Day 118: King Saul Despairs

1 Samuel 27:8-12 David’s brutal slaughter of prisoners cannot be condoned, and neither can his outright lies to the Philistine leaders. This does show David’s resourcefulness and abilities as a warrior: he avoids Judah for fear of Saul while at the same time defeating Judah’s enemies and protecting himself from the Philistines through trickery. (CCC 2313)

Ch 28:8 Conjuring dead spirits was against the Mosaic Law, and any kind of divination is in violation of the First Commandment. The Church teaches that any consultation of mediums, seances, palm readers, astrological signs, horoscopes, or seers is gravely sinful since it at least implicitly seeks a preternatural intervention that involves demonic forces. This practice also reflects an inordinate desire to acquire knowledge and to control future events that are within God’s competence alone. (CCC 2115-2117)

Psalm 34 It is unusual for a psalm of praise to offer instruction to the faithful, but this psalm does precisely that. The first half of the psalm flows into verses 11-14, which resemble the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, before returning to the typical and standard words of praise. The Lord is rightly given credit for the protection and ultimate prosperity enjoyed by the righteous, whose righteousness not only consists in obeying the Law but also is primarily connected to humility and repentance before God. 

“The Lord is always near those who sincerely invoke him, that is, those who have recourse to him with upright faith, firm hope, and perfect charity,” taught St. Ambrose. “In fact, he knows what you stand in need of even before you ask him for it; he is always ready to meet the needs of those who serve him faithfully” (St. Ambrose, In Epistolam Beati Pauli ad Philippenses, 4). 

He keeps all his bones...broken: John states in his Gospel that this prophecy was fulfilled when the Roman soldiers found Christ already dead on the Cross and so did not break his legs, a method of speeding up death for the crucified (cf. Jn 19:36)

Evil shall slay the wicked: In reality, condemnations from the Lord are simply a result of the self-inflicted damage caused by sin. Those who lead virtuous and holy lives allow themselves to be protected, helped, and blessed by God. (CCC 336, 1706)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and we honor you today and we thank you. Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for making us a body and soul. Thank you for giving us life and breath in this world that you have created, this world you have made good, this world that is good but is unsafe, this world that is good but has been broken, and these hearts of ours that are good but broken. Lord God, we ask you to come into the brokenness, because all those things that you make are good. Even though they have been broken, you still love us. Even though we are broken, you still love us. And even though this world is broken, you still love it and you still can redeem it. You HAVE redeemed it by the Sacrifice, the Life, the Death, and the Resurrection of your Son. You have sent your Holy Spirit upon this world, this broken but good world. So that it may be holy, that we may be holy. Help us live a life consecrated to you this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”