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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | 1 Sam 20:31 | Thou shalt not be established

1Sa 20:31  For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.

Here we have the words of Saul to his son Jonathan when Jonathan had protected David from his father. By this point, Saul’s hatred for David was on full display. In previous chapters, Saul’s hatred had been kept behind closed doors but it had grown to a level that there wasn’t a smile big enough, nor a lie clever enough to hide it. So it is with bitterness, wrath, envy, and things of that nature, that they snowball into something that cannot be hidden and Is dangerous to everyone involved. 

This particular verse shows us the desire and devices of the old man. Saul represents for us the Old nature in so many ways. Chiefly in his desire to hold on to the kingdom, even though God had told him it had been stripped from him. Isn’t that just like our old man? God has already declared him dead, defeated, and his control over our lives has been stripped, but O the ends that our old man goes to in attempts to sit on the throne another year. 

Here is the desire of the old man, “Thou shalt not be established, nor THY KINGDOM.” This was Saul’s attempt at reasoning with Jonathan. He was tempting Jonathan to fall into the same snare he had fallen into, building his own kingdom. Our old man, that is our fleshly nature, is hardwired for self-preservation, and self-exaltation, we could say that the chief end of the old man is the glory of self. We see it in the very seed of sin in Genesis when Satan tempts man to fall into the same snare he fell into, “Ye shall be as gods,” This kingdom of self is a powerful argument, not only is it the one Satan used in the garden but the weapon Satan wielded in battled with our Lord, “I will give you all the kingdoms of the world.” To this very day, our old man and Satan still argue “Thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom.” “Why would you pastor? Look at all the opportunities of wealth passing by!” Why should you forgive them? You are going to look like a weak fool!” These are a couple of arguments Satan and the old man bark at us from time to time, along with a million other temptations that ultimately say “Thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. 

Lastly here is the device of the Old Man, “He shall surely die.” Saul was done pulling punches, he wanted David dead, to assure his kingdom. Dear Christian, the moment we forget we are in a war, is the moment we end up with a javelin through our hearts. If it were not for God’s protection and promises this would have been David's end as well as ours. The Good news is that David was as surely going to become King as surely as Saul was not. The same is true of the Christian, God has spoken and so it will be, “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” Thank God his promises assure and protect us from the devices of the Old man and his master, Satan. Yet we are still in a battle, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Mortify is to kill/put to death, and no wonder we must mortify the old man because he is set on mortifying us. The good news is this, no device of satan or our flesh can ultimately win out over the promises of God. Saul won some battles, David spent some time in caves and forests and there was a time or two when it looked like old Saul had the upper hand, but all his self-centered devices fell in the end and David ascended to the throne with the help of God. We shouldn’t be ignorant of his devices, yet we can be confident that “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper,” For “this is the heritage of the servants of the LORD.”

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