By Not Known
King Saul began well as an impressive leader without equal among his peers in Israel. However, he did not last, for he soon disobeyed God. He became an outcast rejected both by God and His people. His kingdom was taken from him and he spent his last days as a desperate recluse, even resorting to seeking the counsel of an outlawed witch.
Many of us would think of sexual sin to be the worst and the most un-pardonable of sins. But a comparison with King Saul’s and King David’s lives show that it may not necessarily be the case. It is the sin of pride. It is the proud sinner who excuses himself and tends to shift the blame to the next man. Yes, he may have confessed, ”I have sinned” but only because he has been forced into a corner. What he is really saying is: ”I am sorry because I have been found out.” He is not sorry for his sin and he is only saying so because he has been caught!
When we are confronted with sin, we need to deal first not with the sin itself but with our pride. Otherwise, our pride will stand in the way and repentance cannot follow. With repentance, the less that is said the better. Keeping silent before God is a sign of true repentance. King David showed the way to true repentance when he accepted God’s judgement without reservation and all he said was: ”I have sinned against the LORD” (II Sam. 12:13). Notice he did not add another word beyond that!
By contrast, King Saul betrayed a preoccupation with his own honour − rather than God’s honour which he had in fact violated. He was not concerned for his sin but his concern was for his public image and reputation. Chinese-educated Chinese in Singapore are not the only people who are mindful about their “face” – Asians and non-Asians are equally concerned about ”losing face”!
When King Saul had to rally his troops against the Philistines, sacrifices had to be offered to God. Samuel was late and King Saul grew fearful and took over the religious duties. In so doing, he allowed his fear of man to replace the fear of God. Then he was warned not to sacrifice from the war booty of the Amalekites. He disobeyed again because he thought he knew better.
King Saul’s hardened heart left no place for repentance. Is your heart in danger too? To obey God is better than to offer sacrifices to Him.