"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

WALKING WITHOUT STUMBLING Part 3 of 5: KING SAUL: Humble Beginnings & Tragic Endings

~ By James Fire

A Five Part Series Examining the Lives of Samson, Samuel, Saul, Solomon and the Savior


We now turn to the second character in this study, the person of Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin. We begin this study in 1 SAM 8, where we find the prophet (and judge) of Israel, Samuel, in his old age – and he had appointed his sons as judges over Israel, but they did not walk in the ways of their father (vs. 3).
It was then that the elders of Israel came to Samuel in Ramah:

1 SAMUEL 8:5-9
5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now
make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. 7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

This is heartbreaking to read, particularly when we think on all that the LORD did for these people, according to His tender mercies and grace – and yet for all that, the people reject Him as their King, wanting a mere man instead – just like the other nations.
It is an indictment against Israel, and even more so against the church of Jesus Christ today, when we look to the world and desire to model ourselves after them. We adopt their music, we admit their philosophies, we accept their amorality, we agree with their view of the Scriptures – all because we want to be ‘seeker-sensitive’ and not ‘offend’ them.

By denying the LORD of His rightful rule over the church as the Head of the body (COL 1:13-18), the professing church has become, in a figurative sense, guilty of ‘spiritual decapitation’ – separating the Head of the church, the LORD Jesus Christ and His authority in Spirit and His Word, from reigning in His body.

Samuel warned the people of Israel what kind of king they would get, they stubbornly persisted (see 1 SAM 8:11-22)! And so, the prophet was set on a course to find this king. Yet the LORD had already intended on giving Israel a king, through whom, He would bring about much good for Israel and the world – David, son of Jesse! If only Israel had waited upon the LORD (PSALM 130:6) and not been so anxious ‘to be like the world’! A valuable lesson if we don’t want to stumble in our walks with the LORD – is to wait on the LORD: a lesson that, as we shall see, Saul himself fails to learn!

1 SAMUEL 9:1-2
Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people

Here we have a young man, “choice”, “goodly”, vibrant, healthy and comely physical being – head and shoulders above everyone else – and meek, humble of soul, that cared about his father’s livestock (vs. 4), as well as for his father (vs. 5) and was careful to honor the prophet (“seer”) of God (vs. 7,10).
Samuel is instructed before he even sees Saul, by the LORD, Who indicated that this is the man who was to be anointed as king over Israel (vs.15-17) and makes the announcement to the young man (vs. 20) before dining with thirty witnesses. Saul’s response to this stunning revelation is one of humility:

1 SAMUEL 9:21
21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?

The next morning the prophet asks Saul to let his servant go on ahead while he brings the revelation of God to him. Samuel then takes a vial of oil and anoints him, declaring once again that the LORD has established him as “captain over His inheritance” (1 SAM 10:1). Additionally, the prophet states:

1 SAMUEL 10:6-10
And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee
. And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

When Saul was met by his uncle, who asked him what Samuel the prophet had said to him, it’s interesting that Saul mentioned the missing donkeys were located by Samuel supernaturally, but he never mentions that he anointed him to be king of Israel; a probable indication of the young man’s humility.

Later Samuel assembles all of Israel by tribe, and selects the tribe of Benjamin, and then chooses the family of Matri; when he sought for Saul among his kin there, he couldn’t find him – and the LORD informed him that the young man was hiding. Humility and perhaps timidity may be observed in this behavior.

All of this to say that this man started out well; no where is there indications of pride, arrogance or envy; that he was in fact ‘a changed man’ due to the Spirit coming upon him. And yet with the acquisition of power, and the all too tempting accessibility of luxury and wealth, such a one as Saul is easily corrupted. There were some degenerates (“children of Beliah”) at the end of this chapter that disparaged the newly anointed king, but Saul “held his peace” – a further indication of humility and self-control.

In 1 SAMUEL 11 there is an incident where Nahash the Ammonite lays siege upon the people of Jabesh-gilead and the people there implore him to enter a covenant with them (essentially, a peace treaty); Nahash lays a provision to the covenant, stating that they must all pluck out their right eyes as a reproach against Israel.

When Saul hears of this, his righteous indignation explodes and delivers the people of Jabesh-gilead from Nahash. The people demand that those who rejected Saul as king should be brought before the nation and slain, but Saul protests, insisting that the day is one of celebration for the LORD brought salvation to Israel.
Samuel the prophet then beckons them all to Gilgal and officially made Saul king of Israel, sacrificing peace offerings before the LORD.

