APRIL 12 READINGS...1 Chronicles 9:35-39 & 1 Samuel 13:1-14:52
How important is both God ordained leadership and God led leadership? Saul is a picture for us of a man who ultimately is neither. Saul was given the leadership of the nation of Israel...he had even experienced what it was like to have the Holy Spirit come upon him in great power. Yet there was always something not right with Saul as king, or with his leadership as king. In today's reading Saul, for fear of losing control of his men disobeyed the instructions of the man of God, Samuel. It was not Saul's place to offer a sacrifice to the Lord at Gilgal. Samuel had instructed him to wait, for it was supposed to be Samuel place to make the offering. This disobedience would cause Saul and his lineage to lose the throne. Although Saul would serve as king for forty years, no one from his family would follow him on the throne of Israel. Saul was everything the people wanted in a king...good looking and head and shoulders above everyone else...sadly, he was not what God wanted, for his heart was not after the things of God.
In our readings we see the beginning of the great battles between the Israelites and the Philistines. We are also introduced to Saul's family...especially Jonathan. There is something very special about Jonathan...he was certainly brave, and seemed to have more common sense and leadership skills than his father. Jonathan was a brave warrior who sought the Lord's direction...Saul did what he considered the most expedient thing. Saul made a foolish oath concerning that no one in the army could eat until the victory was won. Jonathan did not hear what his father had said, and ate some honey. When Jonathan was told what his father had said he considered it a foolish oath, as he knew that to feed the army would allow them the energy to continue. When Saul had found out that it was Jonathan that broke Saul's oath...he was going to put his own son to death. The people would not let Saul do this thing...though it would not be right for Jonathan to be put to death because of a foolish oath, this event was a precursor to all of Saul's rule from the throne...he would be directed by popular opinion rather than by the Lord. This would eventually cost him his kingdom. Leadership is important...it is important that it is God ordained, and it is important that it is continually God led.
Please share your thoughts from today's readings. What is your impression of Israel's first king and his leadership of the nation? How important do you see the leadership of God's people in our world today?
TOMORROW'S READING...1 Samuel 15:1-17:31