I’ve been asked to do a couple of devotionals for the staff here at Cedarview Alliance Church. My topics are confession (which I’ll post today) and forgiveness (which I’ll post tomorrow). I thought I’d post them here to share with y’all.
Let’s talk a little more about Saul. In 1 Samuel 15 we find Saul is given instructions to attack the Amalekites and completely destroy them and all of their belongings. Saul disobeys. He attacks the Amalekites but keeps the best of their livestock for himself and spares the life of their King. Samuel comes to town and Saul greets him. Saul’s first attempt in v13 is to ignore his sin, and to even assert his obedience. His next tactic is to dissemble as seen in v15. First he deflects blame to the soldiers (who were under his command) and then he offers a justification for his disobedience. He continues this denial and justification in v20-21. We get around something like an admission in v24-25, but he follows it right up with an excuse and then a plea for quick forgiveness and restoration. This pattern repeats in v30.
We never see a true confession from Saul. He really is the Pete Rose of the Bible! We see denial, deflecting, blaming and excuses. When he is cornered he admits wrongdoing but wants to skip ahead to reconciliation without any real remorse. Saul isn’t serious about sin. He never acknowledges that he has sinned against God. Contrast that with David’s confession when confronted by Nathan in 2 Samuel 12 and Psalm 51. Here we see a truly contrite heart. Let that be our model for when we confess our sins.
It is interesting that Achan’s words are identical to David’s words when confronted with his sin. Yet Achan is stoned to death, and David is spared, though the innocent son he fathered with Bathsheba dies. Who ever heard of someone innocent paying for another person’s sin with his death?