Reading Between The Lines


You may not think you are very important, but the LORD chose you to be king, and you are in charge of the tribes of Israel.

~I Samuel 15:17, CEV


You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover.

~Naola Blackburn Bailey

When Samuel, who was a prophet and a discerning man, looked at Saul, he was impressed. He told the Israelites, “Look closely at the man the LORD has chosen! There is no one like him!” Saul was a head taller than all the other Israelites: he stood out in a crowd and he was a very handsome man. He also appeared to be very humble. He had no desire to be king. When Samuel got ready to introduce him to the crowd, Saul had hid himself. When Samuel anointed him king, Saul went home to the family farm and continued to live as if nothing had happened. When the citizens of Jabesh in Gilead called upon him for salvation: he came immediately to their rescue and lead an army of 330,000 men. Saul won a decisive battle and the scripture says, He lead them with courage. When they wanted to execute those who protested his kingship, he said “No.” So initially, we have a courageous, humble, righteous and obedient leader. But something happens between the end of I Samuel 11 and the beginning of chapter 13 and I do not have a clue as to what. Was Saul bipolar? Possibly because from chapter 13 and forward he is a totally different man: he is fearful, uncertain, insecure and irresponsible. From this point on, Saul will blame everything on someone else: it will either be Samuel’s fault, Jonathan’s fault, the soldiers fault but Saul will never take responsibility for his errors.

Saul’s story is one of the saddest in the bible. How could a man with so much potential turn out to be such a miserable failure? Spiritually speaking, his problems began when he became impatient with Samuel and disobeyed a direct order. I have no idea why Samuel was late for the sacrifice; I wonder if it was not on purpose. I think something happened that is not recorded because Samuel’s attitude toward Saul changes drastically. Why would Samuel put the young king to the test? Saul’s army was deserting by the thousands: the army of 330,000 dwindled to a small force of 600 men and Saul was afraid of losing them. The calm, courageous and collected Saul of chapter 10 is no where to be found. When Samuel chews him out for not waiting, Saul blames Samuel for being late and the soldiers for deserting. It is all down hill from this point. Jonathan, Saul’s son, was a much better candidate for a king than his dad.

What do we learn from the story? First of all, we cannot go by appearance. God would tell Samuel later, “You are looking at the outward appearance, I look at the heart.” Since we cannot see the heart or know a persons motive, we have to reserve judgment. If we make a habit of jumping to conclusions based on sensory perception we will land on a lie ninety percent of the time. Trust me, I know from my own experience. Secondly: low self-esteem and humility are two different things. Saul appeared to be humble but in truth he had very low self-esteem. This fed his insecurities. Hey, I was born with low self-esteem and other than my mother and a school teacher or two, no one ever believed in me. I know what it is like to start at the bottom. I tried to find self-worth in my relationships and my performance but both failed. The happiest day of my life came when I realized that my self-worth is in my relationship with Jesus. You know how cocky a guy cans get when he’s dating the prettiest girl in school; well I’m in a relationship of a different sort with the CREATOR of the universe and HE died for me. He died to have a relationship with me so it is His love for me that makes me special. So if others choose to hate me, I can live with that so long as I know He loves me. One more thing: don’t rebel against God. Rebels have no future. Once you start down this path, you are headed for destruction. After Saul rebelled, it was Katie bar the door. Half of the demons in hell joined the party and Saul wound up being as crazy as a loon. He lived one of the more miserable life’s recorded and he was a king. He didn’t act like one or live like one but that was because his chose to disobey God and do his own thing.

I like computers and I use them everyday but they do get frustrating at times. I like the internet but when you are on line, you are subject to computer virus and automatic updates. I like some parts of Windows 10 but some I don’t. I know GOOGLE is run by liberals but I like to use google, not bing or something else. I really hate bing more than the others. I had to give up totally Saturday evening. I don’t even have a computer in my building at present. I’m going to try to get one operational today. I don’t know if there will be a blog tomorrow or not.

The LORD is good. Believe it or not, I did not worry about the weather. It was a little on the cool side but the other than that the weather was great for us on the East side, did not work so well for DBC. They did get there egg hunt in but the rain messed there picnic up. Light rain came as we were finishing. Grace Point loves fish fries and they turned out in mass. They even liked my hush puppies although I put a bit too much meal in them. We had a few fries left and that was it. I have a great cooking team at GP and I was thrilled to see the people enjoying the fish and fixings. They want to do another one.

Our Praise and Worship leader Dale Windsor hit one out of the park yesterday. The special music was so powerful that I didn’t preach: I just got up and gave the invitation. Heaven came down and glory filled my soul. I had never heard the song before but it stirred my spirit.

The media, all the libs and the PGA is thrilled: their media darling finally won a golf tournament. Personally, I don’t see how all the other pros on the tour are not offended. It’s like they don’t exist. They all have to know what we know: the powers that be want Tiger to win. To sports talk radio for me next week: I don’t want to hear it.

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