Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
We all have choices to make in life: decisions about how we will adjust to what happens to us and attitude modifications as our faith gets stretched. For most of us these come in the form of negative, painful life experiences. For a few, though, like Saul, it comes through very good things happening.
Saul’s only claim to fame was that he was tall and good-looking, so everyone thought he would make a good king. But Samuel was a shy introvert, insecure and fearful of the spotlight. That’s why he hid when they wanted to make him king. We all know his story, how he was impatient and disobedient and eventually lost his life and his throne because of not obeying God. Instead of trusting God when he found himself in an rough place, outside his comfort zone, and asking God to help him rule the people, he let his fear and insecurity control him.
Thus his whole focus was on protecting himself, keeping control of his power, watching out for anyone who may have been a threat to him and reacting instead of acting. Envy, jealousy and manipulation characterized his life. Some times he would turn to God’s prophets for guidance, but more often he would turn to pagan gods for help. What a sad waste of a life.
So why did God choose him to be king? God wanted to show the people that judging a person solely by their outward appearance is wrong. God also wants to teach Saul that He could be trusted to be there for Saul and to help him rule as God wanted him to. Sadly, neither Saul nor the people learned their lesson.
1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”
Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Psalms 23:1-5, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
- How often do you form opinions of someone by their appearance and your first impression of their personality? How often have you been wrong about the person when doing so?
- When are you most guilty of judging someone by outward appearances?
- How do you respond when put in a situation that is outside your comfort zone?
- How sensitive are you to criticism? How often do you find yourself jealous or envious?
- Ask God to help you see today’s challenges as opportunities to trust Him for your needs.
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on April 19, 2009