“And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God.” (1 Samuel 14:36)
The Philistines had been running roughshod over Israel until Jonathan, Saul’s son and a high-ranking army officer, led a daring attack with his armourbearer against a Philistine garrison. God blessed their valiant efforts, and Israel won a surprising military victory.
Our verse takes place in the aftermath of this victory. Saul apparently was proposing a sort-of mop-up operation. His advisers agreed to it–” Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee.” Yet the priest wisely told Saul to seek God’s will in the matter before taking action: “Let us draw near hither unto God.” Saul agreed to pray first. In the end, the nighttime mop-up didn’t take place.
As a leader, you make huge decisions. You need to seek God about your decisions, to “draw near hither unto God.” One way to do this is to see what the Bible says about a matter. God gave us His Word to guide us: “And it [God’s Word] shall be with him [the king], and he shall read therein all the days of his life:” (Deuteronomy 17:19) When an issue is up for a vote, consider if it involves a clear violation of Scripture. If it does, you have God’s Word to tell you what God thinks about it.
You can also seek God’s mind on an issue by thinking of citizens who don’t have your resources. Matthew 7:12 says, ”Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:” Some issues you vote on may not personally affect you, but they can seriously affect citizens. Think of how you would want a leader to vote if you were in their shoes.
If Scripture has no direct answer on a matter, pray. Realize that God is sovereign, not you: “…the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men,” (Daniel 4:32) Realize also that God is willing to give you wisdom if you’re willing to come to Him humbly: “…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:6) Neither you nor your party may have the answer to an issue, but God always has the answer: “…his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5); if you’re willing to listen.
Psalm 10:4 says, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God:” Please don’t be too proud to pray. Pride is #1 of the seven deadly sins: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) Saul’s mop-up idea could have ended in disaster. Thankfully, he listened to the priest.
The Bible has much to help in your career and personal life. Most importantly, it tells how to have eternal forgiveness of sins and a home in heaven by receiving Jesus as Saviour. To learn more, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 8/24/2021
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822