The Ball in Saul’s Court
are many fascinating mysteries about David, who slew the giant Goliath and
who later became King of Israel. One
of these mysteries is: Why did David continue to serve in the court of
King Saul even after Saul broke his widely proclaimed promise to give
“great wealth to the man who kills him [Goliath]…. give his daughter
in marriage and …. exempt his father’s family from taxes in Israel”
[1 Samuel 17:25]?
King Saul reward David with great wealth after he killed Goliath? The
Bible only records that Saul’s son, Jonathan, “took off the robe he
was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his
sword, bow and his belt” [1 Sam 18:4].
Saul give David one of his daughters in marriage, immediately after the
slaying of the dreaded Goliath? No,
Saul did not. Instead, Saul
put David in charge of “a thousand men, and David led the troops in
their campaigns. [And] in everything he did he had great success, because
the Lord was with him”. Only
after these campaigns and successes did Saul offer David the hand of his
elder daughter Merab in marriage.
be fair to Saul, perhaps, like many other kings, he wanted his daughter to
marry someone of stature. But
then, when David killed Goliath, didn’t he achieve instant fame, acclaim
and stature? David was no
Prince Charming, but he was handsome [1 Sam 16:12] and a national hero,
and God was with him. Saul
should have been happy to have such a man marry his daughter.
Wasn’t that why he eventually offered David his elder daughter?
we look up Saul’s sleeve, we will find a sinister motive.
For Saul gave David a difficult condition to fulfill: “I will
give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles
of the Lord” [1 Sam 18:17]. In
one breath, Saul identified himself as someone who fought the battles of
God; and could David refuse to fight the “battles of the Lord”?
Why force David into battle after battle? Saul wanted David to be
killed! Saul said to himself,
“I will not raise a hand against him.
Let the Philistines do that!” [1 Sam 18:17].
How cunning and evil Saul was.
He was prepared to sacrifice his daughter’s happiness and condemn
her to lonely widowhood, to achieve his wicked aims.
terrible thing had David done, that Saul wanted him dead?
David had done nothing against Saul.
But when the women of Israel came out of their towns to
congratulate Saul on his victory over the Philistines, they sang, “ Saul
has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands”.
Wasn’t it miraculous, that before newspapers, radio, television,
telephone and e-mail, women in different towns could sing the same song?
However, what they sang was untrue.
“Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him” [1 Sam 18:8].
Hmm, very angry and galled? No wonder, “From that time on Saul
kept a jealous eye on David”. In
fact, the very next day, Saul threw a spear at David, twice, to kill him
[1 Sam 18:10, 11].
are always glad to hear and share news about our Alumni. Amos
Ang, who recently graduated from Regent College with the M Div, is now a
father again! Congrats Amos and Karen. The whole family will be back in
Singapore in September. Let’s hear from Amos. (Dr Quek)
we arrived at Regent 2 years ago, we thought we knew for sure what we
were here for: to equip ourselves for the long haul in ministry. We
thought it meant acquiring as much biblical knowledge as we could and
learning how to contextualize them to serve God's people in our
generation more effectively. To be honest, the more we learnt, the more
burdensome the knowledge became for us - how the misunderstanding and
consequently, the misinterpretation of scriptures can lead to a gross
misconduct of ministry in Jesus' name.
the weeks and months of sitting at our professors' feet, waiting on the
Lord in prayer and interacting with others who had the same desire(s),
we realized that longevity in ministry is not just about "getting
it right" in the capacity that God has placed us to bring His
people to full maturity in Christ. But even more importantly, it would
require of us as God's workers to "guard our heart(s) above all
else, for it is the wellspring of life (Prov 4:23)."
is a critical difference between a canal and a reservoir. Bernard of
Clairvaux once wrote, "If you are wise, you will show yourself
rather as a reservoir than a canal." A canal distributes the water
it receives as a conduit: it merely passes it on. But a reservoir waits
until it is filled, and then overflows without losing any of its
fullness. We believe God intends for us to give (in every respect) out
of the overflow of our hearts: we will only preach the gospel well when
we know for ourselves it is true.
ways that God has revealed to us personally in guarding our own hearts
as His workers are firstly, guarding against irreverence toward Him. Say
any word out loud too many times and it becomes mere sounds in the air;
write or read a word too many times and it becomes mere ciphers on a
page. My point? Too much God-talk can cause nerve damage in our hearts.
This can lead to a loss of the sense of God's transcendence, infinity
and holiness, since He seems so easily encompassed in the language that
we use as part of our day-to-day work. Our challenge is not just to
speak or teach the word of God but to seek, above all, to let it purge
our hearts of impure motives and misguided affections and loyalties. For
only the pure in heart shall see God. Isn't that what we want most of
all-to see God?
we were reminded once again that God really does not owe us anything.
This came home to us when a beloved professor shared how he didn't get
to see his dying father because he didn't have the money to fly home
while he was studying at seminary many years ago. Whomever one of us has
ever given up something (in any capacity) for the sake of furthering His
Kingdom (be it time, finances or career etc.), would somehow in our
human fallenness, expect God to someday remember our sacrifices and come
through for us when we encounter times of great need.
God is not fair. He is just. And He is God! He gives according to His
good and divine purpose and He withholds so that we may gain a heart of
understanding. To guard our hearts is to be ever conscious that we serve
Him because of what He has done for us in Christ and not what we can get
out of serving Him.
past two years have been an incredible journey of knowing our Savior and
Lord anew and experiencing His hand of grace at work in our lives and
Nathan's. Thank you once again, for your generous and sacrificial giving
which has been God's instrument of the countless blessings we received
in our time here.
graduated from his program on Apr 26 2004, 3 months earlier than he had
planned. It was a very emotional moment for Karen as she held his
certificate in her hand, for it was such a dream come true for Amos to
devote an undistracted amount of time to study God's word. In the
process, he had remained true to his duties as husband, father and
active participant in the church that we attended.... We can't wait to
see and re-connect with all of you again! ....
week (14 July) was chaired by Dr Quek Swee Hwa, who spoke on the topic
“The Compassion of God” from Micah 6. Chapel speaker on 28th
July was Mr Quek Tze-Ming.
GENERAL FUND UPDATE:
Budget for the month
of Jul 2004 = $
Funds received (as at
27 Jul) = $ 38,796
Surplus for current
month = $ 1,870
Budget for Jul - Dec
2004 = $ 308,661
A Blessed Birthday to ...
Wong Siew Ee 27/7
Ng Li Shien 27/7
Chew Lee Khim 27/7
Au Na Chuang 28/7
Claudine Chan 28/7
Wan Chee Wei 30/7
William Chew 31/7
Mathews Abraham 31/7