Bible Insights

Those in Power Must Curb its Use or Risk Becoming Corrupted By It

When Leaders Have Absolute Power They Can Commit Terrible Atrocities

In the early days of the nation of Israel, a time under its first king, we witness a bad transition of leadership. King Saul abuses his power and shows his lack of trust in God.

David Anointed King

God wants him gone, replacing him with the shepherd David.

God directs Samuel to anoint David as king, but David doesn’t immediately assume the throne. He must wait.

Saul, acting in a manner we might describe as bipolar, alternates between loving David and hating him, between allowing David to live and hunting him down.

Once when fleeing for his life, the priest Ahimelek, assuming David is on the King’s business, aids David.

David escapes. All is good—for a time.

King Saul Abuses His Power

Furious and paranoid, Saul accuses everyone of conspiracy. Doeg snitches on Ahimelek, and Saul orders the priest’s execution, along with his whole family.

Doeg carries out the order, not only killing Ahimelek and his family, but also slaughtering all of the priests in the area, along with the entire town.

Saul abuses his power as king to order the unjust execution of one of God’s priests and family. Doeg, acting under the king’s authority, abuses his power and annihilates an entire town.

As king, Saul has supreme rule. He has absolute power and he misuses it absolutely.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is 1 Samuel 20-22, and today’s post is on 1 Samuel 22:13-19.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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