I Samuel 10: 1—11: 15
Don’t forget that any prophet or person with message from God will have to be legitimized by near and far prophecy. The near prophecy that Samuel gives Good Call Saul is that very specific things will happen on his journey home. The far prediction is that he will become king.
Bible Nerd Moment: I am so sorry but I totally lost my “ish” this morning when I read that God gave Saul a new heart. This is a very specific phrase referred to in the prophets and the NT as something that only happens when Jesus comes back for the second time. It is jarring when you believe something to only be possible during one time, then you see it happen here in the OT. When something like this happens, I have a process I go through to try and understand. First, God’s word never contradicts itself, and every word is inspired and protected by God. This means that this is not a mistake in the text. Every word is from the Lord and perfect. My point being: the answer to a question I have about the bible is never God must have misspoken or didn’t mean to say that. Second, I pray and ask God to help me understand what the passage is saying. Third, I look at other legitimate translations. My go to translations are the New Living Translation (NLT), the New International Translation (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the English Standard Translation (ESV). Taking in all these different phrasings of the same text will help me get the essence of the actual text. I hate to be a Hebrew snob, but their language is so much more descriptive than plan old English. In reading these different translations of the same verse I got the sense that God did not give Saul a new heart in the same way He will eventually give everyone new hearts in the future times, but he gave Saul a new desire in his heart. I will give you the verses and you can decide for yourself.
NLT 10: 9 As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day.
NIV 10: 9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.
NASB 10: 9 Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day.
ESV 10:9 When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day.
Bless Saul’s heart, because even though God gave him new desires the thought of standing in front of the nation and being their king scared him enough that he went and hid in the luggage. Good call Saul. But remember God has given him new desires. When Saul hears of what has happened to the distant city, God moves in him and Saul becomes angry. I would wager that before His interaction with God, news of a distant town being captured would not have stirred anything in Saul.
I have already used all my word allotment for the day, but it’s Saturday and the house is quite for now, so I am going to keep going. Lucky you my dear reader!
John 6: 43-71
As if to prove my point from our previous discussion we get to read that the people following Jesus don’t like what he says and don’t want to have anything to do with eating his flesh and drinking his blood. But we have understanding of this from our study of the OT. What was the Tabernacle and sacrificial system? An elaborate visual aid that taught the people of Israel (and the surrounding nations) that death and blood was required to atone for sin. The people in this story put their own understanding and their own desires above Jesus teaching. I can’t help but see that what God did to Saul is exactly what Jesus is talking about here. Without God drawing us in, left to our own human effort, we see Jesus as a crazy man who wants us to eat his flesh and drink his blood like some horrible version of being a vampire. God does something to us, just like he did to Saul, that makes us have to decide if we are going to believe Jesus or desert Jesus. You will either listen to the Father and come to Jesus or you will desert Jesus. I love Simon Peter’s words. “Lord, to who would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Don’t bother at-ing me about Calvinism or whatever. I am not trying to solve this mystery; I just know that God has to flip some sort of switch in us to get us to even listen to Jesus.)
Psalm 107: 1-43
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faith love endures forever.” When we practice thankfulness, we get tuned into how good God really is to us. (Both the young woman who live here just rolled their eyes because I have been telling both their grumpy butts that they need to practice thankfulness.)
Proverbs 15: 1-3
To be the
person that can bring the emotions of an escalated situation down is someone
who possesses the fruit of the Spirit (peace, joy, love, patience, gentleness
and self-control.) I got to witness this
a few weeks ago. I was saying something
that raised the emotions of the room because of my harshness (shocking, I know). A woman that exudes God’s gentleness followed
up my words with words of gentleness and peace and you could literally feel the
emotions in the room drop back to chill.
That is godliness that should be celebrated in our lives.