1 Samuel 13:13-14 But Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for the LORD would now have established your kingdom over Israel forever. “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
I have been reading through the book of 1 Samuel. My personal study through this book has
been a great reminder that God is involved in the lives of people. This book has been identified
as a book that identifies the providence God at work. He providentially works in the life of
Hannah to have a child named Samuel. God providentially acts in David’s life to establish his
king over the people. As God works in and through His people He does however expect
1 Samuel 13 is chapter that identifies the destruction of disobedience. God is just and
righteous and He will judge those who defy His instruction. In chapter 13 Saul offers a sacrifice
as a king. He has been used by God to deliver His people from the Philistines. God started this
process of delivery back in Judges with Samson. Later, He will finish delivering His people
through king David. As king, Saul is forbidden to take on the role of a priest but because
Samuel is delayed, Saul feels great pressure to take matters in his own hands and move
forward without Samuel. He simply goes through the motions with an attitude that God will “do
His thing” if I offer this act of worship. His actions were sinful and ultimately they put an end to
his role as king.
This passage reminds me that in the spiritual economy it is dangerous to simply go through the
motions. We are often tempted to mindlessly move through life without thought or focus on the
things that matter to God. This act of rebellion has a connection with the 2nd temptation of
Christ in Matthew 4. Jesus was taken to the pinnacle of the temple and there satan issued the
challenge to test God by jumping so God would come to His rescue. This is the sin of
presumption. It is easy to presume upon God and put Him to the test. It plays out in our life
when we get lazy over the good things that God has given us. The sin of presumption is
arrogant and disrespectful.
Where do you find that you have to wage war against the sin of presumption in your life? Do
you mindlessly engage Sunday morning worship with a presumptuous attitude? I personally
find prayer to be one of those disciplines that can easily become mindless activity. Unless I
wage war against the sin of presumption, I can easily slip into a routine formula and completely
forget that I am talking with the sovereign God of the universe. I think it is important to learn a
valuable lesson from the life of Saul and declare war against the sin of presumption.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.