Focal Passages: 1 Samuel
Seneca, a first century
philosopher, wisely said, “You are your choices.”
How powerful is that! Who
you are. What you become. Where you live. What you do for a living. How you
live your life.
All of these things are the
direct result of choices you make each and every day of your life.
Think about it.
You have the power to choose
when to get up and when to go to sleep.
You get to choose what you
will wear, what you will eat, what you will say, and even what you will think.
It’s mind-boggling to
comprehend it all!
And one thing is certain.
Every choice you make has a consequence that follows. Good choices reap good
consequences. Bad choices reap bad consequences.
“Saul was thirty years old
when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-two years” (13:1 NIV).
God had chosen Saul to be
Israel’s first king, but Saul chose to disobey God’s commands and the resulting
consequences changed God’s plans for his life forever.
“You acted foolishly,”
Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you
had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.
But now your kingdom will
not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him
leader of his people because you have not kept the Lord’s command” (13:13-14).
Several key phrases in these
two verses are critical to our understanding the power of the choices we make:
- “You acted foolishly…”
- “You have not kept the
command the Lord…gave you…”
- “If you had…”
- “But now…”
Saul’s disobedience broke
“I am grieved that I have
made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my
Saul’s bad choices caused
God to choose someone else to be king over Israel — David, “a man after His own
When choosing Saul’s
replacement, God made it clear to both Samuel and Jesse what matters most to
“Do not consider his
appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at
the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord
looks at the heart.”
Obedience is the key.
“Does the Lord delight in
burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
“To obey is better than
sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (15:22).