1 SAMUEL 12: Samuel calls Israel to witness against him, if he had exploited them in any way, and the people made no charge against him; he then reminds them all their history – their rebellion against the LORD, and despite all of that, the LORD sent deliverers like Moses and Aaron and later, the likes of Jerubbaal and Bedan and Jephthah (as well as himself). He reminded them of his warning regarding their desire for a man as king of Israel, rather than the LORD Himself Whom they rejected – someone who would eventually exploit them!

He then admonishes them to fear and serve the LORD, and if they are obedient (the king as well as the people), then they shall continue in following the LORD. Yet if they still rebelled, the LORD would stand against them (as He was with their ancestors) and the prophet then provides a sign – a fierce storm of thunder and rain, and the people in dread admit their folly in asking for a king.

And here the faithful prophet declares something most dear and profound; something that anyone involved in intercessory prayer would find precious:

1 SAMUEL 12:23-25
23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 24 Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. 25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king

1 SAMUEL 13: Some considerable time has passed. Previously, Saul was the newly anointed king of Israel; a young and impressionable man. Here he now has a grown son who is out on the battlefield (in a war against the Philistines), leading a thousand men, Jonathan.
And it is here that we witness Saul’s first significant stumbling . . .

1 SAMUEL 13:7-10
And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. 10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him

Samuel calls the king into account for making sacrifice and Saul in the next verse makes the excuse that because he was late in coming, and the people were dispersing, that he had no choice but to offer up the sacrificial burnt offering. 

However, what must be clearly understood is that any priestly duties must be performed by a legitimate priest of the LORD – Samuel was not only a prophet and a Judge of Israel, but also a priest (1 SAM 2:18-19,35). The priestly line of Israel was always through the tribe of Levi; and while Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin, the royal line that the LORD Himself established (through the house of Jesse) was Judah. NEVER was a king to officiate in the office of the priest, nor was any priest to function in royal office.

Yet here we see Saul presuming to make sacrifices to the LORD; the question is why would he infringe upon this sacred service? He made the excuse that it was because Samuel was late – but such reasoning falls flat in the face of severe restrictions of any one belonging to one of these two tribes (Levi and Judah [or Benjamin as is the case here]) from performing duties exclusive to that tribe.
Note what Saul said:

1 SAMUEL 13:11-12
11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done?
And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;
12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering

Here was a valuable lesson that Saul failed to learn: one that we all must learn, and learn well!

When confronted with circumstances that would seem to oppose the Word of the LORD given to us, we have a choice to make. Do I resort to reason and situation and allow that to dictate my conduct? Or regardless of circumstances and practicality, do I render to the LORD my surrender to His Holy, Omniscient, Omnipotent and Perfect will, not become anxious and wait upon Him? The prophet Samuel “set the time” for seven days when he would return. It doesn’t say how many days passed before Saul caved in and sacrificed the offering, but I suspect it was at the last possible moment, on the seventh day.

King Saul was anxious, and he saw he was ‘losing people’ – it would seem reasonable that since the prophet was not present, time was running out, and the situation needed to be addressed; why not by the King of Israel? Sure, it was the office of the priest which alone was authorized to make such sacrifice, but what else was there to do?

. . . except remain faithful to the word of the prophet, the spokesman for God and simply wait upon the LORD to bring His prophet on location. In confronting trials and the battles of life – the ‘Philistines’ that threaten our (spiritual) well-being, we need to find solutions by making supplication, prayers and seeking for truth in the manner that the LORD has prescribed; in Saul’s case, by awaiting the prophet. In our case, by adhering to what the Word of God teaches us during such times of trial:

Be careful
[anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

1 PETER 1:6-8
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory
see also JAMES 1:2-6)

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil
see also PSALM 64:9-10).

In response to Saul’s rash deed, the word of the LORD came to him from Samuel:

1 SAMUEL 13:13-14
13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever. 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: The Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee

God takes obedience to His will seriously – note here: there was no ‘second chance’ offered. Saul messed up and for that “[his] kingdom [would] not continue”! Then king Saul learns something else: “the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people” – the reason being: “thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee”! How utterly tragic.

Yet upon hearing that there would be a man to replace his rule, this set on course other stumblings that ultimately resulted in his ruin, and that of his own son, Jonathan!
In the next chapter (1 SAM 14) we see Jonathan out on a venture to confront the enemy and marching “by faith” in accord to the LORD’s direction in assaulting the Philistine’s garrison. But where is Saul? He tarried in Gibeah, under a pomegranate tree with a meager band of just 600 men. 

