Friday, November 7, 2008

Bad Business Meeting

6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul, spear in hand, was seated under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing around him. 7 Saul said to them, "Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? 8 Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today."

 9 But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul's officials, said, "I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelech inquired of the LORD for him; he also gave him provisions and the sword of Goliath the Philistine."

 11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub and his father's whole family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king. 12 Saul said, "Listen now, son of Ahitub."
      "Yes, my lord," he answered.

 13 Saul said to him, "Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?"

 14 Ahimelech answered the king, "Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household? 15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father's family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair."

 16 But the king said, "You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and your father's whole family."

 17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me."
      But the king's officials were not willing to raise a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.

 18 The king then ordered Doeg, "You turn and strike down the priests." So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep. 1 Samuel 22:6-19

This sounds like a bad church meeting to me.

Let me set the stage for you.

Saul's that leader in the church who doesn't get their way. You know the person, he usually has money, power, and is used to getting his way. But right now things aren't going his way and he's losing his influence. Can you picture them?

Doeg, okay first things first, he's not member, he's just opportunistic, and sees a way to get ahead. He's the person that's just visited a few times but says "we didn't do things like this at my old church", which at one time or another has been every church in town. Got an idea?

The men of Benjamin, well let's say they're the deacons. I know that might be a stretch, but I'm the one typing this story. Saul, by addressing them is intentionally destroying the unity of the twelve tribes by pitting his tribe (Benjamin) against the tribe of Judah (David's).

Ahimelech and his relatives are the church staff.

And of course, David is the pastor.

So here's the story, Saul isn't getting his way so while David is away on Sabbatical he appeals to the "deacons" self-interest by playing on their sympathy as a betrayed father. He is also going after their greed and status. He lies and exaggerates about the situation between David and Jonathan. He creates division.

Doeg sees an opportunity to get ahead, and to stir the pot. He states what he saw, but spins it to make it look like the staff were involved in the whole conspiracy against Saul.

"Get the staff in here! We'll get to the bottom of this mess, who do they think they are, this is my, uh, our church!"

Ahimelech and the staff respond by saying "look we don't
know anything about this, but David's a man of God, a good man and we pray for him all the time."

"You're covering something up. Deacons you better fire them all!"

Well, the deacons decide not to fire the staff, but choose not to confront Saul either. So Saul uses his power and influence to get the outsider Doeg to do it because he's done it before in other churches. Not only did Doeg fire the staff but he killed the whole community of the church. That was the last business
meeting held in that church because it died that day.

Sound familiar? I've seen it played out in too many churches. One man's
anger and self-interest can kill a whole community and destroy people's lives!

Would you have the courage to stand against a Saul?



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