1 Samuel 9:1-12:25
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Can you imagine hearing these words of Samuel if you were Saul in First Samuel 9:20 today: "And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel's hopes." All you are doing is looking for your dad's lost donkeys and all of the sudden you hear this from the seer! Whew... You know though - I will say this. Being in relationship with God is always an adventure. I think oftentimes we will start out on a journey to do one thing and God ends up taking us some place completely different. Saul is about to embark on an adventure. You and I have the opportunity to embark on an adventure with God each and every day. I know that there are many times that God sends me into places & situations I would have never thought imaginable. That's the adventure of faith. It truly is not boring! I honestly think that life apart from God is truly boring. The secular life is boring. The materialistic life is boring. If you are feeling bored these days, will you break free and wholeheartedly pursue an adventurous relationship with the Lord?
An image is below for 1 Samuel 9:11 today - "As they were climbing a hill toward the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water. So Saul and his servant asked, "Is the seer here today?"
Okay - I have a temporary new favorite verse in the Bible! Today in First Samuel chapter 10 verse 22 when they were about to name Saul king, but they couldn't find him: "So they asked the LORD, "Where is he?" And the LORD replied, "He is hiding among the baggage."" That is awesome! I really appreciate the fact that Saul was hiding among the baggage. :) I think that's where I would be too. I hope I would be in any case. I think it's a bit scary when someone is too lustful for power. Better to have your future king hiding in the baggage... :)
(sorry, couldn't resist this photo... :) I suppose this image below would be more appropriate for Saul being named king as we read in verse 24: "Then Samuel said to all the people, "This is the man the LORD has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is his equal!" And all the people shouted, "Long live the king!"
In First Samuel chapter 11 we see Saul really step into his role as king by defending the city of Jabesh-gilead from the Ammonites attack. Verse 2 was sad to consider when the Ammonite king said this to the citizens of Jabesh-gilead - ""All right," Nahash said, "but only on one condition. I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you as a disgrace to all Israel!"" Gouging out the right eye would be done for humiliation purposes - but also to destroy the military ability of the archers. After this point, Saul gets word back in his hometown that Jabesh-gilead is under attack. Below is a powerful painting by the artist James Tissot from the year 1896 of verses 6 & 7: "Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. 7 He took two oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the messengers to carry them throughout Israel with this message: “This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who refuses to follow Saul and Samuel into battle!”"
I was impressed with Saul's graciousness in verses 12 & 13 of this chapter: "Then the people exclaimed to Samuel, "Now where are those men who said Saul shouldn't rule over us? Bring them here, and we will kill them!" But Saul replied, "No one will be executed today, for today the LORD has rescued Israel!" Impressive. You could see where after defeating the Ammonites, Israel's adrenaline might be running high to go after dissenters. Saul put a stop to it, which was impressive. What about us today? When we are riding high on a victory of some sort and the group around us says we should forge ahead on something that does not seem right, can we stand up and say "No" to the group as Saul did on this day?
I like First Samuel 12 verse 7 today when Samuel says this to the Israelites: "Now stand here quietly before the LORD as I remind you of all the great things the LORD has done for you and your ancestors" Just like the Israelites needed reminding all the great things God has done, we need reminding today as well. We are a forgetful people. I honestly believe reading God's Word, the Bible, each day is a great way to "remember" all that God has done for each of us and our spiritual ancestors. I know that I need this daily reminder... How about you?
Verse 23 is intriguing when Samuel says - "As for me, I will certainly not sin against the LORD by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right." It sounds like if Samuel stopped his prayers for the Israelites, he would be sinning. Interesting. What about us today? Does God call us at times to pray for others? And if we do not respond to this call and do not pray for others, are we sinning? Interesting food for thought. I guess it's just a safer bet to continue praying for others! :)
Bible.org's commentary on 1 Samuel's readings today titled "Give us a King!" is at this link, "The making of Israel's first king" is at this link and commentary titled "Renewing the Kingdom" is at this link .
Worship Video: Today's readings in 1 Samuel reminded me of David Crowder's song "Here is our King:"
Who is your King? Click here and meet your King!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Saul answered, '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?'" 1 Samuel 9:21 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you won't shrink back from what God is calling you to do. Pray that you won't play "small" when God is calling you to play "big" for His Kingdom!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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