The Estrangement

In my daily Bible reading, I’ve been in the books of Samuel. I’d read this before, most notably in Bible Study Fellowship a couple of years ago. Even then, going through a study, sometimes we miss things that at that time, just don’t stick out to us as they do other times.

In reading this time, I read verses 27-29 and stopped. Who was Samuel talking about here? I knew David would follow after Saul as King, but I had to be sure.

As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe. And Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else – one who is better than you. And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!

1 Samuel 15:24-31

Now that I reread this again, it makes more sense, but at first, I had to read it a few times and go to some commentary for a supplemental resource.

The estrangement between Samuel and Saul represents that which now existed in permanent form between the Lord Himself and the disobedient King. Though God had permitted Saul to reign in response to the demand of the people, that very concession now grieved the heart of the Lord.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, John F Walvoord and Roy B Zuck

I had not thought of this estrangement in these terms, but what a picture this has in my head now! We are so far away from God, dead in our sin, until God provided a way and now we have that direct access through Jesus our mediator to come before the throne of our God, if only we believe in Him. Isn’t that beautiful?

Later, in verses 34 and 35 we find that Samuel mourned for Saul.

Then Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his house at Glibeah of Saul. Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the LORD was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel.

1 Samuel 34-35

Do we typically mourn constantly for those far from God as Samuel did for Saul? Saul was king of Israel! Samuel mourned for Saul who was rejected by God but still leading this group, God’s people.

In that same respect, do we pray for those in leadership? Whether locally or nationally? Isn’t it an encouragement that political terms don’t last forever? Isn’t an encouragement that we serve a sovereign God who is fully aware of who is in office and Who holds the power? Prayer works, God listens.

This also reminded me of what God was sorry he had ever made man, when he flooded the earth! Praise God for not wiping out man again – He has the power to do so, but we know that He is a promise keeper and he promised he would not flood the earth again.

And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieves him to his heart.

Genesis 6:6

And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

Genesis 8:21-22

I’m aware more-so after the fact… that when I sit down to read, I have no idea where God is going to lead me or what will be revealed to me. Some days it’s longer time reading and studying than other times. It’s the longer times that really get me motivated and build up a desire to keep going and to come back again and again. I hope you feel the same about God’s Word. 🙂

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Excellent post. Thank you for sharing your reading and your thoughts. This especially jumped out at me: “Prayer works, God listens.” I needed that today!

    1. Summer says:

      Glory to God! Thank you for that. He provides what we need in little details, doesn’t He? 🙌🏻 Hope you have a great Sunday, Bridget! 🙏🏻

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