1 Samuel 10: The Seven Stages of a Believer’s Transformation from Saul’s Transformation

Introduction: In this chapter, God transformed the spiritually blind Saul into first a prophet and then into Israel’s first king. To become king, Saul went through a less extensive process than Moses used to ordain Aaron and his sons as priests (Lev. 8-9). Some might find little relevance in either ordination process. Very few countries in the world still have kings. Those that do have largely ceremonial kings. Yet, it would be a mistake to dismiss this chapter as an antiquated relic of some prior time period. Like Saul, every believer should go through a similar transformation process when you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Knowing the process is helpful for knowing if you are still on the right path. Starting on the right path is no guarantee that you will stay on. Saul is a perfect example of this. Also, even if you will never be a king, God still calls you to be a leader. Through Saul’s transformation, God reveals seven stages in a believer’s transformation. These include: (1) election, (2) faith, (3) Spirit-led transformation, (4) patient submission; (5) spiritual growth, (6) public confession, and (7) obedience to God’s Word.

First, through Samuel, God first elected and then anointed Saul with His Spirit. From this, God reveals that He also elects His people and anoints them with the Holy Spirit. Second, to develop Saul’s faith, God confirmed His Word through several fulfilled prophesies. From this, God reveals that believers should develop their faith by both hearing His Word and understanding how it is confirmed. Third, through the Holy Spirit, God transformed Saul. From this, God reveals that believers should also be transformed through the Spirit. Fourth, Samuel instructed Saul to wait in submission for seven days. From this, God reveals that believers should submit patiently for God to reveal His will. Fifth, through the Spirit, Saul learned to prophetically speak God’s Word with other believers. From this, God reveals that believers should grow in the Word and through church fellowship and study with other believers. Sixth, after his private anointing and transformation, Saul was publicly anointed king of Israel. From this, God reveals that believers should publicly confess their inward transformation through Jesus. Finally, Samuel instructed the people on God’s law for His appointed kings, and the people recorded His Word in obedience and placed it before Him. From this, God reveals that believers should publicly commit to obeying His Word and His will. Believers should then remain faithful and obedient.

1. Election: God Elects His People and Anoints Them With the Holy Spirit. 1 Sam. 10:1.

  • Through Samuel, God elected and anointed Saul with His Spirit. After selecting Saul, Samuel poured oil on him to appoint him with the Holy Spirit. “Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, ‘Has not the Lord anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?” (1 Sam. 10:1). By having His representative anoint Saul, God showed that He had both elected Saul and was sovereign over Saul as his King of Kings. Nothing about this selection process allowed Saul to claim credit for his position.

  • God also elected you without regard to merit. Like Saul, God elected you before time began without regard to your merit. “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,” (Eph. 1:4-5). God invites all to believe. The elect are simply the people He knew in advance would accept His call: “ . . . as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48). Thus, be grateful for His mercy and grace in electing you.

  • Be anointed with the Spirit. Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit (1 Sam. 16:13). Just as Samuel anointed the king with oil, Moses also poured oil onto Aaron’s head to consecrate Him. “Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.” (Lev. 8:12). “Then you shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him.” (Ex. 29:7). When Christ began His ministry, He was dunked into the Jordan river (Matt. 3:13-15). The oil being poured onto the heads of kings and priests symbolized the complete emersion of the Spirit, like a baptism. Believers must be anointed by the Spirit in all that they do: “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.” (1 Jo. 2:20). “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,” (1 Cor. 1:21). “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Ro. 8:14). Are your actions in life anointed or simply annoying?

  • God’s anointing offers protection. Some might not care if they are anointed or not. Yet, having God’s anointing of the Spirit offers you His protection. This anointing caused David to later spare the lives of both Saul and others. “So he said to his men, ‘Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the LORD’S anointed.” (1 Sam. 24:6). “But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’S anointed and be without guilt?’” (1 Sam. 26:9).

