The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].
The life of King Saul could be summed up in a modern cliché: It’s not how you start; It’s how you finish. Saul started out very well only to see his subsequent disobedient actions derail what could have been a stellar, God-honouring rule over the nation of Israel. How could someone so close to God at the start spiral out of control and out of favour with God? To understand how things in Saul’s life got so mixed up, we need to know something about the man himself. Who was King Saul, and what should we learn from his life?
One of the most famous events in Saul’s life was the stand-off with the Philistines in the valley of Elah. Here Goliath taunted the Israelites for 40 days until a shepherd boy named David slew him (1 Samuel 17). Aside from that incident of fear and uncertainty, Saul was a competent military leader. However, a series of very serious blunders started Saul’s downfall from his kingship. Saul’s downward spiral continued. He disobeyed God’s law when he offered burnt and peace offerings before a battle, a responsibility given only to priests (1Samuel 13:7 – 14). His punishment for this action was that his descendants would not rule Israel.
Saul later disobeyed the Eternal and lied to Samuel when, instead of killing all the Amalekites and destroying all their possessions, he kept the evil Amalekite king alive and tried to take the best of the animals for himself (1 Samuel 15:1 – 26). Additionally, the spirit of the Lord that was upon Saul was soon taken from him and he began to be troubled by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14). This disobedience was the last straw, as God would withdraw His Spirit from Saul. The break between God and Saul is arguably one of the saddest occurrences in Scripture.
King Saul unsuccessfully tried to consult God regarding his upcoming battle with the Philistines through the accepted means of the Urim and the prophets (1 Samuel 28:6). He was now clearly a troubled, rejected man who desperately wanted counsel regarding what he should do next. It is at this point in his life he seeks to contact the prophet through a woman who had a ‘familiar spirit,’ a witch of the city of Endor.
Saul disguised himself in order to meet with the witch. When he finally visited her in secret, he asked her to contact the dead spirit of Samuel.
Saul asked the witch, ‘What do you see?’ ‘I see a spirit coming up from the earth,’ she answered. ‘What does it look like?’ he asked. ‘It’s an old man . . . He is wearing a cloak.’ Then Saul knew that it was Samuel . . . (1 Samuel 28:13 – 14) While Saul would be allowed to serve out the rest of his life as king, he was plagued by an evil spirit that tormented him and brought about waves of madness. Saul’s final years were profoundly tragic as he endured periods of deep manic depression.
The final years of King Saul’s life brought a general decline in his service to the nation and in his personal fortunes. In one final act of disobedience Saul takes his own life by falling on his sword, thus ending a promising life on a final note of shame.
There are lessons to be learned from the life of King Saul and one of them is that we must not misuse the power given to us. There is no question that King Saul abused the power God had entrusted to him. The over-riding reason for this is that pride often creeps into our hearts when people are serving and honouring us. In time, this type of “star treatment” can make us believe that we really are something special and worthy of praise. When this happens, we forget that God is the one who is really in control and that He alone rules over all. God may have chosen Saul because he was humble, but over time that humility was replaced by a self-serving and destructive pride that destroyed his rule.
Ralph E. Gonsalves, a charismatic criminal defence attorney and politician, had been languishing in the political wilderness for many years. Realising that his chances of ever being elected and forming government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines under his MNU party was slim to none, he set about to plot his assent in the political arena. His next move was to employ and display the qualities of a Leopard.
The leopard is an animal of prey and because of it hunting prowess, it never fails in its attempts to capture its prey. Here’s how the leopard operates. It climbs high up in the trees and surveys the landscape. On seeing its potential targets, it always singles out the youngest and or weakest to attack. Enter the SVLP, not a young party, but a very weak and demoralised entity. This was the leopard’s opportunity to strike, and strike it did by subterfuge. Devouring and uprooting the SVLP, and by default, gaining the allegiance of the SVLP supporters.
Under the leadership, of James Mitchell, the NDP had enjoyed great success in the political arena of St. Vincent from 1984 to 1998, at one time, sweeping all the seats in Parliament. The retiring NDP leader handed over the reign of government in 2000, to Arnhim Eustace, a political novice. The leopard-minded Ralph, obsessed with power, once again saw an opportunity, with Arnhim Eustace at the helm of the NDP. The politically young Arnhim at the helm, aided by some missteps of the ruling NDP, presented an opening for Ralph Gonsalves.
He wasted no time, agitating the public service sector and declaring that he would make the country ungovernable; he began to put in place the pieces for what he called the “Roadblock Revolution.” These actions by the ULP forced Mr. Eustace to call elections prematurely. Ralph and his ULP were swept into power in 2001, on the backs of discontent with the NDP and making promises that he had no plans of keeping.
Fast forward to today, on the eve of pending elections, the state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has never been worse in all its history. Once a peaceful nation where its people lived together in harmony despite their political affiliation, it’s now tribal/political warfare. Brothers against sisters, parent against child and neighbour against neighbour. Once a nation where murders and serious crimes were a mere handful per year, it’s now a handful a week. Once a nation where women were held in high esteem and respected, they are now raped (regardless of age), murdered, abused, insulted and treated worse than dogs as a result of the tone set by the ruling ULP and its enablers. Once a nation where gun violence were almost unheard of, now its gun violence every week, and to borrow from a Jamaican Reggae artiste, “is guns dem ah plant and shots dem a grow,” in St. Vincent. And to top it all off, gone are the days when the church and the clergy in St. Vincent were incorruptible. Ralph Gonsalves, in his quest for absolute and unfettered rule, has corrupted the spirituality of the nation.
[…] He has declared publicly, that if he works OBEAH, he does so for the Lord. The man […] corrupts the words of the Holy Bible at every opportunity. He has made a mockery of the Bible, every true Christian in St. Vincent who loves the Lord and loves his word, by quoting scriptures at every turn, and using them out of context to support his narcissism. He is the biggest “quoter” of scriptures, trivialising the Holy Word, implying that he is like Jesus and proclaiming that God speaks to him and directs him.
It is no small wonder, my people that we now have this dark veil hanging over our country, where every manner of evil abounds, and has blighted our people and nation. Our government is now possessed by evil, demonic spirits directing the affairs of our country through the instruments of the ULP. Our only hope is the EXORCISM of this evil from among us; from our government, and restore the morals and high values of our people. The only way to accomplish this is to vote overwhelmingly against this Unity Labour Party, and rid ourselves of the “unholy trinity” forever.
D. Eric Williams
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].