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/ .

FALSE ACCUSERS IN THE SWAMP, ILLUSTRATING HYPOCRISY

In recent days the truth-dismissing opponents of President Trump have been using the phrase “obstruction of justice” as if they knew what the phrase meant (which they apparently don’t), notwithstanding never swinging that accusation at Democrat politicians who blatantly obstruct justice, both in public and in private — illustrating the timeless truth that hypocrites love to accuse others of “specks” when they themselves are guilty of 2X4 planks!

“And why beholdest thou the mote [i.e., speck, like a speck of sawdust] that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam [i.e., wooden plank] that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite! First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

[Quoting Matthew 7:3-5, quoting the Lord Jesus Christ.]  May those who bear false witness be exposed, providentially (and soon), as the false accusers that they are!

Thus, recent politics were the subject of this my latest limerick:

ANTI-TRUMPERS BEAR FALSE WITNESS, ALLEGING “OBSTRUCTION”
Don’t look for sleuth Sherlock’s deduction
When hearing false cries of “obstruction”;
Fake innuendos fraught,
But with evidence naught
Just Dems, aiming at Trump’s destruction.

May the real truth be manifested, soon, so those who bear false witness be exposed as the at false accusers are shown to be the false witnesses that they are!  (See also, accord, John 8:31-32.)

Meanwhile, President Trump is not alone is being unfairly attacked by disgruntled Democrats. Recently, and rather ironically, an anti-American radical shooter attacked Republican legislators (in Alexandria, Virginia) from the 3rd base dugout — i.e., from the extreme “Left” of the baseball diamond (if you use home plate as your reference point). The main victim (Republican Congressman Scalise, the Republican majority whip) was caught in the middle (2nd base); soon it was clear that the safest place was the 1st base dugout — on the far “Right” of the diamond.  Although they got wounded in the fight, the defending and counter-attacking Capitol police officers shot back, from the Right (and protected those who were on the Right), eventually defeating the foe on the extreme Left. IT’S GOOD TO BE RIGHT, AND TO FIGHT EVIL, AND TO TRUST GOD TO PROVIDENTIALLY DETERMINE THE OUTCOME. May God bless all who were wounded recently (and who are still wounded), in yet another evil attack from the Left, on Republicans.

Trump Rejects the False Alarmism of the ‘Paris Climate Accord’ Scam

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

TrumpPromises-MadeKept.DailySignal-photo

TRUMP REJECTS THE FALSE ALARMISM OF THE ‘PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD’ SCAM

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

While ‘global warming’ scams try to scare us
Obama signed a bad deal to snare us
A hoax on emissions
For crooked ambitions
But Trump dumped the agreement of Paris!

COMMENTARY:  As Genesis 8:22 indicates, God has established seasonal cycles that we can depend upon, allowing limited variety in climate, contained within bounds of resilience and regularity. At times the earth gets warmer (like the Medieval Warm Period, when the Viking Age flourished); at other times it cools (like the Little Ice Age, when the Hanseatic League saw its monopoly dissipate). But it is both empirical dishonesty (i.e., science fiction, mobilized by political funding) and quixotic silliness to suggest that mere mortals can change global climate patterns – much less control them! Yet such fake science is used to rationalize power-grabbing politics, with economic disasters imposed upon the so-called “little people”. Thankfully, President Trump batted one such scam away – as if striking it with a hockey stick – when he announced (on June 1st of AD2017) that America was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. One more victory for truth and justice – a win for America, for real-world science, and genuine “social justice”.


Fair Use photo credit (President Trump keeping campaign promises): Daily Signal

Political cartoon spoofing Obama’s “global warming” alarmism:  Branco

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

O Edinburgh (Remembering the Great Forthside Port)

I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.  (Psalm 119:46)

O Edinburgh (Remembering the Great Forthside Port)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

O Edinburgh, great Forthside port,
Old city, where Knox preached in court;
Just to walk your Royal Mile,
Warms my heart, makes me smile –
O Edinburgh, of famed kirk and fort.

