I Samuel 16:13 It’s not about you.

 

Read I Samuel 16
So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!”
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees;<sup class="footnote" value="[a]”>[a] for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.”
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down<sup class="footnote" value="[b]”>[b] till he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

This is another popular passage of which a lot of us are familiar, but few of us really believe in our heart. How do I know that? Well, in my day, ( I can’t believe I am old enough to say that) people used to say things like “Man, if only Madonna would get saved, wouldn’t that be awesome?? Think of all the things she could do!!” These days, people might say the same thing about Lady Gaga. Oh wow, if she got saved, we could change the whole world!! Please. Don’t ever say this. It’s the exact opposite of the entire theme of the Bible. Saul is a rare case in the Bible where the tall dark and handsome guy, the one everyone would have chosen, was also chosen by God. And it didn’t end well.  David, was the last one anyone thought of for a candidate for king.

This is such good news for us. God, our creator, is in the business of making something from nothing. A king out of a shepherd boy. Moses- a leader out of a coward. Samuel- a prophet from a woman no one thought would have conceive.  Paul the apostle , once a killer of Christians. None of us would have chosen these that God had destined. Really. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say, “Ya know who would make a great evangelist? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”  But that was pretty close to the reputation Paul had, except toward Christians instead of Jews.

I hear people say all the time, “Oh, you home school? You must be so organized.” Or “Oh, you have all those children, you must be a really patient person, I could never do that,” But the truth is no, I am not naturally organized (right now my husband is reading this nodding his head.) and by nature, I am not patient. That is not to say I have not grown in these areas, because I certainly have. But whenever you think “I could never do that” remember the God you serve, and look out! It is never about what we can do for Him, it is always what He can do through us. This is actually another area where pride sneaks in. We tend to think, “oh I can do that, but not that.” But how do we do anything? Only through He who strengthens us.

I pray today that we would feel the strengthening of the Holy Spirit in our lives to do the impossible, whatever that is. For me, today the impossible feels like laundry or cleaning my room, or  staying focused. For others, it could be starting a business, changing jobs, caring for a sick loved one, grieving a lost loved one, caring for the ungrateful, I just know that all of us feel that stuck feeling sometimes.. You’ve got the wrong girl, Lord, I just can’t. But know this my friend. It was never about us. He knows you can’t do it. He can. Let go and trust. Meditate on those scriptures that tell us why we can!

I Corinthians 1: 26Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. 27Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 28God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world — what is viewed as nothing — to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, 29so that no one can boast in His presence.30But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us — our righteousness sanctification, and •redemption, 31in order that, as it is written:The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.

I Samuel 15:10-34- Obedience is better than Sacrifice.

 
Read I Samuel 15:10-34

In this portion of scripture, we read more about the battle directives that Saul did not fully obey. This is not a nice story. But in case you didn’t know, the Bible is not a nice story book.  There is a lot of controversy and talk about this passage. I have read and read and read, and of all the reading, the  most concise explanation was from a commenter on a blog. Here it is:
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The line of reasoning presented here (in this other blog) is generally valid, but I am wondering if there is a better approach to addressing this issue than trying to take on every instance of genocide in the OT. It seems to me the very first case of genocide mentioned in the Bible – the flood – provides all the elements necessary for discussing it. Here every living creature that was not on the ark was killed – men, women, children and animals, the most complete genocide ever to be unleashed by God. And why? “God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all people. I will destroy them completely, because the world is full of their violent deeds” (Gen 6:13). So it is a matter of judgment. There was no foreseeable end to the violence. Even the children of men must perish. When Jesus came, he said, “As it was in the time of Noah so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26). Is Jesus justified in bringing this kind of judgment on the world? As much as the world thinks otherwise, he is. The world has rejected God and his gift of life through Jesus. As for subsequent cases of genocide in the OT, if God in his wisdom should decide to end the perpetuation of evil before the appointed time at the end, is he to be questioned? Ultimately it is a matter of covenant. Just as God made a covenant with Noah, so he makes one with those of us who follow Christ. He said, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19). This is the language of covenant, and the world will continue to hate us, our God, his mercy and his judgments because of it. Yes, genocide is a tough issue in light of modern sensibilities, but let’s not lose sight of God’s patience as well as the grace that is shown us through the covenant he has initiated with his people.
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 That said………
This chapter contains one of those verses that I hear in my sleep.
Obedience is better than sacrifice.

