As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” And Saul eyed David from that day on. The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.
Saul has a fierce regard for his reputation. It is of the utmost importance to Saul, that he be admired most. Saul has guzzled the delusional Kool-Aid of our culture’s most fervent doctrine …Thou shalt decide thine own identity! And how, you ask, does Saul identify? Saul’s self-determined identity is ‘Most Impressive and Celebrated Person Ever!’ And as such, Saul will stop at nothing to protect this delusional view of himself.
It’s tragic, because the self Saul is protecting isn’t worth protecting …because it’s an absolute delusion!
THE PRETEND – PITIABLE – SELF
Now Saul was obsessed with hunting-down and destroying David. Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, people of Benjamin; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, that all of you have conspired against me? No one discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day.”
Saul saturates himself in petulance, and pouting; because the delusion/pretend self is NOT made in the image of God, and therefore it can rise no higher than the cesspool of surly self-pity!
This is the fate of all who insist on their own ideas about themselves; as opposed to accepting and enjoying who God says you are. Investing in the pretend self invariably leads to a life of self-torment… you cannot laugh at yourself, but rather -in every interaction – you must be ‘taken seriously’ and you must be preemptively and perpetually defensive all the time. You live under the interminable, miserable, mantra, “Thou must have life on thy terms!”, all the while being inundated and beleaguered with evidence at every turn that thou art categorically and unequivocally NOT able to engineer life on thy terms; and inescapably bedeviled by the fact that thou hast consigned thyself to a life of being habitually offended, outraged, and out-of-sorts!
What’s the remedy for such a plague?
THE PURCHASED & PLUNDERED SELF
We have been enslaved by an extremely strong, Satanic, lie! And the only way out is to be purchased and plundered by new ownership!
Jesus says, “I bought you with My blood!” …”No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. And that’s what I’ve done to Satan!”
And having been purchased and plundered by Jesus, we are henceforth given a desire to collaborate with Jesus to kill the pathetic pretend self (and all the self-protection nonsense that accompanies it); and The Holy Spirit develops in us an ever-deepening desire to see and savor our identity IN CHRIST – steadily seeking the Lord more and more, and subsequently – being delivered from all our fears; relishing the marvelous and mysterious truth that those who look to Jesus are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed; regularly reminiscing about how ‘this poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.’ …reveling in the transcendently ordinary everyday reality that the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
*Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!