“We don’t yet see things clearly …
We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”The Message 13:12
One man, one woman, sees the color “red”. I see the color “maroon”. I immediately assume that I am accurate in what I see (“maroon”), and anyone who sees “red” is inaccurate in what they see. And yet, maybe I am the one … who do not see clearly.
“Perception is the ultimate reality, but not necessarily the ultimate truth.” Bishop Carleton
When I read 1 Samuel, I experience disruption and tension when I consider the lives of two prophets, and two kings: Eli the prophet preceded Samuel; King Saul preceded King David. I see the strengths of Samuel and King David, as apposed to their weaknesses. David let his dark side get the best of him, but when Nathan confronts him on his crime, David owns up to it and takes responsibility. I see David’s humility, positive character.
And yet, If I really see what is there, versus what I choose / want to see, I might see something ugly. David had an innocent man killed, justified by his “kingship”. David stole another man’s wife, justified by his “kingship”. Translation: David thought he could do anything he wanted. David’s choice about seeing … what he thought was a legitimate desire … was followed by a great conflict how he would see. This process of change was facilitated by Nathan and by God.
Samuel, the “good” prophet had some murky “stuff” in his family that I chose not to see, initially. Samuel’s two sons were abusing their father’s “prophet status”, and mocking justice, taking bribes, etc … which was similar to what Eli’s sons were doing. Here is a factor: Samuel was raised without a father. Is that an excuse? No. But, being raised without a good father is not something to ignore. It is a huge part of why there is so much violence today in our society. God, help us to see You, each other, and what is true.