Samuel said to all the people, “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.” Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship…Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes. Saul also went to his home in Gibeah accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched. But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent… The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that said, “Shall Saul reign over us??” Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death. But Saul said, “no one will be put to death today, for this day the LORD has rescued Israel.” I Samuel 10:24-27, 11:12-13.
Saul had been appointed king under divine directives. The whole nation rejoiced and wished him success with shouts of “long live the king.” It was both a solemn divine moment and an occasion of great pride for Israel. God’s hand was obviously on king Saul, attested to by the fact that “Saul also went home accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.” It doesn’t get any better than that: appointed by God, accepted by the entire nation and privately surrounded by a God-appointed select group of advisers.
But the wickedness of the human heart was not entirely missing on that glorious day. In spite of the obvious hand of God on the events of the day, there were some who showed contempt and total disrespect for the king. They called the king a “fellow” who had no ability to save the nation. They also despised or hated him. The Bible describes them as scoundrels. A scoundrel is a “mean, immoral or wicked person.” The interesting thing is that Saul had done absolutely nothing wrong against them. There was no justification for their hatred. Saul handled the situation with admirable godliness. He kept silent and later spared their lives when others urged that they be put to death. Saul chose to focus on the goodness of God to Israel.
Lesson: No matter how godly you live your life, you will always have people who will rise against you and despise you for absolutely no reason. That is part of our human existence due to our fallen nature. If you take those attacks personal, you will pollute your heart, lose focus, and get distracted from your divine assignment. King Saul set a wonderful example by keeping silent, sparing the lives of those who despised him and focusing on the good things God had done. Jesus, our sinless and righteous Lord, was hated and killed for no reason. He simply asked the Father to forgive His detractors. If you and I are to remain focused and accomplish our divine assignments, then we must learn not to take unjustified attacks personally! Try it for peace!
Prayer: Father, please help me to follow the example of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Help me to focus on the good things you are doing through my life and not to be distracted by any attacks against me. Amen.