Self-Centered Perception, 1 Sam 22:7-8

Self-Centered Perception 1 Sam. 22:7-8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

In 1 Sam 22:7-8 we see Saul’s self-centered perception as he accuses David and Jonathan of making a league against him.  Saul’s perception is all about him [notice that he says “me” five times in verse 8] as he imagines them against him.  The fact is that he was against them.  He attempted to kill both of them by throwing a javelin at them and he chased David relentlessly until he chased him out of the country.

In this passage we will see how warped Saul’s self-centered perception had become and we will examine some of the reasons he ended up in this shape.  Hopefully, our study will help you see when your perception has become self-centered and why it has become self-centered.

Saul’s perception had become so self-centered that:

He accused his own men of conspiring against him.  “all of you have conspired against me”.  They had not.  These men were loyal to Saul and followed him or would have followed him faithfully in each attempt to kill David [at Keilah 1 Sam 23:7-8, at Engedi 1 Sam 24:1-2, and in the wilderness of Ziph 1 Sam 26:1-2].  Saul was crazy to think that these men had been bribed by David to conspire against him.  These men would have never accepted the bribe and David would have never attempted to bribe them in the first place.  Your perception can become so warped when you are self-centered that you accuse the most loyal people in your life of working together against you.

He accused his son of making a league with David against him.  “there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse”.  David and Jonathan certainly made a covenant together for David’s protection [Jonathan would tell David of Saul’s intention to kill him] and for the protection of Jonathan’s children [in the event that David ascended to the throne after the death of Saul].  But never would either of these men plot the death of Saul.  Twice, when David had an easy opportunity to kill Saul, he let him go. First, in the cave at Engedi in 1 Sam 24:4-7, and, second, in the hill of Hachilah in 1 Sam 26:3-12.  And Jonathan was faithful to fight beside his father in the last battle either of them would ever fight [1 Sam 31:2, 2 Sam 1:23].  It is strange how your self-centered perception can cause you to become so paranoid that you imagine those closest to you have turned against you.

He accused his men of not feeling sorry for him.  “there is none of you that is sorry for me”.  Poor pitiful Saul.  He wanted pity.  What a whiner.  He is the king.  Strange how one so mighty [1 Sam 9:2, 1 Sam 11:6-11] could become so pitiful.  That’s what happens when your perception becomes warped.  You think the best way to get folks to help you is to get them to feel sorry for you.  Well, sit in the corner and suck your thumb because no one but your mother is going to feel sorry for you.

He accused Jonathan of stirring up David against him.  “that my son hath stirred up my servant against me”.  Jonathan hadn’t stirred up David against him.  As a matter of fact, he tried to mediate between them so that Saul would receive David again after attempting to kill him [1 Sam 19:4-7].  Saul’s perception is so warped that he thinks Jonathan and David are out to get him.  In truth he tried to kill both of these men.  It was Saul who was against them and not the other way around.  You can get so messed up in your self-centered perception that you forget that you are the one causing the fight and the innocent people in your life are simply trying to defend themselves against your irrational behavior.

He accused David of trying to ambush him.  “to lie in wait, as at this day”.  David wasn’t lying in wait.  He was hiding.  He had to run for his life or be killed.  Saul portrayed David’s absence not as self-defense but as stealth.  Of course, both times that David could have killed Saul when he was in hiding he refused to kill him.  Listen, when you get so messed up in your perception that you think it’s all the other person’s fault, when in fact it’s your fault, you have become so self-centered that you will never get your perception straightened out.  You must not only admit that you are wrong [Saul did that 1 Sam 24:16-21 and 1 Sam 26:21] but you need to back off until you can see the truth clearly.  Your perception is warped.

Conclusion: you may be asking yourself how Saul got so messed up in his perception.  Undoubtedly it was because of his fear of David [1 Sam 18:12, 15, 29], his envy of David’s accolades [1 Sam 18:7-9], his evil spirit that troubled him [1 Sam 16:14] and his jealousy over Jonathan’s love for David [1 Sam 18:1].  Those things worked on Saul until his perception was so warped that he thought his own son, Jonathan, and the Lord’s anointed, David, were out to get him.  They should have been trying to get him after he tried to kill them.  Saul got so messed up that he thought he was justified in trying to kill the two most faithful men in his life.  That’s tragic.  Don’t ever let yourself become so self-centered that your perception becomes so warped.