Tuesday, August 1, 2017

EmmDev 2017-08-01 [Lessons from Samuel] Uncertain King

Hi everyone,
EmmDevs are back after a bit of extra break-time. We're continuing our journey through the first book of Samuel.
Hope you find it meaningful!

Uncertain King

When Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. 21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri's clan was chosen. Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22 So they inquired further of the LORD, "Has the man come here yet?" And the LORD said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage." 23 They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others.      (1Samuel10:20-23)
Israel wanted an earthly king and, after giving them numerous warnings about this, God gives them their wish...

(Here's a summary of what happens in 1 Samuel 9...)
Saul, son of Kish of the Tribe of Benjamin, was a very tall young man who had lost his donkeys. When his search was unsuccessful, his servant persuades him to go and ask Samuel the prophet who happens to be in one of the nearby towns.

Samuel, in the meantime, has received a revelation from God that Saul is to be the first king of Israel and so Samuel treats Saul as an honoured guest, hosts Saul in his home and talks to him at length about kingship.

When he sends Saul home, Samuel anoints him as king and tells him about an experience that he will have on the way home when he encounters some prophets who are on their way to worship. It will be a moment, says Saul, that will transform Saul's heart.

Everything happens to Saul as Samuel had explained. He encounters the prophets and is drawn into their prophetic act of worship-dancing which is witnessed by a number of people.

A few days later Saul is publicly appointed as king, but he is nowhere to be found! Our passage tells us that he was hiding in the baggage of all the people who had travelled to the gathering.

Is hiding in the baggage quaint humility or a symptom of deep insecurity? If it were an isolated incident we might say it was humility, but the truth is that when Samuel hinted that Saul would be king at their first encounter, Saul responded by saying: "But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?"

If the heart changes that happened to Saul after meeting Samuel had been seeds that fell into deep fertile soil, I'd like to think that he wouldn't be hiding in the baggage... But it seems that the seed fell into shallow rocky soil - the seed grew, but it didn't last...

None of us is perfect, but God calls us regardless of our imperfections, and when we answer His call, His Spirit can transform us. What kind of soil are we going to let God's seeds of transformation fall into?

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