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Sunday, September 4, 2016

More Results of Hope Misplaced

Skim through 1 Samuel 9:1 – 10:27.  As you see it is the story of Samuel following the Lord’s direction in picking Saul to be the first king of Israel.
More Results of Hope Misplaced
Note what we read about Saul:
Verse Saul's Response
9:21 Saul does not understand the attention Samuel is giving him.
10:16 Saul did not tell his uncle he had been anointed king.
10:22 Saul hid by the baggage rather than be introduced as king.
This reads like a man who is humble and not impressed with himself.  He was overwhelmed by the attention and did not promote himself as king.

What happened?  Although he seemingly started well, he finished incredibly poorly.

Instead of humble and overwhelmed, he became self-centered and entitled.  The office became his focus, his identity, his hope.  Not the Lord that placed him in that office.

Regardless of what the Lord does for us.  Regardless of the opportunities He gives us.  Regardless of the things He enables us to do for Him.  It is He who is our focus, our identity, our hope.  To begin to revel in what He enables us to do for Him, is to follow hard after Saul.

Not a good plan.


  1. I shouldn't be surprised at this, for we are promised that "Pride ...goes before a fall." (Prov. 16:18 KJV) It seems the most natural thing in life for me to assume when I see God do something in my life I should be able to reproduce it myself; "I can do this!" is one of the early phrases my children learned ("where??") and I see it in my grandchildren.

    As with Saul, this drive cuts off the power of God to my life like running over the chord to our electric lawn mower in my youth.

    I think part of the solution for me is the power of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul declares in Romans 1:16 that The gospel "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...."

    I have truly believed this for decades - up to a shallow point. I know what the death of Christ meant in declaring me righteous in God's sight. And I know that no earthly power could do that; only God through Christ's eternal death (I know, impossible to grasp, but that's exactly what it took) had power to deal with my sin.

    But it's Paul's phrase in v.17 that recently grabbed me: "the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith...." And he quotes Habakkuk 2:4 to support his point.

    This says to me that the gospel needs to be active in my life experience day in and day out and throughout my day. Every day. In my miniscule understand of both English and even less so Greek I think the Amplified translation may catch Paul's idea, "both springing from faith and leading to faith."

    Since I am to walk by faith (2 Cor.5:7) this means every day I need to access the power of the gospel (not just when I firs trust Him) - repent of my sin (specific and that which indwells me)and cling to the reality that Christ's death has utterly erased every trace of my sin including what I don't know. As Amplified translates Jesus' word from the cross in John 19:30, Wuest trans.), "It has been finished and stands complete!"

    It seems this should be easy, but I don't find it so. Perhaps it is at least partly because of what the old Puritans used to call, "mortifying the flesh." To admit what an absolute wretch I am is rather humbling....

    This does not seem to be part of Saul's life as you so well bring out, Mike. And I have plenty of scars to show that it's not what it should be in mine.

    I think that without this practice I can have no real hope in my future in this life as will essentially be still shackled to my sin even though the shackles have been broken off 2000 years ago and never relocked. But I live in bondage as if they have.

  2. It's too bad that we can't "like" comments. Yours is better than the post...