The story of two Sauls.
6 And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.I Samuel 11:5 ESV
King Saul began as a somewhat humble man. He sought God and fought hard for His people.
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.Acts 9:1-2 ESV
Saul, who became Paul the Apostle, began as a persecutor of the church. He ignorantly thought he was carrying out God’s judgment on this new sect, to become known as “Christians.”
But, in today’s reading, and a sneak peak into a couple day’s from now, we see a complete reversal in each of their lives.
The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.”I Samuel 15:10
20 And immediately he [Saul] proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.Acts 9:20-22 ESV
Who we are one day, does not determine our future. Who others perceive us to be, does not determine our future. We can be redeemed or corrupted as we continue to choose our life’s path. We must daily cry out for His wisdom and direction. Becoming a Christian might be a one time event, but living as one is a daily commitment.
Do not forsake me, O Lord!Psalm 38:22 ESV
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!
This week I was reminded of the need for a continually renewed eternal perspective and reliance on God. .
There are no ordinary people.
You have never talked to a mere mortal.
Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.
But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.C.S. Lewis
It is so easy to look at the physical world in front of us and give it undue emphasis, when in fact these worldly accomplishments, accolades, and accounts are the most temporary things about us. We will live forever. I am immortal and need to give greater care to my character, treatment of others, and self-sacrifice than earthly record keeping. My desire must be to honor God and follow Him rather than to seek the approval of man and any verbal or material recognition they might offer me.
May my life not mimic the first king of Israel that followed God for a season, but succumbed to people-pleasing before too long. Rather, may my life more closely resemble Saul of the New Testament who recognized his error and completed forfeited his own will for his life to find the beautiful freedom in Jesus, the Messiah.
Lord God, may You be first and foremost in my life today and every day. In Jesus name, amen.