Psalm 86; I Samuel 15:10-31; Acts 5:1-11 (NIV)

In the prayer of David, Psalm 86, we find him expressing his utmost trust and dependence upon the Lord God. He asks God to answer his prayers for he is “poor and needy.” David depends on God for life, safety, and guidance. “Arrogant” and “ruthless people” are attacking him and trying to take his life. This could be about enemies within Israel or enemies outside the nation. We don’t know. Nevertheless, David holds on to God and lives by faith and trust in the Lord.

When we turn to King Saul in I Samuel 15:10-31 we find a King who is head strong and willful. Saul gets caught up in the moment, the experience of victory’ and does not listen to the Lord who wanted Israel to not bring back any spoil from the battle. However, they do bring back spoil and the Lord is upset with this personal aggrandizement and disobedience of a clear command. Saul was more interested in being a popular King than being an obedient servant in his role. The Kingdom is taken away from him and given to another. Samuel has to speak truth to power, telling Saul this sad news. Samuel stays up all night praying realizing that bringing such bad news to the King could be the end of his life. Yet Samuel trusts the Lord and does what God asked and is spared.

In Acts 5:1-11 we see another example of disobedience on the part of a couple, Ananias and Sapphira. As others in the church had done they sold a piece of land and brought the proceeds to the feet of the Apostles. However, they pretended to bring all of the proceeds while actually bringing only a part of the money. That would have been fine had they been honest about it and told the Apostles here’s a portion of the sale. But they wished to appear more generous than they were and enjoy the praise of the early church. Their deceit, dishonesty and pretended generosity, as we see in this story, were most serious. The early church needed people of integrity, real generosity, and faith and trust in the Lord to impact their world.

In every time, there are temptations to God’s people to go with what appears to be popular and easy in the moment. Sometimes fear overcomes faith, convenience replaces commitment, self-trust shuts out trust, and greed nullifies grace. We are all “poor and needy” people who need the mercy of God. We can always call on the Lord who is a “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

We can “Trust and Obey” as the old hymn says. Let’s trust the Lord in all things this day and always.

Prayer: Gracious, compassionate, and merciful God, look upon us with your favor and love this day. Empower us through your Holy Spirit to be faithful followers of Christ Jesus. We make this prayer in the Savior’s name, Amen.