Editor’s Note: AMI Quiet Times from April 13-19 are written by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry LA.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Samuel 31:6 (ESV)
“Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.”
Reading about another fallen church leader is never easy to stomach. Even more difficult to bear is reading about how their sin affects those around them. The Bible says that your sin will find you out (Num. 32:23); and when it does, people who sinned are not the only ones who get hurt but also their families, friends and churches as well.
This is clearly demonstrated in Saul’s last battle against the Philistines in 1 Samuel 31. The battle turned so badly for Israel that they were in full retreat to their own camp. At this moment, a Philistine archer hit Saul and severely wounded him. Saul, turning to his armor bearer, demanded, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me” (v. 4). Because his armor bearer, being afraid, wouldn’t do it, Saul took a sword and fell on it, bringing a tragic and inevitable end to his undistinguished life and reign. Sadly, Saul did not die alone that day; that is, his prideful rebellion against God ended up causing the death of countless men, including his three sons (one being Jonathan) and his armor bearer.
What this shows is that you cannot “plant” sin, even if it’s in private, and not expect to reap its consequences that will spill over to those who are in your sphere of influence. The principle is also conversely true. If you make good choices by living in obedience, it will have a way of blessing those who you come to contact with.
As you are reading this, perhaps the Holy Spirit is bringing to your attention how your sins (perhaps habitual) are affecting the people around you—the people whom you love. Whatever the sin may be, the good news is this: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). It is sobering to see how sin absolutely diminished the life and reign of Saul. And yet such a fate may befall us, unless we are vigilant about sin, by praying and walking humbly with our God.
Bible Reading for Today: Lamentations 2
“Although God loves us unconditionally, He does get angry at sin, wickedness and evil. But He is not an angry God. God hates sin, but He loves sinners! He will never approve of sin in your life, but He always loves you and wants to work with you to make progress in living a holy life in Christ.” – Joyce Meyer