||Chosen no: R-5635 a, from: 1915 Year.
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THE PSYCHOLOGICAL MOMENT
--MARCH 14.--1 SAMUEL 11:1-15.--
KING SAUL, ALTHOUGH ANOINTED OF GOD, WAITED FOR THE - VOICE OF THE PEOPLE - HIS OPPORTUNE MOMENT AND HOW HE UTILIZED IT - HIS ACCEPTANCE BY THE PEOPLE - OPPORTUNITIES OPEN FOR ALL - LESSONS FOR ALL IN SAUL'S - EXPERIENCES - SPECIAL LESSONS TO THE CHURCH, ALSO - CALLED TO KINGLY OFFICE - THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD - ALL MEN TO BE MADE KINGS AGAIN BY MESSIAH'S REIGN - ALL LOVERS OF INIQUITY TO BE DESTROYED.
"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." - Proverbs 16:32.
ISRAEL had asked for a king. God, through
the Prophet Samuel, had caused the anointing
of Saul to be the king. The people of
Israel had assembled, and God's Prophet
Samuel had indicated God's choice for them.
Some of the people had gladly accepted the
choice; but the rougher element had refused
it, sneeringly saying, Who is he? What is
his record, that we should hope for anything
great in his hand?
It looked as though the Lord and His plan had failed
--as though the choice had been an unsatisfactory one
and had come to naught. Saul made no attempt to exercise
authority, seeing that he had such half-hearted support
from the people. He returned to his home--resuming
his life as a farmer; but we may be sure he was patiently
waiting for the opportune, or psychological, moment to
arrive when, with God's blessing, he would enter upon
the duties and responsibilities of a king, for which he
had been Divinely anointed.
Saul's farm life continued only a month, until the
opportunity offered which brought him the support of all
the people as king. The Ammonites, residing in the east
of Israel's possessions, were making war on one of the
tribes of Israel. For some time they had besieged Jabesh-gilead,
until the city was in such straits for food, etc., that
they asked terms for surrender. The taunt of the Ammonite
general was that on one condition he would save
their lives; namely, they should each submit to having one
eye put out, as a shame on the whole people of Israel.
Time was asked--seven days--for decision. If they
could not get help in that time, they would submit to the
terms. Messengers were dispatched, possibly to all the
tribes. At all events some came to the place where Saul
resided, evidently hoping that the one who had been
chosen king, acceptable to some, would take steps for
their deliverance. The disgrace of the situation struck
home to Saul's heart. Israel to whom God had promised
the possession of the land and His assistance, lacked faith
Saul was appointed leader, and the psychological
moment for him to lead had come. He killed the yoke of
oxen he had been driving and sent pieces to all the tribes,
saying that whoever did not respond, to become a defender
of the general interests and to wipe out the shame, would
have his oxen hewn to pieces. This was a peculiar command
for a king; but it seems to have touched the right
spot, for three hundred and thirty thousand men responded.
The messengers returned to Jabesh-gilead with
assurances of succor before noon the next day; and they
gave answer to their besiegers to the effect that they
would by the time appointed march out for the Ammonites
to do with them as they thought best--meantime expecting
such a deliverance as would make their enemies
impotent to harm them.
King Saul divided his army into three sections, and
from three different quarters came suddenly upon the
besieging hosts, routing them, destroying many lives and
delivering the people of Israel. Thereupon the masses
of the Israelites realized that God had indeed given them
a wise king, whom they had been slow to recognize; and
they inquired for those who had spoken against Saul at
first, saying, Let them now be slain. However, the king
was wise and generous, and said, "There shall not a man
be put to death this day; for today the Lord hath wrought
salvation in Israel."--Verse 13.
[R5635 : page 60]
THE DIVINE CHARACTER VINDICATED
We again remind our readers that although this war
and the slaughtering of those Ammonites had the Divine
approval and blessing, it did not signify what many of us
once supposed; namely, that those thousands of Ammonites
slaughtered in their sleep or in their waking moments,
went immediately to the theological Hell, there to suffer
eternal torments. On the contrary, they merely went to
the great prison-house of death, the tomb, there to sleep
until in God's arrangement Christ would die as the world's
Redeemer--and more, until at His Second Advent the
Redeemer should take His great Power and reign, begin
His work of calling back from death all that are in their
graves.--John 5:28,29. See Revised Version.
To grasp the situation we must remember that all men
are under a death-sentence, conviction, not worthy of life
everlasting. All were to die anyway; and it mattered little
whether they would die from starvation or sickness or
pestilence or by the sword. The penalty merely reads,
"Dying, thou shalt die"--not live, anyhow or anywhere.
This view of matters has a distinct bearing on everything
appertaining to the Lord's authorization of wars, and
permission of famines, sickness, etc. While God has enforced
the penalty, "The wages of sin is death," and has
thus manifested His justice, He in another way has been
preparing for the manifestation of His Love. The first
step of this love-manifestation was in the sending of His
Son to be man's Redeemer--to die for Adam's sin, under
which all the race is condemned to death.
Still the Divine Plan is hidden from the world in general.
Only the Lord's consecrated people may have a
clear understanding through the Bible of God's great
purposes of love for the race. These are informed, and
are able to comprehend the Message, that ultimately God
will establish a Kingdom which will bind Satan's power,
[R5636 : page 60] release humanity from its mental, moral and physical
weaknesses--the results of the curse--and restore all the
obedient to full perfection and to relationship with God.
