“How the mighty have fallen!” 2 Samuel 1:27.
Aeschylus, a Greek author, and tragedian said, “From a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow.” If you look through the pages of history, many mighty has fallen with unchecked character faults. The person that comes to my mind is an ancient king, the first king of Israel called Saul. It indeed was a tragic incident.
King Saul accepted the divine appointment from the prophet and priest Samuel with a heart of lowliness, humility and much reservation. He acknowledged his unworthy background. He said he was from the smallest of the tribes of Israel and his family is the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. (1 Samuel 9:21). However, when he got the power, his heart was pumped with pride. He even wanted to do the priestly function that was assigned to Samuel. The stressful background of the impending war he faced with and his impatience to wait for Samuel compelled him to conduct burnt offerings and peace offerings. (1 Samuel 13).
Beloved, Saul was the leader of the nation, but not the assigned priest to conduct spiritual sacrifices. Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, said, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” We need to be vigilant and careful when a leader wants to grab absolute power in his or her hands. Absolute power in one person corrupts absolutely and hinders divine plans and progresses. This is true in the affairs of the nation, the church, or even in families. No wonder Bible advocates plurality of leaders in His church and submissiveness to one another.
Partial obedience and lame excuses of disobedience also discovered in King Saul. (1 Samuel 15). God warned him through Samuel that obedience to God is better than sacrifice and rebellion is a sin that leads to divination. His request for forgiveness was just a lip service only and not from his heart. He did this only to save his face with the leaders and people of Israel. His repentance was not genuine, and spirit inside of him was not broken in the sight of the Lord.
Thirdly, jealousy filled in King Saul’s heart because of his pride. Power and pride produce envy if one is not careful. He was filled with resentment toward David, the God’s anointed. He stood against the plan of God by stopping the progress of David. King Saul tried to keep David away from his kingdom. He was worried he would lose his kingdom to David. Later, Saul ended up with the witch of Endor and sought after divination. What a tragic end? A man who started well with humility and lowliness then filled with pride, fear of losing authority and jealousy. Without a repentant heart, he went to see a witch and sought after divination — the downward spiral of a mighty man who started well. In the end, this mighty man fell by killing himself by falling on his sword.
Beloved, this is the tragic end of all those follows Saul’s life.
Proverbs 18:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.”
May this Bible verse rings in our hearts and minds.