I was reading in I Samuel last night. There are a bunch of things that strike me as odd and telling…
The first is that the desire for Israel to have a king is not unique, but predicted in the law. To me, it seems obvious that they should not want to go this direction because of the warning in Deuteronomy about it. I keep trying to remind myself that the Scriptures were not as available to the people of Israel as it is to you and I. Still, you would think they would know what they were getting into.
It is interesting to try to put yourself in the position of the children of Israel with the judges and then the kings. They were lead with a mighty hand to Canaan, but then they started to neglect God and He stopped talking to them directly. This linked into my mind how we are so zealous when we are first saved, and seem to gradually get more “mature” so that we aren’t taking as many controversial positions. Hence why God also has to get us back into place through trials and suffering– ouch! I wish we learned through easier means.
When Saul is first chosen, he doesn’t feel worthy. He hides with the baggage! Yet it doesn’t take long for the position to go to his head. It seems that all these leaders start by not asking God for direction. In a telling episode, it’s not that Saul doesn’t ask, but that he doesn’t wait for the answer. First, in waiting for Samuel to come and do the sacrifices, and then about when to attack his enemies.
Saul was victorious over his enemies, but his distance from God grew greater. It goes to show that we can do things in God’s name or what we think God would want us to do and end up farther away than we were
if we just waited on God’s timing. It brings back to mind the phrase often used in the New Testament– “In the fullness of time.” God waits until time is full, and then acts. How about us?