This morning I was reading a passage of scripture and I read a note I had written to myself a while back. The note said: “Did God encourage a lie”? This made me really focus on that scripture and I will share my thoughts with you as an encouragement for this new week and new month.
1 Samuel 16 is the text. So for context: God has just rejected Saul as king over the Israelites and has commanded Samuel to go an anoint someone else in Bethlehem as king. Samuel then says to God that he is afraid that when Saul learns of his mission in Bethlehem he would be killed and this was God’s response:
The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.” 1 Sam 16:2-3 NIV
The lesson from this story is not that is it OK to lie or embellish the truth. The lesson is one of circumspection. Circumspection is being wary, cautious, and prudent. Circumspection has many applications but in this story, it presents as being careful about what you say and to whom about the plans of God. Samuel, who carried the authority and presence of God as the prophet of God could have very easily just told Saul his intentions for coming into Bethlehem! After all, he had confronted Saul several times but circumspection dictated that this time he be cautious, discreet and wise.
Earlier this week I read about how Saul exercised similar circumspection when he had just been anointed as king. His uncle came to him and asked him to tell him everything that Samuel had told him and all Saul said was that Samuel told him the donkeys had been found and omitted to include the part about being anointed as king (1 Sam 10:16 NIV).
As you go into this month, you may be asked through casual or intentional conversations about your plans for the future, about God’s intentions for your life, about your progress/ status in life etc. Before your respond, ask God what you should do and listen for direction. In many cases, it may be OK to share but not in every case. Because circumspection is not about lying or embellishing the truth, you want to ask God how to proceed with an answer. Perhaps like Samuel, you want to start this month by asking God what answer to give if you are asked about His plans for your life so that you are prepared even before you are asked. You will see in the story in 1 Sam 16 that because Samuel already had an answer before he set off on his journey to Bethlehem, he had an answer for the elders of Bethlehem when they asked what his mission was and why he had come.
Circumspection , described in the book of proverbs as prudence will preserve your life from evil and wicked machinations many times over! God wants to do something big in your life so be prudent in February 2020 and don’t be an over-sharer unless directed by God to share!
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Prov 22:3 NLT
Enjoy this new month as we explore God together and be circumspect especially in telling others about the things God is about to do in your life. You are blessed beyond measure.