Character is the architecture of the being. – Louise Nevelson
We witness an escalation of bizarre behavior from Saul in Chapters 20-26. Note the following actions that Saul did when he stopped being poor in spirit.
Then Saul’s anger burned against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Therefore now, send and bring him to me, for he must surely die.” But Jonathan answered Saul his father and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Then Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him down; so Jonathan knew that his father had decided to put David to death. (1 Samuel 20:30- 33, NASB)
Saul was angry; but now it is against his own son whom he curses in a fit of jealous rage. Saul irrationally states that David is the enemy of the kingdom in which Jonathan is to inherit. This shows another flaw in Saul’s character. The kingdom was already taken from him and given to another. Has Saul forgotten this (or ignored this), hence his thinking his son will inherit the throne? Or was his pride getting in the way? When Jonathan defends David Saul tries to kill him! Saul is so consumed with self-preservation that he attempts to kill his own son that he claims to want to preserve! Saul is out of control, out of the control of God, and is now being controlled by his fear. Being poor in spirit would be, in contrast, the reliance upon the Lord to be in control and to bring to completion His will in our life.
Saul kills the priest of the LORD for helping David escape Saul (see 1 Samuel 22:16-19). Saul now becomes a murderer as his jealously rages on in his attempt to eradicate David from his life. Saul is not thinking at all about whom he is harming – he has only one goal on his mind and that is to kill David. Saul is blinded by his fear and anxiety. If he was poor in spirit he would have nothing to fear and nothing to be anxious about. When God is in control we do not hurt other people to achieve our agenda.
When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” (1 Samuel 23:7, NASB)
Does Saul actually think that God is still with him; that the Lord has delivered David into his hands? Apparently this is the case. Saul believes that God is in his camp with his pursuit of David. We can be so far from the Lord, and so wrapped up in our agenda, that we believe as it pans out to our advantage that God is blessing our sin! If Saul was poor in spirit he would have been seeking and living by the will of the Lord, not by his own passions.
Saul makes false truces with David (see 1 Samuel 24:16-22 and 1 Samuel 26:17-25). Saul has moments when his life is spared and claims to have been reformed by the situation. It only lasts for a period of time. There is never any true repentance, which is a turn in direction after the confession. Saul is far away from the will of God and chooses to live a life not being poor in spirit. Let us not make the mistakes of Saul and seek His will and live by it.
It is self- examination time once again; determine if you see any of these bizarre behaviors in your life, and if so, confess and repent of your actions and let your loving Father restore you to develop the character of being poor in spirit.