Thursday, September 3, 2015

Chasing After Donkeys

O. T. #590 "Chasing after Donkeys"
September 3, 2015
1 Samuel 9
...take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.  1 Samuel 9:3b


I remember when I was a kid, watching my brother chase after our horse so we could ride her. Topsy was her name. Topsy would run all over the field to avoid the ultimate. Finally, when she was cornered in the back field of 40 acres, he would put the bridle on Topsy and ride her back to us. He was worn out after chasing that horse all over creation.

When we go chasing after donkeys in our life, what is the result? Really, does very little good come out of it? What kinds of donkeys are people chasing today-a better job, a nicer house, a good business investment, even a more attractive spouse. Yep, they just lead us down a wrong path or a road to destruction, usually.

Yet, there is always the exception. We start this chapter with a man who chasing after his father's donkeys and he ends up being told he was to be Israel's king. Who would think? (Clue: If he can't lead animals, can he lead a nation?)

Uh Huh! Those donkey of a people want a king? I'll give them a king. Boy, will they regret that request! (Well, I doubt God would have been so ugly in his thinking about Israel, although He did get angry at them at times.)

Shall we look into this chapter?This man named Kish must have been wealthy. He sent a servant with his son, Saul, to look for his straying donkeys. Donkeys kick and hee-haw when they don't want to do something. Hum, sounds like some folks I know.
Are we looking for the rebellious people, pictured as donkeys here, who have strayed from the Lord?

Saul was unable to find the donkeys, then his servant remembers a prophet of God, Samuel, lived nearby, who could inform them of the location of their donkeys. This was no mere chance, but the providence of God.

What do we know about this young man called Saul?
  • He was a head taller than the other Israelite men.
  • He was from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe of Israel.
  • He was from the family, considered the least within this tribe.
  • His father had donkeys instead of sheep.
This pedigree is given to show that Saul came from a proper and prestigious family; and from outward, physical appearances, no better choice could be made. The point made by the biblical author is that Saul is a promising choice from a human perspective, but God's permissive will is active behind the scenes.  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Saul would have been considered the tall, dark, and handsome type of guy. This is not significant when it came to God's choice of a king.

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (see 1 Sam. 16:7)

Are we careful not to consider a person's physical appearance as their most important makeup, but consider their heart, motives, character, and values? Of course, we know an onnery (ornery) person can be attractive. They can be cute on the outside, but ugly on the inside.

It is the heart of a person that is more important to God. And so it should be to us, also.
Are we concerned about where a person's soul will spend eternity?


After running here, there, and yander, the servant suggested to Saul that they consult the Seer, which was the same word in the Hebrew language as the word for Prophet (man of God). He trusted that God could reveal where those donkeys were located.

Looking at verse 6, the Prophet could show the men which way to go. Ultimately, the direction came from God.

Do we ask God which way we should go today?
In John 14:6, Jesus said that He was The Way.

In that verse, way refers to  a road, journey, custom.

Are we following Jesus' teachings for our life as He taught?
Do our customs honor Him?
Is our life journey headed where He leads us, and with the right attitude?
Are we going down the broad rod which leads to destruction or the narrow rod which leads to eternal life with Jesus?
What about our family and friends, our coworkers, those we attend church with every week-have we asked them on which road they are traveling?


Don't let the outward appearance of a person distract me, but focus on the inner person.

Let Jesus change me inside and out.

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