JOHN KNOX (St. Giles Kirk statue): Electric Scotland photo credit

COMMENTARY: Unforgettable – visiting Edinburgh’s Royal Mile during the summer of AD2002.  That memorable trip (which trip included the privilege of meeting historian-scholar Dr. Bill Cooper face-to-face!) was part of a tour bus-facilitated excursion that was part of a cruise, aboard the NORWEGIAN DREAM, with my wife and mother-in-law.  The great Calvinist/Presbyterian Reformer, John Knox, faithfully preached the Scriptures in St. Giles Kirk (cathedral), during the AD1500s, and also repeatedly confronted Scotland’s Queen Mary with the Protestant Reformation’s truths.  Knox’s biogenetic descendants include Dr. John Witherspoon, who signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence and who also taught Biblical Hebrew to John Madison, the chief author of the U.S. Constitution and Bill or Rights (and 4th U.S. president).

EdinburghCastle-MustSeePlaces.Com-photo


PHOTO CREDITTS: St. Giles Kirk: Pinterest;  John Knox statue at St. Giles Kirk: Electric Scotland; Edinburgh Castle: MustSeePlaces.com

LITTLE GUYS (ALMOST) ALWAYS LOSE IN POLITICS

And Jonathan said to the young man who bare his armor, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us, because there is no restraint to the LORD to save, by many or by few. (1st Samuel 14:6)

LITTLE GUYS (ALMOST) ALWAYS LOSE IN POLITICS

Though you be tall and “big stuff”,
To City Hall you’re not-so-tough;
Remember this fact:
The card-deck is stacked
So you likely aren’t “tough enough”!

Of course, the example of Dr. Martin Luther, whose public protest in AD1517 — 500 years ago — (and whose subsequent battles thereafter), illustrates the providential exception to this general rule.  God directed Dr. Luther to challenge the ecclesiastical politics (and theological teachings) of his generation, triggering the Protestant Reformation movement that accomplished much more — for time and eternity — than merely defeating a “City Hall”.

luther-statute-with-bible

COMMENTARY: As 1st Samuel 14:6 reminds us, God can deliver a cause “by many or by few” – He is not restrained by material circumstances or politics. In general, however, it’s very hard to successfully “fight City Hall”, so ordinary prudence suggests that wise selection of “battles” be limited to those where a success is probable. Of course, sometimes a moral principle is at stake, such as when a Biblical priority requires fighting against the odds. In the end, of course, “the battle is the LORD’s” – a truth that David warned Goliath about just before David adjudicatively destroyed Goliath.

Then said David to the Philistine, you come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel — and all this assembly shall know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear, because the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands. (1st Samuel 17:45-47)

HOT DESERTS: LETHAL TO SOME, YET HOME TO OTHERS

HOT DESERTS: LETHAL TO SOME, YET HOME TO OTHERS

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. (ISAIAH 35:1)

In deserts the temps climb quite high,
With scarce rain, those lands get quite dry;
Such climes can be torrid,
For some that is horrid —
Yet yuccas can cope when it’s dry.

Yes, deserts are truly alive;
Harsh heat some critters survive;
Like cactus blooms brilliant,
And lizards resilient —
There sagebrush and rattlesnakes thrive.

COMMENTARY:  As Isaiah 35:1 indicates, the glory of the Lord is displayed even in desert places, where even cactus flowers blossom with bright colors and beauty, attracting pollinators, as their succulent tissues store water for desert birds such as Gila woodpeckers. God’s glory is displayed in the magnificent variety of creatures and habitats that He has decorated the earth with.   God designed Earth to be inhabited — to be “filled” with diverse creatures, artistically demonstrating His love of both life and variety.  It is the adventure and privilege of mankind, created in God’s own image – and redeemed by the blood of God incarnate — to learn of these treasures in God’s creation, and to appreciate God for showcasing His power and wisdom in such humbles creatures as such desert denizens, who daily brave the hot and arid extremes, living and in desert places.


PHOTO CREDITS:

Gila Woodpecker with nest-hole in Saguaro Cactus:  North Mountain Visitor Center (Phoenix, Arizona)

Gila Woodpecker sipping nectar form Saguaro Cactus Flower: Birding Information website ( BirdingInformation.com )