Learning the lesson the hard way

Rising Joy, Vicki Matheny

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Proverbs 21.3

King Saul learned this lesson and its consequences the hard way. In 1 Samuel 15, we read the instructions that the Lord gave to Saul through the prophet Samuel. He was told to go and strike down the Amalekites destroying everything they had. He was to put everyone and everything to death.

Saul attacked the Amalekites and put everything to death, almost. He let King Agag live, as well as the best of the flocks and animals that were of value. God’s reaction? He regretted that he had made Saul king, 1 Samuel 15.10-11.

When later met by Samuel, Saul said that he had done what the Lord had told him to do. When confronted by the prophet, he said that the army had spared the best of the flocks and cattle to sacrifice to God. But, Samuel made it clear that what Saul had done was not acceptable to the Lord.

To do righteousness is to be correct, obedient. Saul failed miserably in this, for this was not the first time that he had not obeyed the Lord. The Lord took the kingdom away from Saul.

We need to be aware of our actions. Are we truly obeying what God has commanded us to do? Or have we, like Saul, done what we thought was better and expect God to put his stamp of approval on it? Rejection of what God has instructed, rebellion, is just as bad as any other sin.

#risingjoy #Proverbs #actions

Talking and Walking are Two different Things

One of the wisest things ever said by king Ahab was, ‘Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.’ (1 Kings 20:11)

Joining in the good fight of faith is admirable, but finishing it is what brings the reward (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Some fight in longer battles than others. Some put in more years of service. Some take upon themselves more responsibility. Some do better at recruiting others. Some do better at staying focused. Some are better at talking than walking because it seems as if that’s all they know how to do!

There are those who are very apt to criticize the actions of elders, deacons, preachers, Bible class teachers and the all around great working members of the body who are trying to get the work of the Lord done by through various activities and works. I find it strange that, more often than not, these people are also very apt to do nothing themselves before they criticize, in the middle of their criticism and when their criticism is done. They believe they can do things better than the way it’s being done. They have never taken on the responsibility but yet they feel responsible to tell another how it is or isn’t to be done. That’s a talker and not a walker!

In the context of 1 Kings 20 the king of Israel said what he had said because he cared about the things that were being threatened by the boastful leaders of Syria, but at the same time Ahab actually got up to fight. He didn’t just sit down and do nothing, he got to work and even more so after a reassuring word came from the Lord. He rallied the people and fought with a purpose. That day it was the Syrians who found out that talking and walking are two different things. It was the Syrians who found out that talking alone actually leads to running away!

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)


#actions, #faith, #faith-and-works, #king-ahab, #living-faith, #living-the-faith

Wisdom Acts This Way

When Solomon was asked what he would like from God his reply was “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad…” (1 Kings 3:9).

An understanding heart is exactly what God gave him (1 Kings 4:29) along with great riches and honor. However, as Solomon got older he seemingly forgot that wisdom and succumbed to the idolatry of his many wives (1 Kings 11:4).

What happened to a man that had greater wisdom that anyone that had ever lived? Perhaps he forgot the way that wisdom is supposed to act. As he grew older, did Solomon even remember that such wisdom as he had demanded a certain way of life?

James wrote that wisdom behaves a certain way. Those that have wisdom, James writes, will “show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom” (3:13). Wisdom knows better than to parade itself through the roads of society. It does not ask “Why me?” but rather “Why not me?” Wisdom is the understanding that to humble oneself before God will cause Him to “lift you up” (James 4:10).

In Christ, Steve Preston


#actions, #solomon, #wisdom

Wisdom is …

Wisdom is the art of seeing connections between thoughts and words, between words and actions, between actions and consequences.

#actions, #consequences, #thoughts, #wisdom, #words