Saul is anointed king in Israel and we begin to see the dichotomy that will be his reign. At his own coronation, he is so afraid that he hides among the supplies. Not a great start to his monarchy. Yet God is beyond such things as this and fills him with the Holy Spirit to inspire the men of Israel (330,000 of them) and then lead them in war against their enemies. He shows mercy to those who questioned his kingship and gives Samuel credit where credit is due. Hindsight tells us that Saul’s reign will be like this, a mixture of cowardice and bad decisions, and heroism and victory.
Things are never as clean as we’d like them to be in this world. All of us have this odd mix of obedience and rebellion in our relationship with God. The very worst people have glimmers of greatness, and the very best people have smudges of sinful selfishness. But the point is never whether someone is sinful (spoiler: we all are) or righteous (spoiler: none of us is) but whether God can use us to further His Kingdom. It is all in God’s hands, not ours, and the belief that our behaviors, missions, righteousness, and mistakes can change God’s will or God’s plans is one of the great errors of our race.
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