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Friday, September 23, 2011

9/24/11 The Calling of the first king

15 Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed to Samuel: 16 "Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have seen the suffering of my people, because their outcry has come to me." 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD told him, "Here is the man of whom I spoke to you. He it is who shall rule over my people." 18 Then Saul approached Samuel inside the gate, and said, "Tell me, please, where is the house of the seer?" 19 Samuel answered Saul, "I am the seer; go up before me to the shrine, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. 20 As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, give no further thought to them, for they have been found. And on whom is all Israel's desire fixed, if not on you and on all your ancestral house?" 21 Saul answered, "I am only a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel, and my family is the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why then have you spoken to me in this way?" (1 Samuel 9:15-21)

(Saul- Rembrandt 1655-60)

Thoughts: Samuel was the last of the judges, and the one who annointed the first two of Israel's kings (Saul and David).  Samuel began as a child who had a special relationship with God even as a boy (remember the voice calling- and his response: "speak for you servant is listening").  Samuel is called here "the seer" which is an early name for "prophet."  In this time, fast knowledge was very valuable and rare.  They could not call their relatives to ask about the donkeys on their cell, or email or tweet.  So Samuel's knowledge about the donkeys was valuable and showed God's interest in Saul.  Saul was taller than any man around, yet felt inferior so he was easily swayed by human opinion.  When God calls us to do something, we need to believe and trust in that calling and cling tightly to Him in obedience. 

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to trust in you and follow in your ways.

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