March 22–1 Samuel 24-26
“Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand.”–24:17
He knew! At some deep level (and for some time) Saul knew that God had removed the kingdom from him and given it to David. Review Samuel’s words in 15:23. How could he not have known?
Everyone else knew too. Jonathan gives testimony in 23:17. Abigail speaks the same confidence in 25:30.
It came clear (again) in the cave. When David subordinated his passions to the expressed will/ordinance of God (exactly what Saul had been unable/unwilling to do) the decision of God was confirmed. But, in keeping with his long pattern, Saul could not surrender to it. For a moment, it looked as if the clouds of confusion would lift from his soul. Soon after, sadly, he was back in the darkness of his own anger, and pride and anxiety. The way of the sinner is hard. But, usually not hard enough to convince a man to repent.
The Bible tells of a second Saul. Same struggle. Better outcome. As he comes close to salvation, Saul (Paul) hears the Lord say, “Is it hard for you to kick against the goads?”–Acts 26:14. A goad was a sharp stick used to guide an animal on a specific path. To kick against it didn’t change the inevitable, it just caused additional injury and pain.
I do well to remember this lesson. My flesh doesn’t submit. Doesn’t know how. Even knowing that every knee will bow, and every tongue confess, my flesh rages on and must be denied. Struggling against the Lord will bring me only what it brought Saul.
“Thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel. . .’In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing.”–Isaiah 30:15.