Monday, September 28, 2015

Got a Pride Problem?

O. T. #603  "Got a Pride Problem?"
September 25, 2015
1 Samuel 14-Part 2

Saul said, "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan."
1 Samuel 14:44


Got a pride problem? Who doesn't. How much are we willing to pay so our pride is not hurt? So we don't admit we have been foolish, made the wrong decision? Pride can come at a high price. It can cost us our family, our job, our integrity, our friends' trust in us, even God resisting us. Saul had a pride problem. It almost cost him is son's life. That is a serious problem.

Do you recall the three sins of King Saul in the here chapters of 13, 14, and 15? They cost him his kingdom ultimately. We have discussed Saul's sin of impatience, now comes his sin of pride. HIs pride caused his troops to sin in their victory.
What caused this sin to occur?
  • He stopped the priest while inquiring of the Lord's will. (verse 19)
  • He rushed the formalities of getting an answer from God so he could hurry and get into battle to take advantage of the confusion of the Philistines. (verse 19)
  • He made two foolish vows, taking an oath without thinking through the implication. (verse 24-26 and 39) He forbade his troops to eat that day. 
  • He built an altar, his first, as the last resort. (verses 32-34)
Pride goeth before destruction...  (Proverbs 16:18)
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)

What were the results of Saul's foolish vows?
  1. His men were too tired to fight.
  2. They were so hungry they ate raw meat that still contained blood, which was against God's law. (Lev. 17:10-14)
  3. Saul almost killed his own son Jonathan. (verses 42-45)
After his successful fighting, Jonathan ate some honey to replenish his strength. He did not know Saul took an oath  that however ate that day would be killed. Jonathan admitted what he had done. So, after Saul found out what Jonathan did, he ordered his son killed. Pride was too strong in Saul. He was protecting his image, only to reveal his sinful heart. The people refused to allow this to happen.

What can we learn from all of this drama?
  • Be willing to accept the consequences of our actions. When you do wrong, even unintentionally, respond like Jonathan not like Saul.
  • Admit our foolish actions or words, our mistakes and show we are more interested in doing what is right than in looking good.
  • Consult God first, not as an afterthought, a last resort when a situation occurs. Before all else fails, seek and ask God His will.
[Resource: Life Application Study Bible]


Did you notice that the people intervened and stopped Saul's charge of Jonathan's death? Saul's ridiculous command would have caused the Israelis to sin themselves by taking Jonathan's life. Sometimes people do ungodly things. Sometimes ungodly people win battles. It is God who gives the victory. Perhaps God gave Saul victory here for the sake of His people, not Saul. Maybe He left Saul as king for so many years to utilize his military abilities for the nation of Israel. 
God's plans and purposes are known only to Him sometimes.

Our task is to commit our ways to God and then trust Him for the outcome.

According to verses 47 and 48, Saul's military accomplishments expanded Israel's borders in all directions: to the south (Edom), east (Ammon and Moab), north (Zobah), and west (Philistia).
We read of Saul's cousin Abner becoming commander of his army.

Looking forward, the Philistines continued to war against Israel to the very last day of Saul's life. (chapter 31)

Do we intervene when wrong is prevailing, for the sake of another? What about the innocent baby that is being aborted and mutilated? Will we stand by silently?


Seek God's will before all else fails, as my first resort, not my last.

Admit my wrongs, failings, mistakes, and sins.

Accept the consequences of my actions.

Help others when they can't help themselves.

Be aware of pride lurking around and guard against it with humility.

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