Saul and Deceitfulness

Saul had it in for the Christians, so much so that he tried to “bear false” witness against them.  The chapter is large and full of stuff, but I really resonate with this idea of bearing false witness.

We have no indication of this, so we have to be careful, but I wonder if Saul was in any way like Nicodemas?  He obviously was more violent and more insolent.  Doesn’t insolence and violence often show up as a strong reaction to something you don’t understand?  In some way, Saul deeply misunderstood who Jesus was and what he was all about.  Was he at all curious, even in his violence and contempt for “the Way?”  He obviously thought it was dangerous enough that he had to spread false info in order to stop it.  In other words, he was intimately aware of what Jesus said, did, and was accomplishing.  This is not unlike Nicodemas, minus the violence.


Spreading lies is something we do best: about others, about ideas, about God, and mostly about ourselves.  Our lies about ourselves are, at some level, relative to our idea of God and what He is doing in the world.  


All that aside, what do I do?  I try to cover my rejection of God with my own piety and judgment of others piety.  I’m no anabaptist or Calvinist – Luther would be disappointed in me I guess 🙂  Piety unless motivated out of what God has done for us is “empty works” – or as I would extend it – “empty words.”  It is the Spirit that transformed Paul and it is the Spirit that needs to transform me.


I think there is a hymn that goes like that:

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.

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