January 3, 2008
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read 1 Samuel 10:1-11:15
When the people located their new king, they celebrated. And why not? This was a glorious day. Saul was tall, strong, modest, and had the full support of his nation. From a human point of view, this was a beautiful start to a new era.
But from God's point of view, this was a sad day. His people had rejected Him as king, replacing Him with someone as impressive as a handsome film star. Unlike all those cheering people, God knew that this was not the beginning of Israel's glory days. A disaster would soon begin to happen.
Almost overnight Saul's popularity index was off the chart. He had demonstrated himself to be a brave and capable warrior, an able general, and a strong leader. When the Ammonites attacked, he acted decisively and firmly, and he did so with honor. This won the confidence of the people and earned him a great endorsement speech by Samuel. But don't forget that this story is a tragedy. This is a roofline life, and Saul has reached his peak.
Following his burst of glory, Saul's life began to unravel. He became a victim of himself: full of pride, impatience, rebellion, jealousy, and attempted murder. Over a long and painful stretch of years, he shriveled into a twisted, maniacal, pathetic figure. Eventually, he would commit suicide. Evil had begun to pour into his life like sewage flowing into a harbor, deep beneath the surface, under cover of night. No one could see it. In fact, for a long time, no one could even smell it, but slowly and ever so surely it polluted the waters of his mind and soiled his soul.
One of the chief qualities I look for in a prospective staff member or employee is modesty. I want a confident man or woman, but one who finds the job a little daunting. That tells me that he or she has a healthy view of the role we're looking to fill. It is daunting! A modest person will be more likely to rely upon the Lord to succeed and will be much less likely to fail. I am always leery of people who seek the limelight.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.