Some of the greatest sins for which we are judged are not in us performing the acts ourselves but in us not restraining those we know who are performing them. The judgment is the same. So the next time you think "I have not sinned" think back on whom it is your responsibility to restrain and have not.
kjv@1Samuel:3:13 extends sin to include those knowingly do not restrain others from sin. Here in kjv@1Samuel:3:17 we perceive a further guilt to those who have been given a special revelation of knowledge from the LORD and withhold it.
Often times we use the articles of God for our own constructs thinking His power is for us to use however we see fit, that God will just empower us wanting us to succeed in every endeavor. Maybe not the Ark but, our church membership or a cherry picked passage of scripture or oils and incense or (fill in the blank). God was not behind this use of the Ark nor was He consulted, the people simply assumed it so and thus paid the price.
The Philistines, even at this later point were remarkably aware of the Exodus accounts particularly the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. It is somewhat amusing that they still kept to their gods thinking that if they just sent the Ark back with golden mice and hemorrhoids The God would leave their gods alone.
This problem with the children of great men seems to be frequent in the Bible accounts. We just read about Eli. Interesting though that God was ready to continue working through with that until the people spoke up to Samuel. God saw moving from a system of His judges into a monarchy as a rebellion against His direct rule; even though the next two judges were deceitful brats. His rule was not intended to be perfect in our eyes, our rule though was even less perfect and out right rebellious. He allowed the transition being capable of working even with that, but, which rule serves His needs best?
This was Samuel's protest, this is what bad would happen by having a king over Israel. It may not seem all that bad of a deal to us now who live under a 30% tax rate (45% corporate) and have lost a good deal of our liberties to social engineering projects and entitlements and elites notions of a one world economy. What does sound bad is that God would no longer hear Israels voice which should have brought them second thoughts. Doesn't sound like it was even a consideration; they just wanted to be like everyone else.
Though He is sorely displeased with Israel seeking a king, God is unchanged about doing what He was all along going to do about fulfilling of the covenant and prophecies. This is not a set back or a plan "b". This is another in a long series of Israel's reprobate actions "doing what is right in their own eyes" which God is well aware of. He works His will regardless. It is important for us to see this in our lives and our nations as well.
How true! Where often our Reprobate Mind reduces matters down to where it feels more in control, Where when that level of control is outside our grasp we limit God's control down to levels that we are more comfortable with, we like Jonathan need to allow God to be the truer image - the much larger God that He needs to be.
Repented God? When there is an apparent contradiction (see: kjv@1Samuel:15:29) the Spirit is not hiding the truth of the matter from us, He is beckoning us to consider how that the two things might be mutually and emphatically true at the same time. These are underlined highlights meant to foster a deeper searching/understanding. If we trust that there is an spiritual answer from the start, diligence will eventually prove to be much more fruitful than if we let it slip by.
Doing what is right is not simply performing the action, it is also in performing it in the right manner. Saul did obtain what he saw to be the objective; defeat the Amalekites. God's objective was further into proving the obedience of Israel; Saul being chief.
Old Testament accounts such as these are hard for modern audiences to fathom. Our image of God's nature and God's intentions are much more docile. We must remember that God is establishing a key peace in His argument; the depiction of man's sinful nature and His case for a incarnate/redemptive Christ. What is spirit is spirit, what is flesh is flesh, and the two minds are at complete enmity with each other. Spiritual God is having to use fleshly matters to convince the fleshy mind of the accuracy of a hated spiritual message; not only for the Israel of that time but, also us who are reading this now as well.
The awkwardness of these difficult passages may also arise from the fact that modern readers are trying the Bible from a self help viewpoint. One then must ask how does this difficult portrayal of God's nature help me? We thereby exclude the grander contexts of what God had to get us to a point where He could help us, what He had to stick to, what He had to insist upon, what He had to battle through to get us to a point of realizing our truly reprobate sinful nature. Difficulty here does not reveal so much about difficulty with God as it reveals difficulty with us.
The Lord was with David and had gone ahead of Him in the battle, but, David knew that he would have to go out and in obedience and adaptability physically claim the victory. We don't see that the Lord had spoken to him directly, but, that His anointing had emboldened the lad along with the prior experience fighting lion and bear. Others had tried to outfit him as they saw fit to protect him, in this particular case their armor was a hinderence.
