1 Samuel 15:32-35 (Part 1) – Making Lemonade Out of Lemons: A Story of 5 Single Moms

Posted: February 4, 2018 in 09-1 Samuel
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1 Samuel 15:32-35 (Part 1 of 3)
Samuel Executes King Agag

In my last blog, I talked about the concept of whether a person is remorseful over their sin or whether they were remorseful that they got caught committing their sin. As we move on to the next passage in 1 Samuel (1 Samuel 15:32-35), we see that Samuel has to clean up after Saul. Samuel has to complete the job that Saul left undone. Saul does not execute King Agag as God had ordered him to do. Samuel has to do it. Saul was more concerned with getting back to the people and receiving his accolades than he was with completing the task that God had assigned him.

Have you ever had to clean up the mess left behind by someone else’s sins? We see it all the time in today’s world. Absentee fathers leaving behind a single mom to clean up the mess of raising the father’s children. There are some of single moms that either still go to our church or at one time did that I admire for toughing it out when by all appearances their former husbands have abandoned them and their children. Desiree Howell, Shelley Monta, Kelly Sims, Karen Revis and Beth Schell are all single moms that I know and admire. Each of these moms currently has children at home or raised their children to adulthood basically on their own.

Desiree has Ave Claire, a cute little girl whose in elementary school, at the same time while Dez is fashioning a real estate career in the Charlotte area (after leaving Lyman several years ago). A Clemson grad, Dez is a driven person whom I know will eventually be one of those high profile real estate agents in a major market. I know she can do it. But, as you can plainly see with these two Ave Claire is the top priority in Dez’s life even though she could play the part of the beauty queen and leave Ave Claire in the dust herself. Dez is one of those women who would think is a model or something who would be all about the big city life and parties and so on, but she loves “Ace” (as she calls Ave Claire) first and foremost above everything else.

Shelley Monta is a girl that Elena and I have taken under our wings over the past two years or so that she has been at LifeSong. Shelley has Brianna, a precocious 6 year old who talks constantly. Brianna is my little sweetheart. I love that little girl to death and she loves “Mr. Mark” and “Mrs. Elena” to death too. Bri runs and jumps in my arms everytime she sees me. Shelley is raising Bri all by herself. Shelley did not have the educational advantages after high school that others have had. She works as a department manager at a nearby Walmart superstore. Shelley just gets by, just barely. She and Bri have to scrape by and scrimp and save and they don’t get to take wild vacations or business trips. It’s just real life here in the Lyman area day after day. We love on Shelley and her daughter. We are protective of Shelley because we want to see her make it. The thing I love about Shelley and Bri is that they find joy even in their economic hardship. Shelley, sure gets bitter, over her ex-husband’s disappearance from their lives and leaving her holding the bag completely, but there is a joy in Shelley even in the toughest times.

Kelly Sims is another one in our church that takes the lemons handed her and makes lemonade. She has two adorable boys but her husband had an addiction problems that eventually caused him to abandon Kelly and the boys. Kelly could let these circumstances plow her into the ground. She could be bitter and blame the world. She could expect the world to owe her a favor because the circumstances of her life. She’s been left holding the bag by an ex-husband who has been in and out of prison. She raises those two adorable boys by herself. She has started her own housecleaning business and has made a good life for her and the boys. She adores these boys. She is one who lived the life of parties and Harleys and fast cars growing up and all that and could still be living that life like some single moms in similar situations. However, Kelly is a mom first and everything else second. That is part of the reason she started her own business is because she wants to be there for the boys. All her posts on social media are about her boys. She love them like you would not believe. She finds joy in the raising of these kids. She finds that’s that most important thing. Loving her boys. Everything else is second.

Karen Revis is another single mom. Karen is only about 5 years younger than I and she is still a single mom. She has raised her four children to adulthood. All but one are successful responsible adults. Karen raised them for years pretty much on her on. Karen is one those “whatever it takes” moms. She busted her rear-end over the years to raise these kids. She never remarried. She was consumed by providing for these kids and making their home years as normal as possible. Karen is one of those people who I admire spiritually too. She has a spiritual depth that far exceeds anything that I could imagine for myself. She is so in tune with the Father in heaven. When you talk about “personal” relationships with Jesus Christ, it really is personal with Karen. She is one of those people that when she prays, Jesus in heaven probably stops whatever He is doing and says, “Hold on a minute. Karen is talking to me.” I am sure she complained about her ex-husband over the years, but just listen to her kids talk about their growing up years and there was joy in that house. The kids came first and Karen provided as normal a life as possible for them while working her way into nursing management. She took the mess and made it her message.

