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Don’t Be An Ass   Leave a comment

Here is a post by Lori Rodeheaver from the blog Everyday Encounters with the Creator:

Read 1 Samuel 9.

The people of God have demanded a king.  They have rejected both God and his true prophet.  Now, God gives them over to their own lusts.  He is about to deliver just the kind of guy they were asking for.

Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.And the asses of Kish Saul’s father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses. ~1 Samuel 9:1-3

We are introduced to Saul by his external qualities alone.  He is tall, handsome, wealthy, and of good estate.  This guy is an absolute feast for the superficial eyes of the rebellious Israelites.  If they had one, this would be their poster child.

But what of wisdom?  Faith?  Inner strength?

Because the people did not concern themselves with such things, neither would God when selecting a king fitted to their lusts.

Funny, Saul comes looking for a bunch of asses.  Look no further, Saul, Samuel’s got a whole tabernacle full for ya.

And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the asses, and take thought for us.And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. ~1 Samuel 9:5-8

Although it is commendable that Saul has concern for his father, as well as his father’s donkeys, it is shameful that he had no concern for the things of God.  He didn’t even know that there was a very well-known man of God in the city where he was.  Neither did he know that true prophets did not take money in exchange for their true words.  While he had a genuine concern for his own family, he seemed to have no concern for the family of God.

Tomorrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer’s house is. ~1 Samuel 9:15-18

Samuel already knew Saul was coming.  So sensitive to God’s Word, Samuel had heard the Lord speak the day before Saul arrived and, again, just as Saul approached.

Notice how Samuel did not have to arrange the details of this meeting.  He didn’t have to go out looking for a king or schedule any duels among the fittest men.  He needed only to pray.  God alone providentially ordained this meeting and this man.

And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me today, and tomorrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart.20 And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father’s house?21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me? ~1 Samuel 9:19-21

The first thing Samuel does is reassure Saul about his father’s lost donkeys.  He gives Saul a spoiler about what is about to take place.  Humbled, Saul begins to question what the meaning of this could possibly be.

This had to be quite a trip for Saul.  One minute he’s out looking for donkeys, the next he’s eating a choice meal and a prophet is reading his thoughts!

And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God. ~1 Samuel 9:27

Samuel tells Saul to stop.  He bids him wait.  There is much more to tell.  The Word of God must be revealed to him thoroughly.

Don’t be an ass.  Seek leaders based on internal qualities, not external.  Be sensitive to God’s voice and leading in the process.  Remember that He ordains all men who rise to leadership – good or bad.  Urge those within your sphere of influence to stop and wait.  Reveal God’s Word thoroughly and make Him known among the nations.

Everyday Encounters with the Creator