GREAT OPPORTUNITIES AWAIT ALL
Looking out into the world, we perceive that opportunities
for progress and greatness are by no means equal.
Nevertheless, few men and few women make use of all
the golden opportunities which do come to them for their
own betterment and for usefulness on their part to their
fellows. All such may take a good lesson from Saul; for
he had naturally some good traits which he subsequently
diverted or misused.
That Saul had humility is evidenced by the fact that
when the suggestion of his becoming king was made, he
repudiated the thought of his worthiness of the position,
saying that there were greater tribes than the one of
which he was a member, and that even in his own tribe,
his family was not the most prominent. Again, at the
time when Samuel the Prophet called the people, that the
Lord's lot might be determined as to who should be the
king, Saul was in hiding amongst the stuff, sitting amongst
the piles of baggage. He knew how the Lord's lot would
fall; and it was to his credit that he was not strutting
about amongst the people showing himself, and saying,
The Lord would surely choose me. Again, when some of
the people murmured that he was not acceptable, Saul
quietly went to his home and to his farming, letting the
matter rest. Thus he displayed patience and wisdom,
as well as humility.
His subsequent action and leading the army of Israel
showed his faith in God and his courage. Had Saul maintained
these characteristics, his experiences later would
have been very different. But nearly every young man
and young woman on the threshold of life, as well as
when older, can gain some valuable and lasting lessons
from Saul's experiences.
It may surprise some when we say that Christians--
God's consecrated people--may especially learn lessons of
profit from Saul's experiences. They, like Saul, have
been nominated of God, not only to be kings, but also to
be priests, "a Royal Priesthood." As Saul was anointed
with the oil, so the Royal Priesthood are anointed with
the Holy Spirit. As the people rejected Saul, and he
waited patiently for the Lord's time, so the people, mankind,
are not yet ready for the Reign of the Royal Priesthood,
of which Jesus is the Head; and God's time has not
yet come for the establishment of the Kingdom. Lessons
of patience, of humility and of confidence in God are
requisite that after enduring, they might inherit the
The great Armageddon is at hand, and terrible lessons
will be learned by the world at great cost. Thereafter the
Kingdom of Messiah will be very popular; and they will
be saying, as they did in Saul's case, Let all those who
oppose be put to death. However, The glorified Christ--
Jesus the Head, the Church His members--will be very
gracious, and a general amnesty will be proclaimed for
all who will desire to come in line with the Kingdom.
Not only those who persecuted the Savior will be
forgiven and be assisted back into harmony with God
through Him, but those, also, who have despised the
Royal Priesthood and persecuted them unwittingly, will
be mercifully dealt with. "Your brethren that hated you,
that cast you out for My name's sake, said, The Lord be
glorified: [We do it for the good of the cause] but He
shall appear for your joy, and they shall be ashamed."
The shame that will then come upon all who in the
meantime had resisted the Lord's choice for His Kingdom
class will be a sufficient penalty. After the shame and
God's forgiveness to all the willing and obedient, The
Christ will bring blessings of "Restitution, which God
hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since
the world began."--Acts 3:21.
A WORLD FULL OF KINGS
God created Father Adam the king of earth. Had he
remained loyal to his God, he would have retained not
only his life and health and happiness, but also his kingly
authority over the beasts, the fish and the fowl--ruling
them with telepathic powers. The breaking of the Covenant
with God by Adam not only brought death and
separation from God, but impaired his ruling powers as
respects the lower creatures. The redemption accomplished
by the death of Jesus is eventually to reach every
member of Adam's race, and not merely will be applicable
to their restoration to human perfection of mind and body,
but will include a restoration of kingly powers.
In a republic there is a recognition of the fact of a
human equality before the law. In a republic, every man
is a king; and these kings vote for one of their number
to be a president-king, or otherwise to hold a government
executive position as the servant of all. This is a theory,
an ideal, but we all know that it is more or less defective.
It is in vain to claim that all men are born free and equal
when we know that there are great inequalities of birth,
of character, of talent, of will-power. While, therefore,
a republic would be the ideal condition for perfect men,
it only partially meets the requirements of the case so
long as man is imperfect.
Nor will Messiah's Kingdom be established as a republic.
Instead of giving humanity more power and
leaving everything to be settled by the popular will and
[R5636 : page 61] vote, Messiah's Kingdom will do the reverse. It will lay
down the law, punish every infraction of the law, and
point men to the fact that they are not qualified to govern
themselves, and that therefore, God has decreed the establishment
of Messiah's Kingdom to rule over humanity,
while they are in the imperfect condition, and to bring
them up by Restitution to full perfection, where they will
be able, as originally designed, to all be kings; or, failing
to come up to this standard, they will be destroyed as
incorrigible, lovers of iniquity.
Surely the Divine Program for humanity is beautiful,
simple, and sublimely grand! It leaves nothing to be
desired further. As the Bible declares, it will be "the
desire of all nations." Those whose eyes and ears of
understanding are open to appreciate this Message of the
Bible have much advantage every way over the average
man at the present time. This knowledge is very assistful
to them as they come to realize that the anointing of the
Holy Spirit upon them is with a view to preparing them
to be the Royal Priesthood of the future and, with Jesus,
to bring to mankind the blessings of Jehovah, lost by sin,
redeemed at Calvary.