Is Saul also among the prophets?
1 Samuel 19:23,23
"23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Good morning. It is good to meet you here at the Tongkyo Center. And I thank you for your prayer support for the Lord's world mission. One brother whom I had helped got married. I officiated the wedding yesterday and I am attending the worship service today.
On the way to Korea, in an airplane I had prepared a brief mission report based on Acts 19:20, but during early morning prayer today I received a word from 1 Samuel and I would like to share it with you.
As I see this generation is the generation where people like Saul gain upper hands. Is it not the generation where people like David are among the fugitives?
Then what should we do? I believe we can find the answer in the proverb saying, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" What is the answer? I want to say two things.
First, we should enhance our spirituality.
"Is Saul also among the prophets?" This is a cynical expression. In modern terminology it is as good as one of us believers saying, "Can a gang-banger like Jungun Kim of N. Korea be changed? Can he be a Jesus' witness, so he could even go out as a missionary to one of the muslim nations?" or "Can young donkeys like Psy the Korean singer be trained as one of the excellent disciples of Jesus and serve the Lord as a gospel worker for Jesus's name sake??"
"Is Saul also among the prophets?" Please pay attention to the word, "also". It carries a pessimistic and fatalistic undertone. It reflects the unbelief that was prevailing in the minds of the commoners of Samuel's time. But I think the leaders of Samuel's day missed the message the Lord intended to convey.
Consider why God caused this to happen. Of course the immediate answer was to protect David. But why did God protect David this way? So the message for us lies in the way in which He protected young David. Children learn from the father not only what he does but also how he does. And when they do not learn how he does what he does they cannot bear fruit at all. People of Saul/Samuel/David's day did not learn how. They only saw what. They saw God keeping Saul from harming. Then their minds became dull again. In their cynicism they said, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" Then that was it. They did not learn anything. Their spirituality remained at the bottom. They were still ruled by the spirit of pessimism. In the spirit of fatalism they did not rise from the swarms of despair. In their unspiritual mind, they still lived like a crocodile living in the marsh of African jungle.
But the message is that when God's Spirit works all can change. But in Him there is no pessimism or fatalism. Nothing is impossible with God; all things are possible with God. If God works, great things can happen. Even people like Kim Jungun who is like a blind donkey can be changed and used as a missionary for heathen nations such as Iran or Iraq. How? "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit." Zec 4:6 When God works, a wild person, as wild as Psy, full of youthful energy, could be changed into a servant of the gospel.
Therefore, we need to get into the power of God's Spirit. Let's cut back on worldly things like watching TV; let us devote ourselves to the fellowship with God.
Spirituality comes from faith. Let's repent of pessimistic and fatalistic thoughts on the people of our generation.
Look at 19:24a. Saul prophesied in Samuel's presence. There are many Sauls running around on the Hongik university campus. Let's pray that God may raise numerous Samuels in Dongkyo center. I came from the west coast of U.S. Just as there are many Sauls in Korea, there are tons of Sauls roaming around on the U.S. college campuses. Please pray for us as well.
Second, if we neglect our spirituality, we will all perish.
Saul's will gobble us all. And you perish and I perish. You go down, and I go down. And all go down
Look at 19:24 b. "He lay naked all that day and all that night".
In the Bible, three people went naked and prophesized - Saul Prophet Micha (Mc 1:8) and Prophet Isaiah (Is 20:2-4).
Isaiah's case is proverbial. The Lord said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot. Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years,..... so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot...." In view of 20:2, 4, it appears that Isaiah went around naked even without wearing his underwear.
What would you think of me if I walk around here at the center during the sunday worship not wearing any clothes even underwear? There are many sisters seated on this side. What would they think of me? But Isaiah did it. He obeyed God's command.
Then why did God let him do that? Or what message is there to learn from Saul lying down naked all day long? I gave you answer already. Isaiah 20:3a reads, "Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush," Let's read verse 4 as well. "[S]o the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame".
Here think about the words "captives" and "shame". Nowadays Koreans are resentful over Japanese politicians for the newly elected Japanese prime minister is in denial of the history of foreign invasion, for during the 36 years of Japanese occupation Koreans lived as slaves to Japanese masters. And no one single Korean like to live as a slave.
And no one wants to be ashamed. All want to expose their proud points; no one wants to see their shameful sides exposed. How would you like if someone who knows all the shameful things you have done come and expose all of your shameful things for all to see?
"He lay naked all that day and all that night." Saul lying naked all day and all night (24 hours) is the prefigure of the condition of the eternal death in the eternal hell for all who do not believe, just as Jesus said, "[there in hell] the worms that eat t hem do not die, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:48
So let's pray that we would gain power in His Spirit and turn Sauls of our generation into Davids.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone