Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14: 1 Samuel 15 – 16; Psalm 110; Proverbs 15:8-10; John 8:1-20


            1 Samuel: The Lord told Saul to wipe out the Amalekites and destroy all their animals. Saul killed everyone except the king and spared the best of the animals. The Lord told Samuel that Saul hadn’t fully obeyed and that he regretted making Saul king. Samuel then went to Saul and confronted him. Saul tried to justify himself by keeping the animals to sacrifice to the Lord. He also blamed the people for wanting the animals for sacrificing.
            Samuel told Saul that the Lord had rejected him from being king because he had rejected the Lord’s command. The kingdom will go to a neighbor. Samuel then killed the Amalekite king and went home.
            The Lord told Samuel to stop grieving over Saul and anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. Samuel was afraid Saul would kill him but the Lord told him to take a heifer and invite Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice. When they came to eat, Samuel looked at Jesse’s sons and thought the oldest must be the one but the Lord said no because he doesn’t look at the outward person but a person’s heart. None of his sons were selected so Samuel asked if there were any others. David was still out tending sheep. Samuel made them wait until David came in. When he arrived, the Lord said he was he one so Samuel anointed him with oil. The Spirit of the Lord rushed on David from that day forward.
            The Spirit departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. David was brought into Saul’s service to play the lyre when the evil spirit was upon Saul. The spirit would depart when David played. Saul loved David and he became Saul’s armor-bearer.
            Psalm: David sets forth traits of the Messiah. He is the Lord. He will rule over all. His saints will willingly do battle for him. He is eternal. He is a priest forever. He will judge the nations
            Proverbs: God hates wicked sacrifices but upright prayers are what he wants. That fits for all of what wicked people do and those who pursue righteousness. Those who don’t pay attention to this will be severely disciplined and if they reject discipline, they will die.
            John: While teaching people in the temple, scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to him claiming they caught her in the act of adultery. They tested Jesus asking him what they should do because the Law said she should be stoned. Jesus told them that the one without sin should throw the first stone. They all left and he told the woman that he didn’t condemn her and to go and sin no more.
            Jesus said he is the light of the world and anyone who follows him will always be in the light. The Pharisees accused him of being his own witness, which isn’t valid. He told them they didn’t know anything about him. They judge by what they see but he judges truthfully because he judges with the Father. His Father witnesses about him. They asked him where his Father was. Jesus told them if they knew his Father, they would know both him and his Father. No one arrested him because it wasn’t his time.

What Stood Out

            1 Samuel: “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7).
            Psalm: “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Ps 110:4).
            Proverbs: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him” (Prov 15:8).
            John: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:11).


            1 Samuel: Saul believed the partial obedience to the Lord was all that was needed as long as he was able to sacrifice and make up the difference. Well, that’s not exactly what he said but that is the way he operated. The Lord made it plain that obedience must be complete. Trying to make up something to the Lord by pitching more in the offering plate doesn’t please the Lord. There isn’t anyone one of us that is 100% obedient. Fortunately for us, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross makes up for our partial obedience. We need to recognize that and strive for obedience and call upon the Lord’s mercy through Jesus when we fall short. We shouldn’t think that our works is what makes up for our disobedience. The truth is, whatever we do is only our duty (Luke 17:10).
             The Lord also knows our hearts. We can’t fool him by being obedient on the outside and rebelling on the inside. We can’t presume to get into heaven because we think we are good enough when we have even one sin in our hearts. Unless we are trusting Jesus, and the Lord knows if we are or aren’t, we won’t make it. The Lord equated several sins to each other. The point is that sin is sin and the size doesn’t matter. We must have Jesus to cleans us from all sins.
            Psalm: Jesus used verse one to stump the educated Jews who wanted to deny he was the Messiah. He proclaimed that the Messiah was equal with God. This is one of the fundamental truths of Christianity. No one can honestly be a Christian if he thinks Jesus is someone other than God the Son one member of the Trinity. He is also a priest forever. That means he offered the perfect sacrifice for our sins, his own life. Since the Messiah is priest forever, that means he is still alive and interceding for us.
            Proverbs: It is fitting to read Proverbs 15:8 right after reading about Saul and his disobedience. Had Saul gone ahead and tried to sacrifice the animals he should have killed, he would have added to his sin and that would have been an even greater abomination. Trying to cover our own sins with anything other than the blood of Jesus is an abomination to the Lord.
            John: This account of Jesus and the woman is an example of Jesus giving a person a second chance. It is not an account of Jesus forgiving her. To be forgiven by God requires some things that we do not find in this passage.
1.      The woman didn’t come by her own will. She was dragged before Jesus. When we come to Jesus for forgiveness we must do it on our own volition.
2.      She didn’t express any faith in Jesus. We must have faith in Jesus as the Son of God and his desire to save us.
3.      She did not admit to her sin. She said no one condemned her. We must admit to our sins. It doesn’t matter what other say one way or another.
4.      She didn’t ask for forgiveness. We must ask for forgiveness. This is often hard for someone to do.
5.      Jesus said he didn’t condemn her. This means he wasn’t going to punish her for her sin. This is a legal term that spared her from death. It wasn’t forgiveness of her sins. Many other times, Jesus specifically said a person’s sins were forgiven. Not this time. We can know our sins are forgiven when we do what she didn’t do.
6.      Jesus told her to stop sinning. There was no indication that she repented. We can repent. Certainly, unrepentant sinners always have another chance just as she did. But those chances run out if we die without asking Jesus to forgive us and be our Lord and Savior.


            I must work on my obedience. I can’t think doing things halfway is good enough. I must also realize that I’ll never be completely obedient and must ask for forgiveness.

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