Embracing life to the full… Including questions, challenges, joys and adventures
I am continuing on my journey through the Bible and am currently in 1 Samuel. In this book, the Israelites have asked for a King and God reluctantly heads their request with a strong warning that this is not going to go well for them… they don’t really care and want to be like the nations around them instead. So, Saul comes on the scene… the first King.
Saul is handsome, successful and powerful– but he has some insecurity issues– he doesn’t quite trust the Lord and rather decides to often listen to the people. He also is pretty afraid of losing is position and of others being stronger, mightier warriors, etc. that he is.
Have you ever felt this way? Like when you have a position, that you know is right for you, but you aren’t quite sure how you got it… or you are afraid that other people might find out that you aren’t as smart as you think they think you are? — Sometimes I feel this way as a teacher– Do you ever take situations into your own hands because the outcome seems to uncertain to trust that God is control? Well– Saul is kind of like that… especially when it comes to David (the next King).
At first Saul loves David and is thankful for how successful he is, for his musical talents, his friendship with his son, etc. But, I think he realizes that David is going to be the next King. He knows that David is stronger than he is. He knows that God has chosen David for “his” role. And– he doesn’t like that… So, what does he do? Of course– try to kill David– wipe out the competition.
At one point in 1 Samuel 19 a “tormenting Spirit from the Lord” overtakes Saul and he throws a spear at David trying to pin him to the wall. Thankfully, he misses… but, the question that popped into my mind was… Hold on a second, a “tormenting spirit” and “from the Lord” in the same sentence– I could imagine a tormenting spirit from the Devil that is trying to distract Saul from doing what is right, but a tormenting spirit from the Lord– Does God torment us?
This got me thinking… (and I could be wrong as I am only reading the English translation and am not a scholar)… but, what seems to be is happening is that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit that leads us into all Truth. If God is tormenting Saul, then Saul is being tormented by not being able to handle the truth… that he is going to lose power… the David is blessed, that he needs to alter his perspective.
I found this to be reaffirmed when a few chapters later Saul is on a man hunt after David and the Spirit over takes him and he starts prophesying, rips his clothes and is groveling on the ground… He is overcome by truth… It sounds like a temper tantrum to me…
I have thrown these, when I know what I need to do, but I don’t want to. When a hard decision is in front of me and drag my feet to make the decision that the Holy Spirit has been whispering in my ear for weeks or months or years. I have fear that God’s plan isn’t good. I resist the truth.
But, what I have found is that the truth sets us free… doesn’t Jesus say something about that?? When we fall into the truth and embrace our flaws, embrace our strengths, embrace our callings and short comings, we are free to live without trying to put others down to help us feel better or compete for position or standing… we are free to accept rather than to fight… we are free to forgive rather than remain bitter… we are free to listen rather than to control…
Sometimes the truth requires us to take a hard and honest look at ourselves and change.
Sometimes the truth affirms the very steps we are taking.
Lets rest in some truth today.
Here are a few that I am claiming:
What truth can you claim today that help lead your towards freedom?