Saul, from champion to bad example

What do you know about Saul? Yes, Saul the king, the one before David. What do you think about him? What comes to your mind when you hear his name?

Maybe like me, you think of those following verses: “And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORDhe has also rejected you from being king.” (1Samuel 15:22-23 ESV).

We remember Saul as the king who chose to please people rather than God, who disobeyed and refused to surrender until the end. We know him as the one who pursued David, trying to kill him again and again. But that is only who he became after taking pleasure in being king, after tasting power and fame, after forgetting who chose him, blessed him and used him. Before that, he was quite amazing, even admirable. He was strong, humble, gentle, courageous and didn’t care much about what people could think and say. Just read:

1 Samuel 10: 26-27 “Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched.But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

1 Samuel 11: 5-7 “Now, behold, Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen. And Saul said, “What is wrong with the people, that they are weeping?” So they told him the news of the men of Jabesh. And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of the messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!” Then the dread of the LORD fell upon the people, and they came out as one man.

1 Samuel 11: 12-15 “Then the people said to Samuel, “Who is it that said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring the men, that we may put them to death.” But Saul said, “Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has worked salvation in Israel.” Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingdom.” So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they sacrificed peace offerings before the LORD, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

He was chosen and anointed and walked away from that. Before judging him and looking down at him, let check our hearts and see where we stand. Every time we avenge ourselves, take a decision without consulting the Lord, refuse to cut the hand that makes us sin, don’t share our faith or sin to please people or not to be rejected, we are just like Saul.

In 1 Corinthians 10:12,  God tells us: “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” We are all in danger of becoming like Saul, of having our heart so hardened that we don’t see God anymore. Let take heed lest from champions for Christ, we become examples not to follow.

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Christ

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9 ESV)

Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:12-16 ESV)

What a King we have! He is humble, saves, and pours His light on us every day.  What a God we have!

Even if you are going through difficult times at this moment, remember who your savior is, and smile, and rejoice, and sing, because He comes to you with light and life.

Be blessed

Greater than the temple!

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath… Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here… For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:1-2; 5-6; 8

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10

We can be so fearful, so concern about what people think of us, what is going to happen to us if we obey Jesus to the point of… We are so caught up in our fear of men, of circumstances, of the past, of the present and the future that we forget who our King is.

We have a Savior, a High Priest, a Lord, a King who is Lord over all rules and authority. So we can without fear live lives dedicated to Him, and with no anxiety obey Him even if it means that crowds, religious leaders, our friends or family would be against us.

The Jews had an extreme veneration for the temple (Matthews 23:16; Acts 6:13). The temple service justified that the priests profane the Sabbath.  But Christ, standing in a field, was greater that the temple. For in Him dwells not the presence of God symbolically, but all the fullness of God bodily. So what shall we not do for His sake?

Never alone

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth…”  John 14:15-17
Let’s be honest being single is not always easy. I don’t know for you but there are days when being  alone seems a curse. When  my friends and siblings get married and have babies I feel abandoned by the Lord. When it is dark and cold outside  I dream of someone to wander with me on the city streets. When it is difficult to pray or to evangelize I wish I had that partner with me. Sometimes I just want to share a joke, a line from a movie, a good news or a meal with that special someone. Sometimes I want to be the helper I think God created me to be.
Being single is difficult. You want and need someone to help you carry the grocery bags. You need help to put together that bed you just bought. You need someone to tell you that you are beautiful when you feel ugly. You need someone with whom to share that scripture, that revelation you just have about Jesus at 2 a.m. I can go on and on.
But just when you wonder how you will keep going alone, the king steps in. He makes your life looks like a movie and saves you at the last moment. He defeats the devil, wiping out all your doubts and pouring all His love on you.
He is never far. He always with you (Matthew 28:20), ready to come to your rescue even when you don’t ask for help. You are not an orphan ( John 14:18). You are never left alone “for your Maker is your husband.” (Isaiah 54:4-8)
You have a Helper, an Advocate, a Counselor who fights for you, guides you, helps you, giving you what you need emotional, physically, materially and spiritually.
How He does it is not important. He is doing it every day  of your life if you keep Jesus’ commands.
Does that truth changes my reality? Not really. But I am comforted. I know I am loved. I know that I am not alone. When it is hard, I  have someone to turn to. I will always be helped because my God is faithful. No, ” God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind.” (Number 23:19)