Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Round the Bend, Abusing Authority

Saul had now reached a point beyond reason.  David didn’t have much opportunity to speak into Saul’s life.  Saul just wanted David dead.

Saul now urged his servants and his son Jonathan to assassinate David. But Jonathan, because of his strong affection for David, told him what his father was planning. Saul boiled with rage at Jonathan. "You stupid son of a whore!" he swore at him. "Do you think I don't know that you want him to be king in your place, shaming yourself and your mother? As long as that son of Jesse is alive, you'll never be king. Now go and get him so I can kill him!" "But why should he be put to death?" Jonathan asked his father. "What has he done?" Then Saul hurled his spear at Jonathan, intending to kill him. So at last Jonathan realized that his father was really determined to kill David. (1 Samuel 19:1-2, 20:30-33 NLT)

Saul had gone round the bend.  His anger for David was so fierce that it boiled over onto his wife and son.  He is fighting God and, as a result, he won’t win.  Notice what his anger is about: David will become king.  This truth is already done in God’s eyes.  The LORD already had Samuel anoint David.  Now, the LORD is building David’s popularity with the Israelite people so they will want David as their king. 

Saul can win the battle for love by simply aligning himself with God’s plans.  Instead, he holds on to his own plans.  Saul is fighting a losing battle and it will result in casualties all around him.  Even the LORD’s priests are not safe from Saul’s downward spiral.  They provided David food and a sword to defend himself.  They didn’t even know David was defending himself against Saul.

"Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me?" Saul demanded. "Why did you give him food and a sword? Why have you consulted God for him? Why have you encouraged him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day?" And he ordered his bodyguards, "Kill these priests of the LORD, for they are allies and conspirators with David! They knew he was running away from me, but they didn't tell me!" But Saul's men refused to kill the LORD's priests. Then the king said to Doeg, "You do it." So Doeg the Edomite turned on them and killed them that day, eighty-five priests in all, still wearing their priestly garments. (1 Samuel 22:13, 17-18 NLT)

The further a person goes down the path of rebellion against God, the harder it is to love them.  They are hurting everyone around them.  They are killing people to get their way and continue fighting against God’s way.  This is when we need to remember that they are human beings made in the image of God.  They are described as people taken captive to do the enemy’s will.  We can’t let them kill us or other innocents around them, but we must always look for ways to bring them back even when they’ve gone round the bend and abused their authority.

How about you?  Do you love people, even when they’ve gone round the bend?  Do you love them even when they abuse authority?  Do you love those who are in complete rebellion against God?  Have you learned to protect yourself, other innocents, without hating the captive who is doing all this evil?