Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Piper on Why Saul Died and a Pastor's Soul

John Piper has written some observations he has had recently during his own personnel time in the Word. What is cool is that Piper was not preparing for a sermon, or a book or even a Desiring God blog post, but was reading to "feed my soul", how often do pastors or those that vocationally proclaim God's Word through the pulpit or in books do not get away for their own soul's sake? I often find that I can justify my own distance from "quiet times" as saying I am in His Word when I prepare for a message, Piper shows that there is a difference between preparation and feeding one's own soul in personal in depth study. Piper today was studying Saul's death and David's rise, here is a quote from what he observed and chewed on in God's Word.

One reason Saul died is that he committed suicide. Another is that he broke faith with the Lord much earlier. Another is that God put him to death. None of these excludes the others. To say God is the decisive actor does not mean Saul did not act. To say there are physical causes for a death (suicide) does not mean there were not moral causes (infidelity).

To say that Saul brought his demise on himself (by infidelity and suicide) does not mean God did not bring it on him. We would be unfaithful to Scripture if all we said was that the reason Saul died was the natural consequence of his own behavior. We must also say, “The Lord put him to death.”

There was real punishment, not just impersonal, natural consequences. God is personal. God put him to death. There was punishment by a judge and executioner. There was wrath. The Bible is designed to make sure we do not turn death and hell into impersonal consequences. “The Lord put him to death.”

Therefore, I was sobered this morning. I trembled in my spirit. I bowed to God’s right and authority to give and take life. I reverenced him. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Now chew on that, and then chew on some more of what Piper shared about his "quiet time" in the Word here


Then dive into your own personel time, here

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