off because Sunday is an obvious work day. Yet on many occasions there are church activities I feel I need to participate in on Fridays and Saturdays – which means I don’t really have my days off. And I rationalize this behavior as unavoidable, but he main reason I skip days off is because I don’t want to disappoint people. Truth? I should know better. I know that continually skipping time off will lead me to burnout – and possibly having to leave my church, and the church having to call another senior pastor. I’ve seen it many times in my years of work across the national church. It’s awful. It’s certainly not what I want.
Question: Where are you rationalizing disobedience?
Prayer: Lord, many of us are experts at rationalizing disobedience. Give us grace to follow your ways when our own thoughts lead us away from you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.