Summary: We must expect casualties while doing the work of the LORD! It makes no difference whether we are a Samuel or a Saul, we will have casualties, and too often they are caused by friendly actions. It comes with the territory and the ministry.
We must expect casualties while doing the work of the LORD! It makes no difference whether we are a Samuel or a Saul, we will have casualties, and too often they are caused by friendly actions. It comes with the territory and the ministry God has given each of us. Some are killed in action and some are wounded in action. But, casualties just the same.
We must continually be reminded that no one is totally useless, they can always serve as a bad example. So it is with Saul. No amount of good looks, natural talent, schooling, intellect, or position can prevent you from failing if you disobey God. It is only a matter of time before you will become a casualty of your own sin.
King Saul’s fall from God’s grace was caused by three sins. First, he took his circumstances seriously, but he did not take God seriously. By this, I mean that God had given him specific instructions and he did not follow them completely. Partial disobedience is still disobedience. 99.9 percent obedience is still disobedience. God has a reason for everything He tells us to do, and we have no right to change even the smallest of details. Second, King Saul took himself seriously as King, but he did not take God seriously as Lord of all. He was King and his people had to answer for all disobedience, but he thought that he could tell the King of Kings that his disobedience was the fault of his soldiers and his people. You and I both know that when we are disobedient, there is only one person to blame, and that person is us. Third, King Saul thought sacrifices could change the mind of God. God does not want sacrifices without obedience. We cannot buy God off with a sacrifice. Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols. So because King Saul rejected the Word of God, the Lord was sorry that He had ever made him King, and now rejected him as King.
Even repentance cannot change the mind of God. There are consequences for disobedience. And sometimes we find out that those consequences are more than we can bear. In King Saul’s case, he committed suicide. He became a casualty. Worse than that, his sons and soldiers became casualties.
Sometimes we have to do things that we do not care to do, but if God is Lord of our lives than we must do whatever He demands of us. So it was with Samuel, he was given a task that most of us pray we never have to do. It caused him to cry out all night to the Lord. He became a casualty not because of his actions, but because of Saul.
When he went out to confront the King, Saul would not stop talking about himself and what he had done. Samuel had to tell the King “Stop!” so he could share what God wanted the King to know. Many times we find that those who are out of fellowship with God believe that they have been doing exactly what God wanted them to do. But, since they are not listening to God, and God is not listening to them, someone else has to deliver God’s message.
When we become saved by the mercy and grace of God by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, repenting our sins and confessing who He is, we begin a lifelong relationship with God. At the same time we are in fellowship with Him. Our relationship never changes; we are always His, but our fellowship is interrupted by disobedience. This was the case with King Saul. The only way God talks to those out of fellowship is through those who have fellowship with Him. We can regain our fellowship after we repent, but not always our position. Sometimes we have to be taken down a peg or two. This wounds God, and makes Him a casualty.
How is your fellowship with God today? If you are a Saul, repent, but be ready for consequences and casualties. If you are a Samuel, get ready for what God has for you to do, and know that there will be casualties. God says to all of us today, “Expect Casualties!”