Day 119 reading: 1 Chronicles, chapters 7-10
When I have studied this series of chapters before, my eyes have glazed over and not quite come out of their fog enough to recognize the critical importance of this final chapter of today’s reading. Chapters 7-9 are more of the all-important, but still no more interesting to read, genealogy. But chapter 10! Chapter 10, with headings in my Bible like: “Saul killed on mount Gilboa,” “Defeat and Death of Saul and His Sons,” or the most poignant, “Saul Takes His Own Life.” It’s very easy to not quite wake up from the genealogy fog to recognize the significance of such a short chapter, but it meant a TON to the people of Israel.
I feel quite sure–even without double-checking this statement–that biblical theologians have been able to pick this small chapter apart and unveil every aspect of what Saul’s death meant to the Israelites. However, me being a simple Bible reader and student, I know that I can’t grasp all that it really meant to the people then or for the futures of these people, but I can look at Saul in his humanness and grab hold of some critical pieces of the story and how those pieces relate to each of us today.
After all of the battles, the Lord’s anointed King Saul is being overtaken. In his admittance of defeat, he takes his own life. I can only imagine the despair that overtook him in those moments of clarity, when he realized how grave his sins had been and how he had misused his God-breathed power.
“Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.” (10:13-14, NIV)
Saul died because of his pride, because he never died to his pride when he was anointed by God to lead the Israelites.
Saul died because he did not follow the word of God.
Saul died because he not only did not consult God, but he did consult those against or in opposition to God.
Saul died because he was unfaithful.
Life is such a struggle. It doesn’t have to be, but we make it one. In all of our humanness, we allow our own pride and ego to get in the way of consulting God. I believe I have shared before my favorite way to remember just how deep ego drives us when I remember that EGO stands for: Edging God Out. This is the simplest way to describe Saul’s life as anointed king, for he truly edged God out of his life and forgot that he was a masterpiece of God.
Let’s you and I not forget that we are also blessed by God to do great things. We are built to serve Him and serve others. Let’s not forget to consult Him daily, hourly even, as we go along this journey. On your way to work, praying for protection and guidance for yourself and the other commuters on the road. As you sit at your desk or perform your job, praying for careful attention to detail so each job and each work of your hands is blessed. Eating our meals and snacks throughout the day, praying that the foods we choose bring nourishment to our bodies so we are better able to go and do and be all He wants us to be. Prayers as we fall asleep at night, praying that our thoughts and dreams are peaceful and of Him, that our sleep in restful and full, so that we may wake refreshed, again, tomorrow to face whatever we see with love.
God loves you, now go act like you know it!
Make it a great day,
Day 120 reading: Psalms, chapters 102-104