2. Faith: Believers Find Faith by Hearing and Confirming God’s Word. 1 Sam. 10:2-5.

  • Through Samuel, God confirmed His Word to develop Saul’s faith. Because Saul was spiritually blind before his anointing, God developed his faith by having Samuel proclaim His Word and allowing Saul to see several prophesies come true. “When you go from me today, then you will find two men close to Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys which you went to look for have been found. Now behold, your father has ceased to be concerned about the donkeys and is anxious for you, saying, ‘What shall I do about my son?’ Then you will go on further from there, and you will come as far as the oak of Tabor, and there three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a jug of wine; and they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from their hand. Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying.” (1 Sam. 10:2-5). God knew that Saul’s faith was weak. Thus, He gave him multiple confirmations to establish Samuel’s authority as His prophet. When Saul later disobeyed God, Samuel again sought to develop his faith by tell him to listen to God’s Word. “Then Samuel said to Saul, ‘The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD.”’ (1 Sam. 15:1).

  • Saul’s first meeting at Rachel’s tomb – have faith to leave your old life behind. Saul’s first prophetic appointment took place when he meet two men at Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin (1 Sam. 5:2). Jacob buried Rachel there on their way back from Haran after she died giving birth to his 12th son Benjamin (Gen. 35:20). Rachel symbolized Jacob’s old life of the flesh. She stole her father’s family idol before leaving Haran because she was not willing leave her old life behind when she fled with Jacob to the Promised Land (Gen. 31:34). Here, the men stated that Saul’s father was worried about him (1 Sam. 5:2). This confirmed Saul’s statement the prior day to his servant that his father would be worried about him (1 Sam. 9:5). Both the place and the words symbolized Saul’s need to leave his old life behind. When a seeker asked to bury his father (a metaphor for finishing the family’s business), Jesus symbolically told him to leave his old life behind and proclaim Jesus’ Word. “But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”’ (Lk. 9:60). Another then raised an excuse about wanting to first spend time with their family. “Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.”’ (Lk. 9:61). Jesus then warned. “But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”’ (Lk. 9:62). If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, are you still holding on to your old life?

  • Saul’s second meeting at Bethel – have faith to respond to God’s calling. Saul’s second prophetic appointment took place when he would meet three men at Bethel. Bethel means the house of God. Bethel was the name that Jacob gave for the place where God offered His covenant to him, even as he fled from his sins in defrauding his father and brother (Gen. 28:19). It was also the place that God told Jacob to return to as he left his old life living in the flesh in Haran. “Then God said to Jacob, ‘Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”’ (Gen. 35:1). A believer must also have the faith to respond to God’s calling. If God is calling you to serve Him, are you promptly responding?

  • Render until Caesar the things that belong to him and to God the things that are His. The three men separately carried (1) three young goats, (2) three loaves of bread, and (3) a jug of wine. The men greeted Saul by giving him two of the loaves of bread (1 Sam. 5:3). The goats were used as a sin offering and symbolized sin. The sins of the people were cast onto the goat as a substitute offering for a person’s sins (Lev. 16:5). The bread symbolized the life offering given in gratitude for a person’s unearned atonement of sin (Lev. 2). The wine symbolized the offering of thanks from a joyful person who was transformed by the Spirit (e.g., Nu. 15:10; 28:7; 29:16). At the Feast of Tabernacles (which may have been what the men were preparing for), the devote person offered God all three things together: “and (1) one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, (2) its grain offering and (3) its drink offerings.” (Nu. 29:31). The blood of atonement and the drink offering were reserved for God alone. Yet, by giving Saul two of the three loaves, the men symbolically committed to giving two thirds of their labor to Saul as their future king and a third for God. “And Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they were amazed at Him.” (Mk. 12:17; Lk. 20:25). Paul also stated: “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” (Ro. 13:7). Many claim that they pay their taxes. Yet, have you also given God the love and labor you owe Him? The poor need both kinds of help from you.

  • Saul’s third meeting at the “hill of God” – true faith brings worship and encouragement. Saul’s third prophetic appointment took place when he would meet a group of prophets playing worship music at an unknown place called “the hill of God”. (1 Sam. 5:5). It represented a spiritual high point in Saul’s walk, which he would sadly fail to maintain. The worship music served to bring God’s Spirit upon the men so that they could prophesize. ‘“But now bring me a minstrel.’ And it came about, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.” (2 Kgs. 3:15). Yet, reaching the “hill of God” does not mean that you will automatically remain there. Unless you work to develop your faith and sing songs of worship to stay in fellowship, you will slide off God’s spiritual hill as Saul did later as king. Are you singing God’s continual praises?

