Narcissist Case Study – King Saul

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It is a pleasure (not to mention less work) when I come across another’s writing which helps add to the understanding I am seeking through this blog.  I just came across a good profile of King Saul, called “Saul a Portrait of Pride and Insecurity“, by a writer pen-named Tamarajo.

Please see the entire entry here.  Following are some excerpts:

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“Saul’s whole life is an example of how his low opinion of himself and his lack of Faith in God led him to pride and his own demise.

“Lets begin in Chapter 9. The children of Israel desperately wanted a king like all the other nations. God is a bit offended by them not being satisfied with His leadership, but agrees to let them have what they want. While Saul is out looking for some lost donkeys God informs Samuel the prophet that Saul is the man that is going to be Israels first king.

“It is interesting to note that the chapter actually begins with a description of Saul’s physical appearance.

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And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul.There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. ~ I Samuel 9:2

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“Samuel the prophetexplains to Saul that he has been chosen to be king over Israel and this is Saul’s reply:

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And Saul answered and said, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?” ~ I Samuel 9:21

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“It appears that Saul is a bit insecure despite his good looks and stature.It also reveals that Saul’s sense of security is centered already, not on God’s ability to enable Him, but on the size and value of the tribe and familyhe comes from, very possibly, formed from the opinions of men, that will eventually become a great snare to him.

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“Samuel then holds a ceremony to introduce Saul to the nation as their king but Saul is nowhere to be found.

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…And Saul the son of Kish was chosen. But when they sought him, he could not be found. Therefore they inquired of the LORD further, “Has the man come here yet?” And the LORD answered, “There he is, hidden among the equipment.” ~I Samuel 10:21-22

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“The first verse tells us that he was taller than all the people around him but he obviously felt smaller than all of them.

“When he finally becomes king and steps into the role of a leader of the nation of Israel he begins to make tragic mistakes that are rooted in his deep insecurities and how he chooses to placate them.

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“Beginning with Chapter 13. Saul is in a battle and he is waiting for Samuel to show up to make the sacrifice and give him guidance from the Lord concerning the battle. Saul becomes fearful. So he decides to just go ahead and make the sacrifice himself. Only those appointed by God (prophet and priest) were allowed to do this.

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And Samuel said, “What have you done?” ~ I Samuel 13:11

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“Saul said…

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“When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash,

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“Saul’s greatest fear was that he would look bad in the eyes of the people and his enemies. He displayed no confidence in God concerning the matter. He was plagued by a fear of failure, a need for public approval, and being humiliated so he took matters into his own hands rather than seeking God and remaining loyal to His instructions.

“When Samuel confronts Saul about this disobedience, Saul’s pride leaps into action to cover up the real issue. The first thing he does is blame Samuel

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“because he did not come within the days appointed”

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“He does admit that he was worried about the people who were leaving him but claims that if Samuel just would have shown up on time this would have never happened and makes himself appear as the victim. Pride will convince us that it is in our best interest to make ourselves the victim through blame when confronted with our own moral failures.

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“The next tragic mistake happens in Samuel chapter 15. The Lord had given the Amalekites, who were noted for their cruelty and cowardice, into the hands of Israels army. God made it abundantly clear that they were not to spare anyone or take spoil of anything of the Amalekites.

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But Saul and the people spared Agag (the king of the Amalekites) and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling toutterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. ~ I Samuel 15:9

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“Samuel comes to confront Saul once again.

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So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.” Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD.”But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” ~ I Samuel 15:12

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“The deception of pride will try to convince us that our selfish motives are for God’s benefit. I love Samuel’s response it uncovers the deep insecurity lying underneath it:

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So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel? Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?” ~ I Samuel 15:17-19

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“Samuel goes right to the very root of the problem, he was little in his own eyes and even shows Him that he had no business trusting in his own abilities anyway because God had anointed (empowered) him to be the king.
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“Saul’s pride can’t cover him anymore and he finally admits the real reason for his disobedience.

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Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. ~ I Samuel 15:24

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“Saul was attempting to win the approval of his peers as a remedy for the insignificance he felt inside. We see how Saul attempted to esteem himself through building himself up in the eyes of man. We see God behind the scenes trying lift him up if he would only humble himself and obey.

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 Tamarajo continues:
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“Pride is not just apersonal matter. Saul’s attempts at self-exaltation, by capturing alive, as a trophy, King Agag a Hitler type of enemy to the Israelites, rather than slaying him as instructed, had horrific consequences for God’s people.

“Centuries later the evil Haman arrives on the scene in the book of Esther and is identified as an Agagite, meaning descended from Agag which means that there were still descendants alive that Saul was instructed to kill and did not.

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Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews ~ Esther 8:3

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“The scheme against the Jews was to completely annihilate them. Saul’s self preoccupation and disobedience had far reaching consequences. He left an open door for a future persecution.”

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Tamarajo concludes:

“We can see from these examples that insecurity, depending on how we deal with it, and pride, go hand in hand, and that there is only one cure for that insecurity, that being faith and confidence in God and not our self and flesh, and an esteem that is built from the love He has for us alone.”

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

 

 

2 responses

  1. Pingback: The Fruit of Weakness – David and Saul « Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism

  2. Pingback: Narcissist Tactics – Fake Repentance (Cain, Saul, and Esau Case Study) « Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism

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