Posts Tagged ‘distractions’

1 Samuel 9:6-27

    6But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”

     7Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

     8The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.” 9(Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)

    10“Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was.

     11As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”

     12“He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifices at the high place. 13As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”

     14They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

    15Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed this to Samuel: 16“About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.”

    17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

     18Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

     19“I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”

     21Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”

     22Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number. 23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”

    24So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set-aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’ ” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

     25After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house. 26They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. 27As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.” 

In Verse 21 “Why do you say such a thing to me?” Saul’s outburst reveals a problem he would face repeatedly—feeling inferior. Like a leaf tossed about by the wind, Saul vacillated between his feelings and his convictions. Everything he said and did was selfish because he was worried about himself. For example, Saul said his clan was “the least” in the smallest tribe in Israel, but 9:1 says his father was “a man of standing.” (The tribe of Benjamin was the smallest because they were nearly wiped out as punishment for their immorality—see Judges 19–21.) Saul didn’t want to face the responsibility God had given him. Later, Saul kept some war plunder that he shouldn’t have and then tried to blame his soldiers (15:21) while claiming that they had really taken it to sacrifice to God (15:15).

Although Saul had been called by God and had a mission in life, he struggled constantly with jealousy, insecurity, arrogance, impulsiveness, and deceit. He did not decide to be wholeheartedly committed to God. Because Saul would not let God’s love give rest to his heart, he never became God’s man.

Lets Bring it Home: Notice in Verse 22 that the servant was blessed also by being seated at the table along with Saul.  Sometimes when we accompany or they accompany us who are on their way to get a blessing, we get bless also. Remember, we are also servants of The Most High God, and that gives us a seat at the table of Christ.

In Verse 21, what do we still struggle with before we were saved?  Is there anything getting in the way of your walk with Christ that comes from the past that cripples you at times?  If it is, surrender it to the LORD and let Him go to work on it.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 9:15 Calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way

Danger ahead! Even if you are going where you should and doing what you should, an enemy that wants to take you down to death and hell may meet you on your way today. These are chance encounters of a dangerous kind, and they come in many different forms. Though you may do everything virtuously today, not everyone else is doing the same.

Young man, someone wants to meet you today. Do not be surprised, if during your day’s normal activities, an enticing woman invites you to spend intimate time with her. Are you prepared to resist her invitation? Focus your attention carefully, and commit your heart to godliness, before it is too late. You are the prey of whorish women (Pr 23:28). The more noble and virtuous you are, greater effort may be applied toward you (Pr 6:26).

Her invitation may or may not be verbal. Do you grasp this? It may not be a conversation, phone call, note, email, or text. She may call for your attention by her appearance, clothing, body language, actions, looks, or touches. She may not even be a live person, if she invites you to desire her by pictures in a magazine, in a movie, or on the Internet. She could easily be calling to men in general but catches your eye among many others.

Though you rose intending to fear God and be faithful to your sister Wisdom (Pr 7:1-5), a woman in your city wants to steal you from them both. Though you went to your God-given career by an acceptable route, she can find you. Even in noble duties to serve God and man, you will meet this woman calling to you (Pr 7:12). She will disrupt your plans and life, and unless you are very strong, she will destroy you (Pr 7:21-27; 23:27-28).

“Passengers” is not difficult: they are men passing, or going, on their way. And these passengers are not looking for her, because they are going right on their ways to their appointed stations and duties in life. But she seeks her victims from among them (Pr 9:14). Many men have been snared by a strange woman when they least expected it. It has been said that to be forewarned is to be forearmed, so Solomon warned you here.

She hunts for the precious life (Pr 6:26); base sinners and low-class men are not as appealing; you may meet her in places where wisdom is found (Pr 9:3,14). The more you are like Joseph, a noble ambition, the more she will want you (Gen 39:6-7). But she hunts for the simple, the foolish – she knows seducing a man of virtue is hard (Pr 9:16; 7:7). If you study all of Solomon’s warnings about her and sexual sins, you will be prepared.

Understand and fear the warning here. Consider that Satan does not worry about carnal Christians, for they already serve him by their compromising lives. He wants to distract or ruin men committed to godliness and Jesus Christ’s kingdom. He wants to take down good Christian young men, for the average Christian has already neutered his own power and testimony by worldly living. The more committed you are, the greater the danger.

Understand and fear the warning here. Your faithfulness and diligence to God and men does not discourage or deter her. She wants a prince. The devil encourages her to want a prince. Though you are soberly committed to godliness and virtue, she will still approach you from time to time. The advance warning of this proverb should prepare you for those events. Be a Joseph! Do not be a Samson! Be like Jesus! Do not be like David!

She may be a church member. Where would Satan desire more to cause private or public havoc? Professing Christians are not alike; they rule their lusts and lives differently. They range from the very reserved to foolish flirts. Good church members associate often, have much in common, get to know each other well, and discuss personal aspects of life. Be on guard as you go right on your way – even to worship God and serve Jesus Christ.

She is bold (Pr 7:13); she does not like domestic duties at home (Pr 7:11); she may be a fellow worker. She will use any means to get your attention, your carnal attention. She will inflame your lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life. She may speak of love, but it is only lust that intrigues and motivates her (Pr 7:15-18). She will invite you to forbidden pleasures (Pr 9:17), but she will not tell you of the death there (Pr 9:18).

You must learn to pray wisely, as the Lord Jesus Christ taught, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt 6:13). As David taught, “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness” (Ps 119:36). Your Father in heaven can deliver you from even meeting her, or He can give you the strength to resist her, if you meet her. You ought to sing and pray the excellent song, “My Soul, Be on thy Guard.”

Do not let your heart decline to her ways, and avoid her haunts (Pr 7:25). She will find you anyway; you should not give her any extra opportunities. Keep your desires on noble and spiritual things (Col 3:2). Keep your heart with all diligence (Pr 4:23), for the destructive sin she offers cannot occur if you have not thought upon it. Remember your sister Wisdom and the impossibility of recovering virtue once given away (Pr 6:32-33).

The Lord is calling you by Lady Wisdom as well (Pr 9:1-6). If you disregard His call through her, He will allow calamities to swallow you alive (Pr 1:20-33). Remember your Lord and brother Paul, though greatly distracted by many duties and temptations; they set their hearts only toward the will of God in all things (Lu 9:51; Acts 20:22-24; Heb 4:15). You can fight a good fight, finish your course, and keep the faith as Paul did (II Tim 4:7).

Under Gods Command
1 Corinthians 9;13-15 Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast.

As part of their pay, priests in the temple would receive a portion of the offerings as their food (see Numbers 18:8-24). These verses concerning Paul’s rights and the church’s responsibility have a two –part challenge for the church today.

First, the church must support its workers in a fair and equitable way. That is the church’s responsibility. It can research pay scales, examine the standard of living in its community, and do what is right and fair,

Second, Christian workers must not let their attitude about pay and benefits hinder the gospel. It is too easy for desire for more pay to enter into a person’s mind and distract from serving, Ministers need Paul’s attitude: a willingness not to demand their rights if to do so would hinder the gospel.