  • Develop your faith by hearing the Word and seeing how it is fulfilled. When your faith is weak like Saul, you can also make it grow by hearing the Word and seeing how it is confirmed. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Ro. 10:17). “So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal. 3:5). Developing your faith is important because an “unbelieving heart” will cause a person to fall away from God (Heb. 3:12). Are you reading and studying the Word to strengthen your faith?

3. Transformation: Believers Should be Transformed Through the Spirit. 1 Sam. 10:6-7.

  • Through the Holy Spirit, God transformed Saul. After Saul developed faith, God promised to transform him through the Holy Spirit. “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you.” (1 Sam. 10:6-7). Just as Samuel waited for Saul’s anointing of the Spirit to lay hands on him, Moses also waited until the Holy Spirit was upon Joshua, his successor, before he laid hands upon him to anoint him as leader. “So the LORD said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him;”’ (Nu. 27:18). When the Holy Spirit came upon the judges, He also anointed them with the power to defeat Israel’s enemies. For example, this was true with the prophet Othniel, Caleb’s younger brother. “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.” (Jdgs. 3:10). It was also the Holy Spirit that gave Samson his power, a gift that he sadly misused for his glory and for the desires of his flesh. “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.” (Jdgs. 14:6).

  • The Holy Spirit will never leave or forsake you. Samuel promised Saul that the Spirit was the sign that “God is with you.” (1 Sam. 10:7). The same is true today. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:13-14). When you are sealed with the Spirit, you have God’s guarantee that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5; Josh. 1:5; Dt. 31:6, 8). When you are under spiritual attack, do you trust that He will never leave you?

  • Let God transform you for service. Once the king believed in faith, God did all the work through the Spirit to transform him for service. Likewise, the priests did nothing more than have faith to be transformed into priests. They only needed to be obedient while God prepared them (Lev. 8-9). Today, Jesus is your High Priest who prepares you for service (Heb. 8:1; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 5:10). Because of His death and the Spirit within you, you also have a new beginning (Ez. 36:26; 2 Tim 1:14; Rom. 8:9). You have also become a new creation: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 4:24). As a new creation, God will forget your old sins: “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (Heb. 8:12; same 10:17; Is. 43:25; Jer. 31:34; 50:20; Micah 7:18). As a new creation, He also created you to serve both Him and others through good works: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). Is there evidence of God’s transformation though your good works for others?

  • Your transformation requires daily maintenance by renewing your mind. If Saul shows that anyone can be transformed and anointed, he also shows that anyone can fall off their walk and squander God’s inheritance. Without a daily effort to clean and renew your mind, you can slide off your walk like Saul. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2). Have you become complacent in your walk? Do you make a daily effort to renew your mind for Christ?

4. Submission: Believers Should Submit Patiently for God to Reveal His Will. 1 Sam. 10:8.

  • Through Samuel, God instructed Saul to patiently wait in submission for seven days. To keep the transformed Saul humble and to teach him submission, Samuel instructed Saul to wait seven days while he offered atonement for Saul’s sins. “And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you should do.’” (1 Sam. 10:8). This also again showed God’s supremacy over Saul. “Samuel commanded Saul to wait for him, because the prophet of God had more real authority than this king over Israel. Saul had to show that even though he was a king he was submitted to the LORD and the LORD’s prophet. Failing to wait for Samuel will get Saul into trouble on a future occasion.” (David Guzik on 1 Sam. 10).

