Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Observations from 1 Samuel, Number 3

"11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;
12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.
13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue:...." 1 Samuel 13:11-14a
The predicament was dire: A vast Philistine army was on the move, and Saul's men numbered in the mere hundreds. In verses 11-12, we see perhaps the clearest attempt (and among the most ridiculous) at rationalizing sin we shall ever find in the Bible. That only priests could offer burnt offerings was abundantly clear in the Law, and Saul knew it.

There is never a righteous rationalization for sinning. Wicked rationalization, yes—but sin is sin, no matter what reasons we provide to God for sinning. Furthermore, our rationalizations will never get in the way of God's judgments for sin; He will judge sin regardless of any words we may throw out as explanation. From Adam & Eve, and Cain...all the way to the present, God's judgment on sin is unrelated to our reasons for sinning.

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