The final single mom that I mention this morning is Beth Schell. Her husband’s affair blew up right in the middle of our life group’s existence before we joined. He was a churchgoer at LifeSong along with Beth and their family. Then, he found somebody younger and he destroyed the marriage regardless of any Christian counsel that his life group members gave him. Beth and the kids were left in the wake. Now, her husband did not completely abandon the kids or his required support of the family. But as many single moms know. What the court requires you to pay is never enough when you have five children. When you talk about a mom who does whatever it takes, Beth is your poster child. In order to gain a better life in her work. She has been working at least 3 sometimes 4 jobs to provide for kids still at home. At the same time, she has just recently graduated from a local technical college with a degree in occupational therapy. She took classes year round cause she could not take a full load all the time. She was either studying, working or being a mom when she wasn’t sleeping. The girl humped for a long time while still in school. How she did it and still be a mom to her kids is nothing short of amazing. I know that idea of working a full-time job, a part-time job and going to school at the same time, but I do not know about being a single mom on top of that. Nothing short of amazing. And Beth found joy in life. She could have been bitter but she is one of the most joyful people I know.

When I thought this morning about Samuel having to do Saul’s job for him, I thought about single moms immediately. In our society today, there are too many stories like those of Dez, Shelley, Kelly, Karen, and Beth who have been left holding the bag and having to raise kids on their own. They have to finish the job that should have been done together with their now disappeared husbands. They have to finish the job. That’s why I write about these ladies that I know. They are finishing the job. With that idea of having to finish the job that God gave to someone else, let us read today’s passage, 1 Samuel 15:32-25, for the first of three blogs:

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring King Agag to me.” Agag arrived full of hope, for he thought, “Surely the worst is over, and I have been spared!”[a] 33 But Samuel said, “As your sword has killed the sons of many mothers, now your mother will be childless.” And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his house at Gibeah of Saul. 35 Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the Lord was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel.

In this passage, we can remember that Saul sins in chapter 13 when he offers the burnt offering which is Samuel’s task. But now, in chapter 15, it is necessary for Samuel to carry out Saul’s task. And in this instance it is not sin. Saul seems unwilling to “repent,” to reverse his decision to let king Agag live. This being the case, Samuel carries out the command of God himself, for it is necessary that all of the Amalekites be put to death, especially the king who led them in their wickedness.

I wrote about 5 single moms that I know this morning. But they are not alone in being left to finish the job assigned to others. There are many of us out there that have not had to deal with divorce and single motherhood but many of us have had to clean up the mess left by others in our lives. Many spouses out there are dealing with the addictions of their husbands or wives. Many are dealing with the fallout of wayward children. Many are dealing with having to pick up the slack for other employees who don’t pull their weight. There are, in a fallen world, millions of ways in which we get dumped on and have to deal with the fallout of other people’s actions or sins.

What are you going to do about it? Are you going to let bitterness become your god or are you going to let God guide your through the trials. We must sometimes go through trials in life and many of them are not of our making. Sometimes, we have to quietly pick up the pieces and get the job done. These are the toughest kind of trials. In these times of trouble, we must remember to hold God’s hand and trust in Him. For it is in these times, especially when it seems that the world has just dumped garbage all over us, that we learn the most from the Lord. It is in these times, that all we have is our prayers and our dependence on Him to get us through it. Remain steadfast in the Lord. He is greater than any trouble that we have. It is in times of trouble that we gain our strength from the Lord. He will pull you through it. He will set you on the mountaintop.

Keep living. Keep doing what you gotta do. God will reward your faithfulness. God will reward your dependence on Him. God loves you. God will set you on that high dry place when this is all said and done. You will survive it holding tightly to His hand.

Amen and Amen.

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