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    A Matter of Pride

    A Matter of Pride

    This is a story of the King Saul in all of us. Just as in the story of the Jews, their first king was Saul and then David, our first king in our lives was us and then Jesus. In King Saul, there is much similarity to our own lives. We ruled according our own wishes, even if God wanted something else. We chose our own will above God's will. In the end, we had to die, either through judgment of sin or in order for Jesus to be king. Either way, we have to die. And like King Saul, we choose our own judgment. Saul refused to obey God and was rejected as king and so died in judgment. Had Saul yielded to God, his kingdom would have had no end. It would have been he that would have been the father of Jesus instead of David. Alas, it was not to be. There was one thing that stood in the way of that happening. A little thing called PRIDE! Not so little that little thing. To understand how this played out and how pride was the culprit in King Saul's life and ours, let us go back in time and see for ourselves what really happened to Saul, viewing this scenario with 20/20 hindsight.
    1 Samuel 15:1-3 (NKJV)
    1 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord.
    2 Thus says the Lord of hosts:‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt.
    3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. ’”
    God remembered the promise He had made to Moses in Exodus 17 when Amalek attacked Israel from behind while on their way to the promised land.
    Exodus 17:14 (NKJV)
    Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
    God gave it to King Saul that duty to wipe out all of Amalek from under heaven. It is vital to this story to understand the significance of what was happening. The meaning of names play an important role in understanding this scenario. This was no problem with the Jewish people as their spoken language was Hebrew and they already understood. But we do not speak Hebrew as our native tongue and are not as ready to see the significance as one who grew up in this language of the ancient Jews.

    AMALEK means, "dweller in the vale or valley"
    It indicates a warlike people. The valley is representative of the worldly view or fleshly views while the mountains often represent that spiritual or heavenly perspective. Simply, the Amalekites represent our flesh or the fleshly perspective which is always at war against the spirit.
    Romans 8:7-8 (NKJV)
    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    The king of the Amalekites or the king of the flesh is he or that which has the rule over flesh. In this case, his name is Agag which means, "I will overtop." This is the very picture of pride working in conjunction with the will. I will not relent, I will rule, I will have my way. Pride then is that which has the rule over the flesh in accordance with selfish desires.

    Pride seeks to have the dominance over all things. Pride seeks its own will. Pride refuses instruction unless approved but usually with certain compromises that tend to work out in its own favor. Pride is blinded to the truth for truth rejects pride and casts it down. When God speaks to man directly, the very nature of His word is like a two-edged sword exposing the motives of the heart.
    Hebrews 4:12-13 (NKJV)
    For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
    When God spoke to the children of Israel from that mountain, they asked Moses to not let God speak to them any longer for fear of being destroyed by His word.
    Deuteronomy 5:23-27 (NKJV)
    23 “So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. 24 And you said:“Surely the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. 25 Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore, then we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27 You go near and hear all that the Lord our God may say, and tell us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we will hear and do it. ’
    Such is the nature and power of God's word. Conviction comes for sin but men choose darkness instead because they do not want to expose the evil in their hearts.
    John 3:19-20 (NKJV)
    And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
    Just in case you did not know, it was PRIDE that started this whole rebellion against God thing with that fallen angel once named Lucifer, now named Satan, to reflect his new nature.
    Ezekiel 28:15-17 (NKJV)
    You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
    Till iniquity was found in you.
    16 “By the abundance of your trading
    You became filled with violence within,
    And you sinned;
    Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
    Out of the mountain of God;
    And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
    From the midst of the fiery stones.
    17 ‘Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
    You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor;
    I cast you to the ground....

    Isaiah 14:12-14 (NKJV)
    12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Lucifer, son of the morning!
    How you are cut down to the ground,
    You who weakened the nations!
    13 For you have said in your heart:
    ‘I will ascend into heaven,
    I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
    I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
    On the farthest sides of the north;
    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
    I will be like the Most High. ’
    Now the stage is set. We understand the scene. In summary, God commanded King Saul to kill all the Amalekites and all their animals. Everything that had breath was to die. So it is with our flesh. All our flesh must die for it is always at war against the spirit. If God was to keep His promise to Moses, all the Amalekites had to die and after they are gone, soon their memory too would fade and thus the fulfillment of His word.

