"The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided for Myself a king among his sons.'"
I Samuel 16: 1, Amplified Bible
"A Kingship That Melted-Away"
"It does not take great (women) to do great things; it only takes consecrated (women)."
What do I believe I am "consecrated" by God to do with my life?
"Commit yourself to a dream…Nobody who tries to do something great but fails is a total failure. Why? Because (she) can always rest assured that (she) succeeded in life's most important battle - (she) defeated the fear of trying."
Robert H. Schuller
"Some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles."
The last text in I Samuel 15 is a very sad one, as far as I'm concerned. The Bible says "Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death, though Samuel grieved over Saul" (I Samuel 15: 35, Amplified Bible).
Samuel had a great fondness for the young King Saul. In fact, it may be that Samuel considered Saul to be like a son. But as with all children, it is totally impossible for parents to manage every aspect of their child's life. Any parent knows you can't control your child's every move. As much as parents might like to keep all heartache from touching their child's life, this task is not one any parent can perform to perfection.
In the relationship between Samuel and Saul, all the good advice and loving concern could not instill heavenly consecration in the life of Saul. Finally God came to Samuel and said, "I've rejected Saul as king. I've found someone to replace him."
The reason I chose to take a look at this text today is for two specific reasons. First, in upcoming devotionals, as we look into the life of David and his relationships with women, we will find that like Saul, David was also disobedient. You can't say David was better than Saul. If anything, he committed despicable acts that from an outside view appeared much worse than anything Saul ever did.
God was just as unhappy with David's behavior as He was with Saul's. However, it is in Saul's story where we find the word "reject." And I asked myself, "What does this word mean?" In the Hebrew, the word reject means "to melt-away or to disappear." If we read the text carefully, because Saul turned his back on God and walked away from Him, God let his kingship "melt-away." His rulership disappeared - including the rulership of any of his own children. Their family was passed over and another was chosen.
This brings me to the second reason I wanted to look at I Samuel 16: 1.
Too often, we feel that if we fail God, He rejects us, when in fact, the moment we turn to Him, He accepts us with arms opened wide, ready to wrap us and hold us close in His love.
The problem with Saul was, unlike David, who returned to his Father's forgiving presence, Saul chose to continue down a path of unfaithfulness - a life without purpose and consecration.
One of my favorite Christian writers, Evelyn Underhill, wrote these thought-provoking words which give us a glimpse into the longing our Father has for consecrated daughters and sons who, when they hear the voice of their Father calling to them and directing them, follow Him with a purpose that endures every hardship and completes any task.
As Evelyn Underhill penned, "Faithfulness is consecration in overalls. It is the steady acceptance and performance of the common duty and immediate task without any reference to personal preferences - because it is there to be done and so is a manifestation of the will of God…Faithfulness is the quality of the friend, refusing no test and no trouble, loyal, persevering; not at the mercy of ups and down or getting tired when things are tiresome."
God didn't reject Saul because He didn't love him anymore. However, because Saul turned away from his heavenly Father, God allowed Saul's kingship to melt-away and disappear - a direct consequence of Saul's own lack of consecration and faithfulness to duty.
May we learn to hang on when times are tough. To grasp the heavenly hand that longs to guide us. And to commit each step to the path of obedient consecration our Father has laid out for us.
"Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Step of Consecration"
"Whoso draws nigh to God one step
through doublings dim,
God will advance a mile
In blazing light to Him"
(And this goes for God's daughters, too!!)
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
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