1 Samuel 14:47-52
47 After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them. 48 He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them. 49 Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal. 50 His wife’s name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul’s army was Abner son of Ner, and Ner was Saul’s uncle. 51 Saul’s father Kish and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel. 52 All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service.
When we think of Saul, we often think of failure. We think of him trying to kill David so he can hold onto the kingship himself. But here we see Saul fulfilling the word that God gave to Samuel about him. In 1 Samuel 9:16, God says “I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines.” In this passage, Saul saved Israel from all who had plundered them, or, as The Message Bible puts it, “from savagery and looting”. He also recruited brave and strong young men into his army so that Israel was prepared to defend itself.
So where did Saul go wrong? Was it that he failed to recognise that his success was God-given and became proud and independent? How easy it is to do that! How easy it is to turn genuine praise for God working through us into overdone pride in our accomplishments.
Father, help me to be humble and dependent on you in all that I do. Help me to have the right mix of boldness in stepping out to do the things you’ve called me to do, and humility to do those things with you, not in my own strength. Please take my pride and mould it into strength and courage to do your will.
Written by Megan Cornell