Cary Allen
22 Mar

Isn’t it interesting how God uses ordinary circumstances in life to bring about His purposes.  In [1Sam 9], it was a chore that Saul was given to search for his father's lost donkeys. They had traveled through many territories without success and were about to return home, but Saul’s servant suggested they ask the man of God who lived in a nearby town.  The Lord had revealed to the man of God, Samuel, that He had chosen Saul as ruler over His people. So, when Saul finds Samuel, the conversation quickly changes from lost donkeys to the Word of God. Samuel assures Saul that the donkeys are already found and invites him up to the high place to eat the sacrifice with him. 

Later, [1Sam10] he anoints Saul as ruler over Israel and gives him three signs that confirm God’s Word with the final one being that the Spirit of the Lord would come powerfully upon him, and he would prophesy and be changed into a different person.  He was the Lord’s anointed.  As Saul leaves Samuel, God changes his heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.  After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place and his uncle asked him what had happened. Saul tells him about the lost donkeys and Samuel’s assurance that the donkeys had been found.  But he didn’t tell him about the kingship. He immediately went back to the ordinary, the lost donkeys rather than the Word of God.  Next, Samuel summons the people of Israel to the Lord at Mizpah to draw lots to show whom the Lord had chosen as king.  When the lot fell to Saul, he had hidden himself among the supplies and they had to inquire of the Lord to find him.  Saul was clearly not on board with God’s plan to make him king, but under Samuel’s leadership, he was made king.

Next, [1Sam11] we see contrasting scenes where the Spirit of God comes powerfully upon Saul, and he leads the people to victory and later [1Sam13] when Saul chooses to act on his own rather than waiting on God and Samuel rebukes him and tells him that his kingdom will not endure because he did not keep the Lord’s command. 

Finally, [1Sam15] we see Samuel giving Saul specific commands from the Lord to punish the Amalekites for their sins against Israel.  But Saul was afraid of his men and did not do all that the Lord commanded.  Samuel rebukes Saul again and tells him that he has rejected the Word of the Lord and so the Lord has rejected him as king over Israel. 

Saul seemed to only believe God to a point and when unexpected and difficult circumstances arose, he chose to move away from God’s Word in rebellion rather than toward God’s Word in obedience.  Another words, he chose his direction over God’s.  

In the New Testament, we’re given another example of a man named Saul who hears God’s Word on the road to Damascus. He had previously been an enemy of the King of kings, Jesus, but after hearing Him, he chooses to move toward God’s Word in obedience.  This Saul was also called Paul and was responsible for writing much of the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, including the book of Hebrews. 

In [Heb 3], we are told to fix our thoughts on Jesus, hold firmly to our confidence and hope in Him, encourage one another daily, and come to share in Christ as we hold to our original conviction to the end.  We are also warned that when we hear His voice, not to have a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from God like the Israelites.  This is also how King Saul responded and was rejected by God as king. 

We will find ourselves in many unexpected and difficult circumstances in this life. And it's not the position or talents that God has given us that matters, it’s our hearts.  An unbelieving heart turns away from God, but a believing heart turns toward God. 

We may even find ourselves looking for lost donkeys someday, but regardless of the circumstances, we need to remember who found a donkey: [John 12:14-15 NIV] 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 "Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt." 

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on this donkey Palm Sunday, gave us the Lord’s supper Holy Thursday, paid the price of all our sin and shame by dying on a cross Good Friday, and arose from the grave defeating death Easter Sunday securing eternal life for those who would believe in Him. [John 3:16] 

No one loves us more than Jesus and our work is to believe in Him. [John 6:29 NIV] 29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

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