Thursday, August 24, 2017

EmmDev 2017-08-24 [Lessons from Samuel] Keeping up appearances

Keeping up appearances

Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the LORD's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD."
26 But Samuel said to him, "I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!"
27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbours--to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind."
30 Saul replied, "I have sinned. But please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God." 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.      (1Samuel15:24-31)
For a moment it looks like Saul is ready to come to the Lord in unreserved repentance. At first glance his words look good:
- I have sinned
- I have violated the Lord's command and your instructions
- I was afraid of the people and I gave in.

This is such a promising beginning. He takes it on the chin. He admits responsibility, he acknowledges those he has wronged (God and Samuel) and he even reveals and owns the underlying cause (his fear of people).

But in v.25 we see the real agenda: "Come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD." There were public sacrifices to be made. Saul wanted Samuel to be there with him to legitimise the sacrifices and Saul's role as king.

Initially Samuel refuses.
Saul's reaction is not one of remorse, but anger.
He grabs Samuel's robe so hard that it tears.

And Samuel informs Saul that his reign will not last.
But it is as though Saul can't see past today, because he simply disregards Samuel's pronouncement. He doesn't ask, "how can I become right with the Lord again??" His request reveals the fragile ego that is his achilles heel: "I have sinned. But please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God."

Samuel agrees to do this and I imagine EmmDev 2017-08-24 [Lessons from Samuel] Keeping up appearancesit is for the sake of the morale of the Israelites. But it is a very tragic picture: An insecure king making sacrifices to a God he has disobeyed, kneeling next to God's prophet who he is actually passive aggressive toward and all of this just to keep up appearances.

Insecurity is a very dangerous thing.
When we seek security from people instead of God we will end up like Saul....



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