Day 200 July 19
1 Samuel 15:1-21
Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel. Listen now to the LORD’s words! 2 This is what the LORD of heavenly forces says: I am going to punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel: how they attacked the Israelites as they came up from Egypt. 3 So go! Attack the Amalekites; put everything that belongs to them under the ban. Spare no one. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.”
4 Saul called out the troops and counted them at Telaim: two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand more troops from Judah. 5 Then Saul advanced on the Amalekite city and laid an ambush in the valley. 6 Saul told the Kenites, “Get going! Leave the Amalekites immediately because you showed kindness to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. Otherwise, I’ll destroy you right along with them.” So the Kenites left the Amalekites. 7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is near Egypt. 8 He captured Agag the Amalekite king alive, but Saul placed all the people under the ban, killing them with the sword. 9 Saul and the troops spared Agag along with the best sheep, cattle, fattened calves, lambs, and everything of value. They weren’t willing to put them under the ban; but anything that was despised or of no value they placed under the ban.
10 Then the LORD’s word came to Samuel: 11 “I regret making Saul king because he has turned away from following me and hasn’t done what I said.” Samuel was upset at this, and he prayed to the LORD all night long.
12 Samuel got up early in the morning to meet Saul, and was told, “Saul went to Carmel, where he is setting up a monument for himself. Then he left and went down to Gilgal.” 13 When Samuel reached Saul, Saul greeted him, “The LORD bless you! I have done what the LORD said.” 14 “Then what,” Samuel asked, “is this bleating of sheep in my ears and mooing of cattle I hear?”
15 “They were taken from the Amalekites,” Saul said, “because the troops spared the best sheep and cattle in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God. The rest was placed under the ban.” 16 Samuel then said to Saul, “Enough! Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.” “Tell me,” Saul replied.
17 Samuel said, “Even if you think you are insignificant, aren’t you the leader of Israel’s tribes? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. 18 The LORD sent you on a mission, instructing you, ‘Go, and put the sinful Amalekites under the ban. Fight against them until you’ve wiped them out.’ 19 Why didn’t you obey the LORD? You did evil in the LORD’s eyes when you tore into the plunder!”
20 “But I did obey the LORD!” Saul protested to Samuel. “I went on the mission the LORD sent me on. I captured Agag the Amalekite king, and I put the Amalekites under the ban. 21 Yes, the troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder—the very best items placed under the ban—but in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”
Question: what are your thoughts about what Saul did, and his definition of obeying the Lord?
1 Corinthians 7:32-40
32 I would like you to be free from worry. An unmarried man concerns himself with the Lord’s work, because he is trying to please the Lord. 33 But a married man concerns himself with worldly matters, because he wants to please his wife; 34 and so he is pulled in two directions. An unmarried woman or a virgin concerns herself with the Lord’s work, because she wants to be dedicated both in body and spirit; but a married woman concerns herself with worldly matters, because she wants to please her husband.
35 I am saying this because I want to help you. I am not trying to put restrictions on you. Instead, I want you to do what is right and proper, and to give yourselves completely to the Lord’s service without any reservation.
36 In the case of an engaged couple who have decided not to marry: if the man feels that he is not acting properly toward the young woman and if his passions are too strong and he feels that they ought to marry, then they should get married, as he wants to. There is no sin in this. 37 But if a man, without being forced to do so, has firmly made up his mind not to marry, and if he has his will under complete control and has already decided in his own mind what to do—then he does well not to marry the young woman. 38 So the man who marries does well, but the one who doesn’t marry does even better.
39 A married woman is not free as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, then she is free to be married to any man she wishes, but only if he is a Christian. 40 She will be happier, however, if she stays as she is. That is my opinion, and I think that I too have God’s Spirit.
How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
Prayer: your blessings, O Lord, we receive and promise to share this day. Amen.