I grew up in New Orleans, and there were always hosts of charlatans. I had always wanted to engage a fortune teller and ask them why they aren’t rich. After all, if they are so apt at foretelling the future, surely they should be able to predict the lottery successfully. Or the young guy who bet me $10 he could tell me where I got my shoes…” You got ‘em right there on your feet in Jackson Square, New Orleans! Now give me ten dollars!” Or what about the profound prophecies you find in a fortune cookie. “Guess what? Today, someone will give you good news!” Wow. What are you supposed to do with that overblown generalization? Give thanks to your zodiac symbol?
In today’s passage, we instead get some very specific and accurate prophecies. Three specific prophecies given to Saul, all fulfilled. What was he supposed to do with that? Clearly, it was designed to give him encouragement and assurance that the Lord was with him, and that he had the opportunity to be used by the Lord in great measure. These were not vague, over-hyped generalizations. These were explicit, clearly defined prophecies that all came true. But what did Saul do with that information? He hid when he was announced as king. Sure, there may have been an element of humility. But regardless, he could have, and should have, stepped forward in faith to lead God’s people – all his days.
What kind of assurance do we have? We actually have even more, as 2nd Peter tells us that “…we have the prophetic word made more sure” – even more sure than Saul did. Yet…we hide. I hide in my own baggage. Thanks be to God, for our Lord Jesus Christ, who took our baggage, our sins, upon Himself. Then He takes His baggage, His inheritance, and grants it to us. Thanks be to the true King of Kings, that even though government and human rulers may change, God’s passionate pursuit of His people persists.
Rev. Darol Timberlake, Assistant Pastor