Listen well

Are you listening for God’s word?

1 Samuel 9:25-10:8

25 After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house. 26 They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together.27 As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

10 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance? When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?”’

“Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.

“After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

“Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

Cross, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Daily Devotion, Listen

Here we see a search for donkeys take a pretty dramatic turn. Saul was out doing his earthly father’s business – looking for some lost livestock. He hopes that a holy man can help him find the animals so he can return to his dad after completing the task assigned to him.

Instead, the holy man – Samuel – anoints Saul privately (a public anointing will follow later) as a ruler over the nation of Israel. We see Samuel outlining some upcoming events in Saul’s life that will result (verse 6) in Saul becoming a new person. Wow!

This section concludes with a direction that Saul will have to then wait for further instructions from Samuel. This sets Saul’s kingship up as being subordinate to God’s prophet (i.e., Samuel) – Israel’s king would have to pay attention to the words of the Lord.

It would have been easy for Saul to do what he wants and ignore God – in fact, we see later in 1 Samuel that he does and then God is grieved.

You may have heard of the ‘rocks to fill a glass’ analogy. A drinking glass has a fixed capacity. If you fill it with rocks (just stay with me), that reduces the amount it can hold – the glass can hold other things, but they need to fit in around the rocks. If the glass is your life – what large rocks are in your glass – i.e. – what significant things seem to fill up your calendar in priority to other things? Saul eventually decided disobeying God would be a larger rock than obeying God – and history bears out the consequences. How different Jesus was to Saul. No wonder the New Testament says to followers of Jesus, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)

Head: What large rocks are filling up the glass of your life? work? sport? school? kids’ activities? church? volunteering? If you take a moment to think – should some of the rocks be larger than others?

Heart: Do you have a heart that waits on the Lord?

Hands: This week, consider what in your life you could start doing, or stop doing, to more clearly reflect your new life in Christ.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that in Jesus you have given us the ruler our lives need. Help me to consider clearly what I could start doing, or stop doing, so my life more clearly reflects my new life in Christ. Please soften our hearts as a church, so that in our relationships with one another, having the same mindset as Christ Jesus will shape our priorities and our actions. Amen.

A song to listen to: I call Him

Oliver Meehan- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina