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 prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry 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 restrain my people.” 18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?” 19 Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, 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, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?” 21 Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”
(1 Samuel 9:15-21)
In yesterday’s passage, we learned that God had secretly told Samuel that He was sending a man from the tribe of Benjamin to him. In today’s passage, we’ll study the reason God was sending Saul to meet Samuel.
God instructed Samuel to anoint Saul to be prince over His people Israel. Notice that God does not say that Saul will be “king”, but that he will be “prince” – someone in line to be king. It seems Saul is going to be given a trial run to see if he will make a good king. Or perhaps God is telling Israel – through Saul’s title – that no human being could really ever be their king.
The people of Israel already had a king – God Himself – but they rejected God and demanded a human king, like the nations around them had. Additionally, Samuel was the leader of Israel – although not a king – and so he, too, had been rejected by the people [1 Samuel 8:4-9]
God decided to grant the people’s wish and replace Samuel with Saul. And He gives the job of anointing Saul to Samuel.
This must have been a tough situation for Samuel. The people whom he had led for years rejected him and now he is being given the responsibility to install his successor. On top of that, Samuel already knows that this is not going to end well for the people of Israel [1 Samuel 8:10-17]. He was certainly offended. But at the same time, his heart broke for the people who offended him.
But as we’ll see as we continue our study, Samuel obeys God and anoints Samuel. God had given Samuel an important job to do and Samuel was not going to defy God. Despite his emotional dichotomy, Samuel will go through with God’s commands.
God’s children today face the same issues. God has given us an important job to do – to make disciples by sharing the good news of Jesus with the people that we know [Matthew 28:18-20].
But the truth is many of the people we know have hurt us. Many don’t like us and/or treat us badly. That is no matter. We are still to tell them about Jesus, as hard as that may be. We cannot shirk the important job God has given us to do just because the people God has asked us to teach have treated us badly in the past and may do so again in the future. Our loyalty is to God and His wishes and goals, not to our own feelings or even safety.
As God’s children, our only concern should be how we can serve God no matter what the cost. Serving God is sometimes uncomfortable. It is sometimes unsafe. But our eternity is secure. And it is secure because we are going to heaven. Nothing that happens on earth can change that. And we’re going to heaven because someone else told us about Jesus. Perhaps even someone we didn’t like or mistreated.
We may not like some people in our lives. That isn’t uncommon. But our heart should still break for them. They need to know Jesus and have their sins forgiven before they die or else they’re going to end up in hell for all eternity. And no matter how much we dislike someone, or how much someone has hurt us, we should never want that for them.
God has given His children very important job to do. Not doing it is not an option.
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