Striving for Peer Approval, King Saul Falls from his ‘High Horse’

Striving for Peer Approval (and Stardom), King Saul Falls from his ‘High Horse’

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Envy and strife cause so much needless folly and tragic trouble.

Jealous Saul strives against David, to destroy David, but God providentially protects David.

Seeking Popularity and Vainglory Leads to Foolish Strivings

Haughty Saul, atop his “high hoss”,
Was so proud, of how he was “boss”;
David’s fans were so zealous,
That Saul became jealous —
Saul’s envy led to his own loss.

And the women answered one another, as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his 1000s, and David his 10,000s. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he [i.e., Saul] said, They have ascribed unto David 10,000s, and to me they have ascribed but 1000s; and what can he have more but the kingdom? (Quoting 1st Samuel 18:7-8 — see also, accord, 1st Samuel 21:11 & 1st Samuel 29:5)

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:16)

Some things don’t change all that much – certainly it is a timeless truth that “envy and strife” produce “confusion” and all kinds of trouble” (James 3:16). Even nowadays, in plain view, we see many examples of this tragic-but-true reality. And yet how ironic it is that David was so much more qualified to lead than Saul, his detractor, was. Although Saul seems, from outward appearances to be “head and shoulders” above his “peers” (an early example of how “peer review” is often an unreliable “veneer review”), it was David whom God recognized as qualified for carrying the responsibility of leadership (compare 1st Samuel 9:2 with 1st Samuel 16:7). Picking the flashy crowd-pleaser for leadership may seem like a “natural selection” (pardon the pun), but God makes intelligent and purposeful selections, based on His brilliant wisdom and moral judgment.

If we really understand our uniqueness as God’s creatures we won’t quickly fall for competitive strife and jealousy, trying to one-up someone else whose God-given assignments in life don’t belong to us anyway. Appreciating our own uniqueness, as God’s created and redeemed children, can help us to enjoy a life accented by gratitude and contentment.(1)

Peer pressure, whether it comes from singing “fans” or so-called “peer review”(2), is anchored in seeking to please other humans to gain “fame” and “popularity”, i.e., the approval of their peers.(3)  But that motive clashes with prioritizing God’s honor and approval (see John 5:44 & Ephesians 6:6).

References

(1) See “Of Grackles and Gratitude”, Acts & Facts, 41(7):8-10 (July AD2012), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/valuing-gods-variety/  —  and “Valuing God’s Variety”, Acts & Facts, 42(9):8-10 (Sept. AD2012), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/grackles-gratitude .

(2) “Forensic Science Frustrated by ‘Peer Review'”, Acts & Facts, 44(2):18 (February AD2015), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/forensic-science-frustrated-by-peer/ .

(3) See also “Saul, a Tall Man, Short on Faith”, my earlier limerick blogpost posted at https://rockdoveblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/saul-a-tall-man-short-on-faith/ .

God made the cosmos with super-small details.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.   (Hebrews 11:3)

God, through Christ, created the physical matter-energy cosmos out of nothing, and then God constructively shaped that physical matter-energy, at the super-small detailed level (i.e., what we today call “particle physics”), using particles and energy so small that we cannot see that level of detail with our human eyesight.   See Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3.)

 

God made the cosmos, so He owns the cosmos.

The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.  (Psalm 89:11)

Because God created and formed the heavens, He owns them and they glorify Him (just by being what they are)  — whether we humans admit it or not.  (See Genesis chapter 1 & 14:22; Deuteronomy 10:14; Nehemiah 9:6; 1st Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 8:1 & 19:1 & 57:5 & 89:11.)    

God made the cosmos huge, with stars of huge numbers and at huge distances from Earth.

He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names.  (Psalm 147:4)

God, through Christ, created physical matter-energy cosmos out of nothing, and then constructively shaped that physical matter-energy, in the stretched-out expanse, as innumerable stars (and other heavenly bodies), so many and so far away (i.e., the heavens are so huge) that we cannot see that level of detail with human eyesight. (See Genesis 15:5; Deuteronomy 28:62; Isaiah 55:9; Jeremiah 33:22; Hebrews 11:12.)  Even so, God can count the exact number of the universe’s stars (Psalm 147:4a) — and God knows each of His stars, including His name for each one of them (Psalm 147:4b).

