For The Wrong Reasons


1 Samuel 9:1-2

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. He had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders above everyone else.


The Israelites had determined that they needed a King. They had been warned about this and what it would mean for them, but they wanted to be like every other country. Because they wanted to be like very one else, God allowed them to be drawn to someone with the qualities that they found appealing. Whereas God, their loving Father, was willing to care and provide for them in return for their fidelity to the relationship, they sought out an individual who would fulfill their worldly dreams. 

We are introduced to Saul in the first two verses of 1 Samuel 9. This is the young man who is to become the very first king of Israel. He had the right pedigree; he was from a wealthy family, and he was very handsome. In fact, he was the best looking young man in the whole country. Not only was he good looking, but he was very tall. Yes, he would be an excellent specimen to become the very first king! 


Lest we immediately jump up and down and proclaim how ludicrous this is, we must also recognize that we actually fall into similar traps. As humans, we are drawn to certain people because of their physical appearance or prowess. We use the word attractive when speaking of handsome individuals, because we are attracted to them. Just this morning I read a report that the lower pitched the voice is of a CEO, the more money they make! Seems crazy, but somehow we associate power with a tall, handsome man with a deep voice. Just because someone has those physical traits doesn’t mean that they are a great leader. The Israelites were ready to make a decision based on all the wrong reasons and as a result, they missed out on much that God had to offer them. 

We find a description of the Apostle Paul in a document from the early centuries known as The Acts of Paul. Here we learn that he was short, bald and had one eyebrow. In other words, people weren’t following this man because he was physically attractive, but Paul knew that his work was to point people to Christ, and not to himself. 

Even Christians are tempted to look at things from an earthly perspective. We may not be looking for a king, but we may be tempted to look for a church that meets all of “our” needs. We are attracted to the tall church building that has the nicest and best facilities for us and our children and that looks like it’s well supported financially. Somehow we may overlook the question of discipleship, accountability and true spiritual growth and discernment that ought to be present in the community of faith. 

We may be tempted to think that we want the things of this world but we would be making decisions for all the wrong reasons. The things of this world fade, and will leave much to be desired. Looking beyond the temporal we learn to embrace the eternal where true security is to be found. 


Lord, may I not be tempted by the things of this world, but entirely depend upon you. Amen. 


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