(fissure: a narrow opening or crack of considerable length and depth usually occurring from some breaking or parting)
Our Friday morning group recently finished a Bible study in the book of 1Samuel and it was a very rich study. I knew there would be many things to learn from reading and studying about David. What surprised me is how much I learned studying Israel’s first king, King Saul.
Saul is a good study of a person that starts well and finishes really bad. One reason why I believe this happened is that he didn’t deal with the cracks in his character and as time went on, they became large fissures in his soul.
In the beginning of 1Samuel 10, Samuel the prophet anoints Saul as King of Israel and then Saul meets a group of prophets and prophesies with them, signifying that he is God’s anointed king. After this Saul runs into his uncle and his uncle asks him where he has been. Saul responds that he and his friend were looking for his father’s donkeys and when they couldn’t find them, they went to Samuel. His uncle then asks what Samuel said to him.
1Sam 10: 14-18 “Now Saul’s uncle said to him and his servant, “Where did you go?” And he said, “To look for the donkeys. When we saw that they could not be found, we went to Samuel.” Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me what Samuel said to you.” So Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingdom which Samuel had mentioned.”
Why did Saul not tell his uncle of the amazing thing that happened? Saul is anointed king at that time, then afterward he prophesies with the prophets and he just tells him about the donkeys? I cannot be certain, but I believe it is because he was worried about how his uncle would respond. He was concerned that his uncle would reject this because he wanted his approval more than God’s.
Soon after Saul is chosen as king by drawing lots with all the tribes of Israel present to once again confirm God’s anointing him as king. When it’s time to crown him as king he can’t be found!
1Sam 10:21-22 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the Matrite family was taken. And Saul the son of Kish was taken; but when they looked for him, he could not be found. Therefore they inquired further of the LORD, “Has the man come here yet?” So the LORD said, “Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage.”
Why was Saul hiding? I believe he was hiding because once again he was concerned how the people would react. He probably feared that they would reject him. His focus was on what the people thought rather than what God thought.
I can beat up Saul when reading this for his stupidity, but when I take a closer look at myself, I realize I have the same problem he did. Just like the sin of lust, this is one of the issues that all men deal with.
John 5:44 says “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God.” Man love to hear praise from men. The problem is that it is a detriment to our living for the Lord.
John 7:17 “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” According to this verse, if seeking to live for Christ is not preeminent, we will not be able to see God’s truth clearly. A heart for obedience must precede growing in the scriptures.
We cannot serve two masters or we become the slave of the one we are trying to please. If we are set on trying to please men, then that is who becomes our master. Likewise, if we seek to please God, He becomes our Master.
Whether it is sharing the gospel or confronting a loved one we must resist pleasing men. By God’s grace, we seek to please Him first in all things. Let us pray that God seals these cracks in our souls through the power of the Holy Spirit before they become fissures.