Becoming a “different person”…

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Scripture: Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on (Saul’s) head, and kissed him; he said, “The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around. Now this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler over his heritage… the spirit of the Lord will possess you, and you will be in a prophetic frenzy along with (other prophets) and be turned into a different person. Now when these signs meet you, do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you.”

Observation: God’s people were continually being defeated in battle due to their unfaithfulness to God – who would withdraw his support. In their hardship they would repent of their sin and God would save them. This happened over and over again. Since the whole “God is our king” arrangement didn’t appear to be working, the people asked for a human king – as neighboring nations had. God relented and chose Saul to be Israel’s first human king. But before Saul could assume this role, God had to do a work in him. God sent his Spirit into Saul, which made him into “a different person”.

Application: I’ve never served as a bishop myself, but I worked on a bishop’s staff for six years. Having seen that job up close, I know it’s a difficult one. So this past weekend, as I witnessed the installation of a new bishop for this region of the Lutheran church, I found myself praying fervently for him, for his family, and for those who will be part of his staff. As is true for many jobs, there’s really no way to understand it until you do it for a while. Yet, our passage for today reminds me that God will not call someone to do a job without giving the resources and personal wherewithal needed to complete it.

I think this is a good word for many of us today. Feeling overwhelmed? In over your head? Pray for the Lord to make you “a different person” as he did Saul. That’s what I’m doing this morning.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, let it be so. Amen.

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