A Head Taller

1 Samuel 9:1-5

1There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. 2Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.

3Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” 4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them. 5When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

Federal Election

Federal election is coming! Have you decided on who you shall vote? Do you elect someone based on political party? Would you elect someone you have known personally? What caused you to elect a candidate? Popularity! Principle!

Some candidates are popular. Others, you have never heard of them.

When the Lord wants candidates to win, would you agree that He will align or arrange situations for them to be elected? It states in John 19:10-11, 10Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

The Lord Jesus declares that the authority of rulers comes from God. If He wants anybody to become rulers, political parties or human abilities are useful but not deciding factors. God can make anyone He chooses to be exceptional.

1. Exceptional

1There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of    Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. 2Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.

Kish, the father of Saul was no ordinary person. People respected him. His father and grandfather were also well-known not just among the Benjamites. Saul had been raised in a family of distinguished Benjamites. Additionally, Saul had been gifted with exceptional physical features—tall and handsome.

Probably, Saul had better sustenance than most Israelites. He did not experience hardship. They have servants which imply that his family was wealthy than most Israelites. And, Saul was born during the time when Samuel was Israel’s leader. When Samuel was Israel’s leader, there was peace in Israel.

Do you agree that environment and food are factors in a person’s growth?

Many young people who were born in Canada are taller and even have fairer skin than their immigrant parents. Many immigrants from Asia had limited food, and may have impeded or slowed down their physical growth. Well, one may claim, “It’s improvement of the race or DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).

Nevertheless, it was declared in Daniel 2:20-21, 20Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

Indeed, after Samuel chose his sons to be his successors as leaders of Israel, the people complained about his sons’ dishonesty and asked for a king.

Samuel was upset but he prayed, and the Lord instructed him to give them a king. Saul was the first king that God has chosen. He’s physically exceptional. He was more handsome and taller than anybody in Israel. His family may have given him special treatment at home so that he became egocentric.

2. Egocentric

3Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.”

 When the donkeys of his father were lost, his father instructed Saul to find their donkeys. That situation was ordinary event. Anybody who has donkeys can possibly experience lost of donkeys. Would agree that the Lord arrange such ordinary event for Samuel to choose the Lord’s anointed king of Israel?

It was not big time event. There was no election held to choose a king. Interestingly, Israel’s elders waited for Samuel to anoint a king for them. They’re confident that Samuel chose not one of his sons but the Lord’s anointed one. That’s a practical proof that authorities whom God established should be obeyed.

The Lord declares in Matthew 23:12, For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

It also says in Psalm 75:4-7, To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns. Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak so defiantly.’” No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.

It takes faith in the Lord believe this truth. Many denominational authorities promote that to be effective in church leadership, there are several elements. Books about Effective Leadership, How to Develop Leaders, or How to Excel as Leaders were taken seriously and image-conscious individuals bought them.

For sure, books are very useful for personal preparation. Preparation may signify willingness to obey the Lord. Experiences, trainings or educations are beneficial but the Lord decides how He may want to utilize us effectively. When we depend upon Him completely, His power becomes more apparent in our life.

4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them. 5When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

Saul was less concerned about the lost donkeys. It implies that they have many donkeys. He was more concerned that his father may worry about him. He may have felt that he was the favorite of his father. Saul was egocentric.

His father instructed to take with him a servant, why? He’d no confidence, indecisive. Saul thought of himself to be more important than anything else. He’s not interested of finding the donkeys. They went to places where they assumed the donkeys possibly grazed. And, when Saul told his servant, “Let’s go home!” he displayed no desire of completing the task given him. He assumed that his father worried more of him than the donkeys. That implies self-centeredness.

When Samuel presented Saul as the first king of Israel, a few Israelites appreciated it because of Saul had exceptional appearance. Who would not like to have a handsome and tall leader? But his character was questionable. He was not persistent in accomplishing his responsibility. Do you wish to elect such kind of a leader? We admire leaders who won’t quit or abandon their responsibilities.

Why did God choose Saul as Israel’s first king. Why not David? David was considered the greatest king of Israel. Greatness does not always come first.

Yet, Saul who’s not responsible enough, God anointed him as Israel’s 1st king.

Why did God choose as 1st king of Israel an egocentric, lack of confidence, and indecisive person who had no desire to complete a given task?

The Lord has a perfect plan for anyone who has no self-confidence.

It narrated in Acts 2:1-4, When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

After Jesus went to heaven, His disciples stayed together in one place, why? They were scared and not confident in themselves. But when they’re filled with the Holy Spirit, they’re empowered and began preaching the gospel.

It is not to generalize but it has been observed that experienced leaders or pastors are stubborn. Their experiences give them confidence instead of relying upon the Lord. They’ll say, “I know that I am doing. I have done this before!”

When the Lord chose Saul as the first king of Israel, he had exceptional appearance but had questionable character. Similarly, the Lord chooses not the perfect and confident but unqualified individuals to be His disciples, why?

He wants us not to rely on our human abilities or experiences but to rely upon the Holy Spirit when we serve in the ministry He had prepared for us.

Continue to pray that God would raise church leaders who would totally rely upon the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Pray that God would allow individuals who are dependent in the Lord to win the Federal Election.

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