Stop Your Caterwauling

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. (1 Samuel 16:1-5)

Sometimes you’ve just got to let go of an issue. Samuel liked Saul and didn’t like what had happened with him. He hoped that there was some way of fixing the situation, restoring the relationship, getting God and Saul back together. But it was too late for that and God told Samuel to let it go. It was time to find Saul’s replacement.

Which of course raised a new concern for Samuel: Saul was the king, still, regardless of God’s pronouncements against him, and Samuel knew that Saul would kill him as a traitor if he went and anointed someone else to take his place. God reassured Samuel, however, and told him how to keep the plan hidden from Saul. Like a general misleading the enemy, or a quarterback misleading the opposing team, so God told Samuel how to mislead Saul and get the job done that he needed to do.

If God has given us something to do, then it isn’t impossible for us to do it. If God wants it to get done, then it will get done. No one can thwart God—or us, if we’re doing what God wants from us.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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