Stumbling Like Saul in Our Day?

(Taken from The Message by Eugene Peterson)

1 Samuel 15:
22-23 Then Samuel said,
Do you think all God wants are sacrifices—
empty rituals just for show?
He wants you to listen to him!
Plain listening is the thing,
not staging a lavish religious production.
Not doing what God tells you
is far worse than fooling around in the occult.
Getting self-important around God
is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors.
Because you said No to God's command,
he says No to your kingship.

24-25 Saul gave in and confessed, "I've sinned. I've trampled roughshod over God's Word and your instructions. I cared more about pleasing the people. I let them tell me what to do. Oh, absolve me of my sin! Take my hand and lead me to the altar so I can worship God!"

Note: Our religious services must have momentum, so we think. They roll on without pause, without hush, without any real expectation that God will arrive with His sovereign agenda and input. We fellowship; we minister to Him; we talk about Him. What Father would desire, in all honesty, such a one-sided "meeting" with children?


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