DAY 22, Read 1 Sam.11:1-15; Isa.59:1-3
Key Verses: “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the LORD, therefore he killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse” (1 Chro.10:13,14).
Great as the mighty hand of God may be on a man’s life, it could be hampered and hindered by sin and disobedience. The lives of Saul and Samson teach us that sin could limit the release or effectiveness of the mighty hand of God in our situation.
Saul’s kingship was the result of the choice of the people, and not from God. But God still gave him the benefit of doubt to function as a king in Israel. God anointed him, and gave him a change of heart. Initially, Saul started off well as a leader with a heart to address the needs of the people. From inception, while some were skeptical about his leadership and held him in disdain others were in his support. “Then the people said to Samuel, “Who is he who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring the men, that we may put them to death. But Saul said, ‘Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has accomplished salvation in Israel.”
Time revealed the weaknesses of Saul, and that the people made a wrong choice making him a king. First, he was extremely jealous of David and wanted to kill him by all means. His next failure was that he abused his office as a king to make sacrifices that are exclusively meant for priests. Then, he also disobeyed God by not killing Agag, the king of the Amalekites whom the Lord sent him to kill. Again, Saul consulted a medium when the Lord withdrew from him and would not answer him. Eventually, even though he started well his end was tragic and pitiful. “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the LORD, therefore he killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse” (1 Chro.10:13,14).
Samson was another person whose life reveals how sin could mar the operation of the hand of God upon our lives. From childhood, God’s anointing rested on Samson so mightily, but he lived carelessly, allowed indiscipline, frivolous lifestyle and love for women to ruin his life. Few in the Old Testament had supernatural strength so visibly at work in their lives like Samson, but he mistakenly and unwisely revealed the secret of his strength to Delilah. “And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, that he told him all his heart, and said to her, ‘No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.’”
Thus in Saul and Samson we see how not to live our lives if the hand of God is upon us.
PRAYER: LORD, help me to fear you and never try to live carelessly all the days of my life.