In Part one I introduced the characters of this post. I’m sure that we all could identify with both at some point in our lives. But since we are still living, NOW is probably a good time to take a closer look. For me, scripture has an amazing way of communicating the human experience. It draws out many of the distinctions that seem to separate us. By “us” I mean divisions between mankind such as race, wealth, region, culture and even time in history. Once those distinctions are reduced or removed it becomes easier to seek to understand the plight of others. I will pick up the story with King Saul. (1Samuel 13-15)
So immediately after becoming king, Saul began to extend his position of authority and operating responsibility. Without regard to divine delegation, he began to operate in the responsibility of the priest and prophet instead of waiting for the word of the Lord from Samuel. Saul did like many of us; arrogantly he took it upon himself to find his own solution perhaps to something that wasn’t even a problem. He decided to inquire of the Lord and called for the Ark of the covenant. He decided that tell the God of Israel what to do.
What I meant to say is that he decided to pray.
Isn’t that what we do when nothing else works?
Feeling pretty good about himself Saul declared that no one was allowed to eat until evening. The previously humble and righteous king Saul proclaimed a fast. Jonathan his son who did not hear him who also was honorable tasted of the honey. The scripture says his eyes were enlightened. What a peculiar choice of words. How could honey or food for that matter cause his eyes to shine? But as you read the scripture, in context, you see that the men were famished. Perhaps their blood sugar was low and the very taste of the honey was able to strengthen them. Not just physical nourishment but to acknowledge God’s providence in midst of their adversity. Perhaps with their enlightened senses, it would have been better to continue fighting and destroying their enemy.
In an effort to maintain high regards from the people Saul does what appeared to be the right thing. He decided to honor and uphold the rash vow spoken from his pious perch. Scripture gives us no indication that anyone besides Samuel and Jonathan even noticed Saul’s sin in acting as priest and prophet. Saul was willing also that Jonathan be killed in order to cover his shame. Even when called out by Samuel, Saul continued his charade of rightousness. That was the last time that Samuel would see Saul alive.
Let us note that from Saul ascension to position and after some victories he stepped outside of the bounds given to him by God to do things not in his authority to do. He took the responsibility to make a choice or decision on something that was decided by God. Have we done this? I’m sure if we were to be honest we would have to say yes. Not merely Yes but God yes and I repent Lord I’m sorry.
In our next part we will pick up with Saul becoming a feared persecutor of the early church.
Grace & Truth,
Thanks for reading! If you liked this post you might like 13 Labels, Sterotypes we use to prejude If this encouraged you share with others, like or leave a comment.