The sad consequences of “presumptuous sin” … Oh Lord keep me from it!

Presumptuous sinPresumptuous sin is a funny thing… It takes things into its own hands… It doesn’t ask for guidance… it operates on human hunches… It looks at circumstances and acts based upon the way things appear… It mixes some religious insights with human reasoning… It rationalizes disobedience… It defends itself on partial truths when confronted with obvious rebellion… It is convinced that to sacrifice is better than obedience and that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than obey… And I think we’ve all been tempted with “presumptuous sin” at some time or another… But we’ve got to face it – In God’s eyes this kind of sin is a serious matter!

Saul, shortly after being anointed king of Israel was guilty of it… and it cost him, and cost him dearly! … He forfeited the abiding presence and favor of God! He battled a growing resentment, suspicion, and insane jealously the rest of his life. He forfeited the privilege of having his son follow him on the throne… and the list could go on…

You really need to read the sad account of Saul’s presumptuous sin in I Samuel 13:8-14. Saul was not authorized to function as priest. The command had been “wait for Samuel to offer the sacrifices.” Seven days had come and gone… the people were scattering. The enemy was frighteningly near. Saul took things into his own hands and disobeyed… Then when Samuel appeared and confronted him, he rationalized…

“I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which He commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.’” (1 Samuel 13:12–14 ESV)

I’ll tell you the phrase that stuck in my mind and heart this morning from this tragic story… It’s the phrase, “The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart!” That’s what the Lord is looking for! He wants people who will embrace His will above everything – over convenience, circumstances, temptation, pressure, even what we rationally assume to be the right thing to do. He wants people who seek His guidance. People who obey His word! People who have hearts that value what He values and live like it…regardless! I’ve got to tell you; I want to be that kind of person, don’t you? I believe it will keep me from committing “presumptuous sin!”

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