Today’s Readings: I Sam 14, I Chron 4, II Cor 13

My Scripture Verse for Today:  I Sam 15:22-23 But Samuel replied: does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifice 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. For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

Yes, I know, my verse for today is out of I Sam 15, not 14.  I misread today’s assignment and read 15 and 16 instead of 14.  Oops. But you know what?  God met me in I Sam 15 too.

Today’s reading was about Saul not obeying the admonition of the LORD in the destruction of the Amalekites. He was to destroy everything and everyone, but he chose to capture the Amalekite king, Agag, and he and his army kept the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and the lambs back for themselves.  Saul claimed they were for a sacrifice for the LORD, and that it wasn’t he that made the decision, instead he blamed his soldiers.

Two phrases jumped out at me in this passage. Rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance is like the evil of idolatry. Both of these are sins of the heart. When I rebel, I am saying that I know better than God what is best for me. I am claiming to see the future, maybe not verbally, but I believe I can see the future outcome of a situation. When I rebel, I am setting myself up as equal or better to the one I am rebelling against.

The second phrase, arrogance is like the evil of idolatry, again is another picture of a heart set against God. defines arrogance as “offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.” Idolatry is defined in the second definition as “excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.”. Really, arrogance is setting myself up as a god, instead of humbling myself before the one who truly is God.

Both rebellion and arrogance, I, like Saul, struggle with.  But when I camped on these two phrases today, I saw my rebellion and arrogance for the ugly, black things they really are and myself for who I really am.

My prayer for myself today:  Philippians 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.