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Staying the Course in Christ

Today's Devotional

Read: 1 Samuel 28:3-10 | Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 13-14; John 2

All you need to say is simply “Yes” or “No”; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37

As Gandalf the Grey confronted Saruman the White, it became clear that the latter had turned from what he was supposed to be doing—helping to protect Middle-earth from the power of the evil being Sauron. What’s more, Saruman had allied with Sauron! In this scene from the film The Fellowship of the Ring, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic work, the two former friends then engage in an epic good-versus-evil battle. If only Saruman had stayed the course and done what he knew was right!

King Saul also had trouble staying the course. In one account, he rightly “expelled the mediums and spiritists from [Israel]” (1 Samuel 28:3). Good move, for God had declared that dabbling in the occult was “detestable” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). But when God didn’t answer the king’s plea—due to his prior failures—for how to deal with a massive Philistine army, Saul caved: “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her” (1 Samuel 28:7). Talk about a complete reversal! Saul failed once more as he went against his own decree—what he knew was right.

A millennium later, Jesus said to His disciples, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). In other words, if we’ve committed ourselves to obeying Christ, it’s vital that we keep our oaths and be truthful. Let’s stay the course in doing those things as God helps us.

What helps you keep your oaths? Why is it vital that you stay the course in being truthful?

Dear Jesus, please help me stay the course in following Your ways.


First Samuel 28:6 says, “[Saul] inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him.” The reason for God’s silence, as the prophet Samuel told him, is that “the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy” (v. 16). This was “because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites” (v. 18). The Amalekites were descendants of Esau (though they were distinct from his descendants the Edomites). They had a history of attacking Israel, including those who lagged behind during the exodus—in other words, Israel’s weakest citizens. God instructed Israel to annihilate Amalek (Deuteronomy 25:17-19), but Israel didn’t complete the task. Later, Haman, a descendant of Agag (probably King Agag the Amalekite, see 1 Samuel 15), would seek to commit genocide against God’s people, the Jews (Esther 3:5-14).

By |2024-05-11T02:33:07-04:00May 11th, 2024|
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