Saul used to be a celebrated king, the first ever king to rule God’s people, Israel, it was said that he was from his shoulder taller than everybody in the whole of Israel, handsome and strong in battle, but his life’s journey ended with him committing suicide, he died like a beggar. Quite messy, don’t you think?
In the anchor text that will be coming below, we see David lamenting, singing a sorrowful song. He spoke of Saul and Jonathan’s might, professionalism and exploits. But a time came when Saul’s sin caught up with him and his son which led to his demise.
Scandals can be avoided, but no matter what you are going through, it doesn’t have to get messy. It doesn’t have to end like Saul.
Here is the note I took in church yesterday. Have a good read.
2 Samuel 1:17-27 (NIV)
17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan,
18 and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):
19 “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights. How the mighty have fallen!
20 “Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
21 “O mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, nor fields that yield offerings [of grain]. For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul–no longer rubbed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
23 “Saul and Jonathan– in life they were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 “O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.
27 “How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!”
This reminds us that the devil’s agenda as recorded in John 10:10 hasn’t changed yet; to kill, steal and destroy, sad enough King Saul fell victim. And this also is seen by the various gist of scandal flying around about Believers; sex, financial, political… But it doesn’t have to be messy, no matter the mess we’re in, it doesn’t have to get messy, it doesn’t have to end in disaster. God’s plan is to make things get better and better, to help you out of trouble.
Funny how a little mistake can spoil a good record or name built over time, how many persons remember the numerous wars King Saul led the Israelite to victory. Remember Peter, no one remembered he walked on water before he started sinking.
WHAT TO DO TO AVOID SCANDAL?
1. START WITH A DESIRE TO LIVE ACCORDING TO GOD’S STANDARD; AS A CHRISTIAN.
Galatians 2:20 –I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Psalms 119:10 – I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
It’s funny how we call ourselves Christian but have not the slightest regard for the life of God that we have received, we go ahead and live in the world, our goal is to follow the world’s lifestyle, ideas and principles.
Romans 12:2 –Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
We don’t live like the world, but we tell the world how to live. Like Christ, we are physicians; they the doctor, so are the sick, we are the solution bearer, they have the problem, we shouldn’t envy or live like your patients.
2 Cor 5:17 says If you are in Christ, you are a new creature entirely, therefore living a dual life is like carrying a dead body on your back, God said if you’ll be hot be hot, if you’ll be cold be cold if you’re lukewarm, he will spew u out.
2. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE STILL HUMAN
Romans 7:17-19 –As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.
That you are a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t still be tempted or have those cravings you used to have before you became born again, Jesus was tempted all through his time on earth. If Jesus was tempted, then temptation itself is not a sin, it’s what you do with the temptation.
3. STAY SPIRITUAL; IN THE WORD AND PRAYER
We shouldn’t just do things because it feels good to the flesh, but live by the spirit. It is possible through the spirit to put down/to death the deed and cravings of the body.
Romans 8:12-13 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
Galatians 5:16 –So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
When you realize that you are human and subject to being tempted you should then know that you can overcome by the spirit.
God can keep you from falling (Jude 24), you can’t keep you but God can keep you, so follow Him.
4. DON’T TEMPT YOU
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)
You know yourself, don’t set yourself up. If you like brewed things you will do babes. You love clubbing you will most likely “babying” too. If you have issues with pornography, don’t watch movies rated above 13, with S and N,
Don’t tempt yourself.
Don’t overemphasize your ability to keep yourself from falling into temptation, avoid it entirely, flee!
5. MAINTAIN A CLEAR CONSCIENCE
People don’t get hardened overnight, it is over time with an unrepentant heart. But the good news, God still heals a hardened heart.
6. BUILD ACCOUNTABLE RELATIONSHIPS
Have good friends, real people you can be accountable to, People who can ask you if you’ve read your bible, people that won’t judge you. Profitable relationship.
Talk/share your weaknesses or challenges only to persons that can pray for you, that can counsel you and won’t judge you. Don’t take advice from the world or from just the page of a magazine or newspaper.
7. MANAGE INFORMATION CAREFULLY
If you have to tell someone something, be careful how you handle information, who you say it to and/or how you say it. For instance, you have to say something about your spouse, better you tell him/her first because the information will eventually leak. You won’t want someone to use the information to tease them or jokingly mention it.
Be careful what you put on Facebook or your other social network, cyber friends are not real friends. Imagine your name is looked up in search engines, what will come out? What kind of picture will come out? What will happen if your company profile/search you up online?
Information should be on a need-to-know-basis.
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