Where is our source of inspiration? Reviewing the case of Saul’s failure

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14

What moves us to act? What inspires us to make decisions? What is the source of our strength?

We all have a source of power; we all have a resource that inspires us to move. We do not move because of inertia, or because of the influence of those around us; we move because there is an inspiration that motivates us to decide, to act, to move.

In some, the motivation comes from the convictions they have developed about something, or about someone; but not so in the great majority, most of the motivations come from the dazzle that something, or someone, provoked them, and captivated them to follow after them.

Speaking of the Christian life, unfortunately not everyone walks motivated by legitimate convictions, biblical and spiritual; the vast majority is influenced by temporary and superficial elements, not based on the Word, which are presented as the key to success and the necessary tool to get where they always wanted to go.

A case that illustrates this situation is found in the case of Simon, the magician of Samaria, although converted to the Lord, in a moment of weakness he was enveloped by what he served for years, before coming to Jesus: magic.

And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:18-19

Although we all know and understand what the Word exhorts us not to trust or depend on anything or anyone who is not the Lord,

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. Jeremiah 17:5

However, the reality is different. People are encouraged, and dazzled, by the methods of those who have grown numerically, and turn to them to repeat in themselves the same process. We have many ministries that apply church-growth methods, and follow the recommendations of motivational seminars and pastoral development, without asking themselves if that is what God demands of them for their particular case. And what would we say of the widely known strategic alliances?

Someone could argue, and say, what’s wrong with them?

Surely we have all read at some point about King Saul’s failure, and God’s expression of grief to the prophet Samuel about the decisions Saul had made;

“I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. I Samuel 15:11

It was all because of Saul’s decision to leave Agag, king of the Amalekites, alive?

It apparently; God had instructed Saul through the prophet Samuel to destroy all of Amalek,

Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. 2Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” I Samuel 15:1-3

It was not a new instruction, of which Saul was unaware; it was an instruction, of which the people knew and dated from the journey of the people through the wilderness to their departure from Egypt,

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”  …  16 for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” Exodus 17:14-16

The account shows us that Saul did not fully fulfill Jehovah’s command, but preserved the life of Agag, and the best of the cattle,

But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. I Samuel 15:9

Why did Saul act in such a way? Why did he disobey Jehovah’s command?

There was another motivation in Saul who was not Jehovah-God. Saul of a time ago had been acting based on other motivations that were not necessarily the commandments and the Will of Jehovah-God.

There was something that dazzled Saul, and he began to act on it:

Now there was fierce war with the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man or any valiant man, he took him for himself. I Samuel 14:52

Saul was dazzled by human strength, he stressed the physical constitution as the key to defeating his adversaries, and he armed himself with an army of men endowed with above-average physical conditions.

He changed the provision of Salvation that comes from God for the muscle of man; there he began to disobey God.

A closer look reveals that this deviation in Saul was based on the pride and vanity that he himself had developed by being praised from among the people,

So they ran and brought him from there; and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people? So all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!” I Samuel 10:23-24

So, we have that the cause of the deviation in Saul came from the dazzle that the strength of the physical condition, the corpulent and vigorousness of man, suggested to him as the key to achieving that which would give him supremacy and government throughout the region.

The reader will notice when comparing the texts how this dazzling affected Saul’s decision, and diverted him from God; leading him in the end to be discarded by Jehovah-God.

Now there was fierce war with the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man or any valiant man, he took him for himself. I Samuel 14:52


But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. I Samuel 15:9

There are many ministries that do not prosper and have fallen into stagnation because they have been dazzled by methods, by councils, by missions, by trips, and they live far from God’s decisions. They are ministries that, if they do not warn of their condition, will soon disappear.

What dazzles you, is it what God has for you, or is it simply what is in your heart that has gone out and defiled you?

What about the Christian people who are going from church to church looking for a better place to worship?

What moves you? What is the source of your inspiration? What is the resource of your provision?

If Jehovah-God is your source, as many automatically respond, then praise where you are, wait for Him to do, and let Him guide you. Don’t let anything or anyone dazzle you, because you attract a curse to yourself.

Remember,

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

 

 

Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

 

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