May 14 - The Fall of Saul
The life of Saul took a downward turn because of his sinful character traits. In the end, he would lose the anointing and an evil spirit from the Lord would torment him. It began with the Lord telling Saul to strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they had. He was not to spare any man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel and donkey. The order was clear but Saul did not follow it completely.
Saul is an example of incomplete obedience, of not following the Lord with all his heart. He offered partial obedience, not going all the way but kept back a little for himself. So he took things that were devoted to destruction, only to destroy those that were worthless. So the Lord said that he had turned from following Him.
Another downfall came when Saul set up a monument in Carmel for the people to remember him by. This is self-glorification, placing himself above others and above God. Even Saul had come from very humble beginning, his success in becoming king had polluted his mind. Not recognizing that all his victories and glories were actually wrought by God’s hand, he elevated himself in pride.
When confronted by Samuel, Saul stated that the choice sheep and oxen were for sacrificing to the Lord. This was an attempt to pacify God, to bribe Him with the fruits of disobedience. Such sacrifice was not acceptable in God’s sight because God delights in obedience of the heart more than any offerings on the altar. The sin of rebellion equals the sin of witchcraft, using of counterfeit spiritual authority of the self or of the enemy. Willful disobedience would incur the sin of witchcraft.
Finally, when Saul could not get out of the situation, he asked Samuel to go with him before the elders. It was to save face in front of his people for a very last time. His self-centeredness was all revealed in this act. Even his act of worship was a show for others to see and there was no true repentance in him. He kept on calling Jehovah as “your God” in the presence of Samuel, showing a lack of personal relationship with God.
How do you relate to your God? Do you follow Him fully or making compromises because of material gain or pressure from other people? Do you come up with excuses for your sin and try to pacify God with serving or giving to Him? Are you elevating yourself above God and His will? Do you want people to praise you or remember how great you are? Do you seek face before people, always try to put the best foot forward and let others see the best of you? Are you rebellious at heart? Go to God now and confess your sins before Him. Begin now to take away your partial obedience of God and follow Him completely.
Ps 69:5-12 1 Sam 15:1-16:23 John 8:1-20 Prov 15:8-10