Today on “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer,” we’re continuing the series “When You’ve Been Wronged: Moving from Bitterness to Restoration.” We’re examining the downward trajectory of a tragic biblical figure, King Saul, who was anointed by God under Samuel the prophet and blessed by Him in every way, only to choose the path of fear, jealousy, and ultimately despair.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today as we discuss the topic, “When You’ve Been Wronged.” Well today, we’re going to be discussing the life of someone with whom you cannot reconcile, and some of you know people like that, don’t you? Sometimes they are spoken of as borderline personalities—people that you cannot trust, people that can be very kind and sweet, and at the same time, moments later, turn against you and they can become very vicious.
There’s someone in the Old Testament who has fascinated me for years. I think he is a treasure trove for those who have psychological interest and that is King Saul. I want to list all of the advantages that he had, all of the opportunities he had to serve God very quickly, and this, of course, is all found in the book of 1 Samuel. He was anointed by God—none other than Samuel anointed him by God; he was unusually gifted; he was a member of the prophets; the Holy Spirit of God came upon him and he prophesied; he was handsome, the Bible says that he was taller than everyone else, and yet had apparent humility. When they come to try to crown him they can’t even find him. All the qualities that you would like to see in a husband or in a king. He had success. In chapter 11 of 1 Samuel we read that he went out and he fought and God gave him a victory. All of those assets, all of it, but Saul did not live up to his gifting.
That’s very sobering, isn’t it? Saul simply was overcome by jealousy. Why? Because there was a young upstart that made him look bad. Now, he had come to know David, he put David over men of war and wherever David went God blessed him, and so forth, and then women came out and they said, “You know, Saul has slain his thousands but David his tens of thousands!” And that was the end of a good relationship. The Bible says that Saul became angry, an evil spirit from God overtook him. By the way, what does it mean: an evil spirit from God? Well, of course, God ultimately has to give permission to evil spirits to do their work. How powerful is the devil? Exactly as powerful as God wants him to be. Not one whit more. So, because Saul harbored this jealousy, God says, “Saul, you want to be jealous. I’ll give you a spirit of jealousy and a spirit of anger.” So what does Saul do? He takes his spear and he throws it at David. The Bible says that David got out of his way twice. Here’s a man, as I’ve already emphasized, who did not live up to his calling.
Now, what’s the bottom line here? And we’re, of course, going to continue his story next time, but for today, what do I want to leave with you? When you have a spear thrown at you, don’t throw another spear back. David didn’t say, “Oh, you think you’re a spear thrower? Look at this!” Don’t take it and shoot it back. The bottom line is this: when sinned against, do not sin in return. God has a larger purpose for what is happening, so what you have to do is to learn those purposes and we will give you some information about that in the next episode together. As for today, as I like to emphasize, you just go with God.