Set Apart

1 Samuel 9:23-27

23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.” 24So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

25After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house. 26They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. 27As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

Mother’s Care

A friend is very delighted to tell about his mother’s care for him. He claims, “My mother is a very good cook! Most often, I go home late but won’t worry about my dinner. Before dinner is served for my family, my mother reserves for me a portion of the food she cooked. Yes! I won’t eat left over from my family. My mother sets aside for me the portion of the food, she knows I like best.”

How does God delight in us? The Lord mandated in Deuteronomy 14:22, “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.”

Setting aside a portion of our income is a great practical proof of gratitude for the Lord’s grace. He is delighted when we acknowledge His provision for us. Can you accept that the Lord provides us employment, good health, needed strength, safety and wisdom for us to be productive and earn?

The practice of tithing has confused both non-believers and few Christians. Should tithe be taken from gross income or net income? To set aside ten percent from gross income shows priority of the Lord. If ten percent is taken from the net income, meaning after tax and bills are paid, what does it exhibit? We prioritize tax and bills. We want avoid penalties. In short, we prioritize practicalities in life.

We should prioritize the Lord without neglecting our tax and bill payment.

When Saul and his servant were invited to a special occasion, he’s given a priority. Samuel told the cook to give Saul the piece of meat reserved for him.

1. Reserved

23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.” 24So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

To reserve a special portion of meat was practical proof that Samuel made it sure that Saul was given a proper acknowledgment as his special guest. There were thirty other guests who dined with Samuel. Saul was the tallest man, but he was insecure as Benjamite. Benjamin was the least populated tribe of Israel.

It was not told audibly, but did the other guests readily welcome Saul?

In that special occasion, other guests may have dressed in their best clothes because they were to eat with Samuel in the high place. A few Bible versions translated ‘high place’ as ‘place of worship’ and only invitees can attend.

Saul and his servant were surprised to be invited. Searching for missing donkeys, how should they dress? Casually? Comfortably? For few days without taking a bath, they may have perspired and didn’t have fresh smell for sure.

Do you assume that the other guests complained about their smell?

What does God’s require when we come together to worship Him? Does God expect us to be presentable and not to offend other attendees? There are church traditions that are not necessarily mentioned in the Bible.

Disguise

A video was posted online about a beggar dressed ruggedly and dirty. He sat down in front and asked the preacher if he can sing. It was not clear if there was an earlier arrangement but the preacher gave him the microphone. When he sang, the congregation was touched. He’s a pastor disguised as drank beggar visiting church to preach about hypocrisy in the church.

If you were in that congregation, how would you react? Would Christ do that? Will He disguise Himself? Christ knows each person’s heart. He won’t need to disguise. He knew who listens or rejects to His instruction.

Paul challenges in 1 Timothy 2:8-10, 8I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 9I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

We can argue about doctrines or church traditions but we should focus more on God’s purposes for us and make disciples. Be ready for His challenge!

2. Ready

25After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house. 26They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. 27As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

Previously, Samuel assured that the missing donkeys have been found and then, he invited Saul to the special occasion prepared for him. There was no detail of what happene during the dinner. During dinner, Samuel didn’t announce that Saul was the man the Lord has chosen to be the first king of Israel.

Samuel and Saul talked on the roof of Samuel’s house, but no details on what they talked about. Did Samuel tell Saul about kingship? Perhaps, there were curious individuals who were bothered why a Benjamite was the special guest in that special occasion, and they may have spied on Samuel and Saul.

The Israelites asked for a king, and there were individuals who can’t accept Saul as their king. It’s possible that the Israelites have someone in mind they wanted as king. In addition, Saul is Benjamite from Israel’s minority tribe.

At the right time when Samuel presented Saul as king of Israel, most of the Israelites were glad. They have a king finally, but not everyone approved Saul as king. It says in 1 Samuel 10:27, 27Some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.

Particularly in a democratic nation, choosing a leader is very entertaining, challenging and polarizing. Different opinions and preferences are practical proof of the uniqueness of each person. We’ve got to accept that we can always have disagreement, and we can agree to disagree in our opinions or preferences.

Disagreement does not necessarily prove that one is right and another is wrong. Both sides can be right or wrong. Disagreement signals reconsideration.

Physical body has similar parts that are not exactly the same like: right hand is similar to left hand. The right hand does not reject the left hand. The left hand and the right hand are complementary and don’t reject each other.

It says in Ephesians 1:20-23, 20He raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Leaving Christianity

It takes faith to believe that Christ has authority in everything, even for events happened in the church. Because of their popularity, we hear news about popular pastors leaving Christianity, and many church attendees blame church traditions and practices for their decision to focus more on their secular life.

So, if pastors are deceived to quit Christianity, it is no surprise that ordinary church attendees would be easily deceived and return to their worldly lifestyle. When we decided to follow Christ and live a lifestyle according to His teachings, persecutions and challenges common to mankind are not absent. Why?

Concerns of life that may grab our attention are necessary series of events that God arranged for us evaluate our faith in Him if we really trust Him.

It says in 2 Timothy 2:11-15, 11Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 14Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Genuine believers are set apart for godly purposes. As God’s servants, we are mandated to make disciples. God has prepared someone for you to disciple. Keep praying that Christ reigns completely in your life.

><((‘> … ><(((‘> tmec\2019 <‘)))>< … <‘))><

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.