每日诗歌: Make Me A Servant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rznoe3zKxM)
1 Samuel 10 [Read]
1 Samuel 11 [Read]
1 Samuel 12 [Read]
Luke 13:22-35 [Read]
The books of Samuel can be summarized as “a tale of two kings”. Although the books bore the name of the last Judge of Israel, the main characters were the two anointed kings of Israel – Saul and David. Both were chosen by the LORD, both had the spirit of the LORD with them, and both fell into serious sins. There seemed to be little difference between them. However, their responses to their sins when revealed were drastically different. Such difference set them apart.
Today’s OT reading began the tale with the first king – King Saul. He stood out physically among the people (10:23), and he had a great family tradition (9:1). More importantly, the spirit of the LORD came upon him in power (10:6, 10, 11:6). He was passionate about protecting his friends in the people of Jabesh Gilead, and he led the Israelites to defeat the Ammonites in an impressive way (11:11). In doing so, he gained the loyalty of the whole Israel and rightfully became the first king of the nation (11:15).
However, external signs and a smooth rise do not guarantee a servant heart. Actually, those things usually work against it. I wonder why Saul did not stay with Samuel in Mizpal to learn more about God’s regulations (10:25). Although the demand of the people for a king offended God (12:17), God did foretell this even before they entered the Promised Land (Dt 17:14-20). A godly king was supposed to write for himself a copy of the Law (Dt 17:18), and “he would read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees” (Dt 17:19). A godly king should humble himself before the LORD first, and we did not see that in Saul.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he received” (Prov 27:21). A smooth ride and praises from others may just be the toughest test for a servant of God, and many failed the test. It is more blessed to be afflicted, because through the process we learn “his grace is sufficient for me and his power is made perfect in my weaknesses” (2 Cor 12:9). Let us pray for God to make us a servant with his grace and mercy instead of a smooth ride for our life.
Keep on reading,