Saturday, December 20, 2008

Puzzle#3 Saul vs David - True Repentance

Commenting on 1 Sam 15:4-25 Saul's confession, a member said ...
  • I am not too sure if Saul truly repentant but I am reminded of David's case having some similarities. See 2 Samuel 12:13-20 for comparison. There are as many points for consideration in both passages, but I am specifically making a comparison between Saul and David's respond to repentance:

    1. Both admitted to sinning
    2. Both suffered consequences ( Saul was rejected as King and David's son died)
    3. Both challenged the consequences of their sins ( Saul's repeated attempts to kill David. David protested against the dying of his son by fasting.)


    1. David did not ask for forgiveness ( 2 Samuel 13) but Saul did (1 Samuel 15: 25)
What made David's repentance a true one?

Puzzle#2 How can God regret?

A member pointed out in 1 Sam 15:35 that God regretted making Saul King.
How can an all-knowing God regret His actions if He can see the Beginning and the End?

Please give your comments.

Bible Puzzle for Wisdom - True Repentance - My View

Referring to the post

Bible Puzzle for Wisdom - True Repentance,

Many thanks to all who contributed. Most considered Saul did not truly repent. He only admitted his sins so as to get Samuel to
  • a. plead to God not to reject him as king.
  • b. get Samuel to go back with him to worship God and so he appeared ok to his people.

However, I was not so smart. I read this verse many times in the past believing that Saul was truly repentant based on the face value of his confession. He admitted his guilt "I have sinned & transgressed God's commandment" and he even gave his reason for failure - "I feared the people and obeyed them". To top it all, he asked for forgiveness! Then he received his forgiveness very quickly by asking Samuel to go with him to worship God!

Saul actually had all the ingredients for a good repentance!

  1. admission of sin
  2. specific - what I did wrong
  3. reason
  4. ask for forgiveness
  5. receive forgiveness
  6. go ahead with a new life
How wrong was I. Saul did not meant what he said. He said those things to get what he wanted from Samuel - just go back with me so that I appeared to be accepted by God by joining me in the worship of God.
The conversation between Saul and Samuel is private. Saul & Samual worship together is public.

Here are some comments from other authors ...

the book
  • "You can see here that Saul was greatly concerned about his image. He didn't want the people to know that he had sinned. So he said, "Samuel, why don't you come with me, and nobody will know that I've disobeyed. You just return and let's worship together like we've always done." His greatest concern was his image. Samual didn't buy it .... not for a minute......"
Matthew Henry:
How poorly he expressed his repentance. It was with much ado that he was made sensible of his fault, and not till he was threatened with being deposed. This touched him in a tender part. Then he began to relent, and not till then. When Samuel told him he was rejected from being king, then he said, I have sinned,
This confession of his sin does not appear to be ingenuous, cordial, and sincere, and was made chiefly for the sake of getting the sentence of rejecting him from being king reversed:

but his confession proceeded not from sincere repentance, but from a sense of danger and desire of averting the sentence denounced against him. For the sake of public appearance, he besought Samuel not to allow their serious differences to transpire, but to join with him in a public act of worship.

The Objective of the Sharing
  1. Learn to be wise.
    Common proverb - "Smart is knowing not to believe what is heard. Wisdom is knowing which 50% to believe."
  2. Don't just believe what people say on the surface.
  3. Understand the context and the motivation behind what was said.
  4. Motivation can be seen by the requests made or the preceding & following actions.
  5. Then you shall know the truth.

Bible Puzzle for Wisdom - True Repentance

Came across the following verse in the book "A Man of Passion & Destiny" by Charles Swindoll,
1Sa 15:24-25 Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may worship the LORD."
Is Saul truly repentant?
Yes or No and please explain your answer.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What is Your View of Faith?

A home group member asked "What is your version or view of Faith"?
We all the know the Bible Reference on Faith:
  • Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
But what is your view ?

My View on Faith
  1. Faith has an object - what is it that you have faith on. The object of your faith makes all the difference - whether it is true or not or whether it will work or not. Faith in Jesus is OK. Faith in man will result in some disappointment. Faith in Science is also temporary as Scientific principles and laws changes with time.
  2. Faith is trust that results in actions according to the belief. Believe without corresponding action is mental accent. It is of the mind only and not of heart.
  3. Faith is belief in the heart and not just of the mind.
  4. Faith is NOW. Faith is NOT hope or wish.
  5. Everyone has and exercises Faith. That is no such thing as doubt. Doubt is actually faith in contrary belief. For example, if you said you had doubt about the healing of God, you are actually saying that you have more faith in the natural medical science than your faith in the Bible that says God can and will heal.
  6. Faith can therefore be increased or developed by
    a. meditating and understanding of the Bible and
    b. through action and experience according to the understanding obtained.
    It is a spiral of understanding and practice re-inforcing each other to greater level of faith.
  7. People of Faith say they are not moved by circumstances but by the Word of God. Another way to put it is 'facts are real but temporary'. Word of God are powerful that can change the facts to confirm to the Word of God proclaimed.
What about you? What is your view of faith?