Curious to know whether this is David working God's plan or David spilling out from under God's plan working his own plan. Samuel seems to be the one who has not quiet committed to David here. Where is his taking David under his wing? Where is his counsel not to fear Saul but to fear God instead? Where is his reproof against all these lies and secretive coalitions? Sure they have a nice spiritual retreat together but, to what result? God's anointed pretending to have gone mad?
Surely, God could have removed Saul at anytime; that is not the question. Did God not pull the trigger yet because David was not yet ready? Israel? Saul's obtaining the throne was nearly immediate; it was new, it was the first of it's kind in Israel. Now however, allegiances have been made, deals struck, coalitions working behind the scenes towards their own interest and gain. The next king would have to be well prepared and established to be ahead of this game. David is obviously not at that point right now. It does not appear that his eye is solely on the Lord.
What a sorry state of affairs for Saul, the murder of godly priests, the public accusation of his son, chasing David around the region while the Philistines are invading, disloyal subjects that wont obey his command to kill David. Worst yet he still attempts to bless his allies with the blessing of the LORD.
David is being told by his men. Saul is being told by his men. There is a whole lot of information being told that has other mens hands written all over it. The mark of a leader is to sort through the clutter and do the right thing. David has recently at least has been seeking the Lord and perhaps been searching through the ancient parables. Saul is delivered into his hands and he does the unexpected. His goodness has but a momentary effect on Saul however, but, people on both sides of the camp are beginning to see the truer heart of a future leader.
Nabal acted as if he did not know who David was and acted disrespectfully within the parameters of that culture. Who didn't know who David was. Abigail risked her life by going secretly to David; more so returning back to Nabal. His heart turned like stone. There are plenty of men like him that are simply harsh and foolish to their wives even though their wives have saved them from tribulation and sword. Good deeds are rewarded with scorn and brutality for no other reason than that is just who they are; Son's of Belial, worthless/destruction.
I think that David knows even as the words fall from his lips that Saul will not be even minded for long. For Saul, every step he takes against David becomes more and more an embarrassment but, he is the last to admit that he himself is the cause. We see two men today very much the cause of their own problems. David in turn leaves while pondering the possibilities chooses to reserve retribution to God's hand in both cases.
In more practical terms for us here today, we should consider the similar office of the President anointed no matter who it is that fills that office. What business is it of ours to disrespect that office by slander or any other means even if the man fulfilling that office does so himself. Not even the next President in succession would profit against the Lord by such a foolish course of action.
Why Saul thought that the departed spirit of Samuel would answer him when God would not shows just how deranged his mind has become. Everything that he is thinking and doing is confused and turning against him. The question is whether the witch was speaking God's truth or a demons truth the Saul believed so whole heartedly that he carried it out to it's fulfillment. Honestly, why would God speak to him in this manner when God had not spoken to Saul in any other manner. Why would the witch tell Saul any thing other than this, Saul having killed a great many of her demonic persuasion? It was quiet a show she and her demon put on!
Here we see David in the awkward position that I doubt he should have been in to begin with. Would he of really attacked Saul alongside the Philistines when he wouldn't have on his own previously? My thought is that David had been buying time by means of his own contorted resources in Philistine and God is now flushing him out of his safe hole via the princes of Philistine.
So few characters in the bible are portrayed in a favorable light; odds are that we wouldn't be either. Even the few we look up to are as human and mistake prone and sinful as anyone else. What is it then that separates a Saul from a David? We could say that Saul fought honorably for the country he loved. We could say that he wanted everything to be passed down to his sons. We can say that he tried many times to show us that he was religious. We could say that he had to make hard political decisions in a time of tremendous up evil and national transition. We could say that David was an adulterous murderer, a divisive political figure, a poor husband, a poor father, handled his daughter's rape poorly, even lacked the political alliances to keep himself being forced back into exile later by his own son. Yet these two men's eulogies in the end greatly differ. I think I know the answer. I am banking on that answer in my own mixed up life. I will leave it to the reader to conclude for themselves.
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