  • Be patient for your new beginning in Jesus. Just as Saul had to patently wait seven days, the priests also had to wait for the completion of a seven-day ordination process before they could serve (Lev. 8:35-36). Seven is a number of completeness in the Bible. God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh (Ex. 20:11). Like Saul, the priest’s duties did not begin until the eighth day. “Now it came about on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel;” (Lev. 9:1). The number eight in the Bible symbolizes a new beginning. A male child is circumcised on the eighth day (Lev. 12:3). Likewise, after the seven-day festival of Tabernacles, the people were together for a holy convocation to celebrate a new beginning on the eighth day (Lev. 23:36). Christ also rose from the dead on a Sunday, the first day of the week or the eighth day (Matt. 28:1). If you have accepted Christ and things have not immediately changed, He will perfect your faith (Heb. 12:2). Yet, you must be patient. “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” (Ps. 37:7). “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Ps. 40:1(b)). “I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” (Ps. 130:5). Do you patently wait until the Lord and His timing? Or, do you insist upon your own timing?

5. Spiritual Growth: Believers Should Grow in the Word and With Others. 1 Sam. 10:9-16.

  • Through the Spirit, Saul learned to prophetically speak God’s Word with other believers. After being transformed through the Spirit, Saul grew in his walk by prophetically speaking God’s Word with other prophets. “Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day. 10 When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. 11 It came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, ‘What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?’ 12 A man there said, ‘Now, who is their father?’ Therefore it became a proverb: ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’ 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place. 14 Now Saul’s uncle said to him and his servant, ‘Where did you go?’ And he said, ‘To look for the donkeys. When we saw that they could not be found, we went to Samuel.’ 15 Saul’s uncle said, ‘Please tell me what Samuel said to you.’ 16 So Saul said to his uncle, ‘He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.’ But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingdom which Samuel had mentioned.” (1 Sam. 10:9-16). Like Saul, your transformation should be noticeable to others.

  • Prophesy can include speaking God’s Word to encourage and build up others. The fact that the Saul and the other men were “prophesying” does not automatically mean that they were foretelling future events that had not yet come to pass. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “prophesy” has three definitions. It can mean “to speak as if divinely inspired.” It can also mean “to give instruction in religious matters.” Or, it can be “the act of making a prediction.” The context of this story would suggest that Saul and the men were speaking with divine inspiration, not making predictions. The words of a true prophet are meant to encourage, restore or uplift another. (1 Thess. 5:11; Eph. 4:29; Jude 1:20). The Bible warns “do not despise prophetic utterances. . . ;” (1 Thess. 5:20-21). When the Holy Spirit came upon Moses’ 70 elders, they also prophesized. “Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.” (Nu. 11:25). If the Bereans had rejected all prophetic utterances, they would have never learned that Jesus was the Messiah (Acts 17:11). If you apply the Word to encourage, restore, or uplift others you too can serve in this capacity. “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Cor. 14:1). Do you use the Word to encourage and build up others? Or, do your words tear others down?

  • Don’t forsake the growth and accountability that comes from being part of the Body. Saul’s spiritual growth did not happen in isolation. Instead, he grew while he was part of a body of Spirit-led believers. His spiritual decline would later happen after he isolated himself as king from his Spirit-led counselors. To grow and stay accountable, you must also not forsake being in fellowship with others. “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:25). “Now they were steadfastly continuing in the teaching of the apostles, and in the fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers.” (Acts 2:42). “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,” (Acts 2:46). Being part of a mega church or watching church online does not bring fellowship. You must be accountable to others in a small group. Are you accountable to others and growing as part of a small group of believers?

