15 June 2018

This 'n' That

Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty two years over Israel.

Now Saul chose for himself 3,000 men of Israel, of which 2,000 were with Saul in Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel, while 1,000 were with Jonathan at Gibeah of Benjamin. But he sent away the rest of the people, each to his tent. Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” All Israel heard the news that Saul had smitten the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become odious to the Philistines. The people were then summoned to Saul at Gilgal.
Now the Philistines assembled to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and people like the sand which is on the seashore in abundance; and they came up and camped in Michmash, east of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait (for the people were hard-pressed), then the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in cliffs, in cellars, and in pits. Also some of the Hebrews crossed the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead. But as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the LORD.’ So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.” Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:1-14)
Saul was impatient, putting it mildly, and it cost him dearly.

I don't know about you, but I can be fairly impatient at times, about big and small things. My impatience has never cost me so much as it did Saul, but it's unbecoming nonetheless. And while I believe it is possible for us to be antsy for a resolution without actively sinning, ultimately, our impatience betrays a bigger issue, namely lack of trust in God. Once we are at this point, we are most certainly in disobedience.

God is sovereign over all things. This means that, not only are circumstances ordained by Him, so also is the timing of those circumstances. Since God is perfect and good, His timing is perfect and good and far better than whatever we could design (cf. Isaiah 55:9). Better still, His outcomes are always for the good of His children and for His glory, no matter whether they bring sorrow or joy (both of which are temporary anyway). So, when I find myself growing impatient, I find myself subsequently turning to Christ (see how He's already worked that out for my good and His glory?), for it is when my eyes are turned away from myself and my circumstances and are instead fixed on Him that I find that peace and joy prevail, regardless of the outcome, or lack thereof, of my situation.

Still, I know that most of you have probably been growing a little impatient for your weekly roundup (who wouldn't?!), so I hope that you enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Shocking. Or not, considering David Jeremiah's always been one to avoid.
  • Knowing that many SBC churches are biblically sound (and sadly, many are not), I've nevertheless long been perplexed by the odd love affair American evangelicals seem to have with the SBC. It is what it is, though, and because it is such a machine, they must never be foolish enough to elect a woman as their president.
  • This might actually be an even worse idea than allowing a woman to run the SBC.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I already wanted this book. Now I really want it.
  • All Christians have a duty to discern.
The Christian church...is characterized by love...this love that gives oneself for the brethren, like Christ’s love. The prototype, therefore, is Christ. It originates in God. It issues in self-sacrifice, and its evidence of eternal life. 
—S. Lewis Johnson 

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