O Be Careful…

Day 98

Prayer for the day

I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; search for your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

Scripture for the day

1 Samuel 13-14, Luke 10:1-24

How many times have you spoken before thinking? I can’t say…but I know it’s beyond count for me. The words that slip out while we’re driving, in the midst of frustration with spouse, children, or friends, the snide remark about that pastor or that lady at church, the quick flash of anger followed by unspoken regret. Each of us has learned over and over again the wisdom of being careful.

King Saul should have learned his lesson. A rash promise in the heat of battle nearly cost his son his life. Jonathan, who had not heard his father’s (extraordinarily unwise) proclamation that the Israelite soldiers would FAST in the middle of a battle, ate some honey, and was refreshed.

If it hadn’t been for the men of Saul’s army standing with Jonathan and literally saving his life, Saul would’ve lost his son that day, all because of a silly vow that was almost nonsensical.

And for Saul, it’s not just speech. His action is also extremely rash. When Samuel fails to show at exactly the right time, Saul takes matters into his own hands and begins the sacrificial rite, to the peril of his entire family line, and he ends up losing the kingship (eventually).

Jesus, on the other hand, is intentional and specific in whatever he does. When he sends out the seventy-two, he gives clear and specific instructions, carefully laying out exactly the path they must take, anticipating dangers and potholes along the way, to ensure that the mission of the Father is carried out to completion. The disciples are amazed by his precision, but Jesus has his eye firmly fixed on the goal.

In our lives, it’s easy to forget the goal, to lose sight of the prize and to let slip with vows, promises, and loose, unthinking speech at any given moment. Let us pray that the intentionality and precision of Christ would be ours. Be careful little mouths…

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