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A Promising Beginning

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2023 12:00 am

A Promising Beginning

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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June 8, 2023 12:00 am

Learn from the life of King Saul how even small acts of disobedience can keep us from accomplishing God's will.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, June 8th. Some people start out with just about everything they need to succeed, but end up suffering tragic loss.

Today on this podcast, we'll meet someone like that. So what I want to talk about, the person I want to talk about is Saul. And there are two facets to his life. And I think it's something that all of us need to examine in our own life.

And then also every father needs to think about in the life of his children. So chapter nine, verse one, there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, tells all about him. Verse two says, and he had a son whose name was Saul, a choice young man, a goodly, and there was not among the children of Israel, a goodlier person than he.

From his shoulders and upward, he was higher than any of the people. Now here's what I want you to notice. I want you to see what can happen to a young man. I want you to see the kind of man Saul is. Because one of the most heartbreaking things that I've ever had the witnesses or pastors to see this. I have seen some young men whom God has called into the ministry. I've seen some young men whom God has given other vocations to and they start out so right. They are promising.

They've got everything going for them. And it seems that everything goes along for a while. And then overnight, it seems a disintegration process begins to set in. And as a few years go by, you look back and you ask, what in the world could have happened to him? How could that effort have taken place in her life?

How could a person that was so promising, how could a person who had so much going for him, so much talent, so much ability, had everything that anybody could ever ask for, how could anyone with that kind of beginning ever turn out like this? Now I want you to listen to me carefully. Every young person sitting here, listen to what I'm saying. It matters not how you start out. It's how you end your life that really matters.

It doesn't make any difference what a tremendous beginning you have. And sometimes the easy beginning is the worst thing that could happen to you. When you've got everything going your way, everything you want is dished out to you. Life is easy. Life is sort of a life of ease and comfort and pleasures and you're making your way and somehow there is a little niche in your character back there and you never learn some basic things. It isn't how we begin. It's how we end up in life that really matters.

Here is a young man who had everything going his way. But it is one of the most tragic examples, one of the most tragic pictures of life to be found anywhere in the Bible. And so I want us to look at Saul for just a moment.

And the first thing I want you to look at here is this. Saul was a choice young man. Chapter nine. Now, beginning in verse two, he says, He had a son that is Kish, whose name was Saul. He was a choice young man. That is, when you looked around to see the young people around him, here was a fellow who stood out and above all the rest. There was something extra special about him. He had a little air about him. He had something about him that he always stood out in the crowd. And there were two reasons he stood out.

But that was one of the reasons. A choice young man. And he was goodly. And the scripture says, And there was not among the children of Israel a goodly or a better person. From all outward appearance, Saul was the kind of young man that anybody would have chosen to be king. It says that and he was from his shoulders and upward, he was higher than all the people.

So when you walked into a crowd, you could spot him. I mean, you know, from here up, he stood head and shoulders above everybody else. He must have been a good looking young man.

Lots of talent, lots of ability. He had everything going for him so that he started off right. He came out of the tribe of Benjamin. His parents must have taught him right because he had a humble spirit about him.

And you say, Well, how do you know that? Because in the ninth chapter, if you look 21st verse, Samuel had been giving him a little counsel here and telling him what was going to happen. And Saul answered in verse 21 and said, Am I not a Benjamin of the smallest of the tribes of Israel and my family, the least of all the families of the tribes of Benjamin?

Wherefore then speakest thou to me? He had a very humble spirit about him. And as a result of that, of course, God began to work in his life. But I want you to see something else about his humility. Chapter 10, verse 22.

So when they decided who was going to be king as a result of God's choice, verse 22 in chapter 10 says, Therefore they inquired of the Lord further, if the man should yet come thither. And the Lord answered, Behold, he had hid himself among the stuff. And what I want you to see is that when he knew what was going to happen, he went and hid. I mean, he was so humbling his spirit and his attitude. He went and hid.

He didn't want all of that. But Samuel had said to him, God has chosen you to be the king over Israel. So he's a choice young man. As far as his character is concerned, the scripture says he was good. Now, I want you to see how the Lord has chosen him here.

Look, if you will, beginning in chapter nine, here's what happens. Beginning in verse three, Saul and his servant, they lost some of their flock. And as a result, they are searching for them in verse six, says his servant said to him, Behold, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man. So he says there's a man of God there.

