Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the young men with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.” And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.
When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, let us go back, lest my father cease to care about the donkeys and become anxious about us.” But he said to him, “Behold, there is a man of God in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes true. So now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us the way we should go.” Then Saul said to his servant, “But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?” The servant answered Saul again, “Here, I have with me a quarter of a shekel of silver, and I will give it to the man of God to tell us our way.” (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let us go to the seer,” for today’s “prophet” was formerly called a seer.) And Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was. I Samuel 9:3-10 ESV
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation! Psalm 27:7-9 ESV
One April an unexpected blizzard came to the town of DeSmet in South Dakota. The Ingalls family were safe on their homestead, but when the blizzard was over Pa went to town and heard the sad news that two men had died in the blizzard. They had just come from the east on a train and were walking in their spring clothes when the blizzard struck. After the storm they were found frozen to death beside a haystack. What was sad about that was that if they had known better, they could have dug into the haystack and kept each other warm until the blizzard was over. Their help was near them, but they didn’t know the haystack could have saved their lives.
Saul had the problem of not being able to find his father’s donkeys, and he didn’t know that there was anywhere he could turn for help even though help was very near. Samuel had been God’s prophet in Israel for many years, and the people had long known that Samuel was a man of God. Saul’s servant knew that Samuel would be able to help them, but Saul hadn’t even heard of Samuel. Saul doesn’t seem to have been interested in knowing God’s will and ways.
God’s last and greatest prophet is Jesus, and we can always turn to Jesus for help in knowing God’s will. Jesus is always ready to hear our prayers and to help us. His Word, the Bible, is with us to help us know God. The most important thing we can know about God’s will is that Jesus not only teaches us what God wants, but also followed God’s will to save us. God’s plan was for Jesus to be our Savior and to die for us so that we could be close to God always. In Jesus, God is always near us to love us and help us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being near us and ready to hear our prayers and to help us. Amen.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls Little Town on the Prairie New York: Harper and Brothers, 1941.