King Saul didn’t take it well when God said He was going to give His kingdom to someone else. Saul believed the kingdom was his, not God’s – and he was going to hold onto “his” throne at any cost. In today’s episode, Pastor Lutzer outlines the characteristics of a “spear-thrower” and how to react to them.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us today as we again discuss the topic, “When You’ve Been Wronged.” Now, if you were with us last time, you know that we were talking about King Saul, a very interesting man; hugely gifted, had opportunities to lead, often times led very successfully, but absolutely consumed with jealousy, almost to the point of insanity—picked up a spear and tried to kill David. That was really the heart of King Saul.
How do you recognize a spear-thrower?—couple of suggestions based on the life of this remarkable man: First of all he believed that the kingdom was his and not God’s. When Samuel came to him and said—you know, you are actually disobedient because you were supposed to kill the Amalekites, and so forth, you were supposed to destroy everything that they had, King Saul said, “well, you know, I kind of did that, but the people, they are the ones that kept the spoils.” Just something like Aaron, you know and the golden calf—“well, you know I just took this gold and I threw it into the fire and, lo and behold, there’s the calf and the people gave me the gold.” That’s human nature isn’t it? So, Saul believes that the kingdom is his. When David said to him, “God is taking the kingdom from you and giving it to someone else.” Saul should have said, “God is the one who makes those decisions. I serve at His good pleasure. Let God give it to whomever He will.” That’s not what Saul said. He hung on to it until his knuckles turned white. “This kingdom is mine.” One of the things that we, as pastors, have to learn is that the church is not ours. Thank you very much. The church is God’s and it’s very important for us to remember that.
Well, that’s one of the characteristics. I’ve already emphasized he blames other people for his own failure and he divides people; he tried to use his son Jonathan to bring division between Jonathan and David, and he is the one who always lives by his own set of rules. That’s why I find him so fascinating. The Bible says, for example, that Saul—he actually rid the whole land of witches and yet when he is in difficulty, when he doesn’t know what to do, what does King Saul do? He goes to a witch. And, of course, there we have an experience that is very unusual. Samuel actually appears, and it appears as if God did a very strange miracle there.
But the point is this: I am the one who makes the rules you keep them, but I’m not going to keep my own rules because everything that I do is right just because I do it. That’s the heart of a spear-thrower. Now, what is the bottom line today? And I certainly want you to make sure that you tune in next time, because I’m going to be talking about King Saul again and some of the lessons that David had to learn living with a spear-thrower. It’s actually the same lesson that I mentioned last time. One of the great characteristics of David was this: he had an opportunity to kill King Saul on two occasions and refused to do it, and so I want to leave you with this very important lesson. When somebody throws a spear at you, don’t throw it back. When sinned against, don’t sin. That’s the challenge that you and I face. And why does God gift Saul this way? Well, you stay tuned. Because we’re going to be discussing that next time, but as for today you just go with God.