10th April: 1 Samuel 28:3-31:13 – There’s no hiding from God …

1 Samuel

28:3-25 – Saul sinned against the Lord. He brought God’s judgment upon himself: ‘Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord… the Lord has done this thing to you this day’ (18). ‘Saul disguised himself’’ – he thought he could get away with his sin. He was wrong: ‘Be sure your sin will find you out’ (8; Numbers 32:23). There is no hiding from God – ‘Before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do’. God’s Word warns us: ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’. Do not ‘trample the Son of God under foot, treating His blood as an unholy thing and outraging the Spirit of grace’. Don’t fight against God. You will be the loser! Don’t ‘shrink back’ and be ‘destroyed’. ‘Believe’ and be ‘saved’ (Hebrews 4:13; 10:29-31, 39; Acts 16:30-31).

29:1-30:15 – ‘David was greatly distressed… But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God (30:6). Things are going badly. What do you do? Do you start feeling sorry for yourself? That won’t do any good. God’s Word says, ‘Be strong, and let your heart take courage’ (Psalm 27:14). In times of difficulty, where does your strength come from? – ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield… The Lord is the strength of His people…’ (Psalm 28:7-8). How are we to strengthen ourselves in the Lord our God? We must remind ourselves that God is in control: ‘The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as King for ever’. This is the way in which ‘the Lord gives strength to His people!’.This is the way ‘the Lord blesses His people with peace!’ (Psalm 29:10-11). Let us be strong in the Lord

30:16-31:13 – Here, we have tragedy and triumph – the tragedy of Saul (4), the triumph of the Lord (23). What we are, in ourselves, is tragic – ‘all have sinned… the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 3:23; 6:23). This is not the full story of our life. There’s something else: ‘what the Lord has given us’ – ‘they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus’: ‘the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (23; Romans 3:24; 6:23). This is the triumph of the Lord. It is not something that we achieve for ourselves. ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes’ (Psalm 118:23). We give all the praise and glory to the Lord: ‘Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph. Let us ‘spread the knowledge of Him everywhere’ (2 Corinthians 2:14).

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