I know this to be desperately true in my own house. When I ask one of the children to do something, they can sometimes find creative ways to be disobedient, and some ways can even be disguised as helpful. But often, even if they are trying to be helpful, it ends up being most UN helpful, as now the thing that I really needed done is left undone. Confused? Don’t be. It’s a recurring theme in this book. Obedience. So often I have to then explain to the children “Now do you see? Do you see why I needed you to obey?” And sometimes they do see, and understand, lending me more credibility for the next time. Comparatively, how patient is our God with me, when he says so similarly, “Do you see? Do you see what I am trying to accomplish in you and through you?”
 The reason quite often for my kids disobedience, is that their knowledge and point of view is so limited. They try to make sense of my directions, but sometimes the command might not make sense to them because they lack perspective. How foolish would it be for them to just then give up, and walk away entirely because they don’t agree. But  mostly, even if they don’t understand, they will obey. Why? Because they know me enough to know that I love them and always always have their best interests at heart.

And I know God.  I absolutely know Him enough to know He always has my best interests at heart. And He loves me. Oh how He loves me.

Especially on a day like today when I just couldn’t make the clock slow down, and I was late for one thing after another. Then finally arriving “late” at our final destination, in a crowd of 18,000 plus, we run smack into our closest friends just in town for a visit after having moved away 3 months ago. You can’t plan that stuff. But God knew, the whole day, how it would play out. He knew that making that U-turn, missing that light, all the things that went “wrong” would lead to very right timing for the perfect encounter.

Obedience is better than sacrifice. And I pray that our eyes would be opened, that our perspective would be clear, and we would walk in obedience in big and in small as we trust His hand and His heart.

What ways have you seen God’s plan unfold when you obeyed, even though you didn’t understand?

I Samuel 15:1-9: When in doubt, throw it out!

Today’s reading is short, because, man, this chapter is full and I don’t want to rush through it.

15 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley.
Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

Samuel gave Saul direct instructions. Complete and specific. Saul was there at his own coronation, when Samuel demonstrated the power of God in a life threatening storm. He was there when Samuel caught him in sin almost immediately. And he should know that God takes obedience very seriously. But who should know that fact even more than Saul? We Christians. We should know how seriously God takes obedience. Why? Because He literally died to see His perfect plan play out in our lives. But don’t we do are best to thwart it!?? So many things get in the way of us seeing God’s beautiful plan for our lives. Normally, however, it comes down to our flesh, wanting its own way, seeking its own pleasure, thinking it knows better.
You see, God had a plan for His people. But there was something in the way. The Amalekites. They had their first encounter when they fled Egypt. The Amalekites picked off the weak, the elderly, the young, the feeble that were at the back of the pack of the mass exodus. Attacking in this fashion was their M.O. The Israelites had been their target continuously since then. But their time was up. I say again, God had a plan for his people. The Messiah was going to come through them, and keeping them from extinction consisted of stringent requirements. And this divine directive in particular was not up for debate. But Saul, he got distracted.

 The Amalekites in the Bible are a type of the flesh.  And just like Saul was to utterly destroy them and their livestock. Everything. We are to utterly destroy our flesh. Even the bits we find entertaining. Even the parts we justify as not that bad. Because God knows that its those parts of our flesh that we let hang around, its those that will destroy us. 

There are obvious sins, like sexual sins, slander, lies, stealing, cheating, etc. It is crucial with sexual sins especially to utterly destroy. I have heard of men that struggle with pornography, but refuse to limit their internet access with filters and accountability guards. That is a risk that will likely end badly.  But there are also the less obvious sins. Undercover sins like pride. Pride has so many faces, and shows itself in so many ways. It is one of the most insidious and destructive sins because it can hide so easily, and grow so quickly.


Your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 8:14

  In the moment to moment, I pray that my first reaction would be God. That in the day to day, I would not forget my utter dependence and complete need for the Lord. Anything else is pride.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4
 If we are not being loving, 9 times out of 10, the root is pride. Check yourself……before you wreck yourself…….lol

 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. Proverbs 18:12

The first part of destroying pride in our lives is identifying it, and understanding how dangerous it is. I pray that God would bring to light those Amalekites in our lives, from the obvious to the hidden and that we would take drastic measures to utterly destroy them and see His glory revealed!

*seriously, when the title is this catchy, just know its Julie. If it’s mildly funny or lame? It’s me. lol!

I Samuel 14b- Put a lid on it!

Read I Samuel 14: 24-52
24 And the men  of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had placed the people under oath, saying, “Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food. 25 Now all the people of the land came to a forest; and there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people had come into the woods, there was the honey, dripping; but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath; therefore he stretched out the end of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his countenance brightened. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were faint.
29 But Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. Look now, how my countenance has brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now would there not have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?”

