“And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.” (1 Samuel 17:55 KJV)

“…whose son is this youth?” Did Saul really not know? Was it not just in the previous chapter (verse 18) that David was told about to Saul specifically as “a son of Jesse”? And then after David showed up, and was employed as Saul’s armourbearer, Saul specifically sent word to Jesse (verse 22) to request that David stay? Do you really employ someone, that close to a king, without knowing every living relative that he has? Did Abner, his highest military officer at the time, really not even know who’s son the king’s armourbearer was? Such must have been the disease that the evil spirit inflicted on Saul so that his memory was short, his understanding was dull, and his disbelief so great.

Yet it is similarly interesting how the Pharisees and Sadducees much later would equally have real difficulties in recognizing who the son of David was. Though He healed many, feed many, taught many, and even raised some from the dead; they were so jealous of Him that they had no idea who He was. Instead of throwing a spear to pin him to the wall, they had Him nailed to a cross. In both the situation of Saul and of the Pharisees this spirit which prevents recognition is really bad. Do not let what God is doing become invisible. Do not let what God is doing fade into the background. A background somewhere behind our busyness. A hidden background behind jealousy. A background that develops because it is unmanageable to us and thus we are looking for a way to get our arms around it rather than lifting them up in surrender to Jesus. Perhaps even a background that seems inadvertent because the news of the day seems so pressing. Does it ever make you wonder why they had to hire Judas to point out where Jesus was?

“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matthew 13:15 KJV)

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