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"........I was Afraid of the People."

( [email protected] ) Sep 15, 2005 04:09 PM EDT

1 Samuel 15:24

Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the LORD's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.

With this excuse of all excuses, Saul was admitting the core of his problem ¡V he was more concerned about what people would think of him and what they might do to him than he was about his relationship with God. His fear for himself, his self-centeredness in everything, his focus on his own personal welfare ¡V this was what ruled his existence. This was what led him to destruction.

In contrast, look at Samuel and Jonathan. Even though, rightly so, Samuel was terrified of Saul and what he might do to him, Samuel obeyed God. In 1 Samuel 16:2-4, God told Samuel to go anoint a new king for Israel. Considering the kind of man Saul was, Samuel knew that this action would not only infuriate Saul, it would write a death sentence for Samuel. But Samuel feared God much more than he did Saul. So he did what God said and went and anointed David as the new king. Later on, when Saul was at the height of his fury at David, his own son, Jonathan, was faced with the same choice ¡V obey Saul or obey God. Jonathan, who had already illustrated his faith in God on several occasions, chose to obey God, even though he was afraid of his father. Totally aware that Saul was out to kill David, totally aware that Saul might turn his anger on his own son and kill him, Jonathan chose to protect David rather than go along with Saul's jealous plot to kill the man whom God had chosen to receive the eternal kingship of Israel. Each of these men ¡V Samuel and Jonathan ¡V placed their loyalty and their faith in the right direction ¡V not in themselves, but in God. They didn't give in to fear of what mere men might do to them.

How many times are you and I placed in the same situation? A place where we must choose between fear of man and fear of God? Almost daily, right? Even in a close circle of Christians, situations arise where the majority rule is in favor of doing what man wants to do rather than what God would have us do. If we choose to do things God's way, it puts us in jeopardy. It sets us up for ridicule. It causes us to be rejected by friends and family. When faced with this kind of challenge, you and I have to determine whom we fear most ¡V God or man ¡V and then act accordingly.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

From Dogwood Ministries, Inc.

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