My Biggest Fear: Being Chased by Saul
I remember a time when my biggest fear was being buried alive. Just the thought of being placed in a closed casket and buried six feet under was frightening. I could go into more detail about the horrific scenarios that I would imagine, but I don't want to instill or exalt fear. We have to admit, though, that fear is something we tend to focus on as a people. One of the most popular questions we've all been asked is: What is your biggest fear? It's a common question, right up there with "What's your favorite color?" or "What are your hobbies?" Why is that though? Why, in our right minds, do we even want to think about our biggest fear? What is it about our human make up that causes us to focus on the absolute worse thing that can happen?
I believe that humans are infatuated with fear because it exposes the fact that we are not in control. It suggests that there is so much that could happen and so little that we can do about it. This is what makes fear exciting. It's the unknown. It's the trill of the unexpected. Thrill is a high that makes people feel like they are living. So, ironically, the prospect of you dying is something that makes your feel like you're living. It's weird. However, this is what drives people to thrill seek, watch horror movies, and go to haunted houses. It's the high that you get from taking a risk. You are risking apparent danger and shock for the payout of still being alive to tell about it.
Well, being buried alive used to be my biggest fear. My outlook on fear has changed drastically since becoming a follower of Christ. When I didn't know the Lord, I didn't have a revelation of Who was actually in control. Now, I fully understand that God is sovereign and in complete control of everything. Therefore, my fear is now appropriated where it belongs, which is to God. Jesus said it this way:
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill
the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
That word is very sobering and shifts everything into perspective. So, I make an effort to focus all of my reverence and fear to God, but there is still one fear that lingers.
| Being Chased by Saul |
David had much of his life recorded in the scriptures. We see him grow from a ruddy shepherd boy into a powerful king. A major part of David's life was when he was running from Saul. David was being chased by Saul because Saul was jealous of him. Saul was the very first king of Israel, but he mismanaged his responsibility. As a result, God rejected Saul and took His glory off of him. Even though Saul was rejected by God, he did perceive that he had fallen out of God's grace. Saul lived in denial and continued to function as king, even after warnings from the prophet Samuel. Meanwhile, God decided to anoint another king from the sons of Jesse, which ended up being David. When the anointing on David's life begin to show forth, Saul became very jealous and sought to kill him.
David always honored the fact that Saul was God's chosen despite Saul trying to kill him. Eventually, Saul ended up going crazy and fell on his sword after being injured in battle. This was a tough moment for David because he had history with Saul, even though Saul became his nemesis. In spite of it all, at least David didn't have to worry about being chased by Saul anymore. ...or did he?
What if I told you that David was still being chased by Saul even after Saul was dead and gone? You're probably wondering how I came up with that or where that is found in scripture. Consider the Psalms. Psalm 51 is a powerful psalm that David wrote after committing adultery with Bathsheba and setting up her husband to be killed on the front lines of battle. David pours his heart out to the Lord and pleads with God to have mercy on him.
Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit
within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit
from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy
I will submit that one of the reasons why David begged God not to take his Holy Spirit away is because he witnessed Saul's demise first hand. David watched Saul implode right in front of Him and he saw the glory of God lift off of him in real time. David watched Saul spiral into insanity while trying to function in an anointing that he no longer had. So, even though Saul was dead and gone, his story was still chasing David. Saul was unfortunate enough to be the example. He's what we refer to as a cautionary tale and what the Bible calls being made into a proverb. Saul's mistakes exposed another layer of the character of God and what happens when we choose to disobey the instruction of the Lord.
| Proceed with Caution |
Much like David, I am petrified at the cautionary tale of Saul. It's bad enough that the glory of God lifted off of Him, but even more frightening that Saul continued to operate in his role without realizing it. Saul had no perception of how far off he was and when it finally hit him, he was so far gone that he became crazy. Saul's story has now become my biggest fear along with other examples in the Bible. The Bible is filled with all sorts of cautionary tales from Sodom and Gomorrah, to the people of Noah's day, to Ananias and Sapphira, and so forth.
The unique thing about the Bible is that there are cautionary tales of things that have happened, but also things that shall happen. An example of this is when Jesus talks about the day of judgement:
Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that
One thing I have realized is that the Bible is already written and each of us has a role to play. There will be believers who fall away from the faith, family members that will turn on each other, and people who will take the mark of the beast. It's debatable how much of our role is destined and how much we can control. I believe that God gives us free will to choose the path we want to take. So as much as my fears have shifted towards God, much of them are more about myself. Paul expressed this by saying that he didn't want to preach the gospel and be a castaway. So I'm very mindful to examine myself and ensure that I am following God with my whole heart. This is something that I am working on daily.
God loves us deeply and He is good to us. It's the goodness of God that leads to repentance. The character of God is probably more vast than we can fully comprehend. God chooses to reveal himself through the scriptures and the Holy Spirit. I believe that it is good to have a healthy understanding of God's love and His judgement. Too much of either is dangerous. The sure bet is to approach God with humility and have a healthy fear of Him and not anything else in this world.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge
of the holy is understanding.