A subtle shift has occurred in Israel since the days of conquest. As they moved from Egypt to the Promised Land, God’s anointed led the people. Moses and Joshua were very careful not to take credit as leader themselves but to constantly point to the Lord. In fact Moses didn’t enter the Promised Land because in a moment of frustration he said, “Must I bring water from this rock for you?” The Lord did not allow Moses to enter the Promised Land because of the transgression.
Then come the judges, men and a woman, who led for a time, sometimes a significant length of time, but there was no family lineage. And many judges rose up in a time of need and then disappeared after God used the judge to deliver Israel.
Next came Eli and Samuel; more like Moses they were prophets who heard from God and reported the things of God to the people. They didn’t lead battles or ‘reign’ in any way.
Now comes Saul… as king. Today’s reading is on the threshold of Saul being confirmed king for the second time.
The subtle shift is that he will lead. Ideally God will lead Saul. With Moses and Joshua the Lord directed them and then they directed the people. The king, however, assumes leadership and hopefully he is listening to the Lord.
The shift is subtle but real.
And the shift challenged me to probe my own life… am I living my life in the model of:
· Moses… listen for the Lord’s leading and then act accordingly, or
· Saul… act on your own leading, ‘assuming’ you are in tune with the Lord?
This is a difficult question because it probes dark recesses of my life. It causes me to ask penetrating and difficult questions of myself…
Am I my own leader and savior, or am I following after the Lord?
Lord God, keep probing me and don’t let me off the hook easily giving trite or stock answers. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.