Saul’s Stinking Legacy
Have a joyous resurrection day!
Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 13:1-14:52
My selection: I Samuel 14:47-48
When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned he routed them. 48 And he did valiantly and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.
My reflections: Saul had great military victories as King of Israel. These are often overshadowed by his extremely foolish decisions and evil actions. Both Saul and David were victorious, and both men were sinners whose failures are recorded for all to see. Yet Saul’s failures seem to mark his life and legacy while David’s do not.
Saul was impatient and failed to trust God when it seemed that Samuel would not arrive in time to make the sacrifice before the battle. Saul impulsively issued a foolish command to the army to fast before and during the battle. Then he rashly committed to execute whoever broke the command. When it turned out to be Jonathan, his son who had won the day, he didn’t consider clemency but moved toward carrying out the sentence. Fortunately, the people themselves rebelled against this decision and forced Saul not to carry out the sentence.
Saul had lost the confidence of the people and even of his own son. From here on he seems to be obsessed with defending his position as king and that obsession clouds his vision and corrupts his thinking. Instead of confessing his sin and repenting, Saul dug in and attempted to hold on to his power, position, and prestige.
As a later king, Solomon, would write, Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1
My challenge: Although Saul’s life brought many victories to Israel, it stunk because of his folly. It doesn’t take much. Learn from Saul’s example. Trust God. Do His will, His way, if you would be remembered fondly by succeeding generations.
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Samuel 15:1-16:23