We know from our earlier reading that Saul had fallen out of God’s good graces for his “innocent” rebellion. I put it that way because his disobedience was “innocent” if you listen to Saul’s account. God didn’t care about the reason or excuse Saul came up with, he was still apart from God because he had disobeyed.
What did surprise me a little was the troubling spirit God sent to torment Saul. I thought immediately of those odd days that happen for me, when I’m feeling out of sorts. Could that be God teaching me a lesson? I don’t think so. Saul’s affliction seems permanent, more than just a temporary attitude adjustment.
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?
“Later” is an interesting word, and that’s how our passage begins. We had last seen Saul keeping the events of his anointing to himself. Presumably, this reading comes after Saul and Samuel met to work out details to get Saul ready for the big announcement.
The people had been clamoring for a king. In this reading we see God’s formal announcement to the people. They have gotten what they asked for! It’s always good to remind the people how God’s grace has covered them time and again. It does us good to remember God’s mercy even today.
Joshua secretly sent two spies to investigate Jericho. Didn’t he trust God’s provision? Of course, he did. Even when we know we are doing exactly what God wants for us, and we’re living in his will, it’s up to us to do our due diligence. God has his part, and we have ours. Joshua wanted to be even more prepared so there would be no surprises.
Of all the places those men could have stayed, they found the perfect location. Rahab, as a prostitute, would have provided an unassuming place for a couple of guys, newbies in town, to go. However, somehow word had gotten out that the Israelites were on a scouting mission ahead of their battle to conquer. That was some good intel to be sure.