Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Servant's Gift

When we first meet Israel's to-be king Saul in the Scriptures, he's taken off from home in pursuit of some lost donkeys. They aren't his donkeys, but his father's donkeys, and he and a servant set out to find them. They look everywhere, but several days pass with no sign of the animals, and the conversation is starting to turn from "Where have the donkeys gone?" to "Where is Saul?" as though he could not find his own way back home. 

Meanwhile, Israel is pressing in on the prophet Samuel, demanding a king just like all of the other nations have. The prophet is grieved, and so is the Lord, but the Lord comforts Samuel and tells the prophet that it is the Lord the people have rejected, not him. God then promises to reveal to Samuel who he is to anoint as this desired king.

Now, all we have to do is get a man out looking for his father's lost donkeys to meet up with the prophet looking for the Lord's anointed king. 

Enter the servant.

Saul is starting to understand that his father, at this point, is probably more worried about where his son is than where his donkeys have wandered off to. It's even possible, as Saul and the servant discuss, that the donkeys have long since made their way back home and now, it's just Saul that needs to return. But of course, he has no way of truly knowing this; it's just a theory. 

Then the servant says that there happens to be a seer - a prophet - in a town nearby and that maybe the two of them should go and talk to this man, as this man can tell them where the donkeys are. (Let that sink in for a minute - they are going to ask a prophet they've never met to ask the Lord where their donkeys are. Oh, how much we could learn from just that! But that's for another day.) 

Saul thinks this is a great plan that the servant has, but there is one catch - Saul has used up his provisions. He doesn't have anything left that he could offer to the prophet as a gift, and you don't come to the prophet without a gift. Even if he wanted to, he can't go and ask Samuel anything. That's when the servant, who had the idea in the first place, pulls out a tiny little bit of silver that he has leftover and offers it to Saul to offer to the prophet. 

With a quarter of a shekel of his servant's silver, Saul travels into town to see the seer...and is prophesied the king of Israel. 

Whatever little gift you have, give it freely to those who seek the Lord. For you never know when what seems like an odd question becomes a greater thing. And it may just be your quarter of a shekel of silver that makes it possible. 

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