Archive for April, 2011

An Ordinary Man

By Alison Lehman

I’m reading 1 Samuel with my LTG this month. I find much of the Old Testament interesting, so it’s easy reading. Often I find myself thinking, “You dumb Israelite’s. What is the matter with you?” It’s easy for me to say that after reading the whole story though, isn’t it?

I just finished reading in 1 Samuel 8 about Samuel getting old and the Isrealite’s wanting a king. Even though Samuel warned them that a king would be oppressive in more ways than one, they still wanted one anyway. They wanted to be like the nations around them. “You don’t know what you’re asking! What is wrong with you people?”

I continued reading in chapter 9 about Saul and his servant going out to find the lost donkeys. This chapter spoke to me in a big way because it speaks of an ordinary, everyday man ending up in extraordinary circumstances. Saul thinks he is just out to find donkeys but ends up becoming a king. God had told Samuel the day before, “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my people, Israel. He will rescue them from the Philistines, for I have looked down on my people in mercy and have heard their cry.”

When Samuel noticed Saul, God told him, “That’s the man I told you about. He will rule my people.”  Saul approaches and Samuel tells him that he and his family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes. (No pressure!) Saul’s reply is, “But I’m only from Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking to me like this?” Next thing he knows, he’s eating the finest cut of meat and having his head anointed with oil to be the leader of Israel.

Can you imagine? Isn’t that just like God, though? In our society, it’s all about power, influence, family status, education. If you look in the Bible, it’s full of stories of God using regular, ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Why do we continually get hung up on status? We often short-change ourselves and don’t dream big enough because we don’t think we fit the profile. Saul was from an “unimportant” family in the smallest tribe of Israel. Not so unimportant, was he?

I am an ordinary gal from an ordinary family who would love to sign up for something extraordinary in God’s kingdom!

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