1 Samuel 11:1-15 – Saul Takes Charge

Read 1 Samuel 11:1-15

leader pointing the way, standing on an arrow being carried by 8 others

God was still in charge, but the people saw a powerful leader that day! Saul’s actions were certainly not weak. God wasn’t about to let the man he anointed as Israel’s first king be a “wimp.” We know from our last reading or two that Saul didn’t seem all that enthused by his new calling. I wonder what was going through his mind now after having felt God’s spirit coursing through his veins?

There is no feeling quite like that. When God’s spirit is alive in you and moves you to do God’s work, it’s definitely a warm fuzzy! At least that has been my experience. It’s like the Holy Spirit has lit a fire in my soul, has acted through me, and left me feeling totally exhilarated. Sometimes what happened or what I said is just a blur. Can you relate?

If you haven’t had an experience like that before, it’s never too late. God is holding something special just for you until the time is right. Ask him. Don’t be like Saul who knew God wanted him and yet didn’t feel worthy or didn’t understand how to change into the man God was calling him to be.

We see how it worked out for Saul. God met him where he was and filled him up. God got Saul’s attention first by stirring up some anger. “Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry.” That was some “fire” from God that burned within Saul and inspired the action with the oxen.

Saul’s message was then highly successful at reaching the ears of the people. Receiving a chopped-up piece of an ox would certainly have caused me to be fearful. To make sure, “the LORD made the people afraid of Saul’s anger, and all of them came out together as one.”

The LORD made them afraid all right. But what a way to bond people together for a common goal. Seeing God’s handiwork all over this rescue operation is a great testament to us as well. God’s purposes will be blessed, doors will open, enemies will be crushed. God is faithful.

It’s our job to be open and be listening for the purpose of God that has our name on it. What can we be doing for God like Saul was doing in this reading? Don’t we all long for the happy ending we see in today’s reading. “Saul and all the Israelites were filled with joy.” Saul called it out for what it was. “[T]oday the Lord has rescued Israel!” Saul didn’t say “I” rescued, but gave credit where credit was due. He had surely felt it.

Take some time today to really listen for God. What is he saying to you? Ask how you can serve him today.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for how you have made me and gifted me. Some days I feel strong, and some days not so much. I want to serve you and others using these gifts. Help me not to hesitate but know you will equip me for the right mission at the right time. May I be ready to move. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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