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Day by Day - 1 Samuel
Self Righteousness Is A Finger Pointer
Clif Johnson
Aired on Oct 31, 2023
Show Day by Day
Oct 16, 2023
00:03:59 Minutes

Those who are self righteous will point fingers to highlight the faults of others.   ~~~   1 Samuel 14 presents us with King Saul pursuing self-exaltation, and also self righteousness. In the words of the famous detective Monk, “Here is what happened.” Saul called for a fast upon his soldiers so they would focus on dominating the enemy, no matter how wearisome they were. Once the time finally arrived where it was allowed for the soldiers to eat, they “pounced” on the spoils. The image being presented to us is one of a bird of prey descending on its findings. The men dropped whatever they had in their hands, fell to their knees and instantly began slaughtering whatever animals were close by, and eating them. They did this out of desperation and starvation. It is simply what the body does in this moment. You lose all sense of decorum and turn into animals. You also lose all sense of holiness. The soldiers knew that they were not supposed to eat meat that still had blood. Blood was the life source and was the symbolic means of atonement for the people. The blood was to be poured out, not consumed. But this was perhaps the furthest thing from the men’s minds. When someone finally realized what was going on, they told King Saul. And in his arrogance he says to the men, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here.” And so they did and the people brought their animals to the stone, slaughtered them on the stone, thus gravity providing a sufficient way to drain the animal of its blood. Now at this point we might think, “Why would we call Saul self-righteous at this point? Isn’t this the very thing that needed to be done. Were not the people sinning against the LORD?” Yes they were. But we must remember the body of work in the text. What have we read that would lead us to believe that Saul cared anything about sincerely following God’s word? We have read nothing. Nothing in Saul’s life would lead us to believe that Saul cared anything about truly following the LORD. We have seen disobedience, fear, laziness, spiritual ignorance, opportunistic endeavors. And for him to say, “You have dealt treacherously,” is the height of arrogance.” He has zero concern about God’s holiness, but he does have concern about appearing holy. “There is no pride so dangerous, none so subtle and insidious, as the pride of holiness.” Andrew Murray Self-righteousness is the pointing out of other people’s sin while all the while having the great ability to ignore or suppress your own. That is self-righteousness. When Jesus says, “Judge not lest you be judged,” He is not forbidding that believers should judge other believers. He is forbidding self-righteousness. He is saying that you should not be self-righteous, calling out other people’s sin without navigating the sinful trenches of your own heart and life. Saul called the people’s sin “treacherous” without the slightest indication of acknowledging his own selfishness, without ever realizing that it was his selfishness and sin that led to the people’s desperation at this point. How about you? How about me? Are we better at pointing out the faults of others and conveniently ignoring our own. You cannot do this and walk joyfully, day by day with the LORD.

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