“As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. 11 When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.“ 1 Samuel 10.9-13
There was really nothing special about Saul. He was tall, good looking and a part of the Benjamite tribe of Israel. Besides that, he wasn’t a stand out. In upcoming stories he shows a lack of courage, lack of confidence and major insecurities.
Yet in this moment, it might be one of the few, Saul becomes something special for once in his life. How does this happen? God changes his heart.
Saul was anointed by Samuel and was now in the procession of prophets upon his arrival at Gibeah. What happens to Saul at this moment is awesome for the “Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.” Now this doesn’t happen often, even to prophets in the Old Testament. It is rare that God’s Spirit comes upon a person and even so that they would prophesy. Even the witnesses were shocked asking, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
The “Spirit of God came powerfully upon him…” What does this mean? “Powerfully?” The Hebrew doesn’t include the word “powerfully” I this translation, that comes from the NIV, but it must be inferred. Is there any other way that God’s Spirit comes upon a person but with power? And when God changes someone’s heart as he did with Saul, this is power!
If God can change Saul’s heart, he can change ours as well. Even though Saul did not remain obedient to the Lord, that was Saul’s decision and not the Lord‘s, he was changed for that moment. Saul failed to trust in the Lord or obey his prophet Samuel. But for a moment, just a moment, Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit and he was everything God intended him to be.
We’ve been given the same gift of the Holy Spirit made available through belief in God’s Son Jesus. If you receive the Son, you will receive the Holy Spirit. I first felt his power when I surrendered my life to him at the age of 17 in Colorado. Although God had been prompting me for years, pouring out grace and wooing me to himself, it was in that moment, when I said “yes”, that his Spirit entered my life. Now sometimes my sin builds a barrier to his grace. But confession is key in remaining connected to the Lord and being filled with his Spirit.
Why not surrender to Christ today? Confess your sin! Turn from your disobedience and submit to a God who loves you and who holds nothing back in making you everything he has intended you to be.
“O Lord God, I love your name. I love your words and I love your Spirit. I place my whole life in your hands. There is nothing I can do to escape your presence. Nothing I can say to make you love me any less. Thank you for the gift of your Spirit to all who believe. Help us learn from the life of Saul and choose obedience over selfish ambition. I love you Lord and praise your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen