1 Samuel 9:1-27 (Part 2) – Saul & Me: We Could’ve Been in the Same Support Group

Posted: December 18, 2017 in 09-1 Samuel
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1 Samuel 9:1-27 (Part 2 of 2)
Saul Meets Samuel

Here lately, it seems that in reading through Judges and so far in 1 Samuel, there has been this constant reminder of times past in my life when I was constantly trying to find or validate my value by how the woman in my life felt about me. And, the thing is…these reminders are not an issue of me blaming someone, some woman, for the mistakes and detours and winding roads that my life has taken. I do not blame any of the women in my past for me being the person that I was and still to a certain extent still am.

There of course have been three major women in my life – Lisa, my high school sweetheart, first wife, and mother of my two daughters; Trena, my second wife; and now, Elena, my third and damn well better be my final wife. But in between Lisa and Trena and Trena and Elena, there were other women that I dated as well. All of it, I was willing to do anything, say anything, be anything to gain approval and what I thought was love. It was not until I met Elena (and the unique way God developed our relationship that was completely and utterly different from all of my other relationships) that I began to see that my value was not defined by a woman’s feelings for me. My value was not in jumping through hoops so I could get a doggie biscuit for good behavior. I do not blame Lisa, Trena or any woman that I dated more than a couple of times for me being a person who sought value by how they felt about me. I had such a dreaded fear of being alone that I allowed women to determine the terms of our relationship and being normal human beings these ladies took the territory that was unoccupied and claimed it for themselves. People will by nature take the power that you allow them to have. I use to blame them but now I don’t. I allowed them to “wear the pants in the family” instead of taking that role as a man should. Through God’s guidance, he led me to Elena’s door and because of circumstances of my employment not long after we began dating, our relationship developed differently than all my others.

We had to become friends as much as lovers because I was gone at least 5 days a week at the beginning of our relationship and then at least 3 weeks at the time after that before we were able to have a normal relationship where you could see each other every day. During those years, October 2007-August 2009, we had to talk on the phone, video chat, instant message, and email each other. The way I had measured the success of relationships before was off the table because of the lack of proximity. We had to become friends. We had to reveal our pasts to each other. We had share hopes and dreams and all our woulda/coulda/shoulda’s. And through all that process of God processing us, I learned something amazing – a woman could actually love me for me, for who I am, and not what I thought they wanted me to be. That is the thing that makes Elena so profound in my life is that, even though there are probably a million things wrong with me that she could probably name, she just loves me for the unique creation of God that I am, for the man born into a fallen world that I am, for the sinner that I was and sinner that I am who is saved by grace through faith. The love that my wife has for me. The love that Elena has for me is just simple acceptance. She loves me for who I am. She praises the things that I do well and prays for the things about me that need to change. She doesn’t try to mold me into some perfect man, this perfect ideal of what she thinks a husband should be. She knew all my hidden secrets and issues long before we married because of the way our relationship developed – the way that I thank God for now.

It has been such a relief to be in a relationship where I do not feel like I have to perform to like a show pony to get treats or to avoid negative reinforcement. To break that cycle has allowed me to have real love but it also allowed me to see God, to see my value in Him, to have nothing blocking my view of Him. It is only since then that I have begun to grow in the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

With that in mind, let us read this passage and see how Saul and insecurity and finding his value in the horizontal view instead of the vertical view clouded him from becoming the king that he could have been. Let’s read 1 Samuel 9:1-27 together right now:

9 There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel—head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.

3 One day Kish’s donkeys strayed away, and he told Saul, “Take a servant with you, and go look for the donkeys.” 4 So Saul took one of the servants and traveled through the hill country of Ephraim, the land of Shalishah, the Shaalim area, and the entire land of Benjamin, but they couldn’t find the donkeys anywhere.

5 Finally, they entered the region of Zuph, and Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!”

6 But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something! There is a man of God who lives here in this town. He is held in high honor by all the people because everything he says comes true. Let’s go find him. Perhaps he can tell us which way to go.”

