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Saul: Chosen of the Lord

(1 Samuel 9:1,2; 10:17-26)

Lesson 5 -- fourth quarter 2000
October 1, 2000

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

You don't have to like it!
Do you want to be like those around you?

Samuel found himself in a fix. The Israelites wanted a king. They weren't satisfied with God as their leader, and they weren't comfortable with the prospect of Samuel's sons taking his place. Besides, they had grown tired of their distinction among the nations around them. So they wanted Samuel to select a king for them. Samuel knew one or two of their reasons for wanting a king made sense. But he also knew their other motives fell short of righteousness. So what should he do?

He did the right thing. He asked God. And God told him to go ahead and anoint a king for the Israelites.

Samuel didn't like doing that one bit, I'm sure. Nonetheless, he did exactly as God told him to do. Why? Because he was committed to obeying God, and commitments have little to do with feelings, likes and dislikes. In other words, since God told him to do it, he didn't have to like it; he just had to do it.

What about you? Has God ever told you to do something you didn't like or want to do? Perhaps your parents, preachers or teachers have given you that type of instruction. What have you done in those cases? I hope you have chosen cheerful, cooperative submission.

Let's remember Samuel's obedience to God and His ways. Let's make certain we don't let our likes and dislikes get in the way of obedience.

Have you ever craved some of the world's "goodies"? Maybe you've secretly (though perhaps more openly than you realized) wished you could be more like the world around you. Perhaps you've gone through those times of weariness at your distinctiveness. If so, consider it your version of the Israelites' GUAKS (Give Us A King Syndrome).

This syndrome has both internal and external symptoms, and they are all quite contagious. If you have GUAKS, better get treatment right away. If you live around those who have it but have not yet contracted it yourself, you'd better be extremely careful!

What are some of those external symptoms? Well, they include how you dress, how you do your hair, what your vehicle is like, what type of books and music you listen to and how you entertain yourself. An individual with GUAKS uses his clothes, hair and vehicle to draw attention to himself; he uses these things to gratify his flesh.

Deeper symptoms exist which are harder to detect but which are every bit as real and dangerous. The GUAKS-infected person copies the attitudes, values, goals, purposes and motivations of the world. She chooses independence rather than submission. He values and strives for material gain more than for service. She lives for the immediate, not for the eternal.

Every Christian should want to avoid GUAKS, just like every person should want to avoid AIDS. So avoid all behavior and circumstance that will expose you to either virus. Do not take chances with the diseases. Do not assume that only others contract these syndromes. When you must live and work with and around those with these viruses, faithfully observe all the known steps that help prevent getting infected.

By the way, just how does a Christian avoid getting GUAKS?

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