Today I was reading 1 Samuel, and I came across something interesting. I’d noticed it before, but today I felt like sharing my thoughts. It involves Saul, the first king of Israel, and what I like to call a major attitude change. If you’re familiar with these chapters and know what I’m talking about, awesome! If not, stick around–things are about to get interesting.
We are first introduced to Saul in 1 Samuel chapter nine. He’s described as “an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites–a head taller than any of the others” (v. 2). It’s a long story (do read it for yourself if you get the chance!), but basically Samuel (a prophet and, yes, the book is named after him) anoints Saul as king. Before that, however, Samuel tells Saul that the desire of Israel is turned to him and his family. I love Saul’s response:
Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” (1 Samuel 9:21)
While Saul has made several understandable points, you have to remember: the Bible said that he was without equal, a head taller than anyone else! He may be from a small tribe, but he’s got plenty to be proud of. And yet, his response is very humble.
In chapter ten, Saul is made king. Not everyone is happy, though. Verse twenty-seven says, “But some troublemakers said, ‘How can this fellow save us?’ They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.”
What happens next? In chapter eleven, a city called Jabesh Gilead is attacked by the Ammonites. To make a long story short, Saul steps in, rouses the Israelites, and saves the day. Check out verses twelve and thirteen:
The people then said to Saul, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring these men to us and we will put them to death.”
But Saul said, “No one shall be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.” (1 Samuel 11:12-13)
In this situation, Saul puts aside his pride and refuses to have the troublemakers put to death. Even more so, he gives the glory to God! He could have easily taken the credit for defeating the Ammonites, but instead he says, “for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.”
Follow Saul’s example in the early part of his kingship. He’s humble and, though he is incredibly successful, he gives all the glory and credit to God. I think we are often tempted to take the credit for ourselves, but remember–our purpose is to glorify God, and we are nothing without Him!
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)