6. Public Confession: Believers Should Publicly Confess Their Faith. 1 Sam. 10:17-24.

  • After his private anointing and transformation, Saul was publicly anointed king of Israel. Once his transformation was complete, Samuel gathered the tribal elders together and allowed God to publicly select Saul as Israel’s first king. “17 Thereafter Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah; 18 and he said to the sons of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ 19 But you have today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses; yet you have said, ‘No, but set a king over us!’ Now therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.’ 20 Thus Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the Matrite family was taken. And Saul the son of Kish was taken; but when they looked for him, he could not be found. 22 Therefore they inquired further of the Lord, ‘Has the man come here yet?’ So the Lord said, ‘Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage.’ 23 So they ran and took him from there, and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? Surely there is no one like him among all the people.’ So all the people shouted and said, ‘Long live the king!’” (1 Sam. 10:17-24). Although this was a happy time in Israel, this account also foreshadowed God’s future judgement. First, Samuel reminded the people that Saul was their king because they “rejected” God, their true deliverer (1 Sam. 10:19). Second, the selection location of Mizpah was the place where the 11 tribes of Israel previously passed judgment upon Saul’s tribe of Benjamin (1 Sam. 10:17; Jdgs. 20:1-11). Third, the process used to select Saul was the same process used to locate the sinner Achan after he stole an idol in Jericho (Josh 7:16-18). Fourth, Saul’s disappearance foreshadowed his future abandonment of his duties (1 Sam. 10:22). Fifth, the people embraced him because he was tall and good looking (1 Sam. 10:23). They wanted a king “that we also may be like all the nations.” (1 Sam. 8:20). Because they did not want a Spirit-led king, Saul would soon return to his ways of the flesh.

  • Make a public confession of your faith and be accountable to others. Like a king, to ordain the priests, Moses assembled “all the congregation” at the “doorway of the tent of meeting.” and assembled ‘“all the congregation at the doorway of the tent of meeting.’” (Lev. 8:3-4). Thus, the ordination of the priests and kings would have included thousands of people. We must also publicly accept Christ. An adult baptism is just one example of this. Standing up and coming forward to accept Christ at an altar call is another example of this. Speaking out when God’s standards of morality are under attack is another example of this. Jesus said that our light should not be hidden (Matt. 5:14-15). Making a public confession served three purposes. First, you show that you are not ashamed of the Gospel or what others think of you. Paul publicly professed: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . .” (Rom. 1:16). Second, your public profession may inspire others to step forward. Sometimes, it may take years for others to want to follow your example. Yet, if you faithfully follow your vows to God, others will remember. Third, your public confession also makes you accountable to others. If a king or a priest openly sinned, everyone would have known. Are you willing to publicly share your faith with others, even if it means that some will reject you? Have you stayed silent as society has selected worldly leaders like Saul and attacked the tenants of the Christian faith and God’s Word?

7. Obedience: Believers Should Commit to Obeying God’s Word. 1 Sam. 10:25-27.

  • Samuel repeats God’s ordinances for a king, and the people commit to following them. In order to keep the king in check, Samuel instructed the people on God’s ordinances for the kings, and the people pledged their obedience to God’s Word. “25 Then Samuel told the people the ordinances of the kingdom, and wrote them in the book and placed it before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his house. 26 Saul also went to his house at Gibeah; and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But certain worthless men said, ‘How can this one deliver us?’ And they despised him and did not bring him any present. But he kept silent.” (1 Sam. 10:25-27). Although Saul would later attack his perceived enemies, he showed his growth in walk with God as he held his tongue when some jealous men spoke out against him.

  • Be obedient to God’s Word. Just as the people pledged their obedience in matters regarding the kings (Dt. 17:14-20), the priests also made vows of obedience. “The LORD has commanded to do as has been done this day, to make atonement on your behalf. At the doorway of the tent of meeting, moreover, you shall remain day and night for seven days and keep the charge of the LORD, so that you will not die, for so I have been commanded. Thus Aaron and his sons did all the things which the LORD had commanded through Moses.” (Lev. 8:34-36). Jesus also says that, if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6; Matt. 19:17). He is the “I AM” who gave the Ten Commandments (Jo. 8:58; Ex. 3:14). Jesus came to correct people’s motives in following these Commandments. He wants you to be obedient out of love and not obligation. He therefore summarized His Ten Commandments as something that comes naturally once a person loves the Lord and his or her neighbor (Matt. 22:35-38; Lk. 10:27, quoting Dt. 6:5). Moses told us to live obediently as it is written. Jesus taught us to love obediently as it is written. Whether we keep His Commandments out of love (and not obligation) is also the test regarding whether we “know” Jesus. (1 Jo. 2:3). Is there anywhere you are disobedient?

  • Your obedience should also include restraining your tongue when provoked. Like Saul did at this point in his walk, you are called upon to control your tongue and let God defend you when others attack you. “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Ex. 14:14; Dt. 1:30). Do you trust God to defend you when others attack you?