Unfinished Life: Week 1 - Day 4
Lord, I come seeking wisdom that is beyond my own. Give me understanding as I meditate on your word and its relevance to my life. Amen
READ: Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” REFLECT:
In case you didn’t get it the first time, Solomon gave this advice, he backed it up a few chapters over in
Proverbs 14:12 with a sobering addition – “there is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”
Perhaps Solomon had Israel’s first king in mind when he uttered those words. Shortly after the prophet Samuel anointed Saul, he told the new king to go to Gilgal where he would join him to offer burnt sacrifices and peace offerings. Samuel specifically told Saul to wait there for seven days and he would come with further instructions.
As Saul waited at Gilgal, the Philistines moved large numbers of soldiers and chariots near where Saul and his men were camped. Saul’s men became afraid and started slipping away. Saul waited seven days. When there was no sign of the prophet, Saul reasoned that if he didn’t act soon, there would be no men left to fight. So, he sacrificed the burnt offering himself. As soon as the offering was finished, Samuel arrived and said to Saul – “What have you done?”
With all the human reasoning he could muster, Saul explained to Samuel that given the circumstances they were facing with the Philistine army, he felt compelled to seek the Lord’s help and offer the sacrifice himself. Samuel’s response, “How foolish! You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you.” Then Samuel tells Saul the consequences of his disobedience – Saul’s kingdom would come to an end and God would appoint a “man after His own heart” to be the leader of his people.
How often do we feel just like Saul when we face circumstances that seem to defy God’s instructions to us – don’t strike back, offer the other cheek; don’t look to your own interests but to the interests of others; don’t store up treasure in this world but invest in the kingdom of heaven; pray for those who persecute you; don’t treat others the way they deserve but the way you want to be treated. We don’t lose a kingdom when we fail to live as God has asks us to live but we may miss the abundant life and unexplainable peace that come with trusting him.
Father God, I want to trust you when my own instincts tell me to trust myself and my own wisdom. Help me be obedient and walk closer to you each day. Amen.