1 Samuel 8 & 9
Blending In & Hiding Out
1 Samuel 8 & 9:
Is There Any Difference?
God has always desired for His people to be set apart, holy, different from the world around us – to manifest His holiness.
Matthew 5.16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
That light in us is supposed to shine and in so doing bring God glory. Peter reminded us to:
“Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1.16).
As we live in “grace obedience” (understanding that we cannot live holy lives without the help of the Holy Spirit, relying on Him, repenting and calling on His mercy when we fail), we bring Him glory. And that difference, that light, will draw others to Christ.
Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (Jn. 12.32).
But, like the people of Israel in asking for a king (1 Sam. 8.4), we often prefer to blend in, to be closet Christians, to act much like the world around us. Our children, too, complain that it’s unfair they can’t dress and act like the rest of the world. I wonder if we have failed to instill the importance of their calling in them because we don’t always believe and live it ourselves.
Let’s pray that we would truly let our light so shine before men that they would see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Let’s pray that when their lives are falling apart, they would see something different in us and be drawn to it. And when they ask, we would “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks [us] a reason for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Pet. 3.15).
Today’s Other Readings:
Betrayed by a Friend
Ephesians 4.26 says, “Be angry, and do not sin,” and verses 31 & 32 say, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Romans 12.21 raises the bar even higher:
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The first step in obeying God when we have been hurt by others is to do what David did, take it to the Lord and allow Him to minister to our hurting hearts. Then, with God’s help, to choose to forgive and overcome evil with good by responding in love.
Better is a Tossed Salad …
Verse 17, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.”
Better to have a tossed salad with true Christian friends and others who love the Lord, than a seven-course dinner full of strife and contention. Amen?
Greater is He
In this passage we see the disciples taking the Passover meal with Jesus, what we call the Last Supper, and the institution of the Lord’s Supper or Communion.
We also see Judas preparing to betray Jesus. As John MacArthur notes in his daily Bible, Satan actually possessed Judas on two occasions, just before he went to the chief priests and again during the last supper, just before the actual betrayal.
People sometimes ask me if I believe it’s possible for people to be possessed today. Yes, I believe it’s possible. But even when that happens, the answer is Christ and the Gospel. As the Apostle John wrote:
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 Jn. 4.4).
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