the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“He knoweth the way that I take.”
1 Samuel 9:1-6 , 1 Samuel 9:14-21 , 1 Samuel 9:26 , 1 Samuel 9:27
1 Samuel 9:2
It would have been better had he been godly as well:
1 Samuel 9:3
A quaint writer says, “Saul’s obedience was a fit entrance upon his sovereignty. The service was homely for the son of a great nan; yet, he refuseth not to go with his fathers servant, upon so mean a search. The disobedient and scornful are good for nothing; they are neither fit to be subjects nor governors. Kish was a great man in his country, yet he disdained not to send his son Saul upon a thrifty errand; neither does Saul plead that it would disgrace him. Pride and wantonness have marred our times. Great parents count it a dishonour to employ their sons in honest labour, and their pampered children think it a shame to do anything, and so behave themselves as if they counted it a glory to be idle or wicked.”
1 Samuel 9:6
They came to the man of God about asses, and learned something concerning a kingdom, and so many go to hear preachers out of idle curiosity, but God leads them into the kingdom of his dear Son.
1 Samuel 9:19
That he did, and very much more. God’s ministers are enabled by his Spirit to lay bare men’s hearts, and then they tell them of the kingdom of heaven.
1 Samuel 9:20
Who cares for asses when a kingdom is in view? Who will regard earthly joys when heaven is to be had? How foolish are those who spend all their thoughts upon this world’s straying asses, and lose the unfading crown.
1 Samuel 9:27
This day let each of us endeavour to have a little season for thought and prayer; carrying this text in our hearts, “Stand thou still awhile, that I may show thee the word of God.”
Quit ye like men, be strong,
Fear not the foeman’s frown;
Nor suffer Satan’s deadliest blows
To beat your courage down.
The battle soon will yield,
If ye your parts fulfil:
For strong as is the hostile shield,
Your sword is stronger still.
Arise, ye saints arise!
The Lord your leader is;
The foe before his banner flies,
The victory is his.
O Sacred Spirit still
Abide with all thy saints,
If thou depart the glory’s gone,
And every warrior faints.
Vain is the outward ark,
Vain are the means of grace,
The sun is gone, the church is dark,
If thou dost hide thy face.
Depart not, gracious Lord,
Though we have griev’d thee sore
Still all thy sacred help afford,
Nor let us grieve thee more.
These idols tread beneath thy feet,
And to thyself the conquest get;
Let sin no more oppose my Lord,
Slain by thy Spirit’s two-edged sword.
Compel my soul thy sway to own;
Self-will, self-righteousness dethrone:
Let Dagon fall before thy face,
Destroyed by thine all conquering grace.
Holy and reverend is the name
Of our eternal King;
Thrice holy Lord! the angels cry;
Thrice holy! let us sing.
The deepest reverence of the mind,
Pay, O my soul! to God;
Lift, with thy hands, a holy heart,
To his sublime abode.
With sacred awe pronounce his name,
Whom words nor thoughts can reach;
A broken heart will please him more
Than noblest forms of speech.
Yes, I will bless thee, O my God!
Through all my earthly days;
And to eternity prolong
Thy vast, thy boundless praise.
Nor shall my tongue alone proclaim
The honours of my God:
My life with all its active powers,
Shall spread thy praise abroad.
Soon shall my lips in endless praise,
Their grateful tribute pay;
The theme demands an angel’s tongue,
And an eternal day.
Thy name, almighty Lord,
Shall sound through distant lands;
Great is thy grace, and sure thy word;
Thy truth for ever stands,
Far be thine honour spread,
And long thy praise endure,
Till morning light and evening shade
Shall be exchanged no more.
“They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters.”
1 Samuel 10:1 , 1 Samuel 10:17-27
1 Samuel 10:1
It has been remarked that only a vial of oil was used, and not a horn as in the case of David; this seemed to foreshadow the shortness of Saul’s reign, and his own want of the plenteous grace of God.
1 Samuel 10:17-19
This is only one form of a common evil among the Lord’s people; they cannot walk by faith pure and simple, but want some intermediate arm to lean upon; they are not spiritual enough to rest content with the invisible God. Providence is not enough for many, they must have visible treasure; neither are they satisfied with the Lord’s aid, but cry out for an arm of flesh. To such the Lord often sends that which they seek for, and it becomes a plague to them, just as Saul became rather a curse to Israel than a blessing. When we pray we ought ever to say, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt,” lest the Lord should answer us in anger, and give us the desire of our hearts to be a solemn chastisement for our presumption.
1 Samuel 10:21
He knew from what Samuel had done to him, that the lot must fall upon himself but he was modest or else fearful to undertake so weighty a business. Crowns are heavy things, and make the wearers’ heads ache full often; Saul was by no means to blame for hiding from so burdensome an honour. If men knew the trials of the great, they would cease from ambition.
1 Samuel 10:22
God knows where we are. Let us never dream of hiding from him. We are like bees in a glass hive, and all we do he observes.
1 Samuel 10:23
The kind of man to impress the populace and command respect. They might well look up to one who was taller than themselves by his head and shoulders.
1 Samuel 10:25
Saul was to be monarch under God, and to govern constitutionally. The book was the nation’s Magna Charta.
1 Samuel 10:26
They saw God’s hand in Saul’s choice, and stood by him.
1 Samuel 10:27
No man may hope to please everybody. The man whom God himself points out, is not the man for disaffected people. Saul was of good family, of noble stature, modest and unassuming, but all these things went for nothing with the malcontents. May none of us ever belong to that evil class of persons, who are always in opposition, always faultfinding, never willing to work with anybody. This is not the mind of Christ, nor the fruit of the Spirit, which is ever peaceable.
1 Samuel 10:27
This was a very sensible course of action. The man who can be quiet will defeat his enemies. Be not hasty to defend yourself, or answer slanderous tongues. Stand still, and see the salvation of God.