From the Pulpit: He Played the Fool

Because the nation of Israel had rejected God as being its king, God placed a man named Saul on the throne as the nation’s first earthly king. Saul was at first a humble leader; however, it seems as if the power and authority he was given changed him and caused him to do what he thought was best in his own eyes rather what was right in God’s eyes. For example, Saul was commanded by God in I Samuel (15) to destroy to the uttermost the Amalekites, but Saul did not complete the task he was given. Instead, he spared the king’s life as well as some of the flocks. When the prophet Samuel came on behalf of God to rebuke Saul for his lack of obedience, Saul had the nerve to insist that he had in fact done what God had said. Samuel responded by speaking the following words to Saul in vss. (22,23): “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

God then had David, son of Jesse, anointed as the future king of Israel. This displeased Saul to the point that Saul pursued David and tried to kill him. After a lengthy pursuit, David had the opportunity to turn the tables on Saul and kill him, but he refused to kill the Lord’s anointed. Saul then approached David and said these words in I Samuel (26:21): “I have sinned. Return, my son David. For I will harm you no more because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Indeed, I have played the fool and erred exceedingly.”

Before we cast aspersions on Saul because of his actions, can we not all say that at some point in our life we have “played the fool” because of our misguided behavior? Have we not all sinned because of our stubbornness or rebellion against the word of the Lord?

What we need to do as Christians when we “play the fool” is to own up to our behavior, repent of our sinful actions, and pray to God for forgiveness. It is the only way we can remain humble and fully obedient in His sight.

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