Thursday, August 2, 2007

From the Suitcase to the Throne...

"Then the spirit of the Lord will come upon him mightily and you changed into another man." (1 Samuel 10:6)

If Saul's life would have ended as his kingship began, his story in the Bible would have taken on a very different character. It's one of the saddest stories in the entire scriptures. Most of the time we are learning what not to do when it comes to leading God's people, but what positive things can we learn from the life of Saul?

How about taking a look at the beginning of his Kingship.We are talking about a man who, like most Hebrew sons, had his mind set on following in the footsteps of his father. Kish was his dad, a Benjamite. Scripture says he was a "mighty man of valor". His son... Saul was his name and he was more handsome than any other man in Israel. It says that all other men came to his shoulders.

He was tending to his fathers livestock. As a matter of fact, some of the donkeys were lost and his father sent him to find them. He thought he was going to ask a "prophet" where they had gone, but God was really leading him on a path to receive a "word from God". The word was one he could hardly believe! "...the Lord has appointed you to be the king of his people, Israel!" We can only imagine the response that Saul had to these words. Of all the men of all the families in Israel, why him. Why one who so struggled with fear that he "hid among his luggage" when Samuel came to make his appointment public. How could one so insecure be called to such a position. He had tried so hard to live up to his good looks and stature for so long, but deep in his heart he knew the truth! He was a coward and weak willed. He knew they would reject him. And he was right. Scripture says he was "despised" and that when Samuel made the appointment public his friends "did not bring him any gifts" which was the customary way of affirming a public appointment.But then there was the other group of men. The Bible calls them "the valieant men whose hearts God had touched". Oh, they were not only willing to believe that Samuel was hearing from God about this appointment, they were willing to follow Saul to his death! They weren't just taking Samuel's word for it. Oh no, they saw the difference in Saul. Not only did they "see" the differnce, but the "recognized" the difference. They said to one another, "We know God's hand is on this man because he has been changed". Only the man who has experienced the supernatural change can recognize one who has walked the same path. When one "whose heart has been touched by the hand of God" sees an aquaintance "changed into another man" an instant familial tie springs to life.All the others saw the change too for the scripture says that the men were asking each other "What has happened to the son of Kish?" And so the man who hid among his luggage, fearful to even face a crowd of people who could reject him, became the man who could rise up in Holy anger, with the Spirit of the Lord upon him mightily, and confront those who were fearful of foreign invasion.Did the fear completely subside as Saul made his way from the safety of his luggage to the throne? Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, as the Israelites realized that their backs were against the wall when the Philistines were pursuing, many of the Israelites were "hiding themselves in caves, in thickets, in cliffs, in cellars, and in pits. Also some to them crossed the Jordan intot the land of Gad and Gilead" in other words, they retreated. But not Saul! The man that once hid in his luggage "stayed" and all the people followed him... TREMBLING! How would you like to be the kind of leader that the people would follow even when they are trembling!Isn't it a sad story that Saul so quickly turned back to trusting in himself instead of God. Let's not only start by being "changed into another man", but end that way as well!

Just a thought...


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