Deride Clinton and Trump, or pray?

David’s love for the Lord caused him to always ask God’s direction and help in prayer. Eventually that is the only recourse for a Church under siege.

Although we are not citizens of the United States or live there, the Trump/Clinton election battle is intriguing.  Let’s compare the candidates and the country with the history of Saul and David.

#  Israel no longer wanted God to be their King.

The people of Israel told the prophet, Samuel, that they wanted a king like all the other nations.  Samuel felt that they rejected God as their King.  It can be compared to the USA where there are many organisations and groups that fight to get rid of God.  The general impression is that the people of America don’t want God as their King.  God’s faithful followers resist it, but because the devil is the ruler of the world, he controls most of the media.  Thus we are aware of the efforts to banish God from public life.

#  Israel got what they wanted.

God told Samuel to give the people what they wanted, a king.1  Saul was ‘an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites – a head taller then any of the others.’ 2  Both Trump and Clinton, though not young, have impressive accomplishments.

#  Saul could not stand firm against social pressure.

Initially Saul defended the Israelites against their enemies.  Then God commanded Saul to punish the Amalekites because they attacked His nation (read Church).  Saul did not obey God, but submitted to the people’s desire to save the best possessions of the Amalekites.  Will the president elect take a stand against God’s enemies (abortion, gender issues, same sex marriage, opposition to to marriage, et cetera), or capitulate to the wishes of the masses?

#  Saul wanted to look good in front of the people.

Saul was not interested to obey God, but to look good before the people.  He asked Samuel, ‘Please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel….’ 3  Both candidates promise everything to everybody.  Fine, but what about the Church?  Will the chosen president honour God through obedience to God’s commands, or capitulate to what the general media wants?  Saul persecuted David so intensely that he in a sense lost his mind and killed all the priests of Nob.4

#  Saul focussed on the minor instead of the major.

What was Saul’s end?  Because he was so intent to destroy David, he neglected the duties of kingship.  The nation was overrun by its enemies.  That might happen in the USA, but not necessarily by the invasion of a foreign nation, but invasion of foreign doctrines that are detrimental to the nation.  The family is under siege through confusion about the roles of men and women, et cetera.  Biblical values like love for the Lord, are devalued.

#  David’s reaction to persecution.

How did David, whom we take in this blog as a type of the Church, react?  David constantly went to God through prayer. 5  David found his strength in God. 6

Conclusion

David’s love for the Lord caused him to always ask God’s direction and help in prayer.  Eventually that is the only recourse for a Church under siege.  God never fails to answer prayer, but it needs committed people like David, who loved the Lord and trusted Him.

References

  1. 1 Samuel 8:4-22
  2. 1 Samuel 9:2
  3. 1 Samuel 15:30
  4. 1 Samuel 22:6-23
  5. 1 Samuel 23:9-12;  22:5;  17:45
  6. 1 Samuel 23:16;  30:6

Trump or Clinton?

In the presidential race between Trump and Clinton voters are increasingly skeptic of the honesty and integrity of the candidates.  The election reminds one of God’s lament in Hosea 8:5, ‘They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.’  It is still true that a leader makes or breaks a country by his or her love for, or rejection of, the Lord.  Let us look at two Biblical examples.

#  Saul, the first king of Israel

The Israelites wanted a king like all the other nations.   They rejected the leadership of God.  So God consented and gave them Saul as their king.  He was a strapping young man, taller than most. 1

  • Saul proved to be quite an able soldier.  Initially he lead his people to defeat their enemies.
  • The only problem was that he just couldn’t follow God wholeheartedly.
  • He also fell into the jealousy trap of the devil.  He spent valuable years persecuting the future king, David, and logically neglected the country.
  • So the Philistines were eventually victorious at the battle on Mount Gilboa and Saul and his 2 sons died there. 2

#  David the second king of Israel

  • He was an ordinary man, but had a lion’s heart.  He defeated the giant, Goliath, and was victorious against the enemies of Israel. 3
  • Unfortunately he lost the battle against temptation.  He sinned with Bathsheba.  It cost him their baby and his sons Amon, Absalom and Adoniah.  It caused a lot of turmoil in his family that affected the kingdom.
  • Despite that, David thoroughly repented.  He never deviated from his loyalty and love for God.  God helped him to defeat Israel’s enemies.  He also devoted his later years to organise the temple worship and prepared much of the material to build it.  The temple would be God’s dwelling that He would fill with His glory. 4   That is why we believe God said of David, ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 5

Conclusion

We learn from Saul and David that a leader can make quite serious personal mistakes, but if a leader loves the Lord, the country prospers.

References

  1. 1 Samuel 8:4-9; 9:2; 10:1
  2. 1 Samuel 31:1-10
  3. 1 Samuel 17-18
  4. 2 Chronicles 7:1-2
  5. Acts 13:22

Kill them all! Part 2, the Amalekites

In Part 2 of this series (read part 1 here: Annihilate the AmalekitesKill them all! Part 1, introduction) we discuss how a God of love could vow to annihilate the Amalekites.  They attacked His people, coming out of slavery in Egypt, vulnerable and unprepared for war.  The Amalekites waylaid them, meaning they attacked them without provocation.

Like any protective father when his children are needlessly attacked, God’s reaction was, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.’ 1  

About 250 years after the event, God commanded Saul through Samuel the prophet, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” 2

Saul apparently obeyed, ‘Then [he] attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.’ 3  It sounds as if the Amalekites as a nation were wiped out. Yet their history continued.

Further mention of the Amalekites 

When David and his men stayed in Ziklag among the Philistines, he raided the Amalekites.4  Once when David and his men were away, the Amalekites attacked and burnt down Ziklag. They took all the women and children. David pursued them and ‘…there they were, scattered over the countryside.’ 5  He fought against them and none escaped except 400 young men on camels. 6  This proves that the Amalekites were not completely wiped out by Saul.

 

Later an Amalekite brought David the news of Saul’s death.7  Amalek is mentioned among the enemy nations that David subdued. 8  So there were still numerous Amalekites years after Saul ‘annihilated them’.  It was only in the time of Hezekiah (around 715 BC) that the Amalekites were finally destroyed as a nation. 9   That was about 550 years after God decided to wipe them out.

So does the Bible text lie when it says Saul killed all the Amalekites? No! Obviously people flee in times of war (especially women and children). So we are dealing here with a phenomenon that is well known in our time: refugees. That is what must have happened with the Amalekites. Saul must have killed many, but many fled.

We notice that the Amalekites had plenty of time to mend their ways. This accords with God’s ever present grace and mercy.  In the next blog, Part 3, we will discuss the Canaanites.

References

  1. Exodus 17:14
  2. 1 Samuel 15:2-3
  3. 1 Samuel 15:7-8
  4. 1 Samuel 27:8
  5. 1 Samuel 30:16
  6. 1 Samuel 30:1-18
  7. 2 Samuel 1:13
  8. 2 Samuel 8:12; 1 Chronicles 18:11
  9. 1 Chronicles 4:43
%d bloggers like this: