November 19, 2005 by Isaac Hovet
This passage again highlights relationship. I wrote yesterday that I wanted to address the jealousy and ensuing deceit that Saul exhibited. Today I will address this issue.
I find it interesting to think of Saul as he was before he was anointed king. I know that Samuel noticed him because of his great stature and physical presence. Saul stood a head and shoulders above most of the men of his day.
His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel–head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.
(I am going to make some assumptions and read into the text a bit, but only for the purpose a drawing out a principle that I see here.)
It was God who spoke to Samuel about Saul. Israel was demanding a king (to the Lord’s dismay) and so God accommodated the wishes of his people. (That is an interesting principle in itself). So, it was God who loved and chose Saul to rule. I don’t wish to say that God made a mistake, or that Saul wasn’t the right guy, or that Samuel misheard God. However, Samuel may have. Why do I introduce such a mad conjecture? Saul looked, on the outside, like he had it all together. He had a great, intimidating presence, and would, by virtue of his attractive features, be someone that people could look to. Samuel could have chosen and anointed him because he looked, in man’s eyes at least, like a great leader. Saul’s good looks and striking presence could have mislead Samuel. Samuel even projected this when he publicly anointed Saul, saying:
“…this is the man that the Lord has anointed as your king…there is no one in Israel like him…”
Mankind consistently gives responsibility, power and position to those who look, on the outside, like leaders. Whether it is the popularity contests of junior high or the election of a president who can look good on TV, the propensity of mankind to exalt people like Saul remains. Samuel was comparing Saul to people and doesn’t compare him to godliness or even proclaim his steadfast, sure leadership ability.
Initially, the decision to anoint Saul appears to be a good one. Saul defeats the Ammonites. He exhibits courage and decisiveness. The nation seems to rally around him.
However, as the story unfolds we see the lack of integrity in Saul’s life. He disobeys Samuel and God by not waiting for Samuel to burn the sacrifice before the Lord. Things begin to unravel.
This brings us back to relationship. When integrity is missing in my life (and yours), relationship is affected. Saul was anointed as king because of his outside appearance. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that this was not the first time that Saul had received affirmation because of his looks, charm or outward ability. As a result, he hadn’t learned integrity first. If one is beautiful on the outside, than it doesn’t matter what is on the inside. Saul never learned humility, but now, as David is outperforming Saul and receiving more attention and praise, Saul is confronted with his own lack of maturity. Rather than appreciating David’s presence and assistance, he rages in jealousy:
“…Saul hurled his spear at David in an attempt to kill him. But David dodged out of the way and escaped into the night, leaving the spear stuck in the wall…”
Saul sounds like a 4 year old. His brain is able to understand that David is wonderful, but his heart cannot tolerate such an enormous threat. Why? Because he rarely had to work on his character. His charm had always rescued him. And so we see the anointed and chosen King of Israel lost in his own lack of character. Conversely we see the annointed and chosen King of Israel (David) walk in humility and grace, even as he is not recognized before the very King that he serves. The position does not make the man.
I am afraid that I may be like Saul. I am afraid of the lack of character that is in me. I am afraid of my pride. I am afraid that I will not learn from past mistakes. I am afraid that the world will see the real me. I am afraid that my integrity is not what I think it is. I am afraid that I won’t even see it coming.
My eating integrity is nil. I am controlled by food. I know that God is calling and asking me to give this area of my life to him. I constantly disobey…I am able to get away with my disobedience. I haven’t run out of clothes yet. It is amazing how much jeans stretch.
The Weigh Down class starts in a week, but I could begin to walk in integrity before then. But, will I? I don’t trust myself. And maybe I don’t trust God enough. Do I really think that he can change me?
This step of faith is a big one for me. Food, for the last couple of years has acted as my foundation of security. I have gone through several transitions and a rocky start to a marriage. I have coped with stress, disappointment and pain by eating. I can’t imagine being different than I am…
Deciet is merely the evidence of lack of character. I decieve myself constantly. I deceive others. I try to look like I have it all together, when in reality, I am walking in disobedience.
God help me.