Failures

Snake River Canyon coiled up, rattled its tail, and sank its fangs into its would-be captor. On a sultry Sunday afternoon its l,700-foot jaws yawned wide as it swallowed a strange-tasting capsule prescribed for it by Dr. Robert C. Truax, the scientist-designer of Sky Cycle X-2. Starring in the show was a guy some people tagged Captain Marvel, who looked more like Billy Batson unable to remember the magic word.

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Friendly—Inside Out

Are you attractive? I’m not referring to external beauty nor facial features. I’m asking if you are attractive—magnetic, winsome, charming, friendly. Listen to Proverbs 18:24a (KJV): A man that hath friends must show himself friendly. Do you see the point of the proverb? To have friends we must be friendly. Friendliness is a matter of being someone . . . more than it is doing something.

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Season of Obedience

SAMUEL WAS NOT IMPRESSED. Having discovered that the self-reliant king had once again disobeyed God’s command, the exasperated prophet rebuked the stubborn king as few men in Scripture were rebuked: What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

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Slaying Giants

GOLIATH REMINDS ME OF the cross-eyed discus thrower. He didn’t set many records . . . but he sure kept the crowd awake! Paralyzed and hypnotized, the camp of the Israelites sat in their tents. The only noise heard from their side of the valley was the knocking of their knees—in unison. Goliath was, up to that point, eminently successful with his strategy of intimidation.

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Rationalizations

Even though I have known people like this, still, I cannot fathom Saul’s perspective. How can anyone be so clueless?

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Saul’s Disobedience

Saul’s disobedient actions involved at least three major errors. First, kings weren’t supposed to offer sacrifices on behalf of the community. Kings could offer sacrifices for themselves, but never for the nation.

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Sad Day

When the people located their new king, they celebrated. And why not? This was a glorious day. Saul was tall, strong, modest, and had the full support of his nation. From a human point of view, this was a beautiful start to a new era.

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“We Want to Be Like Everyone Else”

From the time that Joshua died until Saul took the throne of Israel, the Hebrew government was not a monarchy like most surrounding nations. Theologians refer to it as a theocracy—”God-rule.”

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Disintegrating Families

The temptation of any child of vocational Christian ministers is to see the work of the ministry as just another thing, just another religious occupation.

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Watching the Kids

Eli was a great preacher, a fine priest. As the high priest, he was responsible, once each year, to enter the Most Holy Place and offer an atoning sacrifice on behalf of the nation. No one else had that privilege.

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