Saul, makes this rash declaration, that no one can eat until they win the battle. So consequently all the men are famished, and suffering from it. Except Jonathon, who didn’t know, and ate, and is ready to take on the Philistines. Rash. This is never a good idea. Haste makes waste. Many of us have heard that expression. But it goes for our words too. Ever make a rash declaration? Well, if you read the rest of the chapter, Saul is forced to eat his words (pun intended) when it comes out that Jonathan broke this rule he didn’t know about. Now what? Well, Saul has so much pride that he is willing to back his words. Death to his son! But the people will not hear of it.  Jonathan is their hero, and they are beginning to wonder what has happened to the king from just a few chapters ago. But we know what happened to him. He lost focus. He got prideful. He doesn’t need Samuel. He’s got this. I have done that. Regularly. You see the problem with being a Christian for 30 years (woah) is that you know enough scripture and teachings to get spiritually lazy. You can begin to think you have heard it all. But there is no hearing it all. And the most elementary concepts are the ones that we struggle the most in, and bear the most repeating. And one of those areas of struggle for so many of us would be our tongue.
Hear are some verses to meditate on:

Proverbs 12:18 
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

James 1:26 ESV

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

Proverbs 15:4 ESV 
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

James 1:19-20 ESV 
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Lord help me to filter my words through your Spirit. Let my words to my children, my husband, my family and friends reflect the love I have for them, and not the emotion I feel in that moment.  Amen! Let’s pray for each other today! Let me hear an Amen in the comment section if you want prayer for your tongue too! I don’t want those around me to suffer because my words are like a sword. But I pray that my words would bring healing! AMEN!!

I Samuel 14: 1-23: Debbie Downer or Debbie Dreamer?*

 

Read I Samuel 14:1-23

In chapter 11, Saul rallied an army of 300,000 in no time. He was right off the heels of seeing the hand of God moving in his life. He had spent time with priests singing and prophesying. Then Ch. 12 was the coronation, which was a bit of a let down for him. Samuel blasted the people for even wanting a king in the first place! Not the glowing coronation one would imagine. Ch. 13 Saul now has 3000 men, and his fire of his faith was fading. He can’t wait for Samuel and takes matters into his own hands, offering a sacrifice, and was immediately punished. Now, in Ch. 14, he is down to 600 men, under a tree. And Jonathon gets an idea.

1.Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.
Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

 Jonathan was proposing something crazy! He and his buddy, going up against a lot of Philistines, but you can’t argue with his logic. The battle belongs to the Lord. (I Sam. 17:47)

So his armorbearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.”

At first read, I was focused Jonathan and his courage. It was not blind stupid courage, but it was courage under control, faith with focus. Only if the Lord showed him for certain would he continue with confidence.YES! I want that!! But then as I read, and re-read, the Lord knocked on my heart.  There was someone else in this story I needed to pay attention to. The armor bearer. You see, I am married to a Jonathan, and do I respond to his dreams and his visions like that? What would happen if I used those words, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then: here I am with you, according to your heart.” Wow. Major Conviction. Because to be honest, that is not my natural instinct. I am a numbers gal. I love logic. I analyze till my brain hurts and consequently get stuck quite often. And God gave me this visionary. Truth be told a large percentage of men have this gift, this gift of dreaming. And sadly a lot of us women have the gift of dream killing. I saw a special on the man who invented the super soaker, Lonnie Johnson and one thing stood out to me. He spent 7 years trying to get someone to buy this toy. He was a genius inventor. He was married. And I wondered what his wife was saying at about year 6 and 11 months. I know what I would have been saying sadly. Enough with the water gun!! How many years? But it is a good thing for him, and children all over the world, that he didn’t give up. That invention has grossed over a billion dollars! What? I want to be like the armor bearer, not only to my husband, but to my friends, to my family. I want to listen to their dreams, that are grounded in God’s word, and say, I am with you, according to your heart. Those two men went on to defeat 20 Philistines. I imagine it played like a scene out of many movies we have seen. Those two men, against so many. But “nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few!” He is faithful to lead, and to guide, and to fight for us!  Let us be courageous when the time comes, with courage under Christ’s control and let us also be armor bearers for our loved ones when called up. Amen!