He was embittered no doubt regarding Samuel’s pronouncement and his pride was affronted by the presence of the Philistines in the land – and by this time, it became personal, because he gave the commandment that no one should eat any food at all “until I am avenged upon my enemies” but the people were so starved that by the time the LORD did grant them victory (initiated by Jonathan’s valiant display of faith!)  they devoured the livestock of the enemy, but ate it with the blood (a breaking of God’s Holy Law; LEV 7:26) – so hasty was there need for food! When Saul’s own son Jonathan ate some honey, the king’s harsh word was a sentence of death upon him (1 SAM 13:39) and declares it again to his face and it took the people to save him (1 SAM 13:44-45)!
This chapter ends with:

52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.”


Even though the LORD pronounced the end of Saul’s reign as king of Israel, the LORD through the prophet Samuel still commanded him to administrate His will:

1 SAMUEL 15:3
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass
But then what happened?

1 SAMUEL 15:8-11, 13-15
And he
[Saul] took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. 
10 Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night. 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. 14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

Then Samuel said:

1 SAMUEL 15:18-23
18 . . . the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?
20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.
22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

And it would seem that Saul learned his lesson, but . . .

1 SAMUEL 15:24-28
24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord. 26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou

Fear of man, when one has a lack of fear of the LORD, will bring “a snare”:

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe

Such fear of people assuredly brings dire influences and consequences to any of us; we may be persuaded to heed their voice and commit wrongs instead of standing fast on the LORD of truth and righteousness and commit oneself to Him and His Word. That is the mark of a truly godly leader. 

As well as this, when Saul stated that it was “the people” that took the spoil (and tries to soft-soap his disobedience by saying “it’s all for the LORD!”) – he neglected to own up on his own guilt, but shifted the blame and it wasn’t until the prophet declared once again that the kingdom would be taken from him (“and given to a neighbor who is better than you”) that he ‘fessed up and admitted his guilt. Yet too little, too late.

Then Samuel relents when Saul begs him to attended to worship with him, and receive honor before the elders – but for an explicit purpose: he commands that Agag, whom Saul spared, whom the LORD commanded to be slain, be brought before him and declares to this man:

“As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.” From that day onward, the prophet Samuel never saw Saul again, until his dying day and even before then, Samuel mourned this fallen king.

1 SAMUEL 16 introduces the soon-to-be king that the LORD intended all along; Samuel goes at the direction of the LORD to meet this man, while Saul sits in waiting, anticipating where and when this rival would seek to supplant him, and in that time . . .

1 SAMUEL 16:14-15
14 . . . the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee

The servants suggest that Saul get a musician who can play and soothe his soul from this evil spirit and Saul issues the command that such a one be found. And, lo and behold, who is this musician but David, the son of Jesse, unbeknownst to Saul, his replacement as king of Israel!

1 SAMUEL 17 tells of the great faith and bravery of David in confronting the giant warrior, Goliath, son of Anak and champion of Philistia. Provided here is an article FROM The MIND of FIRE, for your consideration of this account.

1 SAMUEL 18 here we see that David is greatly loved by Jonathan, “as his own soul” (LEV 19:18) yet with special attachment and recognition by Saul’s son of David as the rightful successor (see vs. 4; also 1 SAM 20:16-17) to his own father (where normally any son of a king would expect such for himself). Even Saul expresses affection for this young man and wouldn’t permit him to return to his own father’s house!

After delivering Israel from the formidable Philistinian warrior giant, Goliath, David was placed in charge over “the men of war” (vs. 5). Upon returning from a battlefield of victory, David was greeted by the women of all the cities of Israel, who saint his praises, citing victory over tens of thousands – but only thousands for Saul!

Verse 9 is most telling:
And Saul eyed David from that day and forward. The evil spirit plagued Saul to the point that when he saw David with harp in hand, Saul had a javelin in his own – and flung it at David, with the intent to kill him (vs.10-11)! And he attempted it again and again (1 SAM 19:9-10).

Saul was already told that the kingdom was taken from him, and would be given to a neighbor “better than [him]” and this aroused the king’s suspicion and insecurities – and a lust to keep that which was taken. When he couldn’t prevail against David, Saul sent David into the heart of battle against the Philistines (in the hopes that he would become a casualty of war; vs. 17). Yet even in such an impossible challenge, David prevailed, and Saul grew in his dread of the young man “and became David’s enemy continually” (vs. 29).

Even Saul’s own children, Jonathan and Michal (who would later become David’s wife) sought to protect him from their father’s insane wrath (1 SAM 19:2-5, 11-17).
It gets to the point that Saul’s envy and wrath against David becomes so potent, that when his own son Jonathan comes to his defense, Saul casts a javelin to kill his own flesh and blood (1 SAM 20:30-34)!

