Remember none of us are Superman

Published 8:54pm Thursday, October 31, 2013

Some of the ladies at the mother’s day out program who tend our youngest grandson have a history with his older brothers. One told our daughter some weeks ago that Sims was going to be the sweetest of the three. And he is generally good-humored. But the worker lately reported to his mother that Sims had started hitting and biting a bit at the church.

“He’s turned,” the worker said with a laugh.

I believe the news of Sims’ corruption is overblown — I don’t think he’s become a vampire — but what an interesting phrase: “he’s turned.”

I thought of that phrase recently while studying again the life of Israel’s first king, Saul.

Samuel described Saul as towering above other men and very handsome. As a mid-Easterner I’m sure he was also dark, thus completing the proverbial “tall, dark and handsome” mantra. Saul would be a great politician today since he’d look good on television. (Some historians have suggested Lincoln would bomb out on TV since he was not a handsome man, so perhaps it’s good Lincoln rose to prominence in another era.)

Saul began his reign with commitment to the Lord. Samuel challenged him to be faithful in all his decisions, and Saul promised he’d serve the Lord with his whole heart.

But unfortunately, Saul turned.

The sad account in the Old Testament is one of progressive disobedience. Saul made deliberate and foolish decisions on numerous occasions. Then he let the green-eyed monster of envy claim his soul and began to resent the young hero, David. This resentment brought murderous rage when he chased David from Jerusalem and pursued him in the wilderness.

Interestingly David was married to the king’s daughter and one would think royal blood would be thicker than the water of animosity.

Ignominiously the king concluded his career in a rather strange way when he consulted with a witch to get some direction for an upcoming battle with the Philistines. The king had banished all occultists from the kingdom in obedience to God’s law, but in an unusual twist, he himself turned to the spirit world in crisis.

David was not his enemy, and the young man was broken when he heard Saul had died in battle.

“How art the mighty fallen,” David lamented (2 Samuel 1: 19).

One can only imagine how the history of the nation would be different had Saul continued the path of obedience as he’d promised.

Saul’s story reminds that none of us is Superman. We’re all one act of defiance away from separation from God. We should seek humbly God daily and try to obey him in all matters in order to finish well.

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