1 Samuel 11-13, Psalm 38, Acts 9
Today as I read these passages, I heard the story of two Sauls. I was familiar with them both, but reflecting on these two stories simultaneously was interesting.
1 Samuel 11-13
The Book of Samuel is a book of great beginnings…and tragic endings. The beginning of Saul’s life talked about his humble leadership (9:21; 10:22) and was God’s choice as Isreal’s first king (10:24). His early reign was marked by leadership (chapter 11). I will hold on to details, but eventually, Saul disobeys God, becomes jealous and paranoid, and eventually has his kingship taken away by God. Saul’s life continues after these chapters going downward. Eventually, deciding to take his own life. This story will capture the reign and decline of the first king of Isreal.
In Acts, we find another Saul who is on the road to Damascus. Saul was a non-believer who pursued Christians to either put them in jail or have them killed. But on this road, he was confronted by the Lord (9:3) and brought face-to-face with the truth of the Gospel. Saul eventually turns into the apostle Paul we read about, who shapes the history of Christianity.
Sometimes God breaks into our lives spectacularly, or sometimes conversion may include a quiet conversation. Either way, we read today about two journeys. I think of how Lynden mentioned the journey of encouragement, adversity, and resolution.
What is going on in your journey today? Financial issues, health-related problems, raising children, issues with your job, marriage, all of the above? What will you decide? Who will you believe? The world or the creator of the world? None of these decisions will be easy, and they will take lots of faith in the Lord. I see us on the same journey as both Saul’s we read about. Will the world take you toward a downward spiral, or will you listen to the voice of the Lord?
21 Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. 22 Make hast to help me, O Lord my salvation.
And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.” Deuteronomy 8:2
Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”