God made the heavens for good, yet sinful humans idolatrously misuse the heavens.

I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests, and them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham, and them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for him.  (Zephaniah 1:4-6)

Sinful mankind, on repeated occasions, has idolatrously worshiped the sun and/or moon and/or stars, rather than thanked God for making those heavenly objects for God’s glory and for mankind’s benefit. (See Genesis 11:4; Deuteronomy 4:19 & 17:3; Psalm 19:1 & 148:3; 2nd Kings 21:3; 2nd Chronicles 33:3; Jeremiah 19:13; Zephaniah 1:5.)  “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1a), yet those liars who refuse to give God credit for creating the cosmos, also dishonestly refuse to give God credit for the glory that they see displayed within the heavens.  Consequently, such impious observers (of the heavens) steal credit that is due God, and misapply that credit to the material components of the universe  —  thereby worshiping the creation instead of its Creator (Romans 1:25).  This idolatrous worship of the heavens began early in human history (see, e.g., Genesis 11:4; Job 31:26-27; Deuteronomy 4:19, etc.).

This idolatrous cosmogony continues to this day, especially in the form of the so-called “big bang” theory of cosmogony (a pseudo-science myth illustrating 1st Timothy 6:20, largely hatched as the “cosmic egg” theory by Roman Catholic priest Georges Lemaitre, professor at Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium), a Bible-rejecting myth that pretends that the universe is accidently self-made.  The ultimate result of this modern mythology is that “big bang” proponents (as they reject the perspicuous truth of Genesis) irrationally admire and adore the material universe itself, for (supposedly) “creating” itself, instead of rationally admiring and adoring the great and glorious God Who actually created (and sustains) the vast heavens in all of its component glories (1st Corinthians 15:40-41).  Yet the heavens themselves declare God’s glory!

God made the cosmos about 6000 years ago.

For in 6 days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the 7th day;  therefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.  (Exodus 20:11)

God created and made the heavens and the earth, during Creation Week (1000s of years ago, not billions), just as is reported in Genesis  —  so the cosmos is relatively “young”.  (See Genesis chapters 1-11, especially chapter 1;  see also Exodus 20:11; 1st Chronicles 16:26; John 5:44-47; Psalm 33:6.)  For an analysis of how many have misunderstood — and underestimated  —  the Genesis chronology, and its relevance to calculating an absolute timeframe range for the age of the earth (and also for the cosmos in general), see my analysis in “How Young Is the Earth:  Applying Simple Math to Data Provided in Genesis”, ACTS & FACTS, 37(10):4-5 (October 2008), posted at http://www.icr.org/article/4124 .

Cosmic-Egg Cosmogonies are Cracked and Crooked Conjectures

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:3)

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. (2ndPeter 3:5)

 

SmallMagellanicCloud-NGC346region-DailyGalaxy.com-photo

COSMIC-EGG COSMOGONIES ARE CRACKED & CROOKED CONJECTURES

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Big bangers boast bogus “inflation”,
Yet no facts fit their explanation;
“Dark energy” they chatter,
“Oort clouds” and “dark matter” —
All bunk! — to flee truths of creation!

COMMENTARY: Those who accept the revelation of God understand that the cosmos was spoken into being by God, in the beginning (Hebrews 11:3). Yet many dishonestly dodge the clearly-seen proof of God’s Creatorship, as they willingly evade and ignorantly reject the written record that God has given of His deeds of creation (2nd Peter 3:5). While the heavens continually document the glory of God, showing the artistic works of His fingers, scoffers foolishly and inexcusably deny His truth. (Compare also Psalm 19:1 with Psalm 14:1.) But, as for me, I happily accept the proof of His truth — everyone must make a choice with to do with the truth-witnesses God gives, including His heavenly witnesses (Joshua 24:15).

SolarSystem-ScienceABC.com-pic


PHOTO CREDITS:

Eagle Nebula star cluster (DailyGalaxy.com); Small Magellanic Cloud’s NGC346 region (DailyGalaxy.com); Solar System (fair use) image credit:  ScienceABC.com