So they go on and they present him with something. Now, look in verse 15, if you will, says, Now, the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying. Then he tells him, he says, The man that you're looking for to be king, he's coming. Verse 17, When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, Behold, the man whom I spake to thee of this same shall reign over my people.

And so they get in the conversation here. And there are about 30 people at the dinner, and he chooses Saul and his servant, sits him at the head of the table among the choice people. Verse 25, And when they would come down from the high place under the city where they'd been worshiping and so forth, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house. They rose up early and it came to pass about the spring of the day that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up that I may send thee away. And Saul arose and they went out, both of them, he and Samuel abroad.

Now watch this next verse. And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us. So he said to him, I want to say something to you.

Would you let him move on before us? And he passed on, but he said to him, Stand thou still a while that I may show you the word of God. I want you to see something here. Here was the man who was a choice young man among the nation of Israel. In fact, that's what he said. He says he's the choices of the young man. Not only that, but he was chosen by God to be king. Not only that, he had to walk by his side. He had the godliest counselor in all of Israel to be his counselor. He had the man about which the Bible says that when people knew of his coming, they had a reverent fear of Samuel. God chose Saul and put by his side the very man whom God wanted to give him godly counsel. And so he had the assistance of godly counsel. Should not every father pray that for his sons and daughters? Lord, would you send someone into my son's life and my daughter's life who can give them godly counsel when they need to hear from other people what they may not be able to hear from me? And you see, every mom and dad needs to recognize this. In spite of what you and I may be before our children, there are times in their lives when God needs to send them other counselors to build and to encourage, to strengthen what you have said.

They need to hear it from someone else. More than likely, Saul's father was a good man and could have given him some good counsel. But God wanted him to have godly counsel from God's choice service. And you see, when parents do not encourage their sons and their daughters to get godly counsel, I want to tell you what you're doing. You are laying a snare in their life.

I don't believe any father or any mother are sufficient within themselves. God wants his church loving each other, interdependent upon each other, and he wants us to be counselors, godly counselors, one to the other. And so God surrounded Saul with the godliest man in all of Israel to be his counselor.

So what do we see? We see the Lord just building into his life the kind of character qualities and surrounding him with what he needs to equip him for the job that God has called him to do. Now, if you'll notice in this 10th chapter, after they had talked for a few moments, and he says on the ninth chapter, the last verse, he says, stand still a while that I may show thee the word of God.

He said, I want to tell you something in chapter 10. Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it upon his head and kissed him and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? Now, he has the responsibility as the prophet to appoint the king, and his primary responsibility is the protection of the nation of Israel.

That's his primary responsibility. Now, he has a conversation with him here, and he says, something's going to happen to you. He says the Spirit of God is going to come upon you. Now, in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit did not work like he works in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon men for acts of service and departed.

Saul had the promise of the Holy Spirit upon him. Listen, if you will, in verse six. And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, with others who are prophesying, and shall be turned into another man. Listen, the Spirit of the Lord shall come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shall be turned into another man. That is, God is going to do a very special work in your life, Saul, when the Spirit of God comes upon you. Let it be that when these signs are come unto thee, that thou doest occasion serve thee, for God is with thee. So here we have the goodliest, the finest young man of the nation of Israel, called to be the king, surrounded, equipped with the counsel, the godly counsel of Samuel, the great prophet of God. And now the Spirit of the Lord has come upon him for the service that God is calling to do. No man should launch out to serve God until he knows in his life the Spirit of God has come upon him for the work that God is calling to do. God intends to equip every single one of his servants.

If he calls you to teach, then he is there to equip you to teach, and the primary equipment is the enduement of the Spirit of God upon you. So here is God's choice servant, crowned as king, the counselor, Samuel himself, to counsel him. God has touched the hearts of a band of men who are to follow him, and here Samuel has said, Here is your man, and the people said, We accept him as the king, and Saul begins the tremendous reign as king over the nation of Israel. And so people looked up to him, and they praised him, and they followed him, and they voluntarily followed him. He's the king, and they sang, God save the king, king Saul.

He had everything going for him. And then if you recall that from the very beginning, God had said to the nation of Israel, he said, It's not God's ultimate will that you have a king, but he says, You've chosen and insisted on having one, and God has allowed it. So turn to chapter 12, if you will, because in chapter 12, Samuel sort of indicates his minister and says, Now, have I ever told you anything wrong?

