First Samuel 26 Commentary
A man like Saul in a backslidden state will make several good promises but fail as many times. But we know this latest promise not to try to harm David will be kept. Not by a transformation of heart, but because Saul will die not too long from now. We have followed Saul for a long time. We can tell from his voice that Saul is a beaten man. He is fast approaching his own end.
It is such a sorry sight when men of power and unimaginable influence get to this point. Without the Spirit of God, all the external factors of influence, power, and self-importance all amount to increased frustration. It’s David the fugitive who is blessed and not Saul. It’s David who would go on and achieve great things and not the man on the throne. Saul would easily swap positions with David. It can never be easy for a man in his position to say the things he says here. Sinners are to be pitied and not envied. There is nothing glorious about a life without the Spirit of God.
Saul provides us with a very good case study. His latest fruitless and sinful hunting expedition was incited by the mob, the Ziphites. Men in Saul’s position are controlled by all sorts of things. The Creator God created man to rule or have dominion. Saul’s lack of self-rule perfectly mirrors man’s pitiful state. He is no longer in charge of himself. He knows it. He hates it.
Finally, Saul confesses; “Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.” We agree.
Saul’s failure to find it in his heart to truly repent and seek forgiveness is mind-boggling. As a result, every day that passed drew him closer to his destruction. This he knew. Was the gear of logic permanently stuck in reverse? What can man do without the Spirit of God? Nothing. This is easily observable from the life of Saul.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is free for the saints. Yet it is this very gift that is the most expensive commodity both in time and space. Without this gift, man doesn’t have life at all. It is one space Christians must protect at all times.
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