In 1 SAMUEL 23 David is led of the LORD to go up against the armies of the Philistines and when Saul heard of it, he pursued David with the intent to kill him (he was deluded enough to believe that God had delivered him into his hand! vs.7). David however, knew that this was his intent and inquired of the LORD Who instructed him on what he should do. Later in secret Jonathan meets with David and declares that David will certainly become king in Israel (vs. 17). It got to the point where both Saul and David were encamped on either side of the same mountain, and when Saul was intent to make a move against David, that word came that the Philistines had invaded the land – so he attacked them instead (vs. 26-29).

Now in 1 SAMUEL 24 something extremely significant happens: you recall when Saul was waiting for Samuel the prophet to come and offer up sacrifices to the LORD prior to the ensuing battle against the enemies of Israel, and because Samuel was delayed, and Saul became anxious, he took it upon himself to do the unlawful, by making priestly sacrifices himself (1 SAMUEL 15).

Then Samuel confronts Saul and tell him that the kingdom had departed from Saul and turned to leave, but the doomed king took hold of Samuel’s mantle and tore it – that was when Samuel restated that just as he tore his mantle, so the LORD has torn the kingdom from him.

From the SERVANT of MESSIAH ministries web site, we have the following commentary:
“Saul, after disobeying God, was told by Samuel that his kingship was over. Pleading with Samuel, Saul rips the tzitzit out of Samuel’s tallit, which becomes a symbolic picture of Saul’s kingdom being ripped from him. The reason Saul lost his authority was because he no longer placed his trust in the kanaph of the Lord God.

“And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt (kanaph) of Saul’s robe (tallit) privily.”  

1 SAMUEL 24:3-4.  Saul, who out of jealousy had been trying to kill David, stopped off at a cave to “relieve” himself. Little did he know that David and his men where in that same cave. They told David, here’s your chance to kill your enemy [He again had an opportunity to kill Saul, and just as he cut off the hem of his skirt previously, this time he takes Saul’s spear and a cruse of water in 1 SAM 26:8-11]. 

But David, being a man after God’s own heart, knew that it was wrong for him to kill Saul and opted to cut off the tzitzit of Saul’s kanaph. (Remember: the tzitzit was attached to the kanaph) In that way, David showed Saul that he very well could have killed him if he so desired.

“Why did David do this, and why did his conscience smite him for having done it? Was there some special significance in what he had done? In fact, the act of cutting off the skirt (fringe) of Saul’s robe was of very great significance, which Saul was not slow to recognize.

“When the shouting began next day, Saul said: “And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand” (1 SAM 24:20). David had robbed Saul of his status symbol, the fringe of his robe that identified him as king. In the Psalms David often refers to the safety of Gods wings.  “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings (kanaph)” PSALM 17:8

“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusts in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings (kanaph) will I make my refuge, until these calamities be past.” PSALM 57:1

Saul being the unstable, imbalanced, well nigh psychotic man that he had become out of envy and rage against David, in recognizing that he would inherit the kingdom that he himself had lost, vacillates between murderous intent and a seeming repentant heart for wanting to harm David. It gets to such a fever pitch that in 1 SAM 27 and 28, David flees as a refugee to the land of the Philistines for sixteen months! 

Later in 1 SAMUEL 28 Saul becomes so desperate for answers that he even seeks out a witch to summon the departed spirit of Samuel, so that he might receive counsel from the dead prophet! This is the one exception to the rule that “the dead have nothing to do with anything under the sun” ECCLES 9:5-6. Samuel declares once again that the kingdom has departed from him, and without any remedy.

Then in 1 SAM 31:1-13 we read about the very sad, tragic and useless death of not only Saul, but of Jonathan, who was beloved to David. So, ends the life of a man, who could have been a good king, had he given heed to the word of the LORD, been obedient, and would ‘fess up when he did sin, rather than pass the blame.

Any of us, who are granted any kind of authority from the LORD, be it as a Sunday school teacher, a deacon or elder, a pastor, Bible teacher or administrator for the church – any office or position in the body of Christ: we must always understand that we are accountable for our actions, and repent of misdeeds and offenses when we commit them.
Otherwise the rebellion that starts out with a single act of disobedience, unless there is repentance, will flourish in its evil and overtake one’s life, just as it did with Saul.

Waiting upon the LORD, being sure of one’s calling in life, not resenting or envying another in their position in the body of Christ, being accountable to the LORD and confessing known sins are all essentials that we do well to remember, so that we don’t end up being a Saul.

No comments: