1 Samuel 14:1-52, John 7:31-53, Psalms 109:1-31, Proverbs 15:5-7
Today is the 13th day of May. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you today as we begin our work week and work our way through the center of this month as we move our way through this week. So, we’ve been reading from the book of first Samuel and we’ve followed that trail all the way to discovering Israel’s first king. Of course, this King was named Saul and we have begun to see Saul has some tremendous character flaws, not the least of which being the fear of what everybody thinks about him, the fear of man, which is pretty devastating to his leadership. And we’ve already seen some of the repercussions of that and we’ll continue with the story today. First Samuel chapter 14. And we’re reading from the Voice Translation this week.
Okay, so let’s catch ourselves up on Israel’s first King, Saul. We began to get to know him over the weekend and our introduction to him started with a search for some donkeys and by the time he got home he was the anointed one of Israel and then shortly after that, he was to appear at his coronation. The people had been demanding a king, right? So, they had been asking Samuel to appoint a king over them. So, this was to be expected. And let’s remember that fairly horrible story that we read in the book of Judges that nearly annihilated the entire tribe of Benjamin. Well, it is the tribe of Benjamin that Saul comes from and it actually is from the city of Gibeah which is where this atrocity happened that caused Civil War. Saul is from this exact place. And, so, when his family is drawn by lot and then his name is drawn by lot all of a sudden here’s the anointed one of Israel only Saul is nowhere to be found. He’s hiding in all of the equipment, or the baggage, all of the support paraphernalia that is around leading up to this event. There’s so much in that alone for us. I mean, I mean, I mean when God calls us up and we have to step forward and be that person and we know we’re not equipped but we know that somehow this is the dream and somehow, we’re stepping into the next season and we have to either step into it boldly or go and hide in our baggage. And so often that’s exactly what we do, we cower, we hide in our baggage. And this gives us the first clue that Saul is afraid of what people think about him. He has a fear of man and this will grow up to be a fatal flaw for Saul, but we’ll continue to watch it. We saw it when Saul offered a sacrifice to God before a battle because the Army was slinking away from them and the prophet hadn’t arrived, right, by the time the prophet arrived, but Samuel confronted Saul about this. It was already a done deal. And this, according to Samuel, was going to strip the kingdom away from Saul. So, and Saul confessed that he was afraid of everybody, that this is why he took matters into his own hand because his army was deserting him. And then we get into the battle today against the Philistines and Jonathan’s gone out to start something and he’s been victorious and Saul, trying to be the strong man, the strong leader after all of this is going and he doesn’t even know this is gonna happen, but as their marching into battle he demands of his army, “nobody eat any sustenance”, right? Like, “don’t replenish your strength until this battles over”, which causes the men to be absolutely famished and they begin to break the Mosaic law in the process. And Saul puts Jonathan and himself together against the people to find out who has sinned, and he claims that if…even if it’s Jonathan, Jonathan’s gonna die. His son, heir to the throne is gonna be killed if he didn’t obey his father. Of course, Jonathan didn’t even know about eating. Like, he didn’t know about the fast. And yet, here’s Saul, not even defending his own son with this fear of man going on saying, “okay Jonathan, you have to die.” And it’s the people who rise up to save Jonathan. So, this is kind of where we are in Saul’s reign so far. Although he was successful in battle and was the king, he has this defect. He’s very afraid for people think about him and this becomes a tremendous problem, but all we have to do is look at our own lives to know that this is a tremendous problem.
Father, we invite You as we continue into this week and as we continue through this particular story, that Your word will become a mirror into our own souls, and that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, You will begin to confront by allowing us to see the ways that we operate with the fear of man and of comparison to everyone around us and how much of a plague that is and how much that slows us down in our relationship with You and in our mission to reveal Your kingdom in this world. Come Holy Spirit and teach us what we need to learn through the life of King Saul we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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