Tuesday, May 17, 2016

1 Samuel 9 - God's Appointment

When we go through the everyday frustrations of life whether they be traffic, conflict at work or home or the stresses of stretching a dollar to fund your life we can be sure that God can use each situation for His purposes. Only God knows the plans He has for you. Take for example Saul in the 9th chapter of 1 Samuel; he began his day in search of lost donkeys and found himself in the presence of Samuel the judge who would appoint him king over Israel. 

Saul was from a very small tribe of Israel, from a family without prominence, yet he was tall and strong. Saul was a formidable man. He didn't have a lot, but by the next day, Saul would have power and fame unequalled. He would be Israel's first king and forever people would study his life for principles of leadership. 

How did Samuel select him?  Well Samuel didn't, God did. In 1 Sam 9:16, God tells Samuel that a Benjamites would come and he should anoint him leader over God's people. There were no elections...just God giving the people what they demanded; a king like the rest of the nations. Saul didn't have the preparation to be king, yet God drew Saul to Samuel for this appointment. 

Saul thought he was searching for donkeys, but in reality God was guiding his steps to accomplish his purposes. It reminds me that even in the busyness of our day God is at work and we do need His wisdom to carry out our daily tasks for what I may believe is my intended goal may be dramatically different from God's plan. I should never be too busy to take time to seek God's will for my day. Fellowship with the Lord will help me to rest in the assurance that my day is on His hands. 

Furthermore, we need the assurance that our position wherever we are is appointed.  If we have menial jobs, they are appointed by God. If we are promoted it is from God's hand and not our own. We are far too quick to blame unpleasant tasks on some external power; a boss or perhaps even the devil himself. We are also far too quick to inflate our own egos when we have a promotion or special blessing. We convince ourselves that it is deserved and right. In both cases, God uses our station in life to place us right where He needs us to serve. As with Saul, if God chose to promote us He certainly could through no doing of our own. 

As we go about our day today, can we find God's purpose in our tasks or at least trust God for the purpose and know that our days are in His hands?  With our live hidden in God there is no telling what He might do with them. 

May God richly bless you as you seek Him and as you serve Him. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

1 Samuel 8 - The People Demand A King

In their chapter, Samuel is growing older and assigns some leadership responsibilities to his sons. They judge Israel for a time, but like  Eli's sons, Samuel's sons do not honor God and serve themselves. Corrupt leadership drives the people to confront Samuel and demand a king like the other nations have. 

God had intended that He would rule over Israel and that judges would seek Him in administering the governance of the nation. Samuel felt the rejection, but God reminds Samuel it is really the leadership of God they reject. They have consistently rebelled against God's leadership and envied what other nations had. 

God has Samuel warn the people what life will be like under a king. That man will serve himself rather than the nation and all that is dear might be confiscated for the king's purposes. Yet the people won't hear the warnings and are bent on having their own way - the way of the heathen nations around them which God has helped them to defeat. 

Our nation in 2016 is about to choose a new leader. Much of the same rationale is offer today as was given when Israel wanted a king. We want a change from the status quo because of their abuses. The people are angry and they are looking for leaders who will reflect their anger in government. When the elections are over and the new President is in place, they may find that they have merely exchanges one form of corruption for another. 

May God help our nation if we get what we ask for. We often don't know what we really need because we can't see into the future, but we need to depend on God to reveal the character of the candidates. Even then, we will learn that they too are sinners in need of a Savior. The best we can hope for is a leader who will seek God and humble himself/herself before our Maker and seek wisdom from above. 

Unfortunately, it appears that the candidates we have running appear to have found their own solutions to the nations problems and hold their own wisdom high. Our nation is getting what it asked for, but is it really best?  Our best bet is for individuals and congregations to band together and in true humility seek God again. If we will pledge ourselves to seek God first, He may hear our cries and perhaps spare us. 

May God richly bless you as you seek Him and as you serve Him.