    Now let us see what actually happened. Would King Saul do as he was instructed? Will he be given an everlasting kingdom? Let's see...
    1 Samuel 15:7-9 (NKJV)
    And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt.
    8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
    9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
    Well it appears he did not do as God instructed him. He kept the king alive and the best of the animals. What's more, he even patted himself on the back for good measure:
    1 Samuel 15:12 (NKJV)
    So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a MONUMENT FOR HIMSELF; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.”
    Once Samuel heard of this, he was furious.
    1 Samuel 15:18-19 (NKJV)
    Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed. ’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”
    But King Saul was adamant. As far as he was concerned, he did everything God told him to do...
    1 Samuel 15:20-21 (NKJV)
    And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”
    Sound familiar? Don't remember? Let me help. Adam was found to have disobeyed God's command and turned the blame on Eve and God. So this is what King Saul did as well. He blamed the people that God gave him to rule over, blaming his subjects (wife) and God (for having given him the responsibility over them). This is the classic response when we are caught falling short of God's requirements. We shift the blame claiming we are innocent of all charges. This is the very picture of human guilt at work.

    As an aside, I'd like to take a quick look at a very interesting scenario similar to this that actually happened many years ago in the state of Florida. Many tourists were being robbed of their valuables when leaving them in their hotel rooms. The local law enforcement set up a sting operation with a closed circuit television surveillance. The camera was hidden in the wall opposite the bed and a wallet with a large amount of cash was left on the unmade bed. The housekeeping maid came in the room, saw the wallet. At first she ignored it but later, picked it up, saw the cash and laid it back down. She then picked it up, removed the cash and while looking this way and that, placed the wad of cash in the front pocket of her smock. Upon leaving the room, she was met by officers who quickly brought her to the surveillance room and played the video recording of her doing the dirty deed. She quickly said this was not her and when the officers reached into her smock front pocket and pulled the cash, she acted in complete surprise wondering how THAT got there. And the OSCAR goes to the thieving maid!

    The first reaction in our example and the one we see with King Saul is the admittance of complete innocence. I did nothing wrong!

    What King Saul did not realize was that God was letting Saul's life play out right in front of him. Let me explain this perspective. God knew that Saul was a man of great pride as well as one who has been used by God to defeat many of Israel's enemies. God knew before this event that Saul was laying claim to those previous victories as his own even when he acknowledged God was the reason for his victories. It does not matter what we claim in the hearing of men when our hearts say something completely different. God is not a man that He can be deceived. He knows the very content of our heart. So if we lay our own claim to what He has worked in and through us, then we too may come upon a day where we will determine our own judgment just as King Saul did that day.

    Pride is what was ruling King Saul's heart and in this scenario, he did not have it in himself to kill pride (Agag-I will overtop). Also, pride will not pass up an opportunity to get the spoils if it means it will cost him nothing to make an offering to the Lord by fire. The requirements of God, when making an offering by fire, is to take the best of YOUR OWN flocks and offer them to God. It must COST you something. Pride sees an opportunity and cannot let this opportunity pass it by, take the best of the flesh and offer up the fruit of the flesh to God. Nothing wrong with that...right? An even trade?

    Not to Samuel and not to God.
    1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NKJV)
    So Samuel said:
    “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
    Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
    And to heed than the fat of rams.
    23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
    And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
    Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    He also has rejected you from being king.”
    There, can you see how pride caused King Saul's downfall? He refused to kill Agag (I will overtop), the king of the flesh in his own life and was willing to offer up to God the fruit of his own flesh as a substitute for a sacrifice. King Saul played out his own life in front of him and lost.

    The same can happen to us if we allow pride to rule over our life and our choices. Pride prevents us from obeying God completely. All God commands to us pass through PRIDE as a filter and only what is pleasing to us comes out. But when confronted with the truth, we make our stand for innocence and shift the blame elsewhere. In light of this lesson, what must we do with our will? Will we allow PRIDE to continue its dominance or do we kill pride and be cleansed forever? The choice is ours. If we refuse to deal with it, then we too will be brought to that place where our choices will determine our future just as it did with former King Saul.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    Item Reviewed: A Matter of Pride Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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