When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot…Finally, Saul, son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. So they inquired of the LORD, “Has the man come here yet?” And the LORD said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.” They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people, he was a head taller than any of the others.
Samuel said, “Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” Then the people shouted, “Long live the king.”…Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their homes…But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts.-I Samuel 10:20-27
My children and I normally discuss the daily devotional as I drive them to school in the morning. I would always ask them the same question: “What’s your take on the story?”
As we discussed this passage a couple of days ago, I was struck by their insights. I followed up with another question: “How do you deal with opposition?” Their answers prompted me to reflect over that question myself.
Israel was anxious to have a king. So anxious that they ignored God’s blatant warnings of the repercussions of having a king and insisted on one. Our incomprehensibly gracious God gave them a king. Saul, the chosen king was so humble that he refused to be recognized. He went and hid himself. But God had him brought out. Saul stood a head taller than all the people. His physical stature was impressive. Samuel, the prophet validated the choice of Saul with the words: “Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him.”
So, here was a man who was physically impressive for the office and spiritually validated as God’s choice by the revered prophet Samuel. The people were supportive and shouted, “long live the king.” Who could fault or oppose this choice? Nonetheless, some scoundrels despised and opposed him saying, “How can this fellow save us?” They questioned God’s choice!
It is easy to assume that because God gave you your appointment, job, position or ministry, everyone should happily be supportive. But that is far from the truth! That is life in dreamland!
Question: How should you respond when you face opposition in spite of the fact that God has appointed and put you where you are? Let me make a few suggestions.
First: Do not react by attacking those who oppose you. You will only fall into their trap.
Second: Look up to the God who appointed you. He is your greatest source of strength.
Third: Allow the love of God’s Spirit to flood your heart as you deal with those who oppose you because the power of love is unstoppable. Love and forgiveness are potent “weapons.”
Four: Ignore negativity and be grateful for the good and supportive people God has given you.
Prayer: Father, I thank you that in spite of every resistance and opposition, I can stand strong and victorious because my help comes from you. Thank you also for supportive people. Amen.