Honestly, Really?

I’m reading in the book of 1st Samuel. Of course, most of you know this is the story of Israel getting and losing their first king. The prophet Samuel first anoints Saul as king. But Saul has some serious problems. He thinks that he knows more about what is best for him than God. When God says, “Kill them all,” Saul thinks it’s better to keep the best things for himself. So, he keeps the sheep and cattle and even leaves some of the enemy alive. When Samuel says, “wait for me to offer the sacrifice,” Saul decides that he can do the offering himself –after all his men expect it!

Saul specializes in disobedience.

So, most of us agree with Samuel’s famous comment, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” And when Samuel announces that the kingdom has been taken from Saul and given to someone else, we understand why.

We never liked Saul much anyway.

But when it comes to David, things aren’t much different, really. Even though he is introduced as “a man after God’s own heart.” He has some serious problems of his own. One, in particular, I never noticed until last night.

Here is my observation: If you took a blue pencil and underlined all of David’s lies in the book of 1st Samuel, you would find that most of the second half of the book is BLUE.

He lies to a priest about why he is out and about. He lies to an entire city by pretending to be ‘crazy.’ He lies to the king of the Philistines, saying that he’s raiding the towns of Judah, when in fact he is destroying entire towns and everyone in them in order to support himself and his men. He lies to the men of the king, promising that he’s going to help them destroy the Israelites.

I think the root of the lies come from this phrase, “Someday, Saul is going to get me. The best thing for me to do is to escape to the Philistines.” (I Sam 27:1)

Do you see it? David stopped believing that God would deliver him. His fear made him decide that he had to save himself.

Fear can do that.

So, he began to lie. David began to believe that unless he protected himself, God would not or could not protect him. And lying became second nature to him.

Now obviously, David isn’t perfect. And he has some wonderful qualities that are shown all through his life.

But letting fear take root in his heart gave birth to sin.

I’m paying attention because the truth is a tough thing for me. I want to be absolutely honest with myself and with others. But it’s hard. I struggle with it. David struggled too. And when I think about it, fear is what motivates me too. I’m afraid that the truth will make people reject me. I’m afraid that the truth might hurt someone, or make someone angry, or get me into trouble. So, I lie. I’m afraid that God can’t deliver me from uncomfortable or difficult situations.

But I think it’s a battle worth fighting. What about you? How honest are you? How do you deal with dishonest people? Is it important to you?

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