Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Saving face

30 Saul replied, "I have sinned. But please honor 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. 1 Samuel 15:30-31

It wasn't the sin or the loss of God's hand that Saul was upset over; it was losing his honor and dignity before people.

"O.K., O.K., so I messed up. I admit it. Now, can we get on with my life. I want you to stay with me and worship with me, so that my image is not tarnished before the people."

Saul is more concerned with the people's opinion of him than of God's. He did not want anyone else
to know what had happened between him and God. Leaders are often more concerned about their image, about receiving honor and respect more than being holy.

Funny how we are never satisfied with an audience of One, who is the ultimate, but look for the approval of many, who matter none.

Do you have the courage to open up about what you've done?

Over the years I have watched as people who openly admitted this is who I am and confessed the junk in their lives, God used them in incredible ways to bring Him glory. And for those individuals, including myself, we've found a purpose in our pain and realized it wasn't wasted.

I've also watched the other, those that tried to hide it and in my opinion they never really progressed in their spiritual journey. They've never become all that they could be.

 Saul wants to put his sin behind him without hating it, without putting it away from him, without bringing it out in the open.

34 Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the LORD was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.
1 Samuel 15:34-35

We are not told that Saul ever truly grieves over his sin or even over his parting ways with Samuel. It is a sad day for Samuel, however. He grieves over Saul after they part company.

Immediately I am reminded of parents who've had to show "tough love" to their children and said "we can't have any more to do with you until you get clean". I can only imagine they how they've wept like Samuel.

And the LORD was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Something to think about; do you think that God does only the things which make Him happy?

I don't, I think He does things which cause Him great sorrow, like making Saul king, and like sending His Son to die on the cross. But, He does all of it for His ultimate glory and for our ultimate good, even if we cannot comprehend.

Do you want a God who you can understand, or one that is bigger than you can even imagine?

No comments: