April 14, 2015
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 14 April 2015
When God chose Saul as king, he was humble initially (1 Sam 9:21). First Samuel 10 records the hesitancy of Saul to be anointed by Samuel, and the following chapter describes his victory over the Ammonites, which gave the people confidence in his kingship. Saul would encounter more crises and other tests would arise; therefore, God’s confirmation of Saul’s leadership would require the king to prove himself faithful. The message to those who have been called to any degree of leadership is to demonstrate consistency by asking God for the grace to humble yourself, and trust Him to confirm your calling, and not to seek the approval of others unduly (1 Pet 5:6).
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time (1 Pet 5:6).
Although he enjoyed some military success, Saul consistently demonstrated failed leadership in the first 100 days of his reign by not submitting to the commands and wisdom of God. In response to Saul’s insubordination, God rejected him as king of Israel. At this point, Saul could have submitted to the will of God through repentance and by seeking to honor the new king. God rejected Saul’s leadership because he rejected the word that the Lord provided (1 Sam 15:23).
Why did Saul not repent? Why did he remain unconvicted by his conscience? God certainly would not excuse his actions. What occurs when leaders are not humble before God? The conscience becomes seared, the heart is as stone, and the mind darkened to the authority of God (cf. Ezek 36:26-27; 1 Cor 2:14; Eph 4:18; 2 Pet 1:19). First Timothy 4:1-2 mentions some who give “attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.” Saul experienced this branding. Our conscience controls our actions, and our thoughts are controlled by our conscience. Therefore, it is vital to consider who or what controls our conscience. We all need a conscience void of guilt through “the blood of Christ . . . to serve the living God” (Heb 9:14).
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb 9:14).
Charles Spurgeon (“the prince of preachers”) recounted an experience with a man who, in his lifetime, jeered at him and often denounced him as a hypocrite. Facing death, however, this man sought Spurgeon’s counsel and presence. “He had, when in health, wickedly refused Christ, yet in his death agony, he had superstitiously sent for me. Too late, he sighed for the ministry of reconciliation, and sought to enter in at the closed door, but he was not able. There was no space left him then for repentance, for he had wasted the opportunities which God had long granted to him” [C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, 4 vols. (Cincinnati: Curts & Jennings, 1898) 1:373, emphasis added].
How somber to know that repentance is necessary and vital in one’s life, but to be unable to do so (cf. Heb 12:17). The most hopeless of experiences is to be abandoned by God. True repentance has a twofold aspect: (1) it reflects upon things of the past with a weeping eye; and, (2) it contemplates the future with a watchful eye. “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near” (Isa 55:6).
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isa 55:8-9).
Your Missionary to Georgia's Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia