Day 106: Saul Is Chosen
1 Samuel 9:1-27 What seemed like random coincidences that led to the meeting between Samuel and Saul were actually events planned by God himself. Saul-who was from the tribe of Benjamin, which had nearly been destroyed by civil war-was God’s choice to be the first King of Israel.
You shall anoint him: Anointing a person with oil is a sacred sign that the individual has been set aside for a special service to the Lord such as a priest, prophet, or king. In the Sacraments, oil signifies consecration, strengthening, and healing.
I have seen the affliction...come to me: Tradition recognizes several sins that “cry to heaven” for justice, and these include oppression. (CCC 436 1294, 1867)
Ch 10:1-10 The Lord anointed you: Anointing with oil was a practice associated with the consecration of kings, priests, and occasionally prophets who were to begin a mission entrusted to them by God. The anointing was done in God’s name and was associated with the reception of the Holy Spirit. The Greek christos and the Hebrew messiah both mean “the anointed one,” a title that applies to Jesus because he was anointed by the Holy Spirit and fulfilled his divine mission to perfection. Anointing today is part of the Rites of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick. (CCC 243, 436, 438, 695, 1150)
Ch 10:10 Another heart: This refers to a conversion experience, or an interior change caused by the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit. This was made apparent in Saul’s prophesying when he met the prophets on the road (CCC 821, 1431)
Ch 10:17-27 A series of random lots were taken to determine which tribe, family, and individual within the family should be made king of Israel. The lot fell to Saul, confirming God’s choice, but he was not universally popular. Samuel was obedient to God’s will to establish a monarchy but seemed personally opposed to it because he saw it as a rejection of God’s kingship over Israel. The monarchy eventually would be perfected and fulfilled by the reign of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, over his people. (CCC 440)
Proverbs 6:23-35 This book teaches the importance of consistent fidelity to the Commandments. Unless the temptations originating in the mind and hearts are extinguished with prayer and robust effort, they can easily evolve into sinful actions. (CCC 2331, 2514, 2528)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
While searching for his father’s lost beasts, Saul is led to Samuel, whom the narrator now identifies as a “seer” (1 Sam 9:9, 9:11, 9:18, 9:19).
In days when “every man did what was right in his own eyes,” Samuel stands out as one who sees rightly and can discern God’s will.
Samuel announces to Saul God’s plans to make him a “ruler” (nagid) who will save God’s people from their enemies (1 Sam 10:1).
Interestingly, Samuel here refrains from calling Saul a “king” (melek); an indication, perhaps, of Samuel’s insistence that there is only one King over Israel, and that the earthly monarch can only represent this divine King.
At Mizpah in the land of Benjamin, Samuel gathers the people and sternly reminds them of their rejection of God in requesting an earthly king.
Saul is designated to rule by lot, but he must first be dragged out from hiding (an omen of Saul’s flaws).
Amid the popular rejoicing over Saul, Samuel announces the rights and duties of the king, writes these in a book, and places it in the presence of the Lord, anchoring Israelite kingship in the Deuteronomic covenant (1 Sam 10:25).
The Israelite king will never possess absolute power or complete autonomy.
Just as the book that details his rights and duties is placed in the presence of God, he, too, is a subject and servant who stands before God, to whom he must give an account.
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
The end of Proverbs Ch 6 talks about A THIEF
Those who commit adultery is different
A person does need to eat in order to live
But a person does not need to commit adultery for any reason
There are some things that we do that can be completely understandable
There are some things that we do that make no sense IN ANY CONTEXT
If someone is going to steal from me, I get it...BUT YOU DIDN’T NEED TO STEAL MY WIFE/HUSBAND/BREAK MY MARRIAGE VOWS….
What are those sins that we choose to do that we realize THIS ISN’T BENEFITING ANYBODY
THIS IS JUST A SIGN OF MY BROKEN HEART
NONE OF THESE THINGS WE ARE TEMPTED TO ACTUALLY HELP US!!
It makes no sense to do them
We ask the Lord for his mercy, his forgiveness, for those times but also for healing, reconciliation, and restoration so we can avoid those sins in the future.
Here we are, better call Saul!
He looks like a King and there is no one more handsome than he
Scripture emphasizes the point that Saul was tall
Remember the job of the King is to UNITE the people and FIGHT FOR the people
Saul looks like a king
Saul looks like a warrior
Saul looks like a fighter
Saul looks like a braver person
We will soon find out that Saul sufferers from a certain affliction
Sometimes, we might “LOOK THE PART” and we limit ourselves
Saul LOOKS LIKE THE KING
We will soon find that Saul has capabilities, but his shortcomings is that he is OVERLY CONCERNED WITH WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK????
Saul is doing his duties now and is not an evil character
He will descend into being a “bad guy”
We recognize that there are people JUST LIKE US in the Bible that are MIXES OF GOOD AND BAD
Saul makes some really good choices
Saul also makes some really bad choices
But The Spirit of God will come upon Saul and make him a new man
This is EXACTLY what happened to you and me at our BAPTISM!
When someone is baptized in the Catholic Church not only are they BAPTIZED but they are also ANOINTED
Saul is anointed KING
Saul is anointed PROPHET
That’s what happens to us
THAT SPIRIT IS REAL
THAT PROPHESYING WAS REAL
It was so real that people recognized that there was something different about SAUL
Where did he get these gifts?
Saul was given the gifts he needed to be the man and to live up to the vocation he was called to
Even in this story, there is a crack in his armor
Even though he is CHOSEN by God
Saul is HIDING among the luggage
But in the face of the crowd and the face of other people, Saul shrinks back and hides
Because one of Saul’s weaknesses is worrying about what other people think
As we follow Saul, notice how many strengths Saul has
God gifted him with these strengths
Saul’s downfall is his preoccupation with what other people think
Is that you too?
You better identify with Saul
Even though he is not the most heroic of characters
Saul is NOT corrupt
Saul is JUST LIKE YOU AND ME
Saul is WOUNDED
Saul THINKS TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
If that’s us, PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
We have a LONG way to go
Saul to David and on and on and on
Those of us who have received the Spirit of God we must be aware that if we are overly preoccupied by the opinions of human beings and not as driven by doing the Will of God, then We, too, need to change that. We will ask for that help from The Lord. We ask for help from each other.
Pray for Fr. Mike
Pray for Each other
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thanks. Thank you for this day. Thank you for Day 106. Thank you for leading us by your Spirit to hear your Word once again, to go into this new stage of the Royal Kingdom and to see the beginnings of how you not only blessed the Twelve Tribes of Israel, but you brought them together. And this is the beginning of you bringing them together into a Royal Kingdom. And you’ve done this in order to bless us. You’ve done this in order to prefigure the Church that you founded in Jesus Christ. You gave us your Holy Spirit, that same Spirit that came upon Saul, son of Kish, to lead him and to guide him so he could be a prophet, so he could be a king, so he could lead, so he could fight the enemies of the People of Israel. So he could unite the people of Israel. You have given us this same Spirit, your same Holy Spirit. So right now, Lord, we just give you thanks and we ask that you please renew the gift of your Spirit in each one of us. Let us always say yes to you in everything that we are and in everything that we do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”