When the people located their new king, they celebrated. And why not? This was a glorious day. Saul was tall, strong, modest, and had the full support of his nation. From a human point of view, this was a beautiful start to a new era.
But from God’s point of view, this was a sad day. His people had rejected Him as king, replacing Him with someone as impressive as a handsome film star. Unlike all those cheering people, God knew that this was not the beginning of Israel’s glory days. A disaster would soon begin to happen.
Almost overnight Saul’s popularity index was off the chart. He had demonstