Brent Hatchett, the young adult pastor at Cornerstone Church in Chandler, AZ, came to share how to counter another play in the Devil's Playbook. The main idea was that if you cannot respect the God-instituted human authority in your life, you will have a hard time with God's authority. I can see this is true because people will often bring the same attitude and fears they have with others into their relationship with God. This standard transfer is seeing God how our parents treated us because of God's paternal image. God's authority is meant to protect us. When we begin to see it as limiting, Satan takes advantage of that discontent. This frustrates us, especially when the ungodly person seems to get ahead and we don't.
He starts with an exposition of Romans 13:1-6 then goes into the example of Saul.
At first, I did not understand why Brent focused on Saul so much, but in the end, I got it. I would have included David's interactions with Saul as a positive example, but Brent warned the Dangers more. He talks about how Saul had everything going for him. However, Saul disrespected Samuel's authority over him by sacrificing the animal before Samuel came. He lost everything as a result. Ironically, Saul would have had the perpetual linage given to David if he obeyed. Thus, we might have been talking Jesus as Saul's son, not David's son.
I don't characterize Saul's action as a wanton disrespect. When going ahead of God, we think we know better than him. So in a way, I understand the connection. However. he got impatient and lost sight of God's authority in that.
Saul literally is possessed, and God's spirit leaves in 1 Samuel 18. After David gains notoriety for killing Goliath, that evil spirit makes him insecure and jealous of David . Saul was more concerned about maintaining his position as king. Again this is another example of how he totally disregards authority. He forgets that the kingship was God's to grant and to take away. If he was humble, he would have learned from his previous error and repented. He would also accept his fate the way Mose did after God told him he would not see the Promised Land.
David gives us a positive example of this in his interaction with Saul in 1 Samuel 24. When Saul began to chase him, he had every right to kill Saul for self-defense if not to gain the throne after Saul's violent reaction in 1 Samuel 19. However, he respects Saul's God-given position and, by extension, God's authority enough not to rush things. As stressful as the situation was, David probably knew it was a time of preparation. He even feels guilty about cutting off a piece of Saul's robe as a warning to him. In 1 Samuel 26, He encourages Abishai not to kill Saul for the same reason.
Similarly, we must not abuse authority as leaders. Paul talks about this twice in Ephesians 6:5-9, and Colossians 3:22-25 Saul did by harassing David when David threatened his position. Servant leadership is not about being weak or unassertive. Jesus had this mentality but was anything but soft. It is about humility, which in the end, is attractive. It allows us to freely yield and admit our mistakes since we are not seeking power or putting up a front. Secular thinkers even see the value of it. See my piece about this concept in the business book Good to Great below for more on this.
In the end, God's command to respect human authority is to teach us to respect his headship. This is not only because he gives it but because it affects how we see his authority.