Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 9-12:25
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that we have been building a “Ja, Ja, Maar” Hall of Fame. In this hall of fame are various characters from the Bible who when confronted by God, they stammer about, doubting God’s calling and then claim they can not do what God has called them to do.
“Ja, Ja, Maar” means, yes, yes, but in Dutch. It is like saying, sure I can know you are calling and equipping me, but I can’t do it.
Our first inductee was Moses when he as called by God to lead the Hebrews out of Egyptian slavery. Ja, Ja, Maar post from February 1st.
Our second inductee was the whole nation of Israel after the doubting spies came back from spying the promised land. Ja, Ja, Maar II from March 3rd.
Our third inductee was Gideon, who receives a personal visit from the Angel of the Lord, sees God’s power demonstrated and still has to put out a fleece two times to see if all is according to God’s plan. We read Ja, Ja, Maar III on April 1st.
Today, we get to look at another candidate to enter our hall of fame. He is a donkey herder from a weak family in the smallest tribe (Benjamin). But he was handsome and literally, head and shoulders above everyone else in Israel.
Saul has lost some donkeys and he goes wondering about trying to find them. He arrives to the town where Samuel lives and decides to seek a word on the whereabouts of the donkeys. Saul knows that Samuel is a man of God and can speak words of divine wisdom.
As we read yesterday, the people of Israel have wanted to have a king. They wanted to be like the neighboring peoples. Samuel advised against it, and the Lord wanted the people to only have one King – The Lord himself. But the Lord decided to answer positively the people’s request.
We find out that Saul is chosen by God to be Israel’s first King. But how will Saul take this news?
Samuel and Saul meet.
I Samuel 9:19-20 (NLT)
19 “I am the seer!” Samuel replied. “Go up to the place of worship ahead of me. We will eat there together, and in the morning I’ll tell you what you want to know and send you on your way. 20 And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes.”
Saul should be a bit surprised by the last statement – “you and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes.”
There is a large banquet that evening and Saul is surprised that the best dish had been reserved for him, Samuel had been saving it for him from before he even invited others to the feast.
The next morning Samuel walks Saul to the edge of town to send him on his way. He tells Saul, in very specific detail, to expect to encounter a variety of men along the way. Samuel even has a very special message for Saul:
I Samuel 9:27 – 10:1 (NLT)
27 When they reached the edge of town, Samuel told Saul to send his servant on ahead. After the servant was gone, Samuel said, “Stay here, for I have received a special message for you from God.”
1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the Lord has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession.
Everything happens exactly as Samuel predicted. Saul even is filled by the Holy Spirit and is seen prophesying with the other prophets of Gibeath-elohim.
Soon after Samuel calls of the Nation of Israel together to publicly anoint Saul as King.
I Samuel 10:20 – 22 (NLT)
20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the Lord, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the Lord, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! 22 So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?”
And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”
Did you catch that? He was hiding among the baggage! Saul had seen the predictions of Samuel fulfilled, a special banquet just for him, an anointing of the Holy Spirit, a holy anointing of oil by Samuel and he hiding in the baggage.
Why are we so afraid to be called and used by God? Why do we look for reasons to explain away how God made a mistake by choosing us? God has picked you and I to be called and dedicated to Him and His work. Are we hiding in the baggage?