A Tale of Two Men

Frank Vargo was 18 years old and a brand new Christian when I met him in 1981. I was a brand new Youth Minister at the time. He just recently had his 25 year anniversary as the beloved pastor of Freedom Bible Church, Port Charlotte, FL. He is a much loved husband, father and grandfather who faithfully preaches God’s Word every week, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. Finish well my dear friend!

I Samuel 18

This chapter highlights the contrast between two men; Saul and David. One, clings to life through the perspective of this present, temporal world and the other through the perspective of a Sovereign God. The contrast is striking. Saul sends out David as a military leader over his men. The people begin to hear of David’s courage and success and they begin to sing “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands. Then Saul became very angry…” v7. The dread that settled into Saul was the fear that David was God’s chosen man to replace him as king. Saul was right. V8 says “Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on.”

He’s just digging his hole deeper

So, what does Saul do? He does what he has always done which is the opposite of a “man after God’s own heart”.  He takes the situation into his own hands. “Now Saul was afraid of David, for the Lord was with him but had departed Saul,” v11.  One day in a violent rage, Saul threw his spear at David but David escaped. Then Saul came to his senses and realized that he it would be foolish to be the cause of David’s death. The people loved him. So, Saul send him constantly into battles where David was most likely outnumbered so that he would be killed by the Philistines. Instead of becoming a casualty of war, David prospered and the people loved him even more. In another attempt, Saul said I will give you my daughter, Michal to marry but you must go out and slaughter a hundred philistines. David went out and killed 200 philistines. David and Michal fell deeply in love with each other. Saul saw all of this and became even more afraid, v29. Every attempt Saul manufactured to regain control (which he never had in the first place) backfired on him and produced the opposite effect.

Learn from Saul what not to do

Lord, why do we attempt to act in our lives apart from prayerfully seeking and pursuing Your plan and Your way? Often it is fear, anger, impatience, covetousness that drives us to act to change others and our situation. Often, we just don’t like the situation we are in!  In our minds (even if we don’t want to admit it) we rebel against you, Our God, because we don’t like our current state. Remind us that we are citizens of heaven. Saul acted that way because his present life was all he had. May we not be like that. Our life is in You and our life extends far beyond this present, finite human life. May our faith and trust be in You. May we act when you guide us to and may we be still and at peace when you call us to do so. And may we have the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.