Saul the King

Searching His Word
  Seeking His Heart

We have been following young David the shepherd boy for a while with songs (or psalms) that he may have first composed on the hillside. Great things are ahead for David, but before we get to that, let’s take a look at what else was going on in Israel at the time.

Samuel was the people’s adviser and spiritual leader, serving as the last judge of Israel. He had seen them through many battles with neighboring towns and particularly with the Philistines, but now, the people wanted, no, they demanded to have a king!

Samuel’s heart was broken. He felt rejection, but the Lord said to him,

… it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. I Samuel 8:7

Samuel told the people of God’s warning of the fallacies of kingship, but they cried all the more to have a king. They wanted to be “like other nations” who had kings. Here they had God Himself as their king. Their hearts were not in the right place.

At times in our lives, we may continuously reject God’s leadership even though He strives with us. At some point, He may give us over to our selfish desires until we learn lessons from our actions.

God relented and told Samuel,

“Listen to them and give them a king.” I Samuel 8:22

Who would it be? Well, there was…

…Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites—a head taller than any of the others. I Samuel 9:2

Saul got the job! For a while things went okay. In fact, Samuel told Saul that a procession of prophets were coming.

“The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. I Samuel 10:6

Saul led the men in battles to protect his people as well as others. He ended up reigning for forty-two years, but little by little, we discover that though Saul may have been a head taller than the others, his heart was not as big as his head. Maybe another way of saying he was big-headed!

        

In one incident after another, Saul failed to follow the leadership of Samuel the prophet, and thus failed to follow the commands of God.

Eventually, Samuel told Saul,

“You have acted foolishly. You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. I Samuel 13:13-14

How sad when the Lord blesses someone richly, but they take matters into their own hands instead of seeking the Lord’s will in their lives. Samuel constantly warned the people that they must turn to the Lord, but they were busy pattering after Saul who sought after his own will.

The Lord was ready to lead Samuel to anoint another person. 

Next week, quite a surprise for our young shepherd boy!

~ Joyce ~

 

Lessons from the Daffodils

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Let’s take a break from Matthew to consider the daffodils we are enjoying these days. Two weeks ago I hopped in the car to run some errands when what to my wandering eyes should appear but Forsythia! And in the next block—daffodils!

“This is only February,” I said out loud. Since then, I’ve heard at least three people say they have been trying to talk to their blossoms and buds, urging them to go back in—all to no avail. 

Now I just wouldn’t want an incident like this to slip by without gleaning a lesson to be learned, so let’s think it through.

We reason that it isn’t time for the flowers to be bloom yet. We surmise that more bad weather will yet come. The temperatures will drop, maybe to freezing, maybe snow! Their petals will freeze. They’ll shrivel up and die!

But they don’t listen. They stand there in defiance just like our (terrible-two) two-year-olds or middle schoolers or high school know-it-alls or even our adult children. We can see ahead; we know the devastation they face, we try to warn them, but off they go into destruction.

Whew! I guess that’s one lesson we can imagine from our little yellow friends. Let’s look at another.

Daffodils were made to bloom. They happen to usually be the ones to herald in the Spring, but mostly, they were made to respond to warm soil in rising temperatures with nourishing rain and that’s exactly what they have done. They have been obedient to their calling. They have no calendars tucked under their leafy arms; they simply respond according to who they are.

We, too, were made to respond to the Creator’s wooing, but He gave us the gift of choice. Over and over in the Old Testament, we are encouraged to be obedient. Moses said:

Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. Exodus 12:24

In the New Testament, Jesus made it clear that obedience was still important and that we would be blessed by it.

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 

He also told us to teach obedience to others. He said “Go,” “baptize,” 

“…and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” And the best part… “I am with you always to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Oh, that we could naturally respond to the Savior like the daffodils do—the sun is shining, the rains have come, the ground is warm, let’s go! Indeed, we can become responsive to what He gives us; we simply must choose to do so.

~ Joyce ~