1 SAMUEL 9: RANDOM ACTS OF FATE
When our Michael passed away suddenly, unexpectedly, and without a medical reason why, we encountered a series of “supernatural coincidences” in the days that followed. Every day, we seemed to come across what we later called “breadcrumbs” – morsels of information that we could “consume” and feed on. These seemed to strengthen us for another few steps on our journey to recovery and I wrote about them in my first book Breadcrumbs in the Storm.
Having personally experienced the number of so-called “random coincidences” (that as a collective whole, defied the law of probability), I’m confident that my Divine Creator not only exists, but He’s actively and intimately involved in what’s going on around me. If Shakespeare was right and “All the world’s a stage while we are merely players…” then several other things are also true. Someone set the stage up to begin with; someone has written/ writing/recording the play; there’s an overall director and stage manager; and we all have a part. Even if it doesn’t seem to be a significant part to us, we’ve all been carefully designed cell-by-cell for our role. History is unfolding as we speak, and the Creator God is the Author of HIStory in us.
So then, just as yesterday’s Breadcrumb wasn’t at all about Samuel getting old and his son’s being incompetent – but rather about a nation rejecting the leadership of their Creator in varying ways for almost two centuries – today’s chapter isn’t about finding lost donkeys. [v3] That being so, the first thing I notice is the level of detail in the stage scene.
The all-knowing (Omniscient) Creator God knows everyone and, who they’re related to! But amazing as that is, a 21st Century housewife can not just know that a guy called Saul existed more than three millenniums ago, but what he was like and how tall he was! [v2] If that’s not crazy enough, I also know his father’s name, his grand-father’s name, his great-grandfather’s name, his great-great grandfather and his great-great-great Grandfather! [v1] At a time in history where we have to employ ancestry search websites or, trawl through registry office archives to dredge up lost information about our immediate past, it’s utterly crazy that this level of detail, from more than three millenniums ago (about a family who were the least of the least [v21] in a tiny nation of questionable global influence), can be handed down to me so freely and so accurately today, without having to go to archives to obtain it!
So, before we get off the starting blocks, if the opening sentence of today’s chapter doesn’t tell you that there’s an intelligent person keeping a record[a] of what’s behind our so-called random acts of fate, then you’re a hard nut to crack! As for me, and even more so after powerfully encountering our own Breadcrumbs, I can’t not believe in the Master Weaver’s Plan.
It’s clear from what Samuel said [v15] and what he had documented in yesterday’s Breadcrumb[b], that the Creator God was on the move. He was using the lost donkeys as a means of getting Saul mobile. We have a saying that a ship at sea is easier to turn than one in port, with its engines idle. Once out and under way, Father God then allowed Saul to eventually get so frustrated, that he’d have nowhere else to turn but to the Master Weaver for help: “…let us go and enquire of the Lord…” [v3-6]
And so, the second thing I noticed about today’s chapter, is that not only does the omniscient Creator God know every detail, He has a plan and wants us to come to Him for information and help. Had Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, understood that their Creator is the source of all knowledge and wisdom on every matter[c], Saul wouldn’t have been estranged from his Maker and in need of an intermediary, Samuel. [v6] But there’s still more things woven into the fabric of today’s chapter…
Saul’s immediate thought was that he’d have to pay the “man of God” for the information they needed. [v7-10] The prophet was a “seer” – someone who could see God’s plans or “see” things in their spirit.[d] They see information that wouldn’t otherwise be evident by natural means. The spiritual gift is called Words of Knowledge.[e] Unfortunately, they can be treated like a fortune teller – being paid for their prophecies and, worse, profiteering from their spiritual gift – a thing that should never be. Armed now with 3 grams of silver which, at today’s rate, is less than GBP£1.20, Saul and his servant think they can buy a favour from the Living God.
I don’t know why humans think we need to pay for God’s Grace. It seems to be ingrained in us, even today, that nothing’s free and that it’s wise to pay in order to ensure that you’re kept “obligation-free”. But when it comes to accessing the riches of the Creator God, we’re to come as we are – as a child comes to their father for help. Then allowing the Creator God the lead, in the same way that a father may come up with something that you never thought of asking for.
Yet I notice that neither the Creator nor Samuel are at all interested in waiting to be paid first. Quite the opposite, Saul was ushered without too much explanation [v18-19] to the head of the table and given a whole thigh (probably of a cow, goat or sheep) that would have been way over-the-top for anyone to receive and consume. [v22-23] Long before any discussion took place over whether the meagre £1.20 payment would be at all enough to buy information, Father God had Samuel plan a party especially in honour of Saul with food set aside in advance until the appointed time. [v24]
While our lives are lived out on the ground, the Creator God is transcendent – He resides above our story in HIStory. Like all of us, Saul was dealing with the narrow issue in front of him that day, but his Maker was looking at the future of a nation, the process for declaring the next king, and evaluating the qualifications for royal service. Many people today describe themselves as a practical, down-to-earth, feet-on-solid-ground type of person – not a “faith person”. They process what’s in front of them at a ground floor level – on a physical level – through coincidence. However, it takes faith to believe in this sort of random fate.
Through more than five decades of life experiences on every continent on earth, I’ve become confident that what I encounter is never a random act of fate. With the Creator God involved, and an issue or problem arises, a decision is to be made or a hurdle is to be crossed, it’s almost certainly never about what I’m looking at. Saul went looking for donkeys but before the day was out, his was drawn onto centre stage with the greatest role in the world longest running drama. [v25-27] Saul was to become Crown Prince over the Creator God’s people and he was to deliver them from their enemies. [v16]
Today’s chapter may seem like a random incident more than three millenniums ago, with nothing to do with my life today. But I see my Creator God in control. He’s someone who sits above the earth and therefore able to tell me what’s around the next corner. He transcends my concept of time (resides outside time) and can tell me what’s next. Saul wasn’t qualified for the impossible task ahead of him. He came with no standing within his community and no titles. And, though I’m not “entitled”, still God calls me His child. Although He doesn’t need me in HIStory, somehow my Father and Maker wants me involved, and this is what frees me to open my hands and give Him control….
CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”
[a] Daniel 7:10
[b] 1 Samuel 8:7-9
[c] Genesis c3
[d] 2 Kings 5:26
[e] Numbers 24:15-16 and 1 Corinthians 13:2