DAILY DISCIPLINE #62
By Colleen Donahue
Our point in Bible history brings us to where Joshua, (successor to Moses) had brought the Israelite nation to the Promised Land. Once within the borders of the land, the Israelites obeyed God under the direction of Joshua and began to destroy the current inhabitants of the Promised land (Canaanites) tribe by tribe. The Canaanites worshipped idol gods and lived in wickedness and sin. God knew that if they were left to live among the Israelites, they would lead His people into sin. God's judgment of sin and idolatry is always the same - DEATH. But we can be sure that where men turn from sin to the living God there will be salvation and life.
While the book of Joshua tells of the Promised Land possessed, the book of Judges tells of how the Israelites despised the inheritance. They did not obey God completely in driving out the Canaanites. They allowed the Canaanites to live in the land and even began to marry their daughters. Gradually, the generation entering the Promised land died out leaving the new generation who forgot the works of God and began to worship foreign gods.
But, even in their apostasy, God did not abandon His people. Through the course of 80 years, He raised up a series of "Judges" - men and women that would lead the nation back to Himself time and again. The final judge was Samuel - a godly man that God would use during a transition period of the Israelite nation. Despite all of God's patience, love, and faithfulness to His chosen people, they no longer wanted Him. For centuries God had been their leader, their king, their provider, and protector. Now--the Israelites wanted to be like all the other nations. They had new ideas and furthermore wanted Samuel to comply with their wishes. We continue this month with...
THE WILLFULNESS OF A NATION
A Lesson For Our Own Lives
Day 1 The Israelites were not content to be God's chosen people. They wanted to be like all the other nations (even if those nations were destined for hell). What demands did they bring to Samuel whom they still regarded as their leader?
I Samuel 8:4-5;19-20
Day 2 What would this new move mean for God?
I Samuel 8:6-9
Day 3 What would it mean for the people?
I Samuel 8:10-18
Day 4 Willfulness against the authorities that God has put over us (parents,teachers, employers etc.) is not so much a rejection of them as it is our rejection of God. Why?
Day 5 You might get what you want this way but what should you ask yourself first?
Day 6 Despite this blatant rejection of Himself, God does not destroy His children but actually uses Samuel to help bring about a smooth transition to a king.
I Samuel 8:21/ I Samuel 10:1;17-19;25 / I Samuel 11:14-15
Day 7 In fact, God in His love allows more than a smooth transition. He gives the Israelites the opportunity again of being right with Himself while under this new system of government that they demanded.
I Samuel 12:13-15
Day 8 Perhaps you in the willfulness of your heart demanded something that was against your parents or other authorities' wishes. Your determination and rebellion got you your own way until one day you realized your sin but it was too late to step back.
I Samuel 12: 16-19
Day 9 Perhaps you married the wrong person, or quit school to get the job you wanted. Whatever situation you now find yourself in there is a way to walk forward in it and to do it with God's blessing. The same advice that Samuel gave to the Israelites can apply to us.
I Samuel 12:20-25
THE KING GOD CHOSE
It is beyond our comprehension that God could love us so much as to "cooperate in our rebellion". But that is what happened in this historical story. He knew the people were set on having a different king from Himself and so He picked a king - one that would look good to them.
Day 10 Saul was God's choice for their king. What was he like?
I Samuel 9:2 / I Samuel 10:6-7, 9-10, 23-24
A GOOD CHOICE GONE SOUR
Day 11 Although Saul was Israel's king for 40 years he became "disqualified" early in his reign due to a single act of disobedience. What had Samuel instructed Saul to do?
I Samuel 10: 8
Day 12 What actually did Saul do?
I Samuel 13:7-12
Day 13 What resulted from this seemingly small act of disobedience?
I Samuel 13:13-14
Day 14 Very soon after this incident, Saul was tested again. He was sent with his armies to battle the Amalekites and given very specific instructions...
I Samuel 15:3
Day 15 What actually did Saul do?
I Samuel 15:7-9
Day 16 How did the Lord and Samuel react?
I Samuel 15:10-11
Day 17 Not only did Saul disobey but he was quite self-righteous about it as well.
I Samuel 15:12-13
Day 18 What exposed Saul's sin to Samuel despite his announcement that he had carried out the Lord's instructions?
I Samuel 15:14
Day 19 The next scene clearly exposes Saul's heart. He had sinned and the evidence was before him. We would say he had been "caught red-handed". But now Saul tries to qualify and excuse his actions.
I Samuel 15:15-21
TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN....
In a society filled with compromise, "white lies", and grey areas, to talk of obedience sounds puritanical and unrealistic. We make excuses for why we can't obey our parents, teachers, or employers, and obedience to God seems impossible.
Day 20 But God never asks His children to do things that they can't do. His grace will always be sufficient to help us do what we know is right.
I Timothy 1:12 / 2 Corinthians 12:9A
Day 21 What had God promised Israel in return for their obedience?
Exodus 19:5-6 / Deuteronomy 5:29/Deuteronomy 7:12-15/ I Kings 3:14
Day 22 What does He promise us?
Matthew 7:24-25 / Matthew 12:50 / John 14:23 / I John 2:17
Day 23 Why is the obedience that we show to our authorities linked with our obedience to God?
Day 24 What are the consequences of disobedience?
I Samuel 12:15 / Ephesians 5:6 / 2 Thessalonians 1:8/
Day 25 But suppose you have a better way to do things like King Saul thought? Isn't it best to follow common sense and do what seems best to you?
I Samuel 15:22-23A
Day 26 Even good actions without obedience to our authorities, to our conscience, or to God's word, are worthless in God's sight. What does God want?
Deuteronomy 26:16/ Joshua 1:8 / Matthew 7:21
DISOBEDIENCE + EXCUSES = DISQUALIFICATION
Day 27 There is only one right response on our part when we have been caught in sin.
2 Samuel 24:10 / Psalm 41:4 / Psalm 51:1-4
Day 28 Although Saul appears to repent in words, his remorse is not because he has sinned against the Holy God. What are his real motives?
I Samuel 15:24-25, 30
Day 29 Samuel discerns his motives and will accept no part of them. Samuel as an authority figure represents God and His responses. What was the judgment on King Saul?
I Samuel 15:26-29/ I Samuel 16:1
Day 30 When our heart has truly been touched with the immensity of our sin against God what will our repentance be like?
Ezekiel 18:31 / Joel 2:12 / Acts 8:22
Day 31 Saul was never truly repentant and God knew it. The rest of his life was plagued with jealousy, paranoia, and bouts of insanity until he died a violent death. As God promises - the wages of sin is always death (Romans 6:23A). But if your repentance is genuine what will God be faithful to do?
I John 1:9/ 2 Chronicles 7:14/ Isaiah 55:7
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