1 Samuel 11:13 Turning The Focus To God

But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the LORD has rescued Israel.” 1 Samuel 11:13

When Saul was made king there were some men who despised him. They did not want him to be their king, but Saul kept quiet about it. Later the Ammonites started to attack the town of Jabesh Gilead. Saul takes his men to there and defeats the Ammonites. Once that happened there were some people who wanted to kill the men who did not want Saul to be king. Saul tells them not to kill anyone because God had just given them victory and rescued them.

There are many times when a person is moved up to a higher position of authority that there are others who do not want them to be in that position. Very often once the person gets in that position of authority, he chooses to remove those who did not want him there. During the time of King Saul, it was acceptable to kill anyone who opposed the king. Today killing is not acceptable, but removal is the way to do it.

The problem with removing the person is that usually it is done with a vengeance and out of anger against the person.

As a believer, you must not try to deal with the person out of vengeance or take the situation into your own hands. As King Saul told the people to look at what God had done for them, not having the people look to him or his own men, you also must point everyone, including yourself, to what God is doing in your life.

When you focus on others and what they have done, you will allow yourself to take things into your own hands and usually begin to do things God does not want you to do.

God sees what is happening in your life. He knows who is for you and who is against you. Allow Him to be the one to change a person or remove a person from your life. Turn your focus, and the focus of others back to God and what He has done and is doing.

I pray today that you will seek God for direction in your life; that you will not take vengeance against others who have done you wrong; that you will allow God to deal with enemies against you; and that you will turn your focus onto God in every situation in your life.

 

1 Samuel 8:7 Rejection

And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 1 Samuel 8:7

Samuel had been leading Israel for many years. His sons were not serving God in the correct way and so the people asked for a king to lead them when Samuel dies. He was upset that the people were asking for a king, but God tells him to listen to the people. God says that it was not Samuel they were rejecting but Himself.

Rejection is something that no one really likes to get. Everyone likes to be accepted, this is especially true when they are striving to help someone. When you are trying to help someone and are looking out for their best interests, it is painful when they reject your help.

Jesus told every believer to be a witness to the rest of the world. As a believer you are supposed to go out and tell everyone the good news that they can have hope, peace and  eternal life. There is nothing better than that. It is the best help you can give any person, in any situation in their life.

As you are bringing that good news to the people, there will be some who will reject it. They will push you away and will not want anything to do with you. It will feel as if they are rejecting you. Yet, it is not you they are rejecting, but Jesus who is in you.

The majority of this world will reject Jesus. Their eyes have been blinded by the deceitfulness of the devil.

That does not mean you stop sharing God’s love and message with them. You do allow them to live as they desire, you do continue to present Jesus to them. It is not you they are rejecting, but God.

When someone starts rejecting you, when you are doing God’s will, turn it over to God. Allow God to deal with them in His way. Do not take the rejection personally, it is God’s problem, not yours.

I pray today that you will hear God’s direction for your life; that you will not reject God in any area of your life; that you will see that people are not rejecting you as much as they are rejecting God; and that you will be a witness of Jesus for all the world to see.

1 Samuel 4:6-8 Recognizing God’s Presence

Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?” When they learned that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp, the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hands of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.” 1 Samuel 4:6-8

The Israelites were being defeated by the Philistines. They decided to bring the ark of the covenant into the camp with them. They believed that if it was with them, God would give them victory.

When the Philistines learned that the ark had come into the camp, they were very afraid. The Philistines, who did not follow God, recognized it as a the presence of the god who defeated the Egyptians and felt that they were doomed to die.

Going through life, many people do not recognize the presence or hand of God in their lives. When things are going good for them, it is often marked as they had good luck or because of their hard work.

In many churches God’s presence will show up, but as soon as the service is over, everyone leaves to go home. They do not wait in God’s presence to see what He is going to do. Many do not even recognize that His presence is really there.

Some people will read the Bible on a daily basis, but just read it for the words and the duty to do so. They do not recognize that God’s presence is in the words of the Bible. His presence is there with them to guide them through their lives.

Do you recognize God’s presence when He shows up?

Or are you so busy with life and self that you do not see Him?

The pagan Philistines knew it was a god who was there, do you realize it is God who is there with you?

I pray today that you will know God’s presence; that you will not see things as your own work or good luck; that you will give God honor for all that is good in your life; and that you will show God to everyone around you.

1 Samuel 3:10 Are You Listening?

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

Samuel was a young boy living in the temple with the high priest Eli. One night as he was sleeping he heard a voice call his name. He immediately runs to Eli thinking it was him, but it was not. After the second time of this happening, Eli realizes that it was God who was calling Samuel. Eli tells Samuel to answer God and listen to what He has to say. God calls Samuel a third time and Samuel answers Him and listens to Him.

At the time God had called Samuel, He had been silent for some time. The Israelites had turned away from God. Even Eli was not hearing from God anymore. When God decided to speak, it took a while for those hearing to know what was happening and who was speaking.

Many people today feel that God does not speak like that anymore. It is common to hear believers say that they cannot seem to hear God speaking.

It is not so much that God is not talking,  but that people are not really listening to what God has to say. People are filling their lives with the things and cares of this world. They are so busy that they cannot hear God speak and when they do hear Him, they don’t know who it really is and question it.

You may be in that position right now, wondering where God is and why He is silent. God is still there and always will be. He is also ready to speak and guide you in your life. He has many things to tell you, but you must be willing to listen.

Listening involves two things: physically hearing and then doing what was said.

Do not allow the things of this world to get you so busy that you cannot hear God’s voice talking to you. Do not let the cares of this world stop you from acting upon what you hear God say.

Ask yourself today if you are really listening to God.

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice clearly; that God will speak His truth into your life; that you will trust God’s Words and act upon them; and that you will not allow the noise of this world to drown out God’s talking to you.

1 Samuel 2:3 Deeds Are Weighed

“Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.” 1 Samuel 2:3

Hannah was getting older and had no children. She cried out to God in desperation for a son and God heard her prayers. She vowed that she would give the child over to God. After Samuel was born, Hannah brought him to the temple to live and work there. She had fulfilled her vow to God with her son.

Once she gave Samuel over to the priest, she gave praise to God. One part of that praise is her stating that no one should talk proudly because God knows the deeds of a person and watches them carefully. There were many other women who had many children, but did not fulfill their vows to God. They did not honor God with their lives or their children as Hannah had done.

People have not changed over the years. People pray for God to do something and promise that if God does it, they will do something, but in the end do not fulfill their promise. They end up boasting that God answered their prayers, or boasting how God loves them and gives them what they desire. Yet, in the end they do not do what they said they would do.

God sees what they are doing and not doing. He sees all the work they do and knows for what purpose it was done.

In your life, you may have promised God something if He answered a prayer. God answered that prayer. Have you done the work you said you would do for God?

Allow God to weigh your work and find it is fulfilled as promised and not to be found short, but completely filled. Do not allow yourself to promise God something, and then not finish that promise. God knows and weighs everything you say and do.

Are those things for God or for yourself only?

I pray today that you will honor God with all you say and do; that you will fulfill all of your promises to God; that your work will be what God wants you to do; and that you will not boast in yourself but in God alone.