Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 10:27 (NIV)
But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.
1 Samuel 10:27 (MSG)
But the riffraff went off muttering, “Deliverer? Don’t make me laugh!” They held him in contempt and refused to congratulate him. But Saul paid them no mind.
“But some worthless men said, “How can this man save and rescue us?” And they regarded Saul with contempt and did not bring him a gift. But he ignored the insult and kept silent.” -AMPLIFIED
Yesterday we addressed the appointing of Saul as king. We saw God publicly choosing him; while Saul was shaking in his boots hiding in the supplies. Samuel addressed the people giving them the requirements of what was expected from this their king and what would be expected from the people. The people agreed to everything that Samuel said and so he sent them all home.
As everyone turned to go we find that there were actually a few dissenters in the group. We all have heard that phrase, “A few bad apples will ruin the basket”. Listen to the Voice Translation, “Still, some worthless skeptics and unbelievers asked, “How can this no-name from Benjamin protect us?” and they refused to honor him with an appropriate gift. But Saul kept silent.”
These guys were being ruthless. They were being extremely disloyal and disrespectful to God’s chosen king. They were going to speak their piece and they did not care who heard it. Notice Saul’s response to those nay-sayers…he kept silent. He said nothing. He paid them no mind. He walked away and let God deal with those skeptics. (Exactly what we should do when we are in similar situations.)
Strange thing is that God gave these people exactly what they asked for; a king, so they could be like every other nation. Their attitude reflects their continued apostate mindset toward God. Do you know what an apostate is; a deserter, heretic, defector, or backslider. These people had not truly changed.
Now, Saul could have gotten angry. He could have demanded these guys pledge their allegiance to him. Do you remember what happened at the end of yesterday’s devotion? “Saul, too, went home to Gibeah, accompanied by a group of warriors who had been moved by the True God to accompany him.” (VOICE) Saul did not confront these guys; he chose to bide his time and allow God to handle the situation.
Guess what? God did take care of it. At the tail end of chapter 11 we find those dissenters, those troublemakers, that riffraff being called to give an accounting for their behavior. “The people said to Samuel, “Who is the one who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring the men, and we will put them to death.” -1 Samuel 11:12 (AMP)
Thankfully Saul once again chose to take the high road. His response to the mob was this, ““No man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has brought victory to Israel.” -1 Samuel 11:13 (AMP)
We are not told, but I wonder if Saul remembered that God had told the people of Israel many years before that vengeance was the Lord’s. God explicitly made this point to the people, “I’m in charge of vengeance and payback, just waiting for them to slip up; and the day of their doom is just around the corner, sudden and swift and sure.” -Deuteronomy 32:35 (MSG)
Maybe Saul remembered this command given by the Lord. “You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself; I am the Lord.” -Leviticus 19:18 (AMP)
Even the Apostle Paul warns the Romans that followers of Christ need to be careful of not retaliating against those who do them wrong. Paul says, “Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” -Romans 12:17-19 (MSG)
We find God giving Isaiah this promise that we too can hold on to as our very own, “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn. This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,” says the Lord.” -Isaiah 54:17 (AMP)
When confronted with those who are just trying to cause problems and stir up trouble oft times the best thing one can do is keep your peace and let God deal with the situation. He can definitely do a better job than we ever can.
Lord, help me not to get all flustered and angry when others are judging me, condemning me or are stirring up trouble. I know there will always be those people around who just want to pull others down. Help me to keep my focus on you and my ears tuned into you too. I want to be sure that I am not being distracted from you by their dissension. You have promised that no weapon formed against me will prosper and I am taking you at your word. Please, continue to protect and take care of me, Lord. God, you’re the BEST!