“ Do you understand what it means when you sing “the Lord Almighty reigns”? Do you understand the difference between My reign and the reign of any king or ruler in this world? My reign extends to having authority over the whole world, but not only this world the whole universe as big as it is, extending tens of thousands of light years. Note though, it is not only a nominal authority it is a complete control of anything that is happening and will happen. There is not a king or ruler of this earth that I have not placed there through my authority and their authority only extends as far as I allow them. The only area that may appear that I do not have authority over is every persons will – their freedom to decide. Yet even that freedom is under my authority although it may not appear that way. So sing from the bottom of your heart ‘hallelujah the Lord Almighty reigns’, and believe it and trust it”
We continue with the choosing of the first future king of Israel in 1 Samuel 10:9-27. This should have been a joyous event, yet the writer wants you to see that there is a shadow looming over this new king.
The reader may have been encouraged by the description of Saul as a spiritually changed person as we read in the first verses of our reading today, with him ending up “prophesying with a group of other prophets. This type of prophecy, mentioned a number of times in the Old Testament, should not be confused with the great prophets of the Old Testament, like Samuel who spoke on behalf of God. It may have just extended to praise of Yahweh and telling out His attributes, but it is not clearly described and there is a suggestion that it was accompanied by music and ecstatic behaviour (New bible Commentary).
Although God has pointed Samuel to choose this man, there is a formal process which is now acted out at the end of Ch 10, where a lot is used. Before this process is initiated though, Samuel once again warns the Israelites in vs 19, “But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses. And you have said, “No, set a king over us”.
As I read this I was reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father in heaven” So although God is clearly guiding the process, it is being done, clearly against His immediate will.
As the process now unfolds where is this future king? He had hidden himself vs 22b. So although he is described as having an exceptional appearance there was a sense of uncertainty.
Further on there is another warning light. Way back in the book of Judges from ch 19 onward there is an awful story which almost reminds of Sodom and Gomorrah. It shows to what depth some of the Israelites had sunk. It also results in the rest of Israel almost completely annihilating the tribe of Benjamin. The name of the city where this awful incident takes place? “Gibeah”. And now we find that the new king of Israel comes from where? Gibeah, (10:26). It surely is no coincidence this and should raise a sense of uncertainty and alarm about the king, even if only small.
Then the chapter ends on another note which should should contribute to the reader’s sense of foreboding. Vs 27 tells us that there was a definite section of the population who were not happy with Saul as a choice of future king in fact they despised him.
So this new king starts his rule with a shadow hanging over him. Strangely but for another reason the real Messiah King, of God who appears 1000 or more years later is also born and raised with the cloud of rejection hanging over Him, but for a different reason.
So what is Jesus saying to us from this passage? Important is that we should not think that because things seem to be working out we have God’s blessing. Gods blessing goes with those who choose to do His will. See also the Lord’s prayer. for confirmation of this. Secondly as we see this stuttering start to the line of kings who will rule in Israel, we may be asking ourselves ,”Does this really reflect a God who is completely in control?” In answer to that I am reminded of the the word in Matthew 13:11. Where Jesus speaks of the secret things of God. The Greek word used here is ‘mysterion’. So much of God and His actions are mysterious and only able to be understood when He reveals it to us. And if we read the context in Mat 13, it is to those who choose to do His will that He reveals His mysterion.
So, dear friends join me in seeking to “let Thy will be done” in our lives. Blessings for this week, see you next week.