Tuesday, April 20, 2010
God Sighs, Samuel Cries, Saul Lies or I've Got a Sheep Herd, Just Over the Hilltop.
1Sa 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
1Sa 15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,
1Sa 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.
1Sa 15:12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
1Sa 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
1Sa 15:14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
When the Lord says in vs 11 that "it repenteth me," we find that literally means that God breathed deeply, or sighed over His allowing the rebellious Saul to be king.
Samuel reacts to Saul's disobedience by crying all night to the Lord. His life’s work as Israel’s shepherd is trashed by this stumbling, bumbling, good-for-nothing-potentate. I can so relate to the hurt he feels.
Saul, on the other hand, kills and tosses out everything vile and refuse, but keeps all the goodies for himself, in direct disobedience of the Lord's command through His prophet.
How flippant of his responsibility! How blatantly unaccountable this "too big for his britches" monarch who formerly hid himself like a little coward when God fingered him for kingship, but presently hides the sheep in stubborn rebellion when the preacher comes to his place on visitation.
What strikes me in this account is that God and the prophet sorrow greatly due to Saul's sin, but Saul is so flippant and casual as if he had done nothing wrong.
I think of people who claim Christ, but live like the devil. They break the heart of heaven and their pastor, but merrily proceed on their selfish, sinful path without a modicum of remorse. I recall the night I called on a church member who answered the door, surprised to see the parson on the front porch, held a cigarette behind her back for the duration of the visit with smoke curling above the back of her head. Baah! I was tempted to say, “What meaneth the bleating of the sheep in mine ears?”
But the happy tune Saul has been singing is about to hit a minor key, just as it will for all rebels...eventually.