Archive for February 18th, 2008

The Great Swearer

Well, we find out that Saul was doing more than just “sitting under the pomegranate tree” in today’s reading of the rest of the chapter of 1 Samuel 14:24-52. He was busy making as if he was doing something…by being a great swearer!

Can’t you just picture him there in the middle of the corporate meeting with all the religious folks and what not, without a plan, and yet saying:

Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.

I mean verse 16 tells us the only reason Saul even goes out to meet his enemies, is because the watchmen were observing the results of what Jonathan had done.

On a day when God is routing the confused army, Saul had to get in there and put the emphasis on himself (and all in the name of spirituality…just a clue…we’ll be seeing this modus operandi from him again)

….until I have taken vengeance on my enemies.

Even in the midst of something and Godward as fasting should be, Saul manages to put the focus on himself, not the Lord!

Is Saul, by this curse he has placed on everyone, being manipulative and yet again robbing his son the credit due his name?

On a day when the morale of Israel should have been the highest and the physical energy of the men the strongest…the army was “distressed”, “fear”, “faint”, “troubled”, “very faint”, “sinning”. All because of Saul’s facade in the form of spiritual swearing.

An opportunity to partake of the goods from the land flowing with milk and honey by the hand of God on a day of victory…and yet!

Right in front of the eyes of the weary soldiers of Israel! They want the honey. They need the honey. God provided the honey. But a foolish, legalistic command from Saul kept it from them. How this must have discouraged and embittered the soldiers!

As a result of trying to adhere to Saul’s foolish legalistic command, the people were so hungry that they broke God’s clearly declared command (Deut 12:16, 23-25; Lev. 3:17; 17:10-14; 19:26; Gen. 9:4) in regards to the bleeding of the animals.

I certainly don’t want to excuse the people for their hand in this sin regarding the blood, but what about a little ownership from Saul regarding his provocation of it? Instead he wags his finger at them with a sneering “tsk, tsk, tsk” as it were

You people have dealt treacherously

When Saul consults the Lord, the Lord does not answer him.
So what would you do?
What would I do?

Saul, in his ever impatient self (are you listening Deborah?) takes matters into his own hands and makes yet another crazy oath:

For as the Lord lives, who saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die

(I suppose he’s going to blame this oath on the Lord for being late, like he blamed chapter 13’s sin on Samuel for being late)

and again, he swears:

God do so and more also; for you shall surely die, Jonathan

Have ever so many “so-help-me-God, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die, stick-a-needle-in-my-eye” kind of promises been made in a single day?
And have so many of those “swearings” been so wrong?

Lord, Saul can keep his highly spiritual legalism, I pray that You will deliver me, and then preserve me from such a facade. I want the real Spirituality that comes from a relationship with You. That I may have patience to wait on Your answer rather than moving forward with holy-sounding ideas.

Also, I pray I may be like Jonathan, partaking from the sweet honey You have provided in Your Word and become strengthened by it to slaughter more of my sinful temptations, and enlightened by it to walk in the way of victory. You are so patient.