Saul looked the part of king. Israel’s Charlton Heston, a rich kid, a tall, handsome young man. “There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people” (1Samuel 9:2). He was the right man for the job, because the people were looking for a king “like all the nations” (1Samuel 8:5). Saul was a king after man’s heart.
It is not on the outside what makes the man, however, and though Saul looked the part, he proved a coward. The signs were evident early, had the people looked. “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage” (1Samuel 10:22). Courage is not the absence of fear, so Saul might be excused for cowering at the start. We, too, hide ourselves among the baggage. We have our excuses. “I’m really not sure I can do that”; but God responds, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2Corinthians 12:9). We point out others more qualified. “On the contrary,” says God, “the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (1Corinthians 12:22). We have this other obligation at the moment, but when it’s over, call me. A disciple tried that one, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” His dad wasn’t dead; he just wanted to wait until he was. Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead” (Matthew 8:21-22). “Sports! Band! The job! Homework! Laundry! Life!” We hide in the baggage. “Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them” (Matthew 13:7-8).
Courage is not the absence of fear; it is doing the right thing no matter, answering the call, responding despite our fear, and Saul never rose to the task. Saul could stand tall, taller than any in Israel; but he didn’t.
What a wonderful Creator. I look around at the world, the skies and the land, filled with marvelous works of Your hand. I cannot help but stop and marvel.
Then I read, “Let us make man in our own image, male and female. Let them rule over land and sea and air.” God, I pray that I rule well the kingdom you put in front of me. I pray that I display Your wisdom in all I say and do.
God, I am willing and I need Your help.