“The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.” 13 But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.” 14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.” 1 Samuel 11.12-15
Saul had several victories on this day in Judaea so many years ago. The first was the physical battle over the Ammonites by routing them with 300,000 solders. The second was his official consecration as king, and the third was that he honored the Lord through a fellowship offering and with a great celebration. It was a good day for Saul.
I bet Saul wished this day could last forever. Everything was going his way. He wasn’t disobeying the Lord, he wasn’t running amuck, and God’s favor was upon him. We, of course, know the rest of the story and how things will changed for Saul — but for now, everything was good.
It makes me reminisce about the “good ole days.” Days growing up as a kid, days in high school, college, early marriage. But in truth, today is the “good ole days.” We are living in it. As humans we often look to the past as so great and glorious but have to remember it wasn’t much different than today. God was faithful then and is faithful now. Yesterday wasn’t always easy, but God was always present. He was pursuing us with his grace, calling us to himself, and directing our steps. As with Saul, God blessed him, called him and anointed him. His good ole days would seem to come and go.
Yesterday wasn’t the good ole days, today is. Now is. I am in God’s presence. It doesn’t get better than this. I have the ability to love people for his name sake. I have the opportunity to serve and be served, encourage and be encouraged. I have the opportunity, as do you, to worship God this very minute. The good ole days maybe never were because the “now” is always with us. And the God who created time and space wants me to remember this. He wants me to acknowledge him, lift my head and my voice, and proclaim his goodness to the heavens.
Saul’s victory thousands of years ago was one for the ages, but so is today. Take a moment and slow down. Look around. Call a long lost friend. Encourage a family member. Smile at the waiter, overtip the server. “Let your light shine before men, that. they may see your good works, and. glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Mathew 5.16).
“O Lord God, you are good. You’ve given me so much. You’ve saved me, remade me, created me for your purposes. You have given me the gift of life that I might dance in the streets and praise my Father in Heaven. And one day, You will receive me into your keeping forever. Eternity in your hands. But for now, Holy Spirit, come in power. Pour out your blessings upon your people that we might reflect your glory and magnify your holy name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen