Who will be the King, and lead Israel?
This week we conclude our reflections on the life of Samuel.
From childhood and into old age we find him determined to do whatever God asks of him, whatever the risks involved. We shall read about the appointment of Israel’s first King, Saul, and then go fast-forward to the discovery and anointing of the great King, David.
Samuel’s vision was for God to be the King/Leader of the nation.
With the appointment of David we begin to find ourselves in New Testament thinking – for Jesus was called, the Son of David.
vv 21-22 And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”
Samuel had the authority, and standing, to demand a full gathering of the nation. His purpose was to be seen to act openly in selecting a King. The selection field gets narrower and narrower until it just has to be Saul. But hold on – Saul has gone AWOL. Was Saul really frightened of becoming the King/Warrior/Leader? I suspect there was a strong probability that Saul was more than half-afraid to step up to it and so went and hid himself among the camp baggage. And who would blame him? – the Hebrews were noted for their whingeing – and who wants to lead a bunch like that! Anyway, Saul got found and dragged off to be welcomed as God’s appointment.
Leadership is not an easy role to step into in any organisation. Looking at the history of Kings in society we see so many who have used the opportunity to make personal profit, or have seen themselves as demi-gods to whom the population should bow down and serve. Leadership in God’s Kingdom is so very different – it is a servant role, not a self-promotion one. I feel sure Samuel saw that, but I wonder if Saul fully grasped the implications of it.
If you have ever taken on a leadership role, how did you feel about it?
Pray for our Church leaders as they serve God among us.