Tuesday, 23rd March 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
I Samuel 9 – How to Discern and Know Our Lives
Section One: V1-2 What Belongs to the World
This chapter tells us who we really are. Saul came from a strong family background. At the time Israel was at war, therefore it’s important for a warrior to be strong. Saul was tall and strong, and from the eyes of people, he was the perfect candidate to be their king. It seemed their Saul was chosen and expected by people of the world.
Section Two: V3-14 What Belongs to the Flesh
Here we can see what kind of person Saul was. His father lost the donkeys, so Saul went around to many places but didn’t find them. Saul was a capable man, even though only a few donkeys were lost, he was able to walk for a long way to find the donkeys. He seemed to be obedient to his father and knew his father’s heart. Because he knew his father would be worried and decided to head back. Then his servant suggested for them to see the Seer for direction.
Why did Saul’s father asked Saul to bring a servant? This servant must be trustworthy to his father. But at the very beginning Saul did not seek opinion from this servant, and he was searching for the donkeys according to his flesh. So when Saul wanted to give up, the servant suggested to see the Seer, because he did not want Saul to go back home emptyhanded.
When the servant suggested this, the first response of Saul was about bringing gifts to the Seer. From this we can see he did not know much about God, what he saw was a benefit-in-exchange mindset that by seeking help from the Seer, he needed to bring something in exchange. It was a twisted mindset, Saul’s father was rich and had high expectation for his son, but he didn’t lead Saul to know God. It’s a wake-up call for us, the world has high expectation for us, Saul’s actions and decisions seemed right according to the world, but inside of him he was empty, there was no Heaven within him but only the values of this world.
Saul thought if he sought help from God, he needed to give something equal value back in return, whereas the servant knew that when he offered everything he had, God will treasure. Do we give God everything we have? It might not be a lot according to the world’s standards, but God sees our hearts more than anything in this world.
Then Saul agreed with his servant, somehow Saul had no opinion of his own, but just followed the servant’s suggestion. Then God let the young woman tell Saul about the rules in God’s kingdom (V13), but all he thought about was his donkeys, he was not interested in God’s reminder and teaching for him, he only wanted what he thought was important. What is our purpose? When we lived in the flesh, even if we are right in front of the gate of heaven, but bringing the heart of the world, God will not be pleased.
Section Three: V15-27 What Belongs to God
Samuel was a man of God, he was a Judge, and the only person during the time of the Judges, to bring all 12 tribes together. He was also the High Priest and the Prophet. The day before God already revealed to him about anointing Saul as king. Samuel did not argue with God, even though he knew Benjamin was the smallest tribe. Samuel also did not complain to God about choosing a leader for Israel instead of himself.
We feel we are not being recognised and what we have done are not being valued. We should be completely obedient to God. Samuel brought Saul and his servant to his home and let them sit at the seat of honour. Not only Samuel was willing to listen to God’s appointment, but he was also able to humble himself, bringing the visitors back to his house. He also set apart the most important part of the meat, the thigh, and gave it to Saul.
Samuel was humble that he was not afraid of losing his position, which is honoured by others, he only believes what God wanted to do was good. Samuel treated Saul wholeheartedly, and he walked the extra mile by accommodating Saul and showing him hospitality, he was willing to listen to God and to help Saul.
Do we rely on men more than rely on God or do we build up a relationship with our spiritual authority? We need to let go of the important people, who we think can help us, but to come close to God and to our authority. Samuel asked Saul to let go of his servant, because he did not want Saul to see this servant more than he should.
Do our heart and mind belong to the world, to the flesh, or to God? Let down of our sense of security, only follow God and offer ourselves wholeheartedly to God. There is darkness and confusion within us, but God loves us, and He is seeking us to come into light with Him.
May the Spirit of the Lord be with all our brothers and sisters, so that we can discern and know whether our lives belong to the world, the flesh, or the kingdom of God. Lord please help us turn around to follow you, and help us let go of the things of the world and of the flesh, and seek only what’s from heaven. Make us like Samuel to be willing to lay down the fame and wealth of the world, willing to give it all to You, not keeping anything for ourselves, but to live for God alone, and walk the way of God. May the Lord bless us! Amen!
从这一段的描述可以看出世界是如何选一个人做领袖：这个人是有详细家族历史记载的，出身不平凡，本人“又健壮又俊美” – 在那个战争频发的年代，这样的外形条件能上阵打仗，是以色列人众望所归。
V6-7：扫罗的父亲将这个仆人给扫罗，说明他认为这个仆人是个可靠的人。扫罗一开始没有跟仆人商量，就凭自己的方法来找驴。仆人知道他们这样空手而回，主人会不开心，就对主人的儿子说“当走的路”的这番话- 说明他知道神能够帮助他们。然而扫罗的回答证明他不认识神，空有外表，没有内里的充实。当仆人教他寻求神的时候，他第一个想到的是属世的回应 – 如何用利益、金钱、好处来讨好神人。扫罗的父亲“基士”的名字意思就是“弯曲”，所以他教导出来的孩子也是这样弯曲。我们教导我们的儿女是否也是这样？是否外表从属世的角度看上去很好，可是里面很空，没有属神的价值？