1 Samuel 24:5-6 “And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt. And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.”
Two words with potent meaning.
In my day, you could find those words on bumper stickers, t-shirts, and spray-painted on walls. If it were only a spirit of seeking understanding or looking to be a better follower, those words would contain a positive connotation. But the fruit that it bore in my generation pointed to utter rebellion.
To be sure, this thought was born in the heart of one who was the first rebel.
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
At the very beginning of time, Satan came to tempt Adam and Eve to change their perspective about God; to look at Him with a scrutinizing eye. To be sure, all leadership outside of God is human. They do not walk on water; raise the dead, or feed thousands from two fish and five loaves of bread.
In our passage today, we find David, who had been running for his life, in a position to eliminate his adversary. He already had God’s approval and anointing that he was to be the next king of Israel. He proved to himself, to his men, and then to Saul that he had the ability and opportunity to take Saul’s life and assume the role that everyone knew he would.
But it was the integrity of David’s heart that smote him that day. His utter disrespect for the position that Saul held could be overlooked by many and understood by most, but, in his relationship with God, David knew that without God’s approval, he could not do this thing and kill Saul outright. His respect for the position and the man in that position had nothing to do with how Saul carried out his responsibilities before God – Saul had to answer for that.
Ultimately, Saul would have to answer to God for what he had been commanded to do. Saul learned early on after his transgression that God was going to remove him from being king; Samuel had told him so.
1 Samuel 15:26-28 “And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.”
So many voices speak at us throughout our day. Talk radio blares opinions with edgy comments that try to engage us in argumentative conversation. The pride of man rises to meet the challenge when we see an injustice or feel we should advocate for the one being accused.
We are bombarded with advertisements throughout our day. Whether it be billboards by the side of the road or popups on our computer; our enemy tries to capture our attention and affect our minds for evil.
Satan wants us to question God when He calls us…
“You want me to go where?”
You want me to do what?”
“You want me to talk to that man/woman?”
To be sure, God is not intimidated by our questioning. But He looks far beyond the actual question. God told Samuel as he went to anoint the next king.
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
The use and purpose for which that man or woman was placed into authority are wholly up to God. He sets up kings and kingdoms and takes them down. God is ultimately in complete control though we may not always agree or see it quite that way.
The correct and right way to question our Authority would be to ask;
“What would you have me to do?”
“How would you have me respond to my authority?”
“What is my response to such a one who mistreats me?”
So often, because of the humanity of the one in authority, our pride rises up and says things we will often regret.
“Can’t they see that I’m right?”
That decision makes no sense to me…”
“They have no business being in that position. I could do it so much better!”
From the ruler of your country to the head of your household; we feel we have a right to an opinion. While that may be true, the expression of that opinion is what may cause the most significant damage.
All the devil needed to do to turn Eve’s head was to look at the temptation in a different light. God drew the line and said; ‘Don’t cross it”.
Genesis 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
“Don’t eat it – I will surely die if I do – got it.”
Parents are confronted early on when training their children.
The endless asking of that one word can cause a parent to lose their sanity. Yet, to be able to discern if it comes from a hear that truly wants to know or is the one asking that continues the game of keeping Mom or Dad engaged.
We must not be afraid to question our authority. But, it must be done with a heart that seeks to give God the glory in and through it all. So, with a humble heart; a contrite heart, come – ask of God.
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Isaiah 45:11 “Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.”
We have so many great and beautiful promises from our Heavenly Father. We should feel free to ask and receive as He commanded us. But there are those times, the little child in us just wants to know – “Why?”