As we saw last week, Saul was a fearful man. He was afraid of his enemies. He was afraid of his friends. He was even afraid of being king. Sadly, the one fear he lacked was a fear of God.
When we left Saul, he was in bad shape. His fears had led him to disobey God. As a result, God had rejected him as king over Israel. Now let’s pick up the story in 1 Samuel 16. When Samuel goes to anoint David as Saul’s successor, we’re told at “the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” At the same time, “the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul.” As far as heaven was concerned, David was king and Saul was not. However, it would take years for this truth to work itself out on Earth. In the meantime, Saul manages to go from bad to worse. Reading the next few chapters, I tried to feel sorry for the guy, but what I really wanted was to whap him upside the head!
I was shopping at my local supermarket when I came across this display of gluten-free baked goods. In case you can’t read the pink lettering, it reads “Healthy Alternatives.” Really?
Here’s a better view of what they’re selling:
The thing is, there’s nothing healthy about this stuff. These pies, cakes, and cookies might not contain gluten, but you can be sure they’re full of sugar and butter (or shortening).
Moreover, many gluten-free flour replacements are worse for you than flour*. Sure, they’re a God-send if you truly can’t handle gluten and still want an occasional treat. But if your goal is merely to eat healthier, look elsewhere (such as in the produce section). Corn starch, white rice flour, potato starch, etc. all cause a precipitous rise in your blood sugar. Can you say “diabetes”?
* According to a glycemic index chart, white flour has a glycemic index of 85, the same as cornstarch. Potato starch is 90 while rice flour is 95. (Pure glucose is 100.) They’re all bad for you!
Saul was one messed up king. That’s my conclusion as I read through 1 Samuel, and it’s easy to see why. He screwed up, royally (sorry). From disobeying God’s specific orders (see 1 Samuel 13 and 15) to years of trying to murder his most valuable and devoted subject, David, he seemed to have a hard time getting anything right. I’ve been wondering why God picked him in the first place.
Chapter 9 explains one possible reason:
Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.
Here’s a sign you don’t see every day…
Taken at the entrance to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Aren’t we trying to deter this sort of thing?
Are you a Berean? Acts 17:11 reads:
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
When it’s time for the sermon, do you listen with great eagerness? Then, do you read your Bible on your own to see if what they said is true?
I was reading yet another article on the travails of Mark Driscoll (a whole separate topic) when I came across this statement:
It seems that these are the three areas where Christians most likely to fall into sin—pride, sex, and love of money.” … First John 2:15-17 calls them, “All that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [sex], the lust of the eyes [love of money], and the pride of life.” In other words—passions, possessions, pride.
It’s true that we tend to consider these the “Big Ones.” Most sins can be placed into one of these three categories. For example, we’re told not to covet our neighbors’ goodies. That would fall under “lust of the eyes.” We’re not to covet his wife either, lest we succumb to “lust of the flesh.”
What is your opinion on illegal immigration? I’m sure you have one. This is a topic that everyone is passionate about, no matter which view you take. Provide amnesty? Send them home? Seal the border? Open the border? On the one hand, the Bible tells us to obey the law. On the other, we’re to welcome the foreigner and alien in our midst. How do we apply those verses to this political—and very human—quagmire?
Our Global Sunday school class had a guest speaker this past week. Jeff Hines and his family are missionaries to Honduras. He had a perspective that totally rearranged my thoughts on this difficult subject. What he had to say on this topic is important enough that I want to share some of it with you.