The Achilles Heel

And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. 1 Samuel 13:8‭-‬9 KJV

Wikipedia describes an Achilles heel as , ”… a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall”. The mythological origin speaks about a physical vulnerability, where the mother held Achilles to dip him in the cream of protection. The idiomatic references are to other attributes in a person that can lead to a downfall. Thus far, Saul has done excellently. He would still have done more perhaps, except for a little attitude of impatience. The tragic trait is in the phrase, ” the people were scattered from him”. This is how one scholar puts it, ” Tragic heroes typically have heroic traits that earn them the sympathy of the audience, but also have flaws or make mistakes that ultimately lead to their own downfall”. Saul’s own was impatience. Vanessa Kimoro in April,2021 did a beautiful post on LinkedIn on this subject of impatience and the millenials. She submits that it is a virtue for millenials to learn the secret art of patience because, ” Patience is the undervalued super-power”. The net encyclopedia agrees with that, ” According to the New Testament, patience purifies faith (1 Pt 1.6), fosters hope (Rom 8.25; 15.4), leads to perfection (Jas 1.4), and pertains to charity (1 Cor 13.4, 5, 7). Thus, it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5.22), deriving its power from God (Col 1.11)”. That is the vice that toke Saul from the throne. Are you impatient? This is a serious lesson to learn from.

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