Can you think of a more devastating sentence than, “Your kingdom will not continue…because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you”? Your life, possessions, position all lost because of disobedience. Contained within this sentence is the basis for Christian stewardship. Stewards are those who keep what God had entrusted to them. Stewards learn to obey the teachings of the Master. Stewards know that they will be called upon to give an account of all that they have, and especially that which they have kept.
In 1 Samuel 13:5-14, I find it easy not to be too hard on Saul. Here he is about to do battle and the prophet Samuel didn’t show up at the appointed time. What’s a king to do? He recognized that he must have the Lord on his side. He is badly outnumbered and most of the Israelites have hid themselves or fled. You can’t wait forever, even for God, can you? So he acts, he offers the burnt offering. Wouldn’t you know it, just when he finishes, Samuel shows up. Saul is reminded of his disobedience. Not a lot of justice, and even less mercy, but a vital lesson on living our lives as stewards. We are to obey the Lord, keep and use wisely what God has commended to us. Never think that you can out guess, out give or out do the Lord. As the old hymn goes, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus….”
—Rev. Don Alexander
- Do you think Saul was justified in the action he took? (Read 1 Samuel 13:8-12)
- What was wrong with Saul’s actions? Is patience necessary in order for us to be obedient?
- How can I obey my Lord in the use of what I have?
- On the other hand, is the failure to do anything with what we have wrong? (Read Matthew 25:24-27)
How Do I Act?
- On the eve of celebration of the Reformation, begin your list of what you would like the church to become in the year ahead. Share it with your pastor. Post a list on the wall or door so people can sign it at their leisure and add to others’ comments.
- Think about obedience to Almighty God in the use of what you keep. Set up a list of how you can use something you have for the Lord. For example, use your car to drive someone to the doctor, store, church. Commit to doing this action for a period of time. If you can keep it up even after your time limit.
- Ask the pastor or better still a volunteer, to talk to the children at church about obedience and Halloween. Be careful to make this talk pleasant and positive rather than scolding or even worse scaring them.