Careless words…

Standard

1 Samuel 14:24 Now Saul committed a very rash act on that day. He had laid an oath on the troops, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before it is evening and I have been avenged on my enemies.” So none of the troops tasted food. 25 All the troops came upon a honeycomb; and there was honey on the ground. 26 When the troops came upon the honeycomb, the honey was dripping out; but they did not put their hands to their mouths, for they feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the troops with the oath; so he extended the staff that was in his hand, and dipped the tip of it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes brightened. 28 Then one of the soldiers said, “Your father strictly charged the troops with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food this day.’ And so the troops are faint.” 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land; see how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if today the troops had eaten freely of the spoil taken from their enemies; for now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.”

The first verse in this passage tells the story. Saul committed a rash act alright. The battle was going well. Saul’s blood was up. His men were in pursuit of the Philistines and Saul expected a quick victory. That said, it’s a bad idea to withhold food from soldiers at any time, particularly in the middle of a battle. It was an act of bravado that would cost him.

I’m guessing Saul was an “extrovert”, meaning he processed things verbally. He was excited and so he expressed excitement and confidence with poorly chosen words. It’s a classic case of talking before thinking. As a fellow extrovert I’ve done this many times. This morning is a reminder to me and others. Think. Then talk. Amen.

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