2: Donkey Ways

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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Learn from those who have gone before how perfectly the Lord will secure a destiny from the inevitable downfall of humanity's donkey nature.

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King Saul is a striking portrait of stubbornness… and its end.  Saul didn’t want God’s will.  He wanted God’s approval of his own will… and whatever Saul wanted, he believed was God’s will.  This… is stubbornness.

Reading: I Samuel 13, 15

When thousands of Philistines were camped against Israel, Samuel was coming down to Gilgal to offer sacrifices to the Lord.  Saul and the frightened people gathered there waiting.  When Samuel did not come by the seventh day, Saul made the offering himself, though he was not a priest.  Saul had an explanation that satisfied him, one that perfectly justified his presumption.  How could Samuel – and God – not understand his reason?

“I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling…  So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.”

An excuse in three parts, putting the blame on all – the people, Samuel and the Philistines – all except himself, to whom he ascribed the deed of disobedience as a noble, self-sacrificing act.  By not waiting three more hours, Saul lost his kingdom.

In God’s view of earthly matters, disobedience is more deadly than thousands of Philistine warriors.  A Sovereign Lord could route them easily by an earthquake (I Sam. 14:15), but He would not swallow a cunning pretext for the violation of His holy priesthood.

Samuel said, “…now your kingdom shall not endure.  The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you” (l Sam. 13:14).

Saul was not changed nor did he change his ways.  The loss of his place and his throne did not shake him from his course.  Donkeys have very hard skulls and though they be struck in the head with a blow, they barely feel it.

Samuel brought to Saul the ancient order of God (Deut. 25:17-19).  Because of their cruelty to Israel as they crossed the desert, God had called for the complete destruction of Amalek: “Utterly destroy all that he (Amalek) has and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (I Sam. 15:3).

Saul, who believed his own ideas were better than God’s, saved the king and the best of the animals.  So pleased was Saul with his independent handling of Amalek, that before Samuel arrived, he had “set up a monument for himself.”  And in the confidence of sheer gall, he dared to greet Samuel with “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have carried out the command of the Lord.”

Again he blamed the people. Again he gave it a noble twist, a religious reason for direct disobedience.  Turning his unheeding agenda into God’s benefit, “the best of sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God” (I Sam. 15:15).

The man needed an education into God and Samuel gave it:

To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed, than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft,
and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
I Sam. 15:22 NKJV

Rebellion is to presume an action that God has not originated.  (Serving as priest when you are not.)  But stubbornness is continuing on the rigid path of your willfulness even after being corrected… by GOD!

When Saul stole Samuel’s place, he lost his throne, but when he knew better than God, Saul lost God.  “…The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented and troubled him” (I Sam. 16:14 AMP).

Copyright © 2000 Martha Blaney Kilpatrick, Donkey Doctrine

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