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  • A Selfish Decision

    찬송 : 찬송가 485장 (새찬송가 366장)

  • 2022-05-29   [사무엘상(1 Samuel) 14:24 - 14:35]


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  • 24 And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, "Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies." So none of the people had tasted food.
    25 Now when all the people came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground.
    26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath.
    27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright.
    28 Then one of the people said, "Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, 'Cursed be the man who eats food this day.'" And the people were faint.
    29 Then Jonathan said, "My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey.
    30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great."
    31 They struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people were very faint.
    32 The people pounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them with the blood.
    33 Then they told Saul, "Behold, the people are sinning against the LORD by eating with the blood." And he said, "You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here."
    34 And Saul said, "Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, 'Let every man bring his ox or his sheep and slaughter them here and eat, and do not sin against the LORD by eating with the blood.'" So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night and they slaughtered them there.
    35 And Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first altar that he built to the LORD.
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Thinking & Understanding
As the balance of the battle became tipped in their favour, Saul made the soldiers fast for the sake of complete victory. However, the starving soldiers could not fight properly due to hunger and weariness. Meanwhile, Jonathan, who had not heard Saul’s command, ate honey and gained strength. After finding out that Saul had commanded the soldiers to fast, Jonathan lamented over this causing them to miss out on a greater victory (vv. 24-30). After the time of fasting was over, the starving soldiers sinned against God by eating animals with blood. Upon hearing this, Saul made the soldiers bring him a great stone and captured oxen and built his first altar (vv. 31-34).


What lesson is God teaching me?
Vv. 24-35 Saul’s rash command caused his soldiers to starve and lose their strength. As a result, not only did they miss out on a greater victory, but the soldiers were also led to sin. Let’s be careful with our words and actions, remembering that they can cause others to sin or despair.

Vv. 25-26. Jonathan criticized the recklessness and foolishness of Saul’s oath. Irrational blind obedience to human authority that does not exercise reasonable judgement or not being able to muster up the courage to challenge bad choices can obstruct the progress of the community. We must be careful about treating God’s Word as relative (13:13) while regarding our own words as absolute.


Prayer
Lord, help me to make wise and upright decisions with consideration of my neighbours.