1 Samuel 10:1-11:15
Samuel anointed Saul as king, pouring oil upon his head (symbolic of the Holy Spirit). Samuel also kissed Saul as a beautiful expression of love and favor. There’s no doubt that Saul had an opportunity to be a great king.
Samuel told Saul in advance what would happen in his future journey in order to prove to Saul that God was with him. Warren Wiersbe comments, “Saul could not understand how a man like him could lead the nation of Israel, so God gave him a series of “signs” to assure him for his new responsibilities.”
In the process Saul was anointed by the Holy Spirit, he was turned into another man, and even given another heart (1 Samuel 10:6, 9).
At Mizpah Samuel makes it official. Israel had rejected their theocracy and was transitioning into a monarchy; Saul was selected from the twelve tribes of Israel. It’s interesting that Saul was hiding from his call. It was a red-flag, for deep down inside, it was fear that would eventually get the best of him.
But Saul started well. So did his soldiers. I always get blessed when I read of the valiant men who went with him, “…whose hearts God had touched.” (1 Samuel 10:26)
Then the day arrived, the Ammonites came against the people of Jabesh-Gilead with a proposition of peace between them at the expense of one of their eyes. His mission statement was clear, he wanted to “bring reproach upon Israel” (1 Samuel 11:2).
When Saul heard of the matter, he was rightfully angry and mustered up the soldiers of Israel in dramatic fashion. God gave them a great victory over the Ammonites and Saul gave the glory to God. When the men wanted to put to death those who had not initially yielded to King Saul notice his response:
1 Samuel 11:13 (NKJV) “But Saul said, ‘Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has accomplished salvation in Israel.’”
It was a good start. So they headed to Gilgal. This is the city where it all began in the Promised Land – back in the days of Joshua. They named the city Gilgal because it means, “wheel,” or “roll,” for it was then that they rolled away the reproach from Israel (1 Samuel 11:2; Joshua 5:9). It’s time to do it again…to renew the kingdom there at Gilgal (1 Samuel 11:15).
As Jesus continues His dialogue with the Jews who were only seeking Him for food, He gives us insight into how a person is truly saved. No one can be saved of their own doing or volition, or in their own timing, a person can only be saved when he or she is “drawn” by the Father. Our job is to share the Word, the rest is in the hands of God and that individual during the time of “drawing.”
Jesus continued to share:
John 6:47 (NKJV) “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”
Jesus brings their reference to the manna to its true meaning. The manna pointed to the Messiah – He is the Bread of Life that saves, satisfies, and sustains. Jesus pointed to His body and blood in symbolic fashion (He wasn’t speaking about cannibalism) He was simply pointing to the fact that He would lay down His life, His body…and by that death (His blood) He would provide that opportunity for us to be forgiven. To eat was to believe. Jesus wasn’t speaking literally, He wasn’t speaking, fleshly, or physically, He clearly stated that He was speaking spiritually in:
John 6:63 (NKJV) “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
This is not transubstantiation, this is simply a revelation of what Jesus would do on that cross…and if we believe we will be saved.
We’re disappointed with those who didn’t understand and chose to walk away.
John 6:66 (NKJV) “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”
When Jesus asked the twelve if they would do the same, we’re blessed by Peter’s response:
John 6:68–69 (NKJV) “But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
It’s so true, where else can we go?
At that time Judas chose to stick around, but in his heart he had already left, some say, he was never even really “there.” Only God knows (2 Timothy 2:19-20).
This is another thanksgiving Psalm in which we read repeatedly:
Psalm 107:8 (NKJV) “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”
(see also Psalm 107:1, 15, 31)
Have I given Him appropriate thanks for the many ways He’s delivered me throughout my life? For the way He’s been so good to me?
The Psalmist writes of how the Lord led them, fed them, and “spread” them out when they sinned. But God also protected them and directed them back home throughout the ages – whenever they cried out, He delivered them.
When we speak of the goodness of God we always return to such passages as Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28. The goodness of God does NOT mean that everything that happens to us is good, it simply means that God works it all together for good.
For example, we read in this Psalm about a tough time in the sea, in verses 23-30. If you go out and down to the sea you will see the works of the Lord, and the wonders in the deep.
What does he mean by that? In part, the beauty of the ocean and all that is in it. But also in part, the Psalmist speaks of the troubles on the ocean and those times when it appears we’re about to sink. We reach our “wits end” (Psalm 107:27) we’ve tried everything on our own strength and wisdom to get our own way, but we pray. And God shows up, He makes the storm still, and accomplishes His will. We would have never seen it, unless we went down to the sea…it’s there that we see.
So yes, we can (and should) thank God for the times of trouble. It’s there we learn about the one who will take us safely to our desired haven. (heaven)
The Psalmist closes in an appropriate way:
Psalm 107:43 (NKJV) “Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.”
V. 1 – And once again, we’re reminded of the significance of our speech. As a matter of fact, seven verses in Proverbs 15 talk and teach about taming the tongue.
We read here about “…a harsh WORD…” – singular – it can just be 1 word…or maybe it’s the way we insist on getting the last word; it’s not exaggeration to consider the possibility, but that that harsh word can ruin a relationship for the rest of your life!
Whenever someone gets upset or angry with us, we all have a choice, we can stir it up, or tone it down…the latter requires a tremendous amount of self-control…but oh the wisdom of diffusing, or de-escalation.
If we give wrath for wrath, we’ll make it worse; but – if – by the Spirit we respond softly, we can often-times deflect what the devil’s trying to do (and that is divide and conquer).
There’s actually power in a soft answer, no matter who you may be facing.
Proverbs 25:15 (NLT) “Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.”
Charles Bridges said, “Gentle and healing words gain a double victory—over ourselves and our brother.”
We often times want to make a point, or worse, just score a point, only because we want to win an argument, and maybe you will – and lose your loved one…and favor with God.
V. 2 – It’s good to have knowledge, information, and education, but it’s not enough to just have it, it’s what we do with that knowledge that determines if we’re wise or not.
We must use knowledge rightly. It’s sad and simple to see and identify a fool, they have a tendency to vomit, to pour forth foolishness.
V. 3 – This is an anthropomorphic statement – when human body parts/characteristics are attributed to God – not that He literally has eyes, but He does see everything and everyone.
God’s “eyes” are everywhere, and He’s not just seeing, or recording, He’s watching. One day I called my wife Shelly and she answered and said, “Hey man, I’m talking to you on my watch…” So I asked her, “Are you watching me?” 🙂
We would if we could, and God does, watch, always! We read back in:
Proverbs 5:21 (NKJV) “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.”
The purpose of this Proverb is to lessen the evil and elevate the good. We usually act VERY differently if we know certain people are watching us…and yet we need to realize and be reminded, that God is ALWAYS watching us.
Tragically there are many reckless people, and sometimes even decent people who believe they can hide from God…that God doesn’t see – that’s why they do what they do.
Even Moses did that early on back in:
Exodus 2:11-12 (NKJV) “Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So, he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”
Moses looked east and west, but he didn’t look north/up…and what a difference it would have made – it would have saved a life!
Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV) “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.