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1 Samuel 14:1-52
I think I’m about to make a BIG leap by connecting Saul’s treatment of his son Jonathan to how we treat the Son of man, Jesus. When I sat down at my computer to type out my response to this reading I had plans to take this reading and my subsequent response in another direction. .

In my minds eye I saw Saul as a type of the world mistreating, rebuking, and persecuting the one God chose to deliver natural and spiritual Israel, Jesus. Saul is a type of Pharisee or religious leader of the day. Having no personal relationship with God (he was unaware that Samuel was a prophet let alone recognizing who he was), Saul put on the “cloak” of someone who did. This is a case of the mouse falling into the cookie jar then assuming it had become a cookie. All the mouse will do is eat up the cookies. All Saul could do was consume his own men for his own purposes and self-interest. In fact the warning Samuel gave to Israel about what a king would require of them was coming into fruition.

Saul made up a curse and then held it over his men’s head, including his son’s. Jesus accused the Pharisees of making up rules and placing them above God’s law. In the Book of Numbers we read that no one can curse what God has blessed when Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers 23). The writer of Proverbs stats this, “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. (26:2). Saul wanted to kill his son because he had violated his command, stupid as it was, but because of pride, he didn’t want to appear weak before his men. Ever notice how nasty we can become when we are in public and we are proven wrong about a comment we have made or something we thought was on sale, but isn’t? We attack the person bringing us the truth. So it was with Saul. Instead of repenting for the dumb command he made, he became obstinate and stuck to his ill-conceived words. However, unlike the crowds at Jesus’ crucifixion, the fighting men interceded for Jonathan.

John 7:31-53
Fast forward to Jesus. Here we have the accusers, the religious leaders, and we have a crowd that is caught between two, no three opinions, Messiah, Prophet or just some crazy man. Unlike Jonathan’s supporters, this crowd is not speaking in one accord. Here we have someone who walked in Righteousness being called a “sinner” by those walking in unrighteousness. Saul walked playing the part of a quasi-religious leader, called to lead but failing to pick up the mantel. In reality Saul and the religious establishment of Jesus’ day were weak leaders because they were afraid of the people they were called to lead. You can’t lead people you are afraid of.

Psalm 109:1-31
David in this Psalm picks up the theme of false persecution and accusation. I love how unrelated books and authors come together in the Bible picking up the same motif, that’s God! But what I like about this Psalm is the reminder in verse twenty-eight to carry oneself with dignity while waiting on God,
28 Then let them curse me if they like,
but you will bless me! When they attack me, they will be disgraced!
But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing!

The Lord always comes to our rescue even when it seems to us that He isn’t.

Proverbs 15:5-7

Discipline (The word disciple is in discipline) is the only way we can establish any kind of self-control and according to Proverb 12:2, knowledge can only be acquired if one loves discipline. A disciplined person has knowledge and a person of knowledge has discipline

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

1 Samuel 14

Ramona: Interesting your comparison of Saul and Jesus. I like it. You weave a unique thread throughout the readings today. Certainly much of the human behavior was the same in both time periods of Saul and Jesus, as it is today. Reading Psalm 109 made me think of David and how a lot of his deep soulful feelings in his writings come from his relationship and persecution by Saul. This of course is a direct foreshadowing of Jesus life and suffering.

I do wonder if the effects of Alzheimers weren’t starting to show because Saul’s actions just become worse as time goes on. It certainly brings up the question of how to relate to people that do illogical things. I had to deal with my mother in this way. Not easy. Do you think the irrational behavior of leaders isn’t sometimes the result of some physical/mental malady? Do we just accept it or like Jonathan question: “I merely tasted a little honey with the end of my staff and now must I die?” (Verse 14:43). I think of President Reagan, a world leader when he was showing signs of mental problems. Luckily he had Nancy’s support but I don’t see any Nancy in Saul’s life. (chuckle).

It is amazing how the manifestation of a king, the Israelites are getting..they wanted a king, they begged and they got this egotistical, arrogant, worldly kind of man..and one who would create foolish rules in the name of God as to not eat all day but fight and kill all day and actually consider killing his son..to prove his oath! Crazy. Thankful his people saw through it and saved Jonathan.

Jesus is the bread of life. He is our salvation and his Word will fill and satisfy us.

Psalm teaches us humility. No matter what I'll keep praising him!!

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