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Jeff Long: Getting ahead of God

I was reminded of a passage of scripture recently spoken by Jesus, Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened.”

Many times we think we are prepared for certain tasks when in actuality we haven’t done the necessary work to fulfill these tasks. We tend to open doors of opportunity before we seek the wisdom needed. God has promised to give to those who ask only if it’s part of his plan for you. When we get impatient, the door will open but usually shuts in our face.

In first Samuel 8, Israel is demanding a king. Prior to this time there were judges over Israel, Samuel and his sons.

Samuel’s sons didn’t follow the ways of the Lord: 1 Samuel 8:5, “And said unto him, behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” Israel had judges and declared God as the one they chose to follow. Now, they were rejecting the Lord as stated in 1 Samuel 8:7: “For they have not rejected thee (Samuel), but they have rejected Me (Lord),that I should not reign over them.”

The people of Israel asked for a door to be opened, they wanted a king. God allowed this to happen and Saul was king. 1 Samuel 10: 24: “And Samuel said to all the people, see ye whom the Lord has chosen, that there is none like him (Saul) among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said , ‘God save the king (Saul).’”

In 1 Samuel 13, Saul intruded ipon the priest’s office and offered burnt and peace offerings. Verses 13-14 tell of the divine rejection of Saul due to these inappropriately made offerings, “And Samuel said to Saul, thou hast done foolishly: Thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which I commanded thee: For now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: The Lord hath sought Him a man after His own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over His people, because thou (Saul) hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.”

In chapter 15, Saul was instructed by the Lord through Samuel to destroy Amalek. 1 Samuel 15:3: “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

Saul and his armies did as the Lord instructed except they spared the Amalekite’s king, Agag, and took the best sheep and oxen to offer as sacrifices to God. This violated the instructions given in verse 3. Due to his disobedience Saul was rejected by the Lord as king. 1 Samuel 15:23: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.”

Just as we try to push things because we lack patience, Israel tried to push for a king instead of waiting on things to run their own course, or more so, God’s course. This impatient act of wanting a king before proper preparations were made led to a huge disappointment (having no legitimate leader) due to a lack of guidance worthy of God’s support.

When we push for our wants and open doors before we ask God’s approval, we too are setting ourselves up for disappointment and often failure, thus getting that door slammed in our face.

Trust in God, admit you’re a sinner and believe in the resurrection and crucifixion of Jesus. Ask for forgiveness and be patient, knowing that God is in control. Ask, seek and find what God has planned for you. Not in our time but His.

God bless all!

Jeff Long lives in Salisbury.

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