I Samuel 9

“There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. ” I Sam. 9: 1-2

Sounds like a catch! Rich, handsome, tall, from a humble tribe… The kind of man that folks just want to follow. The kind of man folks pick to lead them. The kind of man sent to find the lost animals. What?

Yep, Saul’s rich father sent Saul across the countryside to find the lost donkeys. Of course, this was before he was king. So along with his servant, he traipses high and low, to find the donkeys.

We can see some of Saul’s early character in this search and rescue mission. First of all, he went. I would think that someone other than the son of the wealthy man could search for the donkeys. But we see no complaint from Saul. Then we see that he really searched. Through one land and then another and another. He was diligent. He was not easily distracted. Third, we see his concern for his father as the search was continuing (although, I think the lack of bread mentioned later in the passage might’ve had more to do with his desire to return home 🙂 ) that his father might begin to worry about him. Fourth, we see that he was kind and attentive with his servant. His servant felt some confidence in suggesting a different plan than Saul proposed. And Saul was all ears. He listened, considered the situation, asked for advice, and followed the advice of the servant.

So they went to Samuel. Of course, this was all pre-ordained by mighty God. Samuel was expecting Saul and prepared to obey God. And what did God say was Saul’s purpose as king? To restrain the people of Israel. It looks like the leadership was intended to be more of a blockade to the stubborn people of Israel.

Anyway, a couple of final observations in this interaction with Samuel. One is that Saul was humble. When Samuel showed him favor, Saul was confused because of his humble origins. The last is that Samuel says that he would tell Saul all that was on Saul’s mind the next day. What kind of things were on his mind? I thought he went to Samuel to find the donkeys and Samuel already told him about the donkeys. Was Saul beginning to speculate as to the nature of Samuel’s words to him? Did he have other concerns that were unspoken yet known by Samuel? I don’t know. Sorry. I do see that Samuel is going to tell Saul the word of God. Saul sent the servant home at Samuel’s request and chapter 10 might bring some answers.

Morning Coffee…

“One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.

On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.

They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.”

Psalm 145:4-7

The Book Sale – Desiring God


Keeping in mind that I am a stay-at-home mom and growing believer who has been blessed by my own reading of these books and blessed by my husband’s reading of these books, I humbly offer the following:

My recommendations for the sale of the year:

1. Desiring God (of course) at this price the flagship book of the radical movement of Christian Hedonism is a must-read for all! (and truly at any price it’s a must-read, but there’s no excuse now, is there?)

2. The Pleasures of God. John Piper said the Pleasures of God should actually come before Desiring God but ‘the child is father of the man’ and promises ‘that we will be most satisfied in God’ when we know why God himself is most satisfied in God. It is the ‘unimaginably good news that God delights fully in being God.’ One other thing I love about this book are the notes at the end of each chapter. John Piper was note-happy while writing this and I am glad!

3. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. This book is essential reading and has been since it was born. The essays are focused and discerned and I personally appreciated all they offered. Again, the appendix section is part of the treasure of this book.

4. Don’t Waste your Life. We’ve bought a lot of these books during special sales and we give them away like mad! They are perspective-altering for the good!

5. Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. This book is compiled and written by John Piper and Justin Taylor, based on the 2005 National Conference. I had the great joy of attending the conference and know that you will be blessed if you read the book.

6. Beyond the Bounds. I haven’t read this book, but I have wanted to ever since the 2005 National Conference where I heard a superb sermon by Mark Talbot on Open Theism (click here and scroll to the bottom to listen to his sermon.) I really want this book!

7. Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God. This was a book that I truly enjoyed reading. I’ll be reading the Helen Roseveare chapter again before going to Minneapolis in Sept. for this year’s conference. Very inspiring.

What are you getting???


Al reminded me of

8. Let the Nations be Glad – offering a God-centered view of missions!

Morning Coffee…

“…but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,
whom he appointed the heir of all things,
through whom also he created the world.

He is the radiance of the glory of God

and the exact imprint of his nature,
and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

After making purification for sins,

he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
having become as much superior to angels as
the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

Hebrews 1:2-4

Don’t miss this!

From Desiring God:

Every book in our store will be $5 on June 27-28, Wednesday and Thursday next week.
No limits, so spread the word.
(This sale is online only.)

$5 Book Sale

How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
‘Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary rest.

Dear Name! the Rock on which I build
My Shield and Hiding-place;
My never-failing Treasury fill’d
With boundless stores of grace.

By Thee my prayers acceptance gain,
Although with sin defiled;
Satan accuses me in vain,
And I am own’d a child.

Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,
My Prophet, Priest, and King;
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I’ll praise Thee as I ought.

Till then I would Thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath;
And may the music of Thy Name
Refresh my soul in death!”

Some excerpts from the very excellent biography given by John Piper, entitled, John Newton: The Tough Roots of His Habitual Tenderness . I strongly recommend you click the link to listen to or read this intimate biography of a well-known man.

“Newton’s tenderness touched individuals as well as groups. The most remarkable instance of this was, of course, William Cowper, the mentally-ill poet and hymn writer who came to live in Olney during 12 of Newton’s 16 years there. Newton took Cowper into his home for five months during one season and 14 months during another when he was so depressed it was hard for him to function alone. In fact, Richard Cecil said that over Newton’s whole lifetime, “His house was an asylum for the perplexed or afflicted.” Newton says of Cowper’s stay: “For nearly 12 years we were seldom separated for seven hours at a time, when we were awake, and at home: the first six I passed daily admiring and aiming to imitate him: during the second six, I walked pensively with him in the valley of the shadow of death.”

When Cowper’s brother died in 1770, Newton resolved to help him by collaborating with him in writing hymns for the church. These came to be known as “The Olney Hymns.” But soon Cowper was emotionally unable to carry through his part of the plan. Newton pressed on writing one hymn a week without Cowper until there were well over 300. Sixty-seven are attributed to William Cowper. The last hymn that Cowper composed for the Olney Hymns was “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” which he entitled “Light Shining out of Darkness.” The next day, in January 1773, he sank into the blackest depression and never went to hear Newton preach again.”

And John Piper reads Newton’s own words of his description of the believer:

“And his faith upholds him under all trials, by assuring him, that every dispensation is under the direction of his Lord; that chastisements are a token of his love; that the season, measure, and continuance of his sufferings, are appointed by Infinite Wisdom, and designed to work for his everlasting good; and that grace and strength shall be afforded him, according to his day.”

From the grave of John Newton: