Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.” When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.” Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?” Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?” Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?” I Samuel 9:15-21 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV
Have you ever heard steel drums? They make very pleasant music. These instruments are from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, and they are not very old. The people on the island had been playing metal and bamboo drums for some time, but it was only after World War II that modern steel drums were invented. The people used discarded 55-gallon oil drums from oil refineries on the island to make their steel drums. They took what some people might have thought of as garbage and used it to make fun and happy music.
When Samuel told Saul that he was going to be the first king of Israel, Saul didn’t think it was possible. He came from the smallest tribe of Israel, and the humblest clan in his tribe. He didn’t think of himself as king material. But he was the man God had chosen. God wanted to use Saul to help the people in their struggles against the Philistines. Saul would be able to be a king and a great warrior because God chose him and would work through him.
God uses weak, ordinary people like us all the time. He sent Jesus to save us by dying for us and forgiving our sins. Saving people who don’t deserve to be saved is called grace. God takes the ordinary, sinful people he saves by grace and works through them. He has chosen us to do good works that bring honor to him. He may not have plans for us that are exciting or grand, but does have work for us to do. Whatever place he has put us in life comes with work, whether we are sons or daughters or students or friends or mothers or fathers, whether our jobs are teachers or doctors or nurses or business people or carpenters or computer programmers. God gives us work to do to help people and show his love and care. God works through us to do the things he wants to do in his world.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us your grace in Jesus and for working with us and through us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.