Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 14:24, 37
"And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day."
As I read this chapter I see one disaster after another. Yes, Israel defeated the Philistines that day, but it had nothing to do with Saul. There was a reason that God did not answer him.
For Saul had cursed anyone that eat that day. It was a forced fast, not to turn their hearts to the Lord and strengthen them, but to avenge Saul's enemies. The motive was wrong. Outwardly it may have appeared to be a means the Lord uses to bless his people, but that is not where their hearts were. Then when the men find honey upon the ground they wouldn't eat it, because they feared Saul's oath. Once again they were fasting not because they feared the Lord, it was because of the fear of what Saul would do to them.
Saul's son Jonathan was not aware of the oath; for he had been off on the Lord's errand. So, he ate the honey and was enlightened, or refreshed from being tired. He is told by others of his father's oath and he says his father has troubled the land. Because of the hunger the men are under when they see the spoils of the Philistines, they slaughter the animals and eat it with the blood. Which is against the law of Moses. So in a way Saul caused the men to sin in this.
Saul doesn't see his roll in all this, he thinks it is others that have sinned. So when he seeks counsel of God in going down against the Philistines he is not answered. Saul then tries to find out who sinned to cause the Lord not to answer him. He then finds out his son Jonathan had eaten the honey and says he must die. It is only because of the voice of the people that Jonathan is rescued. For they recognized that Jonathan had been lead by the Lord in defeating the Philistines that day.
So what I pondered on was how when my motives are wrong, and I try to pass off what I am doing as a thing of God, when it isn't, no good will come of it. Not only do I sin, but I will cause others to sin. Sin will build upon itself, because this path only takes me further from God. The other thing I saw was the placing of blame. The first person I must look at as the cause of something happening is myself. I must see my roll in things. What disaster could have taken place for Saul and Jonathan if the people had not stopped it. It would have never gotten to that point if Saul had looked to himself as the root of the problem in the first place.