Breaking Bad (Part II)
How God Works Through Our Bad Days
Lessons in 1 Samuel 8 & 9
In 1 Samuel 9, we meet a man named Saul and Saul was having a bad day. His father’s donkeys had wandered off and he had been charged with finding them and bringing them home.
“So Saul took one of the servants and traveled through the hill country of Ephraim, the land of Shalishah, the Shaalim area, and the entire land of Benjamin, but they couldn’t find the donkeys anywhere.” (1 Samuel 9:4)
I’m sure it’s not how Saul wanted to spend the next 2-3 days, trying to track down his family’s lost donkeys through four different lands/areas. Have you had a day like this, where some problem arises and all of a sudden the entire day (or several) is spent trying to solve it? We all have these days, when it seems like the only thing in front of us is our problem. It can be draining on our spirits.
“Finally, they entered the region of Zuph, and Saul said to his servant, ‘Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!’” (1 Samuel 9:5)
Above is a map of what Saul’s search may have looked like. It was a 2-3 day trek over many miles and he and the servant had been gone so long that Saul knew his father would start to worry more about them than the donkeys. But Saul’s servant knew of a man of God nearby and he suggested that they ask him where the donkeys were. So Saul and his servant entered the town and were told where they could find God’s prophet.
“So they entered the town, and as they passed through the gates, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the place of worship.” (1 Samuel 9:14)
Now, remember from Monday’s post, the people had asked Samuel to give them a king and God gave the people a warning against this bad choice. The people, in spite of God’s warning said, “Even so, we still want a king” (1 Samuel 8:19) so God permitted it, telling Samuel, “Do as they say, and give them a king” (1 Samuel 8:22).
“Now the Lord had told Samuel the previous day, ‘About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my people, Israel. He will rescue them from the Philistines, for I have looked down on my people in mercy and have heard their cry.’
When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said, ‘That’s the man I told you about! He will rule my people.’” (1 Samuel 9:15-17)
Saul’s bad day was about to change in a big way. He started with a problem, one that had taken him a long time and a long way to try to solve and he still had no resolution. But God was working through Saul’s bad day to bring about His perfect plan.
“‘And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes.’
Saul replied, ‘But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?’” (1 Samuel 9:20-21)
Throughout Scripture we see God use “the least.” Saul started with a problem, one that took him three days and a long way to try to solve, but God was working through Saul’s bad day and he was about to become the anointed king of Israel (1 Samuel 10:1). Don’t let a bad day get you down, even if it lasts several days. Trust that God is working through your bad day and keep your eyes, heart, and mind always focused on Him.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.