Zip the Lips

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 10:13-16 (NIV)
After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place. Now Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?” “Looking for the donkeys,” he said. “But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.” Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.” Saul replied, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.

1 Samuel 10:13-16 (MSG)
When Saul was done prophesying, he returned home. His uncle asked him and his servant, “So where have you two been all this time?” “Out looking for the donkeys. We looked and looked and couldn’t find them. And then we found Samuel!” “So,” said Saul’s uncle, “what did Samuel tell you?” Saul said, “He told us not to worry—the donkeys had been found.” But Saul didn’t breathe a word to his uncle of what Samuel said about the king business.
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“When Saul had finished prophesying, he went to the high place [of worship]. Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?” And Saul said, “To look for the donkeys. And when we saw that they were nowhere to be found, we went to Samuel [for help].” Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me, what did Samuel say to you?” And Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingdom which Samuel had mentioned.” -AMPLIFIED

As we saw yesterday God had blessed Saul with a special privilege. Saul had experienced the Anointing of the Holy Spirit. This was a gift reserved for the prophets of God usually. Once Saul had finished prophesying we are told that he went to the high place and nothing more. The high place was a known place where one would go to worship God. We can rightfully assume that he went there to worship God; possibly to even give thanks for what God had allowed him to experience.

The way Scripture conveys to us that Saul’s uncle must have also been at the high place to worship God. For the next sentence tells us that Saul’s uncle asks him and his servant, “Where have you two been?” Of course the family had been worried about them. They had been away for quite some time looking for those lost donkeys.

Saul reminds his uncle that they had been out looking for his father’s wayward donkeys and could not find them. We then read a very telling sentence, “And then we found Samuel!” Do you notice that exclamation point? That tells us that Saul was quite excited about finding of the prophet. Remember, Saul did not even know who Samuel was when they first went looking for those donkey’s, but now he had personal experience with this man of God and what had happened between them had definitely left him a changed man.

The phrase, “And then we found Samuel”, reminds me so much of those words that were spoken by the Jewish leaders when they had an encounter with Peter and John in the book of Acts. The leaders took note of this fact that these two guys were different. “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” -Acts 4:13 (NIV)

Saul’s inquiring uncle must have known of Samuel’s reputation for he presses Saul for more information. “Please tell me, what did Samuel say to you?” We do not know what sort of information Saul’s uncle was fishing for, but he may have just suspected that Saul’s encounter with Samuel was not just chance. God had something in the works.

Saul, himself, though did not feel comfortable sharing anything that Samuel had told him; not yet. Samuel had not told Saul not to tell anyone. The fact that Samuel had asked Saul to send the servant on ahead so they could talk privately though conveyed the fact that this was not yet to be public news. Saul, wisely, felt the need to wait for Samuel’s arrival to make his kingship public knowledge.

Remember, Samuel’s last words to him were, “You shall go down ahead of me to Gilgal; and behold, I will be coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you must do.” -1 Samuel 10:8 (AMP)

The Bible speaks to us about the wisdom of keeping one’s mouth shut:

* “When there are many words, transgression and offense are unavoidable, but he who controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence is wise.” -Proverbs 10:19(AMP)

* “Even a [callous, arrogant] fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is regarded as sensible (prudent, discreet) and a man of understanding.” -Proverbs 17:28 (AMP)

* “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” -Proverbs 21:23 (NLT)

Even King David prayed: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips [to keep me from speaking thoughtlessly].” -Psalm 141:3 (AMP)

There is great wisdom in keeping the lips zipped; especially when the news to be told is not ours to tell. Saul knew this and wisely bided his time; patiently waiting for the arrival of Samuel the prophet, the man of God.

At times in our own lives there is a need to keep our mouths shut and let God do His work in His time. He may have revealed something to us personally in order to prepare us for what lies ahead, but that does not necessarily mean that He wants us to announce it from the rooftops. Sometimes our best recourse is to wait patiently on God and let Him do His good work in His good time; keeping our mouths shut.

My Prayer:

Lord, help me to have the wisdom I need in knowing when to speak and when to be quite. Too often, especially in my excitement, I want to blurt out everything that you have been speaking to me. Sadly, that habit has gotten me into some trouble. Lord, please place a guard over my mouth. Give me discretion to know when to speak and when to be silent. Let your Holy Spirit be my constant reminder to stay in tune with you so I know which time is which.  Thank you, Lord.

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