Day 201 July 20
1 Samuel 15:22-35
22 Then Samuel replied,
“Does the LORD want entirely burned offerings and sacrifices
as much as obedience to the LORD?
Listen to this: obeying is better than sacrificing,
paying attention is better than fat from rams,
23 because rebellion is as bad as the sin of divination;
arrogance is like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected what the LORD said,
he has rejected you as king.”
24 Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned because I disobeyed the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the troops and obeyed them. 25 But now please forgive my sin! Come back with me, so I can worship the LORD.”
26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I can’t return with you because you have rejected what the LORD said, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
27 Samuel turned to leave, but Saul grabbed at the edge of his robe, and it ripped. 28 Then Samuel told him, “The LORD has ripped the kingdom of Israel from you today. He will give it to a friend of yours, someone who is more worthy than you. 29 What’s more, the enduring one of Israel doesn’t take back what he says and doesn’t change his mind. He is not a human being who would change his mind.”
30 “I have sinned,” Saul said, “but please honor me in front of my people’s elders and before Israel, and come back with me so I can worship the LORD your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshipped the LORD.
32 “Bring me Agag the Amalekite king,” Samuel said.
Agag came to him in chains, asking, “Would death have been as bitter as this is?”
33 Samuel said, “Just as your sword left women without their children, now your mother will be childless among women.” Then Samuel cut Agag to pieces in the LORD’s presence at Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah. 35 Samuel never saw Saul again before he died, but he grieved over Saul. However, the LORD regretted making Saul king over Israel.
1 Corinthians 8
Now concerning meat that has been sacrificed to a false god: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes people arrogant, but love builds people up. 2 If anyone thinks they know something, they don’t yet know as much as they should know. 3 But if someone loves God, then they are known by God.
4 So concerning the actual food involved in these sacrifices to false gods, we know that a false god isn’t anything in this world, and that there is no God except for the one God. 5 Granted, there are so-called “gods,” in heaven and on the earth, as there are many gods and many lords. 6 However, for us believers,
There is one God the Father.
All things come from him, and we belong to him.
And there is one Lord Jesus Christ.
All things exist through him, and we live through him.
7 But not everybody knows this. Some are eating this food as though it really is food sacrificed to a real idol, because they were used to idol worship until now. Their conscience is weak because it has been damaged. 8 Food won’t bring us close to God. We’re not missing out if we don’t eat, and we don’t have any advantage if we do eat. 9 But watch out or else this freedom of yours might be a problem for those who are weak. 10 Suppose someone sees you (the person who has knowledge) eating in an idol’s temple. Won’t the person with a weak conscience be encouraged to eat the meat sacrificed to false gods? 11 The weak brother or sister for whom Christ died is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 You sin against Christ if you sin against your brothers and sisters and hurt their weak consciences this way. 13 This is why, if food causes the downfall of my brother or sister, I won’t eat meat ever again, or else I may cause my brother or sister to fall.
Comment: Paul’s words are steeped in cultural sensitivity, learning the ways of another, respecting our differences, and going that extra mile on behalf of a sister or brother.
1 Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD
who minister by night in the house of the LORD.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the LORD.
3 May the LORD bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.
Prayer: we receive your blessings, dear Lord, and promise to share them this day. Amen.