每日诗歌: 萬古磐石 (http://www.mbcsfv.org/chinese/library/hymncampanions/046.html)
1 Samuel 13 [Read]
1 Samuel 14 [Read]
Luke 14:1-24 [Read]
Today’s OT reading is filled with events and details during Saul’s struggle with the Philistines, and some are hard for us to know why the author recorded them. However, one major theme is clear. They were put together to show the downward slide of the first king of Israel.
The first event set the tone for the tragic downfall of Saul. The Israelites were terrified by the coming of the Philistines (13:5), and they did not have weapon to defend themselves (13:19). Therefore, it was understandable for them to be “quaking with fear” (13:7). Such time called for true leadership from a godly servant, but Saul did not show that. Instead, he disobeyed the direct command of Samuel (10:8) with three seemingly reasonable excuses – God’s people were leaving him, God’s prophet did not show up at the set time, and God’s enemies were assembling (13:11). Therefore, he was compelled to disobey (13:12). Since God’s plan did not seem to work, he had to do something to help. But God’s plan often seems not working in the eyes of an impatient man.
The second event revealed more of Saul’s heart. Now that Samuel had left him (13:15), he took things further into his own hand. He brought the priest Ahijah, who was the grandson of Eli whom God had specifically cursed (2:35, 3:14). Furthermore, he meant to get the Ark for his own use (14:18), just like the failed scheme Israelites used before (4:3). The declaration of Samuel in 13:14 not only did not drive him to repent, but it further hardened his heart.
The final event showed the mercilessness and foolishness of the king (14:24), for he forbade his people to eat to satisfy his personal vengeance against the Philistines. Even his son Jonathan saw the folly of such curse (14:30). If not for the people of Israel, he would have killed Jonathan who essentially won the battle for the nation.
The faith of Jonathan was the only bright spot in these chapters. “Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few” (14:6). Indeed, our Lord saves. The tougher the circumstances are, the more we should trust him. Nothing can hinder him from saving us, and nothing can separate us from his love for us. It’s reassuring and comforting to be reminded about this.
Keep on reading,