Saul, A Mighty Man!
Well, Father’s Day has come and gone but I do not think it is too late to talk to dads about our impact on young lives.
What about Saul in the Old Testament? You might say, “Saul was certainly no example to young lives in Israel! His kingdom was ripped from him!” Do not be too hasty. There was something great imparted to Saul that was also imparted to his son Jonathan.
The scriptures say that Kish, Saul’s father, was a mighty man. Something of Kish was given to Saul because God chose Saul as Israel’s first king. We know by Saul’s response that he was extremely humble in the beginning and did not even tell anyone about Samuel anointing him to become king. When Saul began, he did not push himself forward to be something grand in the eyes of man; he hid himself behind stuff when it came time for his coronation.
Obviously, a younger, more earnest, Saul planted some wonderful things in his son Jonathan. Jonathan is one of the great men in the Bible. He is loyal to both his father and his covenant friend, David. He is honest, and he is daring and brave in confronting the enemies of Israel. He believes the best of his father’s intentions toward David until he was forced to believe otherwise. Even then, he tried to reason with his father to recognize the truth.
Jonathan was able to discern the spirit of God and the future. He was to be appointed the next king of Israel but could see that the true destiny of Israel did not lie with him but in David. He unselfishly denied himself and declared David was God’s man. He was able to be sensitive to the spirit and not be bitter, instead, he rejoiced in David’s heritage. He loved David and still revered his father and died in battle defending Saul’s kingdom.
Where did this godly, fearless, unselfish young man come from? He came from Saul. A very young, steadfast, God-fearing, Saul instilled greatness in his son. His son never wavered from this mighty way of living.
Dads, it would behoove us to take a look at Saul. He started well, and ended a jealous and bitter man. Saul did what many men do; he became competitive with someone who rivaled him in popularity. My how tempting it is for us to take up the challenge that no one is going to be better than we are! I am not talking about passivity. I am talking about an ungodly jealousy that drives us to destroy innocent, gifted, people who mean us no harm.
Men watch yourselves. Your kids are watching. Children do not just take from us what we say. They watch who we really are.
I talked to a little boy the other day who wanted to leave home because his own dad lied to his mother about something he did and blamed it on him (the son). It was excruciatingly disappointing.
Guys, we have got to live this thing out. Jonathan was able to take the good his father placed in him and overcome the discouragement of a dad gone crazy. I pray that our sons will be like Jonathan and overlook our shortcomings; however, let us not count on it. Let’s be men of God from start to finish!