Today’s reading: I Samuel 13-14; Luke 14:1-24
14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” I Samuel 13:14
11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11
Humility is a quality which God looks for in a person who is “after his own heart.” Saul was a negative example of this truth which Jesus emphasized in His teaching.
Saul had early success as king and military commander, but it did not last long. He knew he was supposed to wait for Samuel to meet him on the battlefield. He knew he was not to offer sacrifices, a responsibility reserved for priests. He knew but he rationalized that it was more important to take matters in his own hands and avert a loss in battle than to trust God to work despite the circumstances.
It cost Saul his kingdom to offer the sacrifices. His days were numbered and he would not have a son sitting on the throne. God had a man after His own heart who would sit on Saul’s throne. Saul lacked humility and trust in God and paid dearly for his arrogance. In a short while he had gone from a frightened, self-deprecating nobody to a proud, self-righteous tyrant. Promotion can be disastrous to one’s humility.
Jesus made a number of observations at the dinner he attended. These observations served to provide a context for His teaching. He saw the pride and jockeying of the guests for the best seats at the meal. He told them to take the lowest seats to avoid possible embarrassment later on when they might be asked to give up their seats to more distinguished guests. He also told them to apply humility in inviting guests, not seeking to be repaid for their invitation. He mentioned being repaid at the resurrection of the just (v. 14). The point is that God has invited people to His banquet and been rejected. The Lord then invites those who were sick or even non-Jews because God does not honor those who exalt themselves but those who humble themselves, those who have nothing to offer.
If we would be godly, we must seek to grow in humility. Seek not the status and honors afforded by society, but, instead, seek to walk humbly before God, to be after His heart. Who’s on your guest list?