I’ve been spending a lot of time in 1 Samuel the past few weeks with Samuel and Saul and David, and I keep circling back to the same thought: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
It seems that in every place and every time period, there exists an established religious organization that’s challenged by the unorthodox. In 1 Samuel, we have Saul, the first king anointed for Israel. It didn’t take long for him to disobey God and do things his own way, so Samuel anointed David as king – and the conflict between two houses was born.
In the New Testament, the much-maligned scribes and Pharisees had ceased to follow God and followed their own rule book instead. So God sent Jesus to challenge them (among other things) – and the conflict between two houses was born.
Things are no different today. Most church organizations, no matter how often they declare their adherence to the Bible, actually follow their own creeds and doctrines and statements of faith. So the Holy Spirit stirs the hearts of believers to follow Jesus and no other – and the conflict between two houses is born.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. (Matthew 10:34-36)
Following Jesus does not make you a friend of the establishment.
The same held true for the people of David’s time. Saul had the army and the power – but look who followed David:
So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went down there to him. Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him. (1 Samuel 22:1-2)
Those who are content with their lives, who think they’re doing okay, will stay in their comfort zone. They will happily serve Saul, no matter where he leads them.
But those who know their own sin and are discontent with it, will repent and join David in the caves.
We each have the choice to make. Which house will you choose?