Prayer for the day
I will lift up my hands to your commandments, and I will meditate on your statutes.
Scripture for the day
We run into it every day. We even do it ourselves. We believe that we want to do the right thing, but we go about it the right way. Whether it’s how we treat our spouse, our kids, or our friends, or how we resolve conflict, how we speak truth into another’s life.
In the First Testament story, we see the king of Israel, Saul, seeking to do the right thing: he looks for God’s decision, God’s favour. He wants to do the right thing, but he constantly uses just terrible means to achieve good ends. He inquires of God, but because God rejects him (which is entirely because of his evil and disobedience), He seeks God’s voice another way: he goes to a witch/medium.
In going to a medium, Saul breaks not only God’s law, but his OWN! He has already banished mediums (those who consult with the dead), knowing it is displeasing to the God he is supposed to serve. Instead of recognizing this, however, Saul subverts his own law and finds a medium he can use to summon Samuel, the Lord’s mouthpiece. And it doesn’t go well for him.
Likewise, Jesus calls out the religious leaders of his day for doing the same thing. They are working so hard to please God, but they go about it all wrong. They forget that God is ALL ABOUT helping people, and that the Sabbath was designed to be a help, not a hindrance. Yet they try to impose man-made rules about sabbath-keeping that would keep people in pain. They try to do the right thing, but they do it absolutely the wrong way.
God calls his people to do the right thing, certainly, but He does not allow an “end-justifies-the-means” kind of ethic to accomplish it. God requires His people to do the right thing the right way. It is our act of worship and praise, our act of thanks to God.
May we be a thankful people.