Saturday, September 25, 2010

Arrogance Brings the Downfall of Men

Holy Spirit
King Saul's life shows humility wins the favor of God, while arrogance brings the downfall of men.

Arrogance brings the downfall of kings, presidents, government leaders, CEO's, potentates, evangelists and pastors; men in all walks of life. Have you seen them in the News? Arrogance brings the wrath of God and loses his divine favor.

Man needs to remember who he is, and who God is!

The difference between the behavior of the “politician” and the “statesman” who labors for the good of his people is a matter of the historical record.

Adolf Hitler led his nation to devastation and committed suicide hiding in a bunker. Saddam Hussein persecuted his own people, yet was found hiding in a dirt hole, tried and executed.

King Saul's life exemplified the fall.

Initially, Samuel the prophet, at the instruction of God, anointed the young Saul with oil.

As a result of this anointing, Saul encountered a company of prophets. They celebrated a joyous time with lyres, tambourines, flutes, and harps and freely prophesied in the power of the Spirit of God.

Samuel forewarned Saul of the effect of God's anointing.

The Spirit of the Lord will come on you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you” (1 Samuel 10:6 NIV).

However, Saul failed to stand in the spirit of the anointing. For instance, when Samuel summoned all Israel to announce the King, he actually found Saul hiding afraid in the baggage.

For a time, God's anointing blessed Saul. When the Ammonites attacked Israel in overwhelming mass, the Spirit of God came on the young leader. Angry in spirit, Saul summoned all Israel and Judah for battle. Israel assembled 300,000 men and Judah, 30,000 men.

With this anointing, Saul strategically divided his army into three divisions during the night, attacked, and destroyed the powerful enemy.

The people confirmed him as King, and he reigned over Israel the next forty-two years.

Ultimately in pride, Saul grew arrogant
toward Samuel and to God.

When the Amalekites attacked, Saul failed to destroy the wicked enemy as God instructed. Instead, he captured King Agag alive and seized much forbidden plunder.

Samuel chastised him with words that loudly ring true through the ages.

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king” (1 Samuel 15: 22-23 NIV).

Samuel never returned to advise Saul again. King Saul died in battle shamefully, and David succeeded him king.

Humility wins the favor of God.

The power of humility dominates in Moses' tremendous leadership in leading over a million people through the barren wilderness for forty years.

Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3 NIV).

Jesus taught humility with his sacrificial life.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Matthew 11: 29-30 NIV).

The prophet Isaiah proclaims
God dwells with the man of humble heart.

For this is what the high and lofty One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15 NIV).

Humility is the secret of the prayerful man or woman who draws close to God or the statesman who effectively leads for the good of his people.

– Bill Hunt © 2010

(See books on Humility, Prayer, and Leadership.)

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