Our word is important. Do we keep our word to others and to the Lord?
Saul impulsively blurted out pronouncements. When your heart is not following after the Lord, blurts of the heart can be particularly damaging and thus revealing.
As the Philistines fell into chaos at Jonathan’s victories, Saul rallies his men and decrees, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” (24).
Certainly this is foolish, who knows how long the battle will rage; no allowing men to eat is ridiculous. Even more, the statement is full of ego… I have avenged myself on my enemies! Saul’s self-aggrandizement is evident. He is not fighting for the Lord or Israel, Saul is fighting for self.
After the initial rout by Israel Saul inquires of the Lord concerning whether they should continue the chase into the night. But the Lord does not answer. Saul assumes sin and has the priests being out the Urim and Thummim. Then another blurt comes across his lips. “Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed today. As surely as the LORD who rescues Israel lives, even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan, he must die.” (38-39).
It sounds so noble and righteous, but when the lot falls to Jonathan, Saul allows the men’s wishes to spare Jonathan and to keep Saul from his foolish vow.
The vow itself was superbly foolish, but this was made doubly bad when Saul broke the vow he made to the Lord (remember Jephthah in Judges 11, he kept his rash vow).
All of this thought about ‘the blurts’ of the heart caused me to look inward…
· What do ‘my blurts’ reveal about my heart? Am I motivated by self or service to the Lord?
· Do I keep my word to others and most especially to the Lord?
I am reminded of a Jesus-saying: A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (Luke 6:45).
As I consider ‘my blurts’… my heart is revealed…
Lord, my heart is a mixed bag… some refined by Your Spirit and some still scared by sin. Continue refining me. Show me places I still need to surrender to You and give me the strength of will to do all the surrendering You require of me.
My heart needs much repair. Please, Dr. Jesus, perform the surgery I require to be pure and holy before You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.