Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Promise of a Sacrifice... YOU!

The last few weeks have found me strangely and repeatedly in 1 Samuel chapter 16 of my Bible. Check out this story. The kingdom of Israel has chosen Saul to be her king. But God had other plans. The Lord says to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons." Samuel argues, but God sends him anyway. And the Lord said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you." (verses 2 and 3). Samuel does what God asks. He went to the house of Jesse and his sons and "invited them to the sacrifice." He meets seven of Jesse's sons, but God has chosen none of them. Jesse hasn't even called his youngest from the fields. Samuel requests to see David the youngest. Verse 12 says, "And the Lord said, 'Arise, anoint him, for this is he.' Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah." End of story.

But what about the sacrifice? Twice the Lord mentions the sacrifice to Samuel. And twice Samuel mentions the sacrifice to Jesse. Verse 5 "Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." "...and he invited them to the sacrifice." But this sacrifice never happens. Why? Samuel is ready. Come to the sacrifice. Prepare yourselves. But then David is annointed and Samuel abruptly leaves. Now, the actual offering of a heifer could have been omitted from the narrative. OR the sacrifice was included. David WAS the sacrifice! God was calling Samuel to offer David as the sacrifice. Surely not a new thought, but its significance has struck me greatly these past few weeks. Did David understand that he was the sacrifice? Surely he knew the magnitude of his anointing. And does this have any application to me?

Romans 12:1-2 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." YOU are the sacrifice. Leviticus 20:7-8 Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God." defines consecrate: to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicated to the service of God. A living sacrifice!! We are called to present our bodies back to God. Not because our bodies are an amazing gift to God, but because he bought them with the blood of His Son Jesus. We are His. We are holy and acceptable only because we are made that way through Christ Jesus. And now all we are is His. And what wonderful things will He do with our bodies? Joshua 3:5 "Then Joshua said to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.' [That story goes on to tell how God lead Israel across the Jordan River, but let's steal the verse for us as well.] If you have been convinced that Jesus was your substitute in judgement and you have been redeemed, then you have been set apart, dedicated to the service of God and the Lord will do wonders among you!!! How exciting is that? Be on the lookout for how our great God will work in and through you.

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