*title by Julie 🙂

Samuel 8-13 Week in Review

  
I have found such benefits from stepping back and remembering what I have seen of God’s character from the weeks chapters. If you missed a chapter, just click on the heading. Also, there is so much more in each chapter than I would have time to mention. Please join me in the comments section with something that jumps out at you too! You don’t have to sign up or log in, just click on “Post a comment” and fill in the box with your thoughts, then click the “Name/URL” circle and type in your name. Or even remain anonymous. Again, excuse the typos. My main purpose is to record my thoughts, and join in accountability with you! So there will be horrific grammar mistakes and the like. You have been warned! Thanks to all for doing this with me! I am so blessed by you!

 

I Samuel 8- Don’t follow your heart.

  • There is nothing more pressing or important on my daily to do list then instilling a love for God and his Word in the lives of my children. Nothing.
  • There is no greater compass than the one we find in the Bible. The Israelites wanted a king “just like the other nations.”
  • The world, that is angry, and bitter and rude, and mocks your Bible, and your Savior? They are not rejecting you. Take it to the Lord and let Him carry it. His shoulders are so strong. And let this give us confidence, to keep standing and proclaiming. God reminded Samuel that they were not rejecting Samuel, but God Himself.
  • I pray for mercy for our country, that we would heed the words of the Bible that our country was founded on. That we would not continue to stray from the firm foundation that was laid. And I pray that our families would do the same. That we would hold tight to the living Word, and pass that on so intentionally to our children that we would avoid the pain and suffering brought on by our own disobedience to a just and loving God.

I Samuel 9- Dumb Ol’ Donkey

  •    Can you imagine if Saul was feeling frustrated “Stupid donkeys, escaping again. Like I have nothing better to do. Thirty year old man, chasing donkeys. Doesn’t my father have servants for this?” Look, I am not saying that he did feel that way, but I have felt that way, only to see at the end that it was God the whole time, using ordinary circumstances to bring about an extraordinary outcome.

  • A great verse to meditate on is the reminder in I Thessalonians chapter 5 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you because you never know when chasing some donkey is going to lead to your life’s destiny.
  

I Samuel 10- Finding God’s Will

  • The veil was torn, and we have access to the throne of grace. And just like Saul was given steps to confirm God’s will, we are given steps too. But we don’t always follow them.
  • Surround yourself with people that are seeking God and praising His name, and this will equip you for those days, and for the wait.
  • Sometimes we can share too quickly some great thing we believe God is going to do in our lives, and often it is met with a most discouraging response from those that are just not able to see.  
  • God is faithful to direct and equip. We must be faithful to obey.

I Samuel 11- Short red line

  •  In these last days, God is calling us to do hard things. He has always called his people to do hard, and often scary things, sometimes in small ways, and sometimes big. And it is the little steps of obedience that give us strength and increase our faith for the big. Saul had a monumental task rallying 300,00 Israelites to one cause. I pray that Christians around the world would join together as well.
  •  I pray that we would all seek the Lord and be ready and willing to stand together. This life is but a vapor. And if we really believe in an eternal eternity, do our actions reflect that? If you have never seen this demonstration by Francis Chan, and even if you have, it is so powerful, and important to keep on our minds. I pray that just like in the days of Saul, the Spirit of God would come upon His people and that our righteous anger would be fuel for action.

I Samuel 12-When a nation rejects God as king. 

  • This is Saul’s coronation, but it is not a celebratory scene like we would picture from our own presidential inaugurations. This choice these people have made is a source of deep grief for Samuel.  It is a mistake of cataclysmic proportions.  And Samuel is not going out quietly.  
  • our country was founded on the principles of the Bible, and that is the only way our system of government could work this long. You can’t have a successful democratic republic, with so much power in the hands of man, when man is corrupt and without the true moral compass of the Bible. 

    24 Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

  • We can sometimes look for earthly answers to a spiritual problem. I pray that we would seek first that things of God, and His righteousness. I pray that we would not forsake gathering together, humbling ourselves and praying for God to heal our land. And that we would act, and speak, when and how He calls us to, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I Samuel 13- Busted!

  •  Sin has consequences. For Saul they were immediate and delayed. He was caught right away, and Samuel told him right there that God already had a replacement, a man after God’s own heart. Ouch. But the consequences just kept coming as we shall see in the coming chapters. 
  •  But today, in our society, children are the victims. And let me tell you, they are not as resilient as people think. I pray that God’s word would pierce our hearts and that we would remember this passage when temptation strikes. And I pray that those right now, caught in the grips of self deceit would make things right, repent, and find forgiveness and hope in our Savior.

 


 

I Samuel 13- Busted!

Read I Samuel 13

Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth Aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him.
11 And Samuel said, “What have you done?”

