Three signs. Three gifts.


David Roper comments on 1 Samuel 9-10, where Saul is chosen, annointed and proclaimed king of Israel:

As he leaves Samuel, God gives Saul three signs that his appointment is from him,

The first is that he will meet two people who will inform him that the animals have been found and will provide him with information which will set his heart at rest. He was anxious and concerned about the donkeys, and this information would set him free from that worry, and from all the other little things that were bothering him, so that he would be free to go about fulfilling his kingly role.

The second sign was that three men would give him bread out of their own provisions. Remember that Saul and his servant were out of bread. They didn’t even have a loaf to take to the seer when they went to Ramah. So there would be provision to meet their need.

And third, as he went to his hometown, in the face of opposition “right there In River City”, there would be a divine endowment, there would be power from God which would change him. He would be a different man. He would be able to do something for which he was not qualified by his heredity. The people later asked the question, “Who is his father? He is not a prophet, he doesn’t have the credentials of a prophet, and yet he is prophesying,” And this became a proverb In Israel Whenever they saw someone doing something inexplicable they would say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Do you see what God promised? Here was a young man who had been anointed as king over Israel, and God promised him three things. First, his peace of mind – freedom from all the little things which would keep him from being a king, information which would give him quietness of heart, which would settle him down and calm his spirit so that he would be able to occupy himself with things which were really significant – the peace of God. The second thing was daily provision, bread to meet his needs when he needed it – perhaps at the moment of extremity, but yet adequate resources in time of need. And third, a supernatural endowment, power from on high which would enable him to do things which were extraordinary, for which he was not qualified. He would become a prophet in Israel. He was well qualified for the task, but his sufficiency came not from himself but from God, “who has made us sufficient,” as Paul said. It wasn’t his size, it wasn’t his strength, it wasn’t his natural capabilities which qualified him. He was just a vessel to be filled and flooded with God, given God’s peace, God’s provision, God’s power. And God said, “Whatever you have to do, Saul, do it! whatever the occasion demands, I am with you, whether it is a small thing or a great thing.”

We too are anointed as kings. God has intended us to reign over life – over our bodies, over our passions, over our environment, over every aspect of life. And we too are given these three things. We are given the peace of God – information from God’s word and God’s Spirit which sets us at ease, gives us peaceful, quiet hearts, so that we are not being enervated and drained by thinking about all the worrisome little things that occur in our life. We are free from worrying so that we can get on with our kingly task. Secondly, we are given provision. Paul says, “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Whatever you need, there is provision for it And third, there is power, power to do the extraordinary, power to act contrary to your nature, power to face any foe – even the garrison of Philistines which is located right there in your hometown – adequate power. And God says, “Whatever you have to do, do it, and I will be with you.”

This has solved for me the problem of how to know whether or not God wants me to do something great. How do you know whether God has some small thing or some great thing in store for you? That doesn’t matter. Whatever you must do, do it, whether it is a small thing or a great thing – do it – God is with you. Perhaps today Billy Graham has to preach before fifty thousand people. He can do it In peace, In poise, and In power, because God is with him, Perhaps you have to go home and wash the dirty dishes In the sink, or go back to an unloving husband, or an unloving wife, or unruly kids, or whatever. You can do it. Whatever you have to face, you can do it, because God is with you. You have ample supply. And people will say about you, as they said about Saul, “There’s something extraordinary about that person. I can’t explain him. I just don’t understand why he acts the way he does.” Because you have a supernatural power, something which comes from God.

Now, Saul squandered his Inheritance and lost it. God forbid that we should. We can act on the basis of all that God has given us. We have everything we need in order to face any circumstances that we must face, and we can know that God is with us.

In a sermon by David Roper in 1973 at Penisula Bible Church.  Click here to read the rest of the sermon.

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