July 29, 2011 Devotion Sharing

1 Samuel 22:9-16

Saul tragically rejects the very reasonable and plausible explanation of Ahimelech regarding his innocent provision for David.  What does Saul risk if he believes him?  What does he risk if he holds onto his suspicion and acts on it? Saul risks being fooled if he believes Ahimelech and his explanation, and that in fact Ahimelech and David are conspiring against him and laying in wait against him.  He risks being in a more vulnerable position.  But Saul also takes great risks if he holds onto his suspicion and acts on it.  If he is wrong, he is persecuting and murdering innocent people.  And as if killing another person wasn’t bad enough, he they are priests of the Lord no less.  He is not just harming his fellow man, but he is acting against God.  He risks alienating his followers, his officials, the people in general and undermining himself and his kingship in that way.  He risks chasing and trying to kill a person who is loyal to him and who has been a great help and benefit to him and his kingdom.  He risks making an enemy out of one who has the favor of God, and further rejecting God in his own life.  He risks living a life of fear and giving into paranoia again and again and not being able to trust anyone.

Why would Saul choose as he did? Saul would choose as he did because he fears losing his position and his kingship too much.  He is too paranoid and too insecure.  He is too jealous of David and allows himself to believe the worst, allowing what others tell him to confirm his fears.  Nothing else is as important as protecting himself and persecuting his enemies.  He is blinded from the truth, refuses to listen to reason from others, and allows the voices of suspicion inside himself to drive him to the wrong decisions.

When I am faced with circumstances that cause me to suspect something, how ready am I to reject my own theory and believe the reasonable explanation of others? When I am faced with circumstances that cause me to suspect something, I think for the most part that I am ready to reject my own theory and believe the reasonable explanation of others.  I think I am a pretty trusting guy and I take what people say at their word.  Of course, I think it depends on the circumstance as well though.  There are times and situations where I am not ready to reject my own theory and believe the reasonable explanation of others.  I can have a lot of confidence in myself and there is this default setting in me that always think that I’m right.  But especially in situations in which I really want something or desire something, and the reasonable explanation of others will conflict with that desire, then I am unwilling to reject my own theory.  I just want to keep believing what I want to believe, in hopes that things will turn out the way that I want and that I’ll get what I desire.  It can be very irrational and foolish, harmful and self-destructive, as evidenced by Saul’s example.

Which do I want to avoid more: believing someone who is not telling me the truth, or suspecting someone who is telling me the truth?
These both seem like things that I should want to avoid.  I should avoid believing someone who is not telling me the truth, and I should want to avoid suspecting someone who is telling me the truth.  My instinctive nature is to want to avoid more believing someone who is not telling me the truth.  There is a part of me that does not want to be tricked, that does not want to be fooled, that does not want to be surprised, that does not want to be betrayed or unprepared.  So if I avoid believing someone who is not telling me the truth, then I would have successfully put myself in a better position to not suffer any of those things.  But I think that from the passage, it shows the danger of suspecting someone who is telling me the truth and what can become of that.  Having that kind of nature is very alienating to others, very isolating to myself, and very multiplicative in nature and leads down a lonely, insecure, fear-filled life.  It is something that I should be wanting to avoid more in how I relate to other people.

1 Samuel 22:17-19

Contrast Doeg the Edomite and the king’s officials “who were not willing to raise a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.”  What kind of person was Doeg the Edomite?   Do I see similarities in me? Doeg the Edomite seemed to have no reservations and no hesitation in striking down the priests of the Lord.  There was no consideration of whether this was right or wrong, no fear of God that he was killing the priests of the Lord.  The king’s officials seemed to have considered those things, as they were unwilling to raise a hand to strike the priests of the Lord.  Perhaps Doeg the Edomite saw this as a way to gain favor from the king and enhance his position, increase in his standing, power, wealth, etc.  Perhaps he saw it as his chance to move up in the world, and that’s all he cared about.  He was ambitious, an opportunist that was just out for himself, and willing to do anything, whether it was right or wrong, as long as it served his purposes.   I don’t think I am like that particularly, but I can see similarities in myself in that I am selfish and can be concerned with my own well-being first and foremost in certain situations.  There are times that I can sacrifice the truth or ignore the truth.  What Doeg the Edomite does and what kind of person he is is so ugly, and I need to see that those parts of myself are so ugly as well, and that I need to really try to change those areas.  One way is to really focus on being other centered in all situations, and put my own desires and my own concerns last.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Response