TEXT : 1 Samuel 9:1-27
A set back according to dictionary.com is a problem, difficulty, mishap, challenge or misfortune. The truth is, everybody on earth is going through one form of challenge or the other.
Our text is a continuation of the previous chapter. Which ended with its own challenges.The elders of Israel had requested for a king:
" Now make for us a king to judge us like all the nations" (1 Samuel 8:5)
This was a fallout of the behaviour of the sons of Samuel, who did not continue in the ways of their father.Israel was going through a major setback; they had no king to rule them and you will agree with me that any country without a king will not only have internal problems, but will externally be an easy prey to their enemies.
Samuel was not happy with the fact that his sons were rejected from becoming rulers in lsrael. It was in the midst of all these crisis
We were introduced to a family- the family of Mr kish. Again we meet a new set of crisis or setback if you will. Mr Kish was introduced alongside his son Saul whom the bible referred to as a young man.
A young man in its simplest definition is a youth, a young adult or better still a youth in his early manhood stage. More often than not, people get into limelight for one of the following reasons:
-The problems they create
-The solutions they proffer
That however was not the case with the Kish family. Rather they also had a crisis situation at hand.
" And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost ( 1 Samuel 9:3)
There business was having a setback.Asses are the same thing as donkeys. They constituted a great deal of wealth because they were not only used as a means of transportation for goods and services but they are also useful in agriculture.We were not told what these particular asses were used for, neither were we told how many of them were missing. All the same, Mr kish set up a search party made up of his son Saul and a servant.
Off they went in search of the missing asses. The bible says:
" And he passed through Mount Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalisha but they found them not" ( 1 Sam 9: 4)
Saul's father had several options.
1. He could have decided to forget about the asses
2. Call for a pity party
3. Play the blame game
But no, he choose to look for a way to solve the problem.
When Saul and his Servant set off on their search of the missing asses, God did not only go with them but he was directing and ordering their footsteps ( psalm 23 and psalm 37:2) respectively. This is obvious because it was possible for Saul and his servant to follow another route
Finally probably out of exhaustion, the servant suggested that they go see the man of God.
A song writer wrote the following words " behind a frowning providence, he hides a smiling face" unknown to both the sarvant and saul, that seemingly simple suggestion was leading them into God's divine arrangement or setup.There was also the possibility for the servant to suggest that they should go back home rather, he suggested that they should go and see the man of God.Why did they not seek the face of God through another man of God before they ever started off with the search? All these may seem like mere coincidences but I do not believe that things just happen but even when they seem to just happen, God is always behind the scene, making sure that he works everything together for good to them that love him ( Rom 8:28)
And so Saul and his servant found themselves in the house of Samuel and we all know that the rest is history.
. Saul was anointed the first king of Israel
.Saul dinned with special guest
.The father's missing asses were found.
. Israel had the king they were asking for.
Everything became all put together. There was a sudden shift or change in the atmosphere. It was now time for celebration s not only in Saul's family but also in the whole of israel.
God is the one who works in the affairs of men, therefore what we consider as a setback, may just be God's way of setting us up with his ultimate purpose for us.
However, we may need to learn some of the very salient points that made Saul to move from an ordinary young man into a king.
1 . learn to obey and take simple instructions: it is interesting to note that Saul obeyed his father, Samuel and even his own servant ( who knows you never can tell where your redemption could come from)
2. Seek God's face; when faced with a crisis of any kind, it is wise and important for us to seek the face of God.
3. Let go of all blame game and pity party and look for ways of solving the problems that come your way.
At the end of the day, you never can tell what God is up to behind the scene. Because what we call a crisis or problem may just be God's divine arrangement of setting us up for his ultimate purpose.