Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

So They Despised Him!

1 Samuel 10:26-27 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched. But some rebels said, "How can this man save us?" So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

I remember what it was like to be chosen last for teams in gym class. I remember the disdain people had for those of us who worked for our meals in the cafeteria. Everyone wants to be popular. We want to be the cheerleader everyone looks up to, the quarterback everyone envies, or the homecoming king or queen. We want to be accepted and popular. It hurts to be bullied and rejected and treated like scum. Yet, that is just what happened to Saul and that is what happened to the Lord.

But sometimes people are dead wrong about whom they want on their teams and as their friends. I remember surprising the leaders in gym class by beating some of the best athletes in my class in the 50 yard dash. I remember people wanting to be my friend in the cafeteria when they realized that my job was not busing trays and cleaning dishes but selling candy at the candy counter. I had a “professional” job where I could meet and talk to all the students as they left the cafeteria.

The Bible says that we are all like sheep, led astray by those deceived by Satan who is really our adversary. We accept those who are evil and reject those who are good because of our prejudices and because of our own desire to be accepted. We judge people based on appearance. God knows the heart.

Saul was chosen by God to be the first King of Israel. Some say he was the people’s choice, and he was the wrong choice. But my Bible says that He was God’s choice. 1 Samuel 10:24 says, “And Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?’ " Now he may have been the Lord’s choice because the Lord wanted to teach the people a lesson. But the people had wanted a king and now the Lord had chosen a man to be their king and some of the rebels didn’t like it. After all, Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin and that tribe was almost wiped out by the other Israelite’s because of the immorality in the tribe (See Judges 20 and 21). Surely, they must have thought that it would be improper for a man from Benjamin to rule over them.

The Lord
The Lord Jesus was also God’s choice. He was born of a virgin, born in the right place, born at the right time and with the right lineage. But He too was despised and rejected. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:5). The rebels of His day envied Him because He did have people who believed in Him and who followed Him. They couldn’t argue with His miracles because they had seen them including the one where He raised Lazarus from the dead. They couldn’t argue with His teaching because they knew that He knew what He was talking about. His teaching was with authority. They couldn’t argue with His attitude because they had to marvel at the gracious words that proceeded out His mouth.

But He was from Nazareth, a despised city. His father was Joseph, a carpenter. He wasn’t a priest according to Jewish law nor was He a Pharisee or a Sadducee. He had not joined the influential political parties nor had He gotten involved in the political strife of His day. He wasn’t rich. How could this man save the children of Israel? After all they wanted a king that would fight and the Lord didn’t even have an army.

The Few
Biblically, the popular way is always the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). Multitudes cried “Crucify, Crucify!” on that fateful Friday nearly 2000 years ago. They were led like sheep to the slaughter. They didn’t realize that the way they were treating the Lord was the same way others would treat them and their children in the future.

But there were some whose hearts God touched and they realized that Saul was God’s choice to save them from their current enemies. Likewise, there were some at the cross that realized that this Man was in fact the Messiah, the Savior of the world. This is the one who would be able to offer a just and righteous forgiveness of sins. Colossians 2:13 reminds us that Christ made us (believers) alive together with him, “having forgiven us all our trespasses.” For those of us whose hearts have been touched, Christ has forgiven us. He has born our punishment. The burden of sin is gone. We often have trouble forgiving ourselves; but the Lord, our creator, our God, has forgiven us. What a blessing!

My heart has been touched. The Lord Jesus can save us. I have trusted Him. I believe that the best present I can give Him is to thank Him for His great love wherewith He loved us (Ephesians 2:4). I have done that and I hope you have as well.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of October 11, 2015

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