Now Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah. And he said to the people of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your thousands.”
Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot; and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. So they inquired again of the Lord, “Is there a man still to come?” and the Lord said, “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace. I Samuel 10:17-27 ESV
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. II Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV
Little Sadie was supposed to say a short poem for the preschool program at her school. She knew the poem perfectly, but she was afraid to say it in front of everybody. When it was time for her to go on the stage, she hid under a table. Her mother and two teachers tried to get her to come out, but she wouldn’t. She was too shy to get up in front of so many people and say her poem.
Saul was also shy and afraid. He knew that God had chosen him to be the king, but when the time came for the people to know it, he went and hid among the baggage. God told the people through Samuel where he was, and the people had to go and pull him away from the baggage to stand in front of them. Saul knew that he didn’t have the ability to be the king of God’s people by himself, and he seemed to forget that God would be with him and help him. That’s why he hid.
Many years later, a man named Paul did some wonderful work for God. He traveled to many places and preached the good news about Jesus, and many churches were started because of him. He even did miracles and saw visions of heaven. But Paul never forgot that he couldn’t do anything by himself. God allowed him to have some kind of sickness that made him weak. He asked God three times to take the sickness away, but God let him stay sick. This helped Paul remember that it was God’s strength that worked through his own weakness.
God worked through the weakness of Jesus to save us from our sins. Jesus was put on the cross to suffer and die for us, and that’s how God saved us and brought us back to him. We are weak and sinful, and by ourselves we can’t do anything. But God is with us because of Jesus, and he forgives our sins and helps us to do what he gives us to do.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving us and helping us. Please be with us every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.