Lessons in 1 Samuel

When I turned five years old, my parents planned a birthday party on a Sunday afternoon. While they were taking a nap, as I “shoulda” been doing, I opened all of my presents. They did not re-wrap them for the party and tell this story whenever an opportunity presents itself. I do not remember all of the details of this event. What I do remember includes the impatience of a child and the temptation of a pile of presents just for me. 

We often give the Israelites a hard time. “They should have known better!” “Why didn’t they listen?” Yet really, how different are we? So often we weigh the consequences of what we want. Even though it’s wrong or not the best decision, would it be worth it for the immediate payoff? 

The root of all sin is selfishness. “I want what I want and I want it right now!” Our desires dictate our priorities. Those priorities influence our choices. Wherever we give the most attention will shape our actions – and not always for the better. 

Eli’s sons should have known better. They were raised doing the Lord’s work alongside their father, yet they failed to follow God’s directions.

The Israelites were warned often to keep God as their King, but they wanted to be like everyone else. They should have expected the same consequences as everyone around them.

Saul should have known better. He started out on the right path until he let his own impatience and self-importance make his decisions.

Perhaps you are going through something right now, dealing with your own consequences, telling yourself that you should have known better. Rather than wallowing in self-pity, Thank God for His grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Repent and return to following His direction for your life. The consequences will still exist but you will be learning and growing through them!

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