Of course, they said no. So he comes on down to verse 12, and he says, And when you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, No, but a king shall reign over us when the Lord your God was your king. Now, therefore, behold, the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired, and behold, the Lord hath set a king over you. Now look at these next two verses. If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both you and also the king that reigns over you continue following the Lord your God. But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you as it was against your fathers. Now, therefore, stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes.

And so then he says to prove to you that what I'm saying is the truth and you can expect it. Verse 17, I will call unto the Lord. He shall send thunder and rain that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you've done in the sight of the Lord in asking your king.

So Samuel called the Lord and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. So here is Saul, chosen of God, equipped by God, already having the first battle behind them and all the people following. And now at this point in Saul's life, he's got to make a decision.

As he looks around him, he can never blame anybody for anything. And you see, look, if you will, in verse 13 of chapter 13. Samuel said to Saul, you've done a foolish thing.

You've not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded thee. For now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever. You know what God's intention for Saul was? God's intention for Saul was not only to raise him up and give him the place of kingship, but through him, he says, he intended to establish thy kingdom upon Israel forever. Who was Saul's son?

His most outstanding one, who was he? Jonathan. Jonathan should have been the king after him. He said he intended to establish thy kingdom forever.

So this is where he is. And here is the man who has the responsibility of leading them to obey God. Now listen, he had everything going for him because the people knew that he was God's choice. Samuel said, Saul is God's choice. That he was God's man, there was no question about that. His only responsibility was to choose to obey God and have a tremendous life of prosperity and obedience and reigning and ruling and a tremendous place in the history of humanity and the history of the nation of Israel. Man, you're talking about a promising beginning.

He had it. But I want to give you a little hint. He ended up committing suicide with 32 years of unhappy, jealous, angry, rejection, disobedience, evil, even undergoing to the very witches whom he declared a law in the land, destroy all those who are soothsayers and the witches. And he stooped from the pinnacle of kingship in absolute obedience to follow God, all the way down to cloaking himself, hiding himself and going to the witch of Endor and asking her to do something for him because he was so far from God, he said, from the pinnacle of the king to the point of his life when he said, God won't hear me anymore. Maybe a witch can get me back in touch with some godly counsel.

And I want to tell you something. There's not a person alive who is beyond that fall. Father, there may be somebody here tonight who knows in his or her heart that something is already happening. Already they feel the disintegrating forces like termites eating at their soul. Already they feel the leanness that you prophesied in the Psalms 106 when you said you gave them their request, but you sent leanness to their soul. It just might be here, Father, tonight that somebody here has chosen a life of disobedience and rebellion toward you. And they know in their heart, even as they stand here, there is a leanness in their soul. Backslidden, disintegrating, dying on the inside while they're still able to eke out a man-made effort smile on the outside.

On the inside, the crumbling process has already begun. Lord God Almighty, in Jesus' name I pray that you would bring deep conviction upon that dear soul that needs rescuing tonight. That he or she might be willing to fall on their face before you in confession and repentance before God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit be delivered this very night, reinstated, reestablished in their contact and their fellowship with you. I pray in Jesus' name, give somebody the courage, Lord God, tonight to do that.

And then somebody, Father, who is unsaved. O God, wherever they are, help them to see it's where they're going. It's where they're headed.

It's their destination. It's their point of arrival that ought to shake them into the reality that to deny God means eternal separation, means eternal, everlasting, unending separation and judgment. Lord God, speak to that heart. And Father, I pray that you would indeed put thy fear upon each one of our hearts, that we cannot be careless about our life or calloused about our life, but that each of us needs your godly counsel moment by moment and day by day. Each one of us needs your hedge of protection around us. Each one of our children needs it. Every husband, every wife, every father, every mother, every young person needs your divine hedge of protection around us.

Every single moment of our life. Lord God Almighty, give us a righteous, holy, reverent fear of thyself. And a deep, insatiable, hungering, thirsting, yearning desire to be obedient, whatever the cost. And by trust, leave all of the consequences of our obedience to you and your power.

And this I ask in Jesus' name and for his sake. Thank you for listening to A Promising Beginning. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-08 03:44:37 / 2023-06-08 03:52:37 / 8

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