Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Dear King Saul,

Perhaps I should start by congratulating you on a rather excellent public relations machinery you had going. More so in an age when that was unheard of, well done.

Some friends of mine were sold on your PR. They take it upon themselves to defend you against every charge. When they compare you with David they appear to imply some sort of favouritism worked to his advantage.

They say you committed much less offence than David when God chucked you out of his sight.

They concede that you did some very bad stuff, but they claim, as the good book says, you were under the influence of evil spirit from the Lord. 11 Samuel 16:14 In today’s terms, you would pass for one with diminished responsibility and should therefore not have borne the sort of wrath visited upon you. Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, did worse things and he found redemption when he repented. 22 Chronicles 33:18-19

True enough, most of the offences listed against you were things you did after you came under the influence. I just couldn’t share with them your offence out of deference to you. As King David never ceased to remind us, you were an anointed of the Lord.

As I understand it, you did not seek the word or spirit of God throughout your reign.

If I may lay it on the line for you, dear King Saul, God rejected you because you rejected God first. According to the chronicles of the history of your people, you kept the Ark of the Covenant at an unholy distance. As I understand it, you did not seek the word or spirit of God throughout your reign. 31Chronicles 13:3 My question to you, oh anointed of the Lord, why did you turn your back on the grace of God?

The point, sir, is that those who revere God and in whose lives his words live and his presence hallowed are more likely to make good choices at points of trials and tribulations.

You might say it was only the ark of the covenant you discounted with, but you forgot that the reason the ark was so powerful was because it contained the words of God. The stones upon which the 10 commandments were inscribed were kept in the ark.

It was at once the symbol of the presence and glory of God in your lives and the capsule of the covenant that made Israel the people of God. 4Exodus 25:21-22 If you kept it close to yourself you were blessed as Obededom, 51Chronicles 13:14 if you misapplied it as did the Philistines, you were broken as Dagon 61Samuel 5:1-4 and if you hallowed it, the Shekinah would rest upon you. 71Samuel 4:21 Text book stuff sir, you should have known that.

David on the other hand kept the ark in the city of David. How much closer could the word be? A bit more, as he made out. We are told he kept the ark in his own house. 82 Chronicles 8:11 At every turn he waxed lyrical about how much he longed to be in the presence of God. 9Psalm 42:1-2 David set his affection on God and desired to build God a house, as though any house could contain God. It wasn’t that he was perfect as such, no, not by a mile. In fact the ultimate honour he sought to do God was politely turned down because he’d done some very bad stuff. 101 Chronicles 22:7-8

But you couldn’t take away from the fact that his heart was in the right place. If King David had not loved and honoured God as much as he did, he would have understandably and justifiably killed you as opportunities arose. 111 Samuel 24:4-7; 26:8-11

Had he killed you, some would have justified it by saying you were already written out of God’s plans anyway, just the same way they explain away what you did to the house of Eli. But David was wise enough to resist laying his hands on God’s anointed, a wisdom you lacked in killing the anointed of the Lord, all 85 of them. 121 Samuel 22:1-19

The point, sir, is that those who revere God and in whose lives his words live and his presence hallowed are more likely to make good choices at points of trials and tribulations. Those who choose otherwise lose the grace that comes with being in fellowship with God. As God told Eli:

“…them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” 131Samuel 2:30

As powerful and anointed as the son of God was in his earthly mission, the only weapon in his arsenal against the wiles of the enemy were the words of God. 14Matthew 4:1-11

In your own case the need to be close to God could never be overstated. To put the reflections above in perspective, I addressed you at the head of this letter as King. Truth is you were more a regent than a king. The people of God only ever had and will only ever have one King: God. As God himself once promised:

“And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.” 15Ezekiel 37:24

Leaders of the people of God are therefore like viceroys with delegated authority. They lead at the pleasure of God and by his word only might they act. So how could you lead without recourse to instructions and directions from the one who anointed you to represent him? That, sir, is at the heart of your problems.

Any leader who chooses to make the presence, wisdom and power of God superfluous to requirement as you did ultimately chooses to fail.

At the point of your election we read that the spirit of the Lord came upon you and transformed you. But mid-way through the narrative we read that the spirit of the Lord deserted you (presumably because you had not much use for him) and a reprobate spirit possessed you. This they blamed on the Lord. 161Samuel 16:14 Allow me to challenge that narrative.

Nature abhors a vacuum. The Incarnate Word of God said when one is delivered and sanctified but not filled and hedged about with the word of God, those powers and influences that were exorcised from such a person would return in greater number and power to re-occupy the person and the end of that person is worse than the beginning. 17Luke 11:24-26

To whomsoever you yield yourself, you are subject. Since you chose not to yield yourself to God, the alternative is to become susceptible to influences that would ruin you. As Jeremiah said, whoever would not serve the Lord would serve the enemy. 18Jeremiah 5:19

In his valedictory speech Moses advised the people of God to cleave unto him: for he is their life, and the length of their days.19Deuteronomy 30:20 You missed that obviously.

Any leader who chooses to make the presence, wisdom and power of God superfluous to requirement as you did ultimately chooses to fail.

References   [ + ]

1. 1 Samuel 16:14
2. 2 Chronicles 33:18-19
3. 1Chronicles 13:3
4. Exodus 25:21-22
5. 1Chronicles 13:14
6. 1Samuel 5:1-4
7. 1Samuel 4:21
8. 2 Chronicles 8:11
9. Psalm 42:1-2
10. 1 Chronicles 22:7-8
11. 1 Samuel 24:4-7; 26:8-11
12. 1 Samuel 22:1-19
13. 1Samuel 2:30
14. Matthew 4:1-11
15. Ezekiel 37:24
16. 1Samuel 16:14
17. Luke 11:24-26
18. Jeremiah 5:19
19. Deuteronomy 30:20

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