Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 18-21
Today’s Reflection: 1 Samuel 18:12
Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul.
After disobeying God and learning the kingdom would be taken from him, Saul became increasingly despondent and paranoid. When David became a part of his court, his very presence began to offend Saul because it was so clear that God was very much with David. Being shut out of God’s presence (by his own disobedience) drove Saul to murderous hatred against David.
Have you noticed that atheists are not content to merely disagreeably co-exist with Christians; they must attack them? Christopher Hitchens (author of ‘God is not Great’), Sam Harris (author of ‘Letter to a Christian Nation’) and Richard Dawkins (author of ‘The God Delusion’ and director of the documentary of the same name) all violently oppose the idea of belief in God and lay all of the world’s ills at His feet. Atheist comedians Ricky Gervais and Bill Maher openly mock God and question the intelligence of those who believe in Him. Scientists who dare to suggest that supernatural forces are involved in the origins of our universe are denied tenured teaching jobs at universities and their research papers are rejected by peer-reviewed scientific journals. These people seem to desire nothing less than the end of all belief in God.
There’s more than mere disagreement here. There’s anger. Even hatred. There’s a good reason for that.
Have you also noticed that many atheists seem to know an awful lot about God and religion? That’s because most of the more vocal atheists have religious backgrounds, many were even devout in their belief in God to begin with. Until something changed. Some event – a tragedy, a disappointment, something senseless but exceedingly painful – something that shook their trust in God to the point where it was easier just to not to believe in Him at all.
The only problem left for atheists is that there are still all of these other Christians around that do believe. These Christians who still have the connection, comfort and confidence that atheists have no longer. These Christians that serve as a constant reminder of everything atheists have left. And everything they have lost. It would make you angry too, wouldn’t it?
It made Saul angry. Angry enough to kill that reminder he saw in David. Angry enough to be blind to the truth, that God was trying to use the example of David to remind Saul of the man he once had been. God was using David to try and call Saul back to him. But Saul refused to listen. The same dynamic exists between atheists and Christians today, the same destructive anger is leveled at God’s followers, but even now God is still trying to use His believers to break through to His wayward children–those who hate Him–and lovingly call them back home.