The people of Israel had demanded a king...
so that they could be just like all the other nations.
And through the prophet Samuel,
the Lord anointed Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin.
But when the day of this announcement came before the tribes,
and Saul could not be found...
concern arose among some of the people.
Was Samuel mistaken
to have pointed to the smallest, and least remarkable tribe
from which to choose their King?
Surely others had been keenly eyeing this position...
from larger more influential tribes like Judah or Ephraim.
But Samuel presses on with his selection,
an inquiry of the Lord is made before the crowd...
and Saul is found hiding... among the storage.
As if he too is an excess part,
a miscellaneous piece,
a random extra thing that is not currently needed
Had those thoughts crossed Saul's mind?
For nothing in his life felt quite normal,
ever since that day he went looking
for his father's donkeys,
but was lead, instead to the prophet Samuel.
And all too quickly he found himself caught up in this whirlwind...
Eating a meal set apart for him,
seated in a place of honor at an "invite only," event.
Having oil poured on his head,
and being called the commander over the Lord's inheritance.
And meeting up with a group of minstrel prophets,
only to join them in the miraculous.
No, nothing in his life felt quite normal.
And now, what seemed only a dream yesterday...
was all to be made official to the public,
Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah.
So Saul hid from the crowd...
half hoping that his name will be called,
half thinking it could never happen for him.
Not with these doubts crawling around inside his head
telling him that he is nothing more significant
than excess parts in this storage tent.
Surely by now, Samuel has decided on another...
he has changed his mind,
talked with God and has a new name to call.
And that's exactly where I so often find myself.
I too, hide from the crowd...
half hoping that God will call my name,
half thinking it could never happen for me.
Not with these doubts crawling around inside my head
telling me that I'm nothing more significant
than excess parts in the storage tent.
Like when I get a crazy new idea...
that sounded so "right" inside of me yesterday.
But today is so much harder to put into motion.
Or like when I sit in church on Sunday...
and get that giddy feeling like God has purposed me to this calling.
But on Monday, the words fall flat,
the time rushes by,
and nothing purposeful,
nothing tangible every seems accomplished.
Do you ever feel that way?
Like one day you can conquer the world...
and you were meant for so much more than... this?
Only to find when you start that thing in motion,
it sticks, and sputters, and stalls.
And then you start to think that maybe no one would notice anyway.
So you hide your talent and your dreams...
with all the insignificant pieces and parts of your past.
But you stand still when it is silent,
half hoping to hear Him call your name.
And thus Saul is found...
So they ran and brought him from there;
and when he stood among the people,
he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.
And Samuel said to all the people,
“Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen,
that there is no one like him among all the people?”
So all the people shouted and said,
“Long live the king!”
1 Samuel 10:23-24 NKJV
God made Saul who he was...
head and shoulders above the crowd,
no one like him among all the people...
so that he would stand out
and be called leader.
But Saul didn't yet see in himself
what God did
God had given Saul so many signs and wonders
leading up to this day...
causing him reason to believe he was anointed
and purposed to command God's people.
This young Saul had great potential
or God would have never chosen him.
And so before he went back home,
where he could easily slip into a place of doubt,
God gave him a parting gift...
And Saul also went home to Gibeah;
and valiant men went with him,
whose hearts God had touched. (v.26)
Now that the journey for Saul had begun,
ready it or not, he was hailed King of Israel.
Surely a heavy burden for a young and insecure man.
So God surrounded him with valiant men...
who's hearts God had touched.
Surely these were meant to be his encouragers.
The voices he needed to hear...
on the "tomorrow mornings,"
when the cheering crowd is gone...
and he was back home
where the doubts could begin to crawl again.
Word of God,
train me, today...
to first find my self-worth and confidence only in You,
to recognize the valiant friends you have placed in my life for encouragement.
I so would be hiding in the tent...
just like Saul.
The doubt and fear
that I'm just not enough,
haunts me daily.
Help me each day
to truly find my worth in You.
And remind me of all of the valiant ones,
whose hearts have been touched by You
to be my encouraging friends.
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