As you read chapter 10 in advance of Sunday, I encourage you to find yourself associating both with the people of Israel, and then with Saul who is made king.
First of all, the people of Israel desire a king. They were getting beat up by the surrounding nations. The Israelites were basically just a bunch of tribes that were united together, but they had no centralized government. Everyone else had kings. Everyone else had armies. The people of Israel figured that life would be much better if they looked like everyone else.
In what areas of your life do you wish you could look like “everyone else?” Do you want your neighbor’s car? Your parent’s house? Your friend’s kids? We so easily place our hope in worldly things.
Second, Saul is made king. Saul is “a head taller” than everyone else. He, in a way, “looks presidential.” Saul is a pretty good military leader. He knows how to build up an army and have success on the battle field. So, God, finally instructs Saul to go and completely destroy the Amalekites. This was a group of people who lived south of Israel who had caused Moses and the Israelites a bunch of problems when they were trying to get to the promised land. Saul doesn’t follow through on God’s command. Instead, he only kills the weak. He saves the strong. He keeps the fattened animals. He doesn’t even kill the king, Agag. He spares his life.
Perhaps some of you think that Saul took the humane approach, and that God was just being too aggressive. Well, we find out that Saul was actually quite arrogant. Leadership went to his head (that was taller than everyone else’s). He thought that his ways were higher than God’s ways. He thought he knew better. This refusal of Saul to follow God’s Will will cost him his throne.
In what ways do you associate with Saul? Have you ever experienced how precarious it is to be in a leadership position? Or, perhaps, you know what it’s like to question God at every stop… Have you ever said to God, “God you couldn’t possibly mean…”
To be a follower of Jesus, in a way, costs us a lot. We have to give up control. We have to turn aside from our sinful self and follow him. And then, we trust that that’s actually a better place for us to be. Because Jesus always has our best interests in mind.
Watch this week’s sermon: