Self preservation will lead us to accuse and harm others to ensure we get what we want. ~~~ In this last scene of 1 Samuel 14, we see self-exaltation in Saul wanting to pursue and plunder the Philistines by night, and we see self-righteousness in Saul when the priest comes to him and say, “You think we should ask God about this?” And Saul says, “Course, I was just about to do that. Give me some time.” (He really didn’t say that but I’m just adding some flare.) But we are also going to see self-righteousness. So Saul inquires of God. He asked God, “If we do this, will we be victorious?” And there is no answer. Only silence. So Saul assumes, rightly, that there must be some breach in the relationship between Israel and Israel’s God. So he calls all the people together, and he is going to use the high priests special stones to show them who has sinned. All of you stand on that side, and me and my son will stand on this side, and whoever is chosen, even if it be my son, they shall die.” This is more self-righteousness by the way. So they go through this process, and the lot falls to Jonathan. Jonathan is identified as the guilty party, the one who sinned. So did God speak through those High Priest’s stones? Well, think about this for a moment. In this particular scene, God’s presence is no where mentioned. Just prior to this, at the corrupt high priest’s request, God is silent towards Saul. Earlier in chapter 14, Saul cuts short a religious ceremony asking for God’s blessing, all of this going on while the High Priest is of a cursed line. Could it be, not that God identified Jonathan as the guilty party, because God was not manifesting his presence to Saul, but that Saul was simply trying to avoid the blame, even if the blame had to fall on his own son? He was trying to save his own skin, his own reputation. He cared not that he was out of fellowship with God, and refused to offer any kind of repentance to get back into the presence of God. Saul was the bus driver, willing to throw run over his own son to preserve himself. This is what we call self-preservation. So we have seen self-exaltation, self-righteousness, and self-preservation. Let us be reminded that this King, King Saul, is exactly the type of king Israel asked for…a king like the other nations. May we learn the lesson that what God desires for us, and provides to us in King Jesus, is far greater than we could ever ask or imagine.