7 “But we don’t have anything to offer him,” Saul replied. “Even our food is gone, and we don’t have a thing to give him.”

8 “Well,” the servant said, “I have one small silver piece.[a] We can at least offer it to the man of God and see what happens!” 9 (In those days if people wanted a message from God, they would say, “Let’s go and ask the seer,” for prophets used to be called seers.)

10 “All right,” Saul agreed, “let’s try it!” So they started into the town where the man of God lived.

11 As they were climbing the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water. So Saul and his servant asked, “Is the seer here today?”

12 “Yes,” they replied. “Stay right on this road. He is at the town gates. He has just arrived to take part in a public sacrifice up at the place of worship. 13 Hurry and catch him before he goes up there to eat. The guests won’t begin eating until he arrives to bless the food.”

14 So they entered the town, and as they passed through the gates, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the place of worship.

15 Now the Lord had told Samuel the previous day, 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my people, Israel. He will rescue them from the Philistines, for I have looked down on my people in mercy and have heard their cry.”

17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said, “That’s the man I told you about! He will rule my people.”

18 Just then Saul approached Samuel at the gateway and asked, “Can you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

19 “I am the seer!” Samuel replied. “Go up to the place of worship ahead of me. We will eat there together, and in the morning I’ll tell you what you want to know and send you on your way. 20 And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes.”

21 Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”

22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and placed them at the head of the table, honoring them above the thirty special guests. 23 Samuel then instructed the cook to bring Saul the finest cut of meat, the piece that had been set aside for the guest of honor. 24 So the cook brought in the meat and placed it before Saul. “Go ahead and eat it,” Samuel said. “I was saving it for you even before I invited these others!” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

25 When they came down from the place of worship and returned to town, Samuel took Saul up to the roof of the house and prepared a bed for him there.[b] 26 At daybreak the next morning, Samuel called to Saul, “Get up! It’s time you were on your way.” So Saul got ready, and he and Samuel left the house together. 27 When they reached the edge of town, Samuel told Saul to send his servant on ahead. After the servant was gone, Samuel said, “Stay here, for I have received a special message for you from God.”

In this passage, we see that Saul’s outburst, “Why are you talking like this to me?”, reveals a problem he would face repeatedly – feeling inferior. Like a leaf tossed in the wind, Saul vacillated between his feelings and his convictions. Everything he said and did was selfish because he was worried about himself. Saul did not want to face up to the responsibility God had given him by trying to pass it off that his family was nothing from a nothing tribe. Although Saul had been called by God and had a mission in life, he struggled constantly with jealousy, insecurity, arrogance, impulsiveness, and deceit. He did not decide to be wholeheartedly committed to God. Because Saul refused to see that in God’s love that he would find his personal value and true peace and rest, he never became God’s man.

Our value comes from God. It does not come from others. When we make what others think of us we live in insecurity, jealousy, impulsiveness. Let me tell you from my own personal experience, this fact is so true. I cannot tell you how I look back in horror at the decisions that I made based on how the woman in my life felt about me. I look back in horror not at the fact that they filled the vacuum that I left open for them but rather that I was so weak that I allowed it to happen. I did not find my value in God so I tried to find it other people. I tried to find it in approval. It was a rollercoaster ride of my own making. It was making a god out of the woman in my life. It was making something other than God my god. That is what I see in Saul. I can identify with his weaknesses. He sought approval and popularity and to make himself feel good about who he was through the actions he took. They could be inconsistent, contradictory, and sometimes just morally wrong. Saul didn’t care about all that. He just wanted to make himself feel good, look good, and be approved of.

Saul and me could have been in the same support group comparing notes and stupid mistakes and then wishing that we would have learned sooner to make the one true God our God and not the approval of others our god. Thank God for me that God did align things in my life so that I can finally see beyond the cloudiness of idol worship to see Him in the brightest of the sunshine of His glory. I am His child. I have value that comes from Him. I trust Him to lead my path.

Amen and Amen.

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