I do not believe that the end justifies the means. I have seen too many means manipulated to make it so. Saul’s life had so many moments where God’s hand showed up. He could easily have declared his own righteousness based on the results of his actions, but none of that had to do with him, it was all God.
There have been moments in my life, critical times, that I needed to make a decision that held tremendous importance. Then I read about Jonathan. Mine were nothing compared to his – his was about life and honour or disgrace and death.
The pass that Jonathan was planning to cross over to the Philistine garrison was flanked on either side by sharp rock outcroppings, cliffs named Bozez and Seneh. The cliff to the north faced Micmash; the cliff to the south faced Geba (Gibeah). – 1 Samuel 14:4-5 MSG
When faced with the impassible, Jonathan showed up with decisiveness and courage but he also showed up with God who gave him the strength to persevere.
Saul can only mess things up again. He calls for God to talk to him, immediately throws that decision away in order to join in a fight.
God saved Israel! What a day! – 1 Samuel 14:23 MSG
Saul did not get the honour of winning this fight, God did. It was God who made a covenant with Abraham that He wanted to honour, it was God honouring Jonathan’s love and gifting of himself to God that moved Him to action. Saul was shut out of honour and blessing because he shut out God. How can he turn to God, to honour Him by seeking His counsel, and then seconds later, irreverently discontinues in order to be part of the pursuit not regarding whether God wanted that course of action?
I have a few takeaways. I want to do a study of leadership who have honoured God and how He has honoured them. I want to be aware to avoid the gain of earthly honour or other advantages at the cost of leaving God out of my everyday decisions. I want to be aware that it is not about me or what I want, but only God’s honour. So I will not seek His help to move my own self-interest forward. I aim to seek His will above mine.
Father, I think it is easier to be a Saul than a Jonathan and I can sense the temptation to move forward on my own in so many areas of my life. Help me seek You first, remind me when I do not.