I Chronicles 10

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No one in their right mind can any longer deny the emergence of a Big Brother society concerned not only with maintaining public safety and order, but with acting as a thought police. In the character of the old Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia, the emerging Big Brother seeks to criminalize personal, political, and religious opinion. This dissipation of democratic freedom is directly proportional to the fact that the Protestant democracies and their backslidden churches and denominations have abandoned the scriptural principles of their forefathers upon which their constitutional and representative government, democratic freedom, and personal liberty were initially predicated. It is imperative to understand how these trends are preparing the way for the advent of the Antichrist.

This has nothing to do with conspiracy theories about Freemasonry or the Illuminati; it goes well beyond all of that half-truth and the endless spiral of speculation and conjecture that evolve from it. It is more related to the decline of personal liberty through everything from the increased role of government in the corporate environment, the regulation of private enterprise, and personal economic freedom, but also through the abject quest for a social harmony that cannot exist outside of faith in Christ. – Jacob Prasch, Shadows of the Beast

So, today’s blog is going to be briefer than some this week… It’s been kind of an exhausting week for a lot of people, I think… I know, personally, any time you delve into Word of Faith Christology, it causes a spiritual blowback that is hard to describe—but it’s intense… I guess, all I want to say for this blog is that the Presence of God in the form of the witness of the Holy Spirit only comes when there is an Apostolic Gospel being proclaimed with Scriptural Truth as the Foundation… People can have the best of intentions and hope and plan for a Move of God, but without Apostolic Preaching, it just isn’t going to authentically happen…

I remember back when I was in college and I had an English literature class called “Myth and Meaning/Myth and Order.” And a big portion of the class was discussion of “Christian myth” and how it related to literature and shaped culture… And the professor presented the Gospel as “Christian myth,” but he did present the Gospel… In fact, he explained the Biblical Gospel better than most preachers you will hear these days… I don’t think he believed in the Gospel he presented or had faith in it as anything more than “myth,” which gave many meaning to life and order to society… But the thing about it was, when he spoke the Gospel, there was a witness of the Holy Spirit that rose up in me so strong at that moment… In a secular college classroom, on a godless campus, there was the Presence of God simply because the Truth of the Gospel was spoken… Now, revival didn’t break out or anything—for one thing, there was no invitation given to accept or reject… It was a seemingly unbelieving professor presenting the Gospel… but present he did… And when the Gospel is presented, the Holy Spirit bears witness… No matter what the forum… It was like there was a momentary hush over an otherwise spiritually chaotic environment…

On the other hand, you can find yourself in a church or at an assembly of Christians, and a preacher stands up and starts presenting something that has nothing to do with an Apostolic Gospel and is based on a gnostic interpretation of Scripture, and the otherwise calm environment will turn spiritually chaotic… And it will happen fast… Sometimes there will even be physical manifestations within the crowd of the chaotic spirit—often passed off as a move of the Spirit… But it has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit only bears witness to the Truth… And if the Truth isn’t being proclaimed, there’s no Presence of God… But now I’m venturing into controversial waters again… So, here’s First Chronicles…

Now the Philistines attacked Israel, and the men of Israel fled before them. Many were slaughtered on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons, and they killed three of his sons—Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malkishua. 3 The fighting grew very fierce around Saul, and the Philistine archers caught up with him and wounded him (I Chronicles 10:1-3 NLT).

Yeah, I decided the skip ten riveting chapters of genealogy… But, you know, there is one thing I that stands out to me about the genealogy of Jesus… Not all of His ancestors were godly men… Manasseh set up a vulgar idol in the very Temple God, for example…

Now, we are back to Saul and David…

Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to taunt and torture me.” But his armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When his armor bearer realized that Saul was dead, he fell on his own sword and died. 6 So Saul and his three sons died there together, bringing his dynasty to an end (I Chronicles 10:4-6 NLT).

Saul’s life ended in suicide.

When all the Israelites in the Jezreel Valley saw that their army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. So the Philistines moved in and occupied their towns. 8 The next day, when the Philistines went out to strip the dead, they found the bodies of Saul and his sons on Mount Gilboa. 9 So they stripped off Saul’s armor and cut off his head. Then they proclaimed the good news of Saul’s death before their idols and to the people throughout the land of Philistia. 10 They placed his armor in the temple of their gods, and they fastened his head to the temple of Dagon (I Chronicles 10:7-10 NLT).

It was customary to take the heads of conquered kings and make sport with them in the houses of the gods, and in the cities of their own people. Pagan nations like the Philistines gave their gods credit for victory in battle.  The Philistines favored god was Dagon.

But when everyone in Jabesh-gilead heard about everything the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their mighty warriors brought the bodies of Saul and his sons back to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones beneath the great tree at Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days. 13 So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14 instead of asking the Lord for guidance. So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse (I Chronicles 10:11-14 NLT).

Saul was determined to insist upon his stubbornness and rebellion, even in his own tragic death.

Lo, this is the man who made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. But I am like a green olive tree in the House of God: I trust in the Mercy of God for ever and ever.  I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and I will wait on Your Name for it is good before Your Saints (Psalms 53:7-9 KJV).