Rejects   4 comments

Lori and her dad in Tiananmen Square, 1991

Here is a post by Lori Rodeheaver from the blog Everyday Encounters with the Creator:

In grade school, if you had looked up the term, “reject” in the dictionary, you’d likely have found my picture.  My dad was kind of hippie-like and my mom, well, my mom was just different I guess.  So, I was kind of a loner.  And I was quite happy being me until about the fifth grade…when the other kids starting taking notice of my funny clothes and lack of friends at recess.  Up until then, being me didn’t really bother me.  I liked being alone in Loriland, reading books and navigating monkey-bars by myself.  I liked my funny clothes.  Come to think of it, I still do.

Anyway, I’m glad I had a chance to grow into who I was instead of who my peers told me to be.  Because when you don’t have any friends, it’s much easier not to put too much stake in their ideas.  The flip-side is that you kind of learn not to put too much stake in anyone else’s ideas.  Our strengths are our weaknesses I guess.

Well, as I read 1 Samuel 14, I found a couple rejects of my own.  Only these guys weren’t rejected by their peers.  They were rejected by their God.  Ironically, when we strive to not be rejected by man, we often put ourselves in a place where we will both reject, and, be rejected by, God.  Let’s investigate this passage…

One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave at Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men, including Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Within the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba. ~1 Samuel 14:1-5

In just the short time since becoming king, Saul had already made some pretty severe mistakes.  So severe, in fact, that God had already rejected him as king.

He had sent home troops he needed for battle out of pride and self-sufficiency.  After he attacked his fiercest enemy, he stood around trumpet-blowing and trying to gather them back.  He lacked courage and leadership when the army he did have became fearful and started deserting.  He usurped both God and the prophet Samuel’s authority by being impatient and offering sacrifices he wasn’t fit to offer.  Saul was chock-full of pride and self-reliance.

For this reason, God had already rejected Saul as his king.  It seems that others had done the same.  Now, of the 3,000 soldiers he had chosen, only 600 remained.  Worse yet, even his own son, Jonathan, exhibits great distrust and lack of confidence in his leadership.  1 Samuel 14 gives us some insight as to when it is appropriate to stop following a foolish leader.

One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. ~1 Samuel 14:1

Why would Jonathan embark upon a risky and dangerous military expedition without informing his father…who just so happened to be his commander-in-chief?  Was he being prideful and self-reliant like his father?  Was this another case of usurping of proper authority?  Or was it something else?

Likely, it was because God was Jonathan’s commander-in-chief.  Jonathan had seen and experienced first-hand quite enough of his father’s foolishness.  Jonathan was brave and he trusted in God’s promises, calling the enemies “uncircumcised.” (v6)  He knew his advantage was in God, not man.  Therefore, he thought it wise not to consult his man-fearing father before the battle.  And he was right.

Go figure.  Daddy is foolish for usurping authority and little Jonny is wise when he does the same thing…because it isn’t the same thing.  The circumstances are vastly different.  It’s the difference between homicidal killing and soldier combat killing.  This kind of contrast proves how extremely important discernment is when following God.

Meanwhile, we find his father, King Saul, spoken of as having Ahijah among him, who was wearing an ephod.

Ahijah was a descendant of Eli.  Eli’s house had been rejected by God because of sin and disobedience, remember?  Yet Saul has one of Eli’s descendants, who is dressed in priestly garments, hanging around to help him determine the Lord’s will.  That’s what ephod’s were used for, after all.

All this, after he had disregarded the instructions of both God and his true prophet, Samuel.  Not to mention the fact that the true prophet had also been wholly rejected by the people following him.

Oh!  How the ungodly love to gather false prophets and smooth talkers around their tables and trust in external shows of religion!  They reject the hard, plain words of the true ministers of God and listen only to those who tickle their ears with and easy and cost-less message!

So it’s no surprise to find Saul and Ahijah hanging out together, is it?  The rejected king and the rejected priest have so deceived themselves in pride and self-sufficiency that they continue to honor one another instead of God and His Word.

Jonathan did the right thing by trusting in God rather than his man-fearing father…even though his man-fearing father was his earthly authority.  When the rubber meets the road and we have to make a decision between obeying our earthly authorities vs. obeying Our Heavenly Authority, we had better make certain we choose the latter.  True blessing and victory cannot come from the former if they are in opposition to the Lord’s will.

Next, we’ll see how God blesses Jonathan for his courage and wisdom.  For now, let’s consider how we might honor God by rejecting leaders who have rejected him and His Word.  If God has rejected someone as a leader, let’s recognize that we would do well to stop following them.  Let’s cease to worry about being rejected by men and focus only upon pleasing God.

It’s really not bad here in Loriland, anyway.  Sometimes lonely, but always an adventure.

Everyday Encounters with the Creator

Posted November 22, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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4 responses to “Rejects

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  1. I’m humbled when people read my blog. I don’t think anyone has ever posted what I’ve written on their blog so I’m doubly humbled. Thanks for the encouragement. May God be glorified. 🙂

  2. Lori: You are a very good writer and you have excellent insights on Scripture and the Gospel. I have read a number of your posts now. I hope more people read your blog. God bless you and your family. Have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

    I also reblogged your post “Don’t Be An Ass” a while back:

    https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/dont-be-an-ass/

  3. Speaking of foolish things. I love this quote:

    “The wisdom of this world is precious in the eye of the world; and the wisdom of God in His poor, weak, despised earthen vessels is still foolishness with them; but the Lord so orders it, that He still justifies his despised wisdom in his despised vessels, and makes the wisdom of the world appear foolish to all the single and uprighthearted, who thirst after and wait for the revelation of His truth.”

    –Isaac Penington

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