1 Sam 15:1 SAMUEL TOLD Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people Israel. Now listen and heed the words of the Lord.
vs 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, I have considered and will punish what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way when [Israel] came out of Egypt.
vs 3 Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.
vs 9 Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but all that was undesirable or worthless they destroyed utterly.
Saul was to destroy all the possessions of the Amalekites but instead he kept back for himself that which would benefit him. He destroyed only what was undesirable to him, or what he considered worthless.
But here is what Samuel said to Saul regarding his sin:
vs 22 Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
vs 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.
This oft-quoted scripture is commonly used to point out that the nature of rebellion is rooted in witchcraft, but something struck me about this, earlier this morning.
Stubbornness is as idolatry and TERAPHIM. I’d never heard of teraphim before. Seraphim, yes. Cherubim, yes. But teraphim, no.
(Of course I had to investigate).
The word Teraphim comes from the Hebrew word “Teraphiym” and literally means idolatry, idols used in household shrine or worship; family idol. (Can we think of any household shrines that can be used as a family idol in our own homes?)
I then went to look up the root, thinking the root would be tera, meaning earth, or earthy. Instead I found that the root was Rapha.
And specifically, those idols which we believe is good and right for our family
Such as in Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord our Healer.
This, however, was not Jehovah-Rapha. This, was Teraphiym. Other gods. Other gods that bring false comfort and healing.
And is the root of stubborness. Wanting our way! No budging of opinion, stand, behavior; no listening to Truth, even if staring right at it. Saul wasn’t yet at the place of stubborness revealed, but he opened the door.
And it cost him his authority over his enemies.
All he did was open the door and it cost him his authority! How many times do we not only open the door but become stubborn in our sin and wonder why we are defeated?
Contrast that with the Seraphim of Isaiah 6:
Is 6:2 Above Him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two [each] covered his [own] face, and with two [each] covered his feet, and with two [each] flew.
vs 3 And one cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!
Seraphim is the Hebrew word Seraph and means
1) serpent, fiery serpent
a) poisonous serpent (fiery from burning effect of poison)
2) seraph, seraphim
a) majestic beings with 6 wings, human hands or voices in attendance upon God.
Is 6:4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Is 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone and ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!
Is 6:6 Then flew one of the seraphim [heavenly beings] to me, having a live coal in his hand which he had taken with tongs from off the altar;
vs 7 And with it he touched my mouth and said, Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity and guilt are taken away, and your sin is completely atoned for and forgiven.
Without a knowledge of the Lord, who chooses a winged serpent of fire over comfort? It requires a pursuit of the knowledge of Jesus Himself.
In my ignorance, I asked the Lord to place seraphim at the windows of my home, and entryways.
These seraphim, these fiery winged serpents, would destroy all with their fire. Even those who do not know the Lord….yet.
It is the Cherubim who are placed to guard and protect, with mercy. Like the Cherubim guarded the entrance to the garden of Eden. Or the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant.
But, for us who know Him, and seek holiness, what would happen if we asked for the seraphim to guard our personal eyegates, eargates, heartgates? What would happen if we asked for them to touch our lips with burning coal because we dwell among an unclean people?
Maybe in our workplace, even our own homes. Would the desire for teraphim be utterly destroyed?
Or shall we continue to open the door for the teraphim to make themselves at home?
Before we are victorious in the area we are given charge over, there must be nothing of spiritual “Saul” in us. And yet, there IS no way, except THE Way of the of the One who baptizes us with Fire, as He comes, attended by the seraphim who cry “Holy, Holy Holy.”
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins]. But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.