Backfired Zeal

It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death (2 Samuel 21:1Open Link in New Window).

God had directed the Israelites to destroy many peoples, but He did not tell them to kill the Gibeonites. The scripture says that Saul tried to annihilate the Gibeonites in his zeal for Israel and Judah, even though the Israelites had sworn to spare them. Saul did not kill them in obedience to God, but in his own zeal. So God called his family a blood-stained house. God cursed the land as a result and so there was a famine in Israel. After the price of retribution was paid, the death of seven of Saul’s sons, the curse lifted and God answered prayer in behalf of the land.

Saul’s problem was that he was consumed with his own power and glory. He desperately wanted to be honored by people and to maintain his power. As a result, he did not wholeheartedly obey the Lord’s commands. He mostly acted of his own accord. Zeal for his own house caused him to break Israel’s treaty with the Gibeonites, resulting in the death of his sons. By not fully devoting himself to simply obeying the Lord and seeking His kingdom, he lost the kingdom given him and destroyed his own household.

Lord, I am in desperate need of true humility. Help me to no longer be envious of other people. Help me not to desire fame and fortune and power. Let me simply love You and love people. Let me be zealous to obey Your commands and so bring honor to Your name. Let me no longer think about how to bring myself honor. 

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