I Samuel 31 – II Samuel 12
17 “…Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel…”
I Samuel 15
The first king of Israel chosen by God Himself. A man gallant and handsome he stood head and shoulders above everyone else — a humble man at first, a vengeful king at the end. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reviewing a series of tragedies told in the most hopeful book in the world. We started from the fall of man to the tribulations of the patriarchs, and now with the first king of Israel. King Saul is a prime example of how God’s anointing does not guarantee success in life; only a guarantee to fulfill His mission.
King Saul’s Anointing
The people of Israel begged Samuel for a king and God granted their request with a warning. “You yourselves will become his servants. So you will cry out on that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but Yahweh will not answer you on that day!” After a successful battle, Saul is anointed by God to rule Israel, and the people began celebrating their king. Here is a clear example of God giving people what they want and letting them live with the consequences.
King Saul’s Fall
We begin to see seeds of Saul’s disobedience. He was an Israelite and worshipped God; however, his worship was expedient. The first example of this is when he makes a sacrifice to God because “his army was slipping away” before Samuel was there. Samuel denounces King Saul and tells him he will be the only one of his house to sit on the throne.
His biggest downfall, however, was after defeating the Amalekites he imprisoned the king and kept the best and the second best of the cattle in spite of God’s commands. This is when God declares how He seeks obedience over sacrifice, and Saul saw sacrifice as an expedient way to be obedient. “You have rejected the word of Yahweh, and he has rejected you from being king over Israel!”
We like to talk about how we are God’s chosen people, and what calling He has led us to serve. The conversation drowns out after that because for most knowing we are chosen is enough, fair enough. However, what does it mean to be chosen? Does it mean we will lead ‘successful’ lives? Does it mean every venture we journey out to will be significantly rewarded? Or does it mean we are chosen to serve God’s purpose? Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, God gives out His blessings, and we are to revel in them, but if the first anointed king of Israel taught us anything it’s this, God’s anointing is to fulfill His purpose and His purpose alone.
If the king of Israel isn’t convincing enough how about Our Lord the very Son of God Himself? The Chosen One of God who was born next to sheep poop, betrayed by his close friends, bargained for a murderer, and finally stripped and executed amid criminals. Being chosen by God is the most significant honor we can ever pray for, and there is no honor greater. However, we can’t deceive ourselves into thinking that because we are chosen, we are entitled to anything. God’s grace seeks us out and brings us in, and God’s grace alone is how we become anointed by Him.