Daily Devotion for March 15, 2010
I have fixed the poll (I hope!) so it will not reject valid usernames. Please vote in the survey at the bottom of the page, concerning what we will read after we finish 1 Samuel.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
Community of Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
I dwell in the high and holy place, with those who have a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:12)
1 Samuel 13:7-13
(Saul, having just been made king, immediately cobbled a little army of 3,000 men together and attacked a Philistine outpost. The Philistines responded by raising a huge army; now Saul and his men are hiding in caves and cisterns to avoid them.)
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul's men began to scatter. So he said, "Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings." And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
"What have you done?" asked Samuel. Saul replied, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD's favor.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."
"You acted foolishly," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command."
Notes on the Scripture
Samuel's words about Saul being disobedient refers to something he had previously told Saul: "Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do." (1 Samuel 10:8) But Saul had taken matters into his own hands, with dire consequences. Instead of waiting seven days for Samuel to come tell him what to do, Saul has taken matters into his own hands.
Samuel is furious at Saul's rash and poorly planned attack. Israel's new king has gotten off to a bad start and Samuel tells him that the result will be dire. Not only will his kingdom fail to endure, but also, Samuel prophesies that that God has already picked out someone to replace him as king.
In the meantime, Saul is stuck with a tiny band of men, trying to evade the great Philistine army hunting for them. And things are about to get even worse.