King's Business - 1915-04



of God, not to his own glory (ch. 7 :12). At a later date we are told that another rebel against God, namely Absalom, set up a monument for himself (2 Sam. 18:18). Those who are trying to build monuments for themselves today are following the ex­ ample of thoroughly bad men. v. 13. “Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD. I have performed thé commandment of the LORD.” Saul greet­ ed Samuel with a great parade of piety. A guilty conscience often leads to loud hal- lejujahs. Doubtless Saul fancied he was sincere when he said, “I have performed the commandment of the LORD,” but in his inmost heart he knew he had done nothing of the kind.' Many men are quite sincere in their professions, who in their inmost hearts know that they have not done what they profess to have done. But Sam­ uel was not in the least deceived by Saul’s loud professions (v. 14). It is impossible to deceive a man who is in God’s confi­ dence. v. 14. "What meaneth then this bleat­ ing of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear ?” There is no use trying to hide our sins (Prov. 28:13; Num. 32:23). Not only “murder will out,” but all sin will out. The sheep will bleat and the oxen will low just at the wrong time. The only way to get our sins covered out of the sight of men is to open them to thexgaze of God, making full confession to Him (Ps. 32:1, 5; 1 John 1:9). What is needed on the part of many of us is not professions of obedience but confessions of sin. v. 15. “And Saul said, THEY have brought them from the Amalekites: for the PEOPLE spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest WE have utterly destroyed.” In all that had to do with obedience Saul said, “I” and “WE,” but in all that had to do with disobedience Saul said “THEY” and “THE PEOPLE.” With many people it is always the other fellow that is to blame but if it is a question of credit, that belongs to us. The basest sin-

puts it, “He is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my command­ ments.” Jehovah had blessed Saul as long as Saul had obeyed Him. “And it grieved Samuel." This ought rather to be as in the Revised Version, "And Samuel was wroth.” He had good occasion to be wroth with Saul; he had no occasion to be wroth with Jehovah. He did the very best thing that any man .can do when he is angry, he spent the whole night in prayer. The words, “He cried unto the LORD all night” ought to sink deeply into our hearts (cf. Luke 6:12). Modern. Christians are supposed to know more than Samuel did; they certainly ought to know more for God has revealed many things since the time of Samuel and these are re­ corded in the word of God; but this man of that unenlightened day so many years ago puts many of us to shame today, even many who are supposed to be advanced Christians.” Of how many of us could the Holy Spirit put it on record if He were writing our history, “He cried unto the LORD all night” ? Perhaps it took the whole night for Samuel to become so quieted in spirit that he could hear the LORD’S voice in answer to his prayer. v. 12. "Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning.” Though Samuel had spent the whole night in prayer, he did not think it liecessary to lie in bed late the next morning. There was work to be done, stern work, and he arose early to meet Saul and proclaim God’s stern message of judgment to him. Wheneyer Samuel got a message for anybody from Jehovah, he always told it as soon as possible (cLch. 3:18; 8:10). Would that we were as faithful! ” How often God gives us a message for some one, but we delay a long time before we de­ clare God’s message and sometimes fail to declare it at all. "Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place (rather, monument}.’’ We have an indication of the rapidly grow­ ing pride of Saul in that he had built for himself a monument. When Samuel set up monuments, he set them up to the glory

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