Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hiding in the Baggage

A few weeks ago I was reading 1 Samuel 10 and an aspect of the story that I had never noticed jumped out at me.

The Israelites had decided that they wanted a king to rule them like the other nations. God spoke to Samuel that Saul was going to be the king, and so Samuel anointed him privately. Saul didn't mention this to anyone. When it was time to publicly install the new king of Israel, Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near. First he chose the tribe of Benjamin, then Matri's clan, and finally...he asked for Saul son of Kish. Where was Saul? Was he there? I can imagine that this was kind of an anticlimactic moment in the proceedings. The whole country was waiting in anticipation to find out who would be anointed king, and Samuel has asked for Saul, but he's nowhere to be found. I wonder if they had one of those spotlights, you know the kind at the awards shows..."Now appearing, the tribe of Benjamin (cheers, cheers, spotlight moving around the building), featuring Matri's clan (yahoo!!), and now the star of our show (drumroll, drama building) Saul!!!!" The spotlight comes to a stop and focuses on an empty spot of ground where Saul should be standing....."Um, we're having technical difficulties, when we find the new king we'll return after these messages..." Okay, I'm sure they didn't really handle it that way, but it's fun to think about. But where was Saul? I Samuel 10:21-24 says, "But when they looked for him (Saul), he was not to be found. So they inquired further of the Lord, 'Has the man come here yet?' And the Lord said, 'Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage.' They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. Samuel said to all the people, 'Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.' Then the people shouted, 'Long live the king!'"

Saul knew what was getting ready to happen. His life would never be the same. God had selected him for a job that was way bigger than he had ever dreamed. Is it possible that he was having cold feet? I don't know about you, but it kind of makes me feel better knowing that even mighty kings sometimes feel like going into hiding. But did you notice that God was the one who told the people where to find Saul? God had chosen him, and wasn't going to let him hide for long.

What approach do you take when you feel like you are being asked to take on something bigger than yourself? I know that sometimes it can seem overwhelming. But, when you recognize that you can't do it on your own and you ask God for His help, then you can stand tall and face it. Besides, we'll come find you and pull you out of the baggage anyway. :)

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