Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today
NL Daily Devotion for Friday, October 19, 2018
by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff
I’m a sign seeker. It’s not a popular thing to say, I’ll admit. Sounds a little… alternative spirituality-ish. But when I break it down, many of us are sign-seekers without even realizing it.
Think about it — you’re buying a house (or a car, or some other monstrously expensive item), and the process is going wonderfully well — no delays, no barriers, just bing, bang, boom, and you’re in your new home. You think to yourself, everything went so smoothly, God must really want us in this home. Sign sought. Sign seen.
How about this — you’re looking for a new doctor to take care of that thing you don’t wanna talk about. First, you’re put on hold for 45 minutes, just to get the first available appointment, which is 2 months out. Then when you finally get in to see the doctor, you can’t find a single place to park, and when you get in, they’ve had some medical emergency that needed tending and they have to reschedule you. Another 2 weeks out. You think to yourself, nothing’s going right. God must not want me to see this particular doctor. Sign sought. Sign seen.
When Saul was anointed king, there had never been a king over Israel before. It was almost like a made-up position for Israel. It would be like deciding in your living room one day that you want to be crowned Grand Pubah over the world, and having your financial adviser “anoint” you and call if official. How on earth would you convince the world that you were now Grand Pubah and the world had to do whatever you say?
You seek signs. And you tell the world to watch for signs, too. Saul did just that. Samuel told him exactly what the signs would be, and they would include some pretty public displays of “prophetic frenzy.” Any sign-seeker would observe Saul’s insanity and recognize it as a sign from God.
Yep, God works in weird and wonderful ways. What do you have going on in your life that begs a sign from God?
Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:
1 Samuel 9:27—10:8
As they were going down to the outskirts of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the boy to go on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.”
Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him; he said, “The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around. Now this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you ruler over his heritage: When you depart from me today you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has stopped worrying about them and is worrying about you, saying: What shall I do about my son?’ Then you shall go on from there further and come to the oak of Tabor; three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. They will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from them. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, at the place where the Philistine garrison is; there, as you come to the town, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the shrine with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre playing in front of them; they will be in a prophetic frenzy. Then the spirit of the Lord will possess you, and you will be in a prophetic frenzy along with them and be turned into a different person. Now when these signs meet you, do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you. And you shall go down to Gilgal ahead of me; then I will come down to you to present burnt offerings and offer sacrifices of well-being. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”