It’s easy to think of King Saul in the Old Testament as a villain. After all, he turned away from God and hounded the young hero David for a decade before his premature death in the heat of battle.
But Saul was God’s choice. A while back, I became bothered by the Bible’s apparent explanation for Saul’s appointment as Israel’s first king: “There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel.” 1 Samuel 9:2
Why would the Lord choose a leader on the basis of his appearance? I cried out to God to give me insight. The Bible is clear about what moves our Maker:
“The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
LOST IN TRANSLATION
I looked up the meaning of the Hebrew word that is translated as handsome. It is tob. The word is used hundreds of times in the Old Testament and in most instances, it is translated as good or goodness.
I think that the translators struggled to believe that a man who disobeyed God and sought to murder his spiritual son was virtuous. So they described Saul as handsome.
The truth is that God chose Saul because he was a good man with a good heart. Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible puts 1 Samuel 9:2 like this: “There is not a man among the sons of Israel goodlier than he.”
Saul started out with a good heart but success amplified the faults in his foundations. It is the same for you and me.
If we secretly struggle with insecurities when we are small in the world’s eyes, our issues will only be magnified if we reach the limelight. If we hanker after affirmation when we are a ‘nobody’, we will feed on public approval when we become a ‘somebody’.
Saul never dealt with deep feelings of inadequacy. Right from the start, he doubted his ability to be king. He even hid when he was due to be presented to the nation as their new leader.
We don’t know why Saul struggled with low self-esteem. Perhaps he felt like a failure growing up under the shadow of a wealthy father who forgot to affirm him. Who knows?
We don’t know what caused his insecurities but we do know that Saul never dealt with them. Instead of allowing God’s acceptance to create inner stability, he sought the praises of people to give him a sense of worth.
Eventually, he lost everything and denied his children the inheritance God had planned for them.
AN OPPORTUNITY WAITING TO HAPPEN
God wants you to fulfil every ounce of your potential. He wants you to become completely secure so that you can really succeed. You are an opportunity waiting to happen. If you want to be free to fulfil your highest purpose, allow God to do a deep work within. Come to one of our events near you and get hold of our books.