among the baggage

Today's devotion from 1 Samuel 10 & 11.

As I read 1 Samuel chapters 10 and 11, I must admit that I had some difficulty fully grasping what the point of the events were communicating. At first, I was tempted to see Saul's hiding among the baggage as a positive. As I thought about it, I almost interpreted this action as one of humility and not desiring power. If that were the case, then that would cause us to interpret the next events differently.

For example, if he were acting in honorable humility, then what does that mean for the truth exposed in verse 9 in which we read that God gave him a new heart? What of all the signs that were given to him as confirmation of his call? What of the words of Samuel and his anointing? You see, when he's hiding in the baggage he's already the king, he's just not been introduced to the people in his new position.

No. When we see the full stature of Saul hiding, it's not a good thing. He is running from the call of God. He is disobeying the word of the prophet/judge Samuel. He is rejecting the many evidences that had been given to him as confirmation. Saul is not to be viewed with compassion, but with concern. He is a spineless and disobedient coward hiding from responsibility due to selfish motives. It's no wonder the conclusion of chapter 10 includes the fact that there were those who questioned his ability and despised him.

Chapter 11 details the event that solidified his reign. Credibility is built in crisis. When the Ammonites sieged Jabesh-gilead, Saul was called to action. This call was not from the people clamoring of their king to do something, but from the God who had coronated him. The Spirit rushed upon him giving boldness and victory. However, the king hiding among the baggage is still there. The one who rejects the word, ignores the signs and works, and refuses to accept responsibility.

I wonder how many times I have rejected the call of God because I was able to fool myself with an admirable pretense? How many times have my excuses sounded so good that even I believed them? Today, don't worry about what you can or can't do. Just be faithful in the things that are in front of you. Listen for the word and watch for the work that confirms it. Then, be found where you are expected and called to be.