So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled away and escaped.13 Michal took an image and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head and covered it with the clothes. 14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16 And when the messengers came in, behold, the image was in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head.
1 Samuel 19:12-16
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve hated myself for all the idol worship in my life. I’ve made so many things idols: my smart phone, chocolate, decadent food, a tv show, a computer game. The list goes on and on and on. How I’ve hated myself for these terrible sins against my Lord. And then this morning, before I began to read the Word, I asked God to give me new insight into David’s life while he was deeply oppressed and victimized by King Saul. Jesus did not disappoint! (He never does! I don’t know why I think He will sometimes.)
I came to the passage that I opened my blog with today. Basically, Saul is trying to kill David (again) and so his wife helps sneak him out of the house by cover of night and then takes a household idol and uses it to make it look like David was just sick in bed. Ya. A household idol. In the house of the guy who took out entire armies, and killed giants with a sling, and ripped lions and bears limb from limb because of his great faith and trust in God. He had, at the very least, one pagan idol in his home big enough to simulate a grown man in bed.
Honestly, I don’t think David actually worshipped the household idol, but rather he worshipped the beautiful Michal that loved him. David was always a sucker for a beautiful woman. His idol was his bride and the attention he received from her. Any time I look at David I’m reminded that the “man after God’s own heart” still struggled with sin. All the time.
Boy am I thankful for David. The Lord has used him to remind me of just how much He loves me, despite my idolatrous ways. The Lord delights in my repentance and loving disciplines and teaches me. He never abandons me, but instead lifts me up and helps me try again. Just like He did with murderous, adulterous, idolatrous David.
I guess I’m in pretty good company.
And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
1 Samuel 13:13-14
Saul gave up the beautiful blessing of Godly leadership over himself and his people, and he gave up the legacy of being the line from which Messiah would come. Saul had everything a man could want: looks, strength, a commanding presence. He looked like the perfect person to be a king. But in fact, Saul was fearful, arrogant, and unwilling to follow God. The world is a liar! It is self serving and shallow. It puts looks above the substance of the heart. It glorifies self sufficiency and a handsome appearance over humble servanthood and an obedient heart. And Saul was the poster boy of worldly royalty.
Even though Samuel had warned the people of the folly in demanding a human king, the people would not listen. The result was utter failure. Their human king wanted God’s blessing, but wasn’t willing to obey God in order to receive it. Saul didn’t want to share the glory. He didn’t want to wait on the Lord. He let fear and arrogance be his compass. And it led to grievous sin against God. God is not a lucky charm. He is the Almighty Creator, Our Mighty Defender, Our Solid Rock! And Saul’s impatience made the Solid Rock of Yahweh nothing more than a stepping stone to his own glory. Saul’s arrogant, fear-driven foolishness became the cornerstone of his defeat. He gave up God’s blessing because he was driven by his own desire and fear, and not by trust in the Lord.
What do I give up when I act against God’s will for my life?
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Harsh. True. Humbling.
Lord Jesus, help me not to give up the truth for a lie because of fear or arrogance or desire for glory! Humble me and encourage me after Your own heart, that I might be able to walk in the truth for the rest of my life. I recieve Your loving forgiveness that I never earned or deserved, and I accept again Your leadership in my life. Keep me from fear based decisions by building up my faith and confidence in who You are. Help me know You better and trust You more. Draw me nearer to You, so Your light surrounds me and casts out all darkness. Create in me a clean heart, O God! Restore me to Yourself. Cast me not away from Your presence! Lead me in the paths of righteousness for Your Namesake. I will trust You. I am Yours.