Thursday, January 12, 2012

Carry on, My Wayward Son

 10 Then the LORD said to Samuel, 11 “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.” Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the LORD all night.  12 Early the next morning Samuel went to find Saul. Someone told him, “Saul went to the town of Carmel to set up a monument to himself; then he went on to Gilgal.”
 13 When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the LORD bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the LORD’s command!”
 14 “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.
 15 “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the LORD your God. We have destroyed everything else.”
 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the LORD told me last night!”
   “What did he tell you?” Saul asked.
 17 And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD has anointed you king of Israel. 18 And the LORD sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the LORD? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the LORD’s sight?”
 20 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”
 22 But Samuel replied,
   “What is more pleasing to the LORD:
      your burnt offerings and sacrifices
      or your obedience to his voice?
   Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
      and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
 23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
      and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
   So because you have rejected the command of the LORD,
      he has rejected you as king.”

 24 Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the LORD’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. 25 But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the LORD.”  26 But Samuel replied, “I will not go back with you! Since you have rejected the LORD’s command, he has rejected you as king of Israel.”
 27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe. 28 And Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you. 29 And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”
 30 Then Saul pleaded again, “I know I have sinned. But please, at least honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel by coming back with me so that I may worship the LORD your God.” 31 So Samuel finally agreed and went back with him, and Saul worshiped the LORD. 
35 Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the LORD was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel. 

1 Samuel 15:10-31, 35 NLT. Emphasis mine.

This passage shows the intimacy involved in leadership.

Can you see it? Do you hear it? I imagine that this is the worst moment in Samuel's ministry. This is the most difficult thing he has ever had to do. He was certain that God picked Saul to be king, and he was right. God told him to anoint Saul king. Now he knows that God has rejected Saul as king. To human eyes, Samuel may appear to be wrong. But he is not. Saul is the one who has failed.

I was struck by the sorrow that took hold of Samuel, even as he had a spiritual duty to perform. One can think of this as an easy message to deliver to the terrible and wicked Saul. But remember that he was not always that way. Remember that Samuel could easily have considered Saul a disciple--someone who was under his wing. By any case, Samuel was consumed with sorrow at the way Saul's story was to end.

How often does this scenario play out? How many Godly leaders see potential in a young man, only to see that young man falter under the pressure of a situation? How many times has the mentor seen a young lady learn so much from the scriptures, only to succumb to the world's influence? I suggest that this happens far more often than any rosy success story. Remember, even Jesus' disciples had some shaky moments.

One may say to be careful who you disciple. You should have been wise, they say. If your disciple fails you then it is your fault for choosing the wrong person. I say no, everyone is worth the investment because everyone is loved by God. If God has shown you the potential in an individual, then you must follow through to develop it. Give it your all, God will do as He will.

Remember that all you can control is your faithfulness. All the good discipleship in the world will not keep others on the right track.They are responsible too.

Remember that this requires a full investment. The only relationships worth having are the ones that you are fully invested in. While this leaves you vulnerable to others, it is the only way to do God's work. In order to increase our effectiveness, we must increase our risk.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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