This scene brings me right back to a time when I was a teenager. And also got busted. Preface: I was a really stupid teenager. I loved Jesus. And yet I made really stupid decisions. I say this  especially to parents of stupid teenagers. There is hope in Jesus. 🙂  However, this particular stupid decision changed the way I would forever fill out a job application. Even to this day. Now this is a story all about how my life got flip turned upside down…(Do I have to foot note that? I do not want to get busted for plagiarism…but I digress…) I called in sick to work. I wasn’t sick. I wanted to go out with a boy, instead of going to work. Here is where the stupider than stupid part comes in. All week long I had been trying to get someone to work for me. And no one would. Calling in sick after advertising that you didn’t want to work that day, in hindsight, not a good idea. But here’s the thing. People at work said “Oh, just call in sick. You don’t really have to BE sick. People call in sick all the time that aren’t sick. It’s like a “sick day.” No big deal. And I started to believe that this was really common and no big deal.  Than Friday came along, and since I had skipped school too (although this was with parental permission to bond with my home from college sister), I thought it would be really convincing if I called during the day. So I called my manager, Jay, …..from the beach…and with my sickest, most pathetic voice told my boss that I wasn’t feeling too good, so I had stayed home from school and therefore could not come to work tonight. He said ok, but it was more like an “OHHH-Kay?” sing songy “are you sure about that” kind of tone. Trying to put that behind me, I enjoyed the sun and sand. Fast forward to that night. My parents were out, so I felt confident that if he called and got the answering machine I could just say that I felt too sick to answer the phone. But knowing my “luck” I thought, as soon I left, my parents would come home, he would call and I would be caught, because oh yeah, I had told my parents that someone was covering my shift. Ain’t no way my parents would let me call in sick to my boss for some boy.Well, short story longer, before I left the house to go on my big date, I turned off all the ringers on the phones, just in case my parents got home before the store closed. When I got back from my night out , all were sleeping. It was eerily quiet. But there was a note. “Jay called” it said. “Call him in the morning.”
My stomach fell. I knew I was sunk. But how!!??? I checked all the ringers. Off. How? Well, when I woke up the next morning, I found out how. I had forgotten one little phone in the guest room that nobody ever used. One silly little phone with a loud ringer. And minutes after I had left, moments before my boss was going to lock the doors and go home, he had called my house just as my parents had walked in the door. And the conversation went like this:
 “Is Lauren there?”
 “No, she’s out, can I take a message?” 
“Oh, this is her boss, I thought she was sick”
 “Sick? I thought she got someone to cover her shift.” 
“Nope”
 “Oh”
 “Have her call me in the morning” 
“Yup”
And I did, and I was fired. Done.  Story of my life. I do something dumb and get caught almost instantly! Every time. I didn’t understand it. People around me were getting away with everything! But me? Never. It was so frustrating! But now I see that it was the grace of God and the prayers of a faithful momma. And I pray that now for my children, that God would bring their sins to light. 

13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
 
Sin has consequences. For Saul they were immediate and delayed. He was caught right away, and Samuel told him right there that God already had a replacement, a man after God’s own heart. Ouch. But the consequences just kept coming as we shall see in the coming chapters. For me,  the consequences were also  immediate and delayed. I was fired immediately, but also, now every time I filled out a job application I was forced to check “yes” to the “Have you ever been terminated?” question, and explain “I called in sick when I wasn’t sick and learned my lesson.” Some people said to lie. To which my response was “As if!” You see, I did learn my lesson. I learned that you can’t fool God no matter how many ringers you turn off. I learned that He disciplines those that He loves, and that although His forgiveness is sure. Sin has consequences.  We lie to ourselves saying that we are different, we can do what is wrong and get away with it. Our sin will be different. It’s not a big deal. No one will be that hurt. They will get over it. All will be fine. But it is Satan’s biggest lie. Watch the news. How do these horrific things happen? One little lie, one little deception, one little compromise at a time. In my case, I was the one who felt most of the pain. But today, in our society, children are the victims. And let me tell you, they are not as resilient as people think. I pray that God’s word would pierce our hearts and that we would remember this passage when temptation strikes. And I pray that those right now, caught in the grips of self deceit would make things right, repent, and find forgiveness and hope in our Savior, because His mercies are new every morning. And there is no one and no act beyond the redemptive power of Christ’s love! However, the irony in my life? I am currently a homeschooling mom…..a job that I adore, but consequently  provides exactly ZERO sick days!  Ha! God knows I love a good joke!