Come with me as I tell you a somewhat cautionary tale of wars and battles, victories and defeats, love and loss. This is the tale of a once-great king named Saul.
Saul was anointed as the first ever King over Israel. Prior to this Israel was led by a leader, a priest or a judge who would hear from God and then speak to the people – God was their King. But Israel complained to God and asked Him for an earthly King and so Saul was chosen and anointed to be Israel’s very first King.
What a call!!! What a purpose. This is huge. And by all appearances he was the best man for the job.
There was a prominent man of Benjamin named Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, son of a Benjaminite. He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man. There was no one more impressive among the Israelites than he. He stood a head taller than anyone else. 1 Samuel 9:1-2 (CSB)
Sounds like the perfect choice for a King right?
Saul’s legacy could have been that of a great King!
But it wasn’t, he isn’t remembered that way. Instead, Saul is remembered for his anger, jealousy, irrational thinking, paranoia and overreaction.
After Saul became King he won battle after battle. He fought bravely and lead armies to victories. Then in walks David, who as a young boy has been anointed as the next King of Israel. God’s choice to lead his people. Saul likes David so he invites him into his household. David became successful in everything he put his hand to.
David marched out with the army and was successful in everything Saul sent him to do. Saul put him in command of the fighting men, which pleased all the people and Saul’s servants as well. As the troops were coming back, when David was returning from killing the Philistine, the women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing with tambourines, with shouts of joy, and with three-stringed instruments. As they danced, the women sang: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands. Saul was furious and resented this song. “They credited tens of thousands to David,” he complained, “but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward.1 Samuel 18: 5 -9 (CSB)
So this begins Saul’s downward spiral. Jealousy and paranoia lead him on a chase for David’s blood. Saul attempts to take David’s life numerous times. He is consumed by it and it becomes his undoing.
Saul looked all together on the outside but on the inside, he was broken.
So, what was Saul’s brokenness? Lets go back to when we first met Saul in 1 Samuel 9.
We first meet Saul not long before the prophet Samuel anoints him as Israel’s King. When Samuel tells him what is about to happen listen to Saul’s response.
Saul responded, “Am I not a Benjaminite from the smallest of Israel’s tribes and isn’t my clan the least important of all the clans of the Benjaminite tribe? So why have you said something like this to me?”1 Samuel 9: 21 (CSB)
The next day Samuel anoints him as King.
Right here in Saul’s own words we see the root of all the jealousy, all the anger, all the pride, all the ambition.
We see that Saul is riddled with insecurity.
“Am I not…” “But I’m only…” “The smallest tribe…” “The least important.”
God saw something in Saul that Saul didn’t see in himself.
And so, Saul answered the call of God with inadequacy – he did not think he was capable of doing what God was asking him to do.
How often do you feel like that? I know I have. Let’s be honest – I still do!
I have learnt that the issues that we struggle with in our early days often present themselves when we step into leadership.
I recently watched some YouTube clips of an hydraulic press squashing a bunch of different items (don’t ask me how I found myself down that YouTube rabbit-hole!). From vaseline, and coke bottles, to toys, perfume, and fruit. It didn’t matter what it was, the outcome was the same. When squashed, what was inside, came out.
The same principle is true for you and I, if you come under pressure, what is in you will come out of you. When placed under pressure Saul’s insecurity and inadequacy began to show.
Saul was riddled with insecurity. Not unlike many of us.
So, what does insecurity look like?
1. Insecurity is threatened by others’ success.
Saul was not able to celebrate in David’s successes because he was not secure in his own call.
I remember after I finished my teaching degree and was applying for jobs. I sent out and applied for about 15 different positions and got declined every single time. Just as I was giving up hope, my good friend who had gone through the whole of uni with me, called me to tell me the good news – she had received a job offer! So you can imagine my response? “Congratulations! I’m sooooo happy for you. Whaaahooo.” Can you detect there may have been some jealousy and sarcasm in my tone that day? Come on, we all do it. Right?!?
You are waiting for your miracle, your promotion, your answer. In the mean time everyone else is getting theirs.
Insecurity will always try to tell you that someone else’s promotion equals a subtraction from yours.
The truth (that Saul missed) is that David’s military success only added strength to Saul’s position in the kingdom.
2. Insecurity struggles to trust.
There is this crazy moment in 1 Samuel 24 where David and his men are on the run from Saul and they are hiding in a cave. Saul just happens to come into the cave to go to the bathroom without realising that his self-made enemy is hiding in the recesses of that very same cave. While sparing his life, David sneaks up and cuts off the corner of Saul’s robe. Saul had no idea that David was even there. Later David goes to Saul and shows him the fabric and says, “I had the opportunity to kill you but I didn’t because I am still loyal to you.” (Paraphrased)
Even after David’s show of loyalty, Saul still doesn’t trust him and pursues David once again.
Insecurity struggles to trust because it sees everyone as rivals and adversaries.
3. Insecurity fights for position.
Insecurity says, I have to fight to get my place and I have fight to keep my place. Insecurity says, I have to look out for me because no one else is going to. Insecurity says, it’s me against the world.
Insecurity fails to see that you aren’t in your spot because of anything you have done – you are there but by the grace of God. And if it is by the grace of God then you don’t need to fight for it because nothing you do can get it in the first place.
Just like God called and anointed Saul – God has called you and anointed you!
For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)
We need to understand this truth:
The key to seeing that purpose and promise play out is not in your potential, it’s not in your gifting, it isn’t in your ability, or your talent – it is your wholeness.
We have to understand that the enemy will do everything to keep our brokenness dormant so that he can avoid us becoming delivered from it.
God’s plan for your life is too important for you to get trapped in insecurity. Lets be people who are willing to fight this battle well.
Now, go out there and live like you believe it.