A Pious Walk With God

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 10
The maidens told Saul and his companion that they would presently meet Samuel going to offer sacrifice in the high place. These words arrest us, remembering as we do the instructions given in Deuteronomy 12 and elsewhere, that Israel when come into the land were not to offer sacrifices wherever they pleased, but instead were to bring all their offerings to the place which the Lord their God should choose to cause His name to dwell there. Shiloh was the divinely appointed center at the first (Jer. 7:1212But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. (Jeremiah 7:12)). But everything was now in disorder, through the people's sin. The tabernacle indeed stood where Joshua had established it, but the Lord had forsaken it. The ark was elsewhere, so that whatever priestly functions the family of Aaron might be performing on behalf of the people, there was certainly no carrying in of the blood of the sin-offering for sprinkling on the mercy-seat; yet this was the very foundation of all God's dealings with the nation. The new center had not yet been named. Zion came into view when David became king. It formed part of the new order of things which God then established in sovereign grace. When the temple was built in the days of Solomon, the Lord deigned once more to dwell amongst His people, filling the sanctuary with the glory of His presence. But for the time being, the pious must walk with God somewhat Abrahamically, and this is what Samuel did. In all simplicity he lived, enjoying personal communion with his God, and serving His failing people as opportunity offered. It was, of course, a very different thing to worship at high places at a later date when the temple was in being and owned by God. Yet this transgression became common, and even some of the best of the kings tolerated it (2 Kings 12:3; 14:4; 15:43But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places. (2 Kings 12:3)
4Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places. (2 Kings 14:4)
4Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places. (2 Kings 15:4)
). It was really serious neglect of the written Word of God.
Unless under the stress of most exceptional circumstances, we must not individualize ourselves today. The church is Christ's body and the Spirit's habitation, and the fellowship of saints is an unspeakable privilege. Indeed, it is one of the outstanding privileges of the dispensation. Those whose consciences are really exercised concerning the will of God may in some instances find fellowship very restricted, but the Lord has graciously said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:2020For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)). The reality and the sweetness of this has been abundantly proved. But if it is really so that in some locality a faithful soul finds not even one willing to walk with him in the right ways of the Lord, he must not “follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:22Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: (Exodus 23:2)). In such a case, he must be prepared to stand alone, assured that God will not forget him. But such a path calls for special grace, and needs to be trodden with the deepest possible humility and self abnegation, lest Elijah's “I, even I only, am left” develop in the soul (1 Kings 19:1414And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. (1 Kings 19:14)). Nothing could be more spiritually disastrous.