Wednesday 28 September, 2016

1 Samuel 9:27-10:8

27 As they were on their way down to the edge of town, Samuel spoke to Saul. He said, “Tell the servant to go ahead of us.” So the servant went on ahead. Then Samuel continued, “Stay here for a while. I’ll give you a message from God.” 10 Then Samuel took a bottle of olive oil. He poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him. He said, “The Lord has anointed you to be the king of his people. 2 When you leave me today, you will meet two men. They will be near Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They’ll say to you, ‘The donkeys you have been looking for have been found. Now your father has stopped thinking about them. Instead, he’s worried about you. He’s asking, “What can I do to find my son?” ’ 3 “You will go on from Zelzah until you come to the large tree at Tabor. Three men will meet you there. They’ll be on their way up to Bethel to worship God. One of them will be carrying three young goats. Another will be carrying three loaves of bread. A third will be carrying a bottle of wine. It will be a bottle made out of animal skin. 4 The men will greet you. They’ll offer you two loaves of bread. You will accept the loaves from them. 5 “After that, you will go to Gibeah of God. Some Philistine soldiers are stationed there. As you approach the town, you will meet a group of prophets. They’ll be coming down from the high place where they worship. People will be playing lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps at the head of the group. The prophets will be prophesying. 6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully on you. Then you will prophesy along with them. You will become a different person. 7 All these things will happen. Then do what you want to do. God is with you. 8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. You can be sure that I’ll come down to you there. I’ll come and sacrifice burnt offerings and friendship offerings. But you must wait there for seven days until I come to you. Then I’ll tell you what to do.”

Samuel tells Saul that he has a special message for him. He anoints Saul and tells him that the Lord as appointed him as ruler over Israel.

That would be very surprising news as Israel had never had a king before. But to help Saul know that this really was from God, Samuel then told him three signs that would happen immediately to remove any doubt. Samuel says to Saul, “After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you”.

These three signs happened exactly as Samuel told him, confirming to Saul that God was really with him. (Years later, the kingdom was taken from Saul basically because he doubted that God was actually with him).

Why? Perhaps Saul forgot about the signs.

Jesus resisted giving a sign to the crowds who demanded one, except the only sign that truly matters – his resurrection. Jesus resurrection is the one sign that separates Christianity from all other faiths, and it is this that answers all doubts that we will ever have. It is this sign that proves who Jesus is who he said he is.

Whenever I doubt, which includes worry and being anxious, it’s really because I have forgotten what Jesus has said he would do, that he will never leave me or abandon me. It is at those times that I really need to remind myself of the sign that Jesus gave, his death and resurrection. That is proof that what Jesus has said is true. Then, I can overcome my doubts.

Thank you Jesus for the greatest sign of all – your death and resurrection. You truly are King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and all your words are true. Help me never to forget them, and to believe them.

Written by Andrew Martin

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