Archive | January, 2020

‘Til He Gotta Be Great: Saul’s Fall from Greatness

26 Jan

Dr. Jones-Clark sings, “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great? Don’t text me; tell it straight to my face.”
Houston native singer and Grammy nominee, Lizzo, has a song called Truth Hurts in which she asks, “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great?” In this song, she focuses upon men in general; however, I think this question is one for anyone. Why do humans fall even when they have accepted a great calling and a beautiful faith-based structure to support them? The answer is both simple and complex. Failure could be measured by spiritual, cultural, systemic, political, economic, or even psychological criteria, but simply put—humans fail because they are human.
Let’s take a look at King Saul’s story. This is the Saul from the Old Testament who is different from Saul of Tarsus who became Paul the Apostle of the New Testament. Saul, whose name means “asked for, prayed for”, was the very first king of the Kingdom of Israel and Judah. His reign moved the Israelites from the twelve tribes acting as government to a more centralized one which he led.
Saul was appointed and anointed to kingship by the prophet Samuel who did this in private. Question: What has God appointed and anointed you to be? Have you accepted your assignment? As king, Saul leads a victorious battle over the Ammonites, and Saul decided not to punish those who fought against his becoming king. This was a great moment for him.
While Saul had a great start, he begins to fall. Saul’s greatness wains as he relates to David, his armor bearer who used to play a harp to calm Saul’s nerves. This is David of the David and Goliath story. Saul became jealous of David after David becomes popular because of his victories in battle. The crowd loved David so much the women created and sang the lyrics, “Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands (1 Samuel 18:7). Doesn’t that sound like today’s music where someone is singing about someone’s greatness? Would you understand Saul’s jealousy? What if the same people who talk to you of their admiration of you suddenly turn to someone else? This is what happened to Saul.
Eventually, Saul died by falling on his sword, thus committing suicide to avoid being captured during a battle against a group called the Philistines. While Saul’s rise was a great one, his fall was sorrowful. Would you understand Saul’s fear of being killed in battle? Was killing himself an appropriate response to that fear? John 10:10 states, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. It looks like Saul did not understand that his fear and jealousy were from a dark place, and he forgot to focus upon “power, love, and a sound mind” as mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:7. Saul was great ‘til he had to be great. If you wish to learn more about King Saul, refer to the book of 1 Samuel.
Since humans fail, it is comforting to have Jesus. Humans can count on the perfection that God brings in the power of His trinity self – as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross freed mankind to be able to start again on a path to greatness in the eyes of God. So Sister Lizzo, men can be great humans and so are you! “I’mma hit you back in a minute”!
This is Dr. Daintee Jones-Clark, pastor of The House that Dignity Built Ministries. If you enjoyed this message, take a moment to subscribe to our YouTube channel. A transcript of this message is at dignityjobs.wordpress.com. Coming soon, check out dignityhall.myicourse.com for online courses to learn more about the kingdom of God and your place within it, and if you are in need of a church home, consider Majestic Christian Center in Pearland, Texas that is led by Bishop Harold Gentry and First Lady LaShell Gentry. Amen and ashe’!