1 Samuel 9-12, Psalm 80
In light of our recent, very polarizing, election, the story of Israel’s first king is very applicable. In our explosive, hotly debated selection of our president, friendships have ended, people couldn’t sleep on election night, demonstrations continue, and resentment seems to never end. But does anyone stop to consider that God wasn’t biting his nails on the throne of Heaven waiting for the results in Pennsylvania to come in. He knew all along that Donald Trump was to be our next president, just like he knew that Barack Obama would be our last president.
As we see in the story of Saul, though God was to be their king, he will not overrun the people’s free will (1 Samuel 8:7, “And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them”). Though as we continue to see the story of Saul’s leadership unfold and decline, God did not set him up for failure (1 Samuel 12:14-15, “If you fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. However, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers”). Lastly, we see the response of Samuel, though old in age, he could have still led the people, continuing to pray for Saul and the people despite the the direction against God that the people chose (1 Samuel 12:23, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and right way”).
So, during this time of national turmoil, let us be a picture of those who fully put our trust in God. No leader holds the answers to save a nation, unless that leader is wholly humble and submitted before Almighty God. Every leader in every nation can either serve as an instrument for God to bless the people or become an instrument of judgment for God to curse the people. This should not surprise any of us as we have already seen in Scripture so much of what God accomplished through faithful and unfaithful leaders both in Israel and in the surrounding nations. We will continue to see these examples as we continue to read through the historical sections of Scripture. Our nation is no different than those before us, it remains to be seen whether our president serves as an instrument to bless or bring judgment down on our nation. It is our responsibility to pray for our leaders (Romans 13:1-7). May we all remember the Lord’s words to Solomon as we pray for our nation in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: