Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Call to Action

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Mar 24 — Lent Day 17 — 1 Sam 10:1-16 — Saul Anointed King

Talk about a red-letter day for Saul! Anointed with oil, receiving a new heart, dancing with a group of prophets. It apparently was too much for him to process right away, because Saul didn’t share all of his day’s experiences with his uncle.

After all, we are told that he was filled with the Holy Spirit and given a new heart to boot. These are events that take a while to get used to.

So what can I take away from this passage? God operates in history, and he uses certain people in life-changing ways. I suspect Saul was a pretty bewildered young man at the end of this momentous day. Some days leave me a tad bewildered as well, and there is nothing for it but to hunker down and wait on the Lord.

Mar 25 — Lent Day 18 — 1 Sam 10:17-27 — Saul Proclaimed King

What an odd way to select and proclaim a king! God is up to doing things his way again, regardless of how it may seem to me. Drawing straws until a good-looking young man was found hiding among the baggage doesn’t sound like a very promising start.

But then, Jesus, the bruised reed, didn’t seem all that promising, either.

Most of the people liked what they saw in Saul and shouted. “Long live the king!” So the deed was done.

I like this account. It reminds me that I never know what the Lord may have in store for me. He is in control, and that is good. His batting average is much better than mine.

Mar 26 — Lent Day 19 — 1 Sam 11:1-11 — Saul Defeats the Ammonites

A rejected peace treaty led to the first test of Saul’s kingship. When he heard of the threat from the Ammonites, several things happened in quick succession: Saul got mad and “the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul,” he issued a call to action, rallied his troops, organized them and personally led them as they scattered the upstart Ammonites.

Saul thus earned his right to be called King Saul.

My lesson from this? A call to leadership comes in many ways, but in my experience it rarely comes with a call for overt action, boots on the ground, like it did for Saul. It more likely comes with a felt need for wisdom and an in-filling of the Spirit.

It is God who makes things happen. I am only the conduit. May I not spring a leak.

Mar 27 — Lent Day 20 — 1 Sam 11:12-15 — The Kingdom is Renewed

We are half way from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

For some reason Samuel saw a need to review Saul’s kingdom with the people. I didn’t really try to figure out why, since the text doesn’t say straight out.

So they ratified Saul as king at Gilgal, and everyone lived happily forever after. No?

Then as now there seems always to be a tension between living in the joy of the Lord and dealing with the natural desire to live as the world lives. My efforts to resolve and rationalize this tension have given my life a lot of unexpected twists and turns.

Who said the Christian life is boring? Not me!

Mar 28 — Lent Day 21 — 1 Sam 12:1-25 — Samuel’s Farewell Address

This recap by Samuel of his career as a prophet of God is chock full of little gems to tuck away. He starts by graciously offering to make amends for any sin against the people he might have committed, a good example for any public figure.

Self: has my pride of accomplishment ever kept me from asking forgiveness from someone I have defrauded, betrayed or hurt?

Samuel continues with a brief history lesson, drawing on his many years of serving God’s people.

The lesson? History is important in helping us see how God works in the present. Have I been too often blind to this?

[20] And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. (1 Samuel 12:20 ESV)

If I take away nothing else from Samuel’s words, the above quotation will do. Steadfastness is the word for the day.

Mar 29 — Lent Day 22 — 1 Sam 13:1-7 — Saul Fights the Philistines

This recap by Samuel of his career as a prophet of God is chock full of little gems to tuck away. He starts by graciously offering to make amends for any sin against the people he might have committed.

Self, has my pride of accomplishment ever kept me from asking forgiveness from someone I have defrauded or hurt?

Samuel continues with a brief history lesson, drawing on his many years of serving God’s people.

The lesson? History is important in helping us see how God works in the present. Have I been too often blind to this?

Key Passage

[6] Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. [7] Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.
(1 Samuel 10:6-7 ESV)

Wild prophesying aside, there may be a germ of truth for me here. There comes a time in a Christian life where instant obedience and action is called for. When I suspect that one of these moments is upon me, the best thing may be to just do something, anything, and God will take it from there.

Dave

Comments

One Response to “Call to Action”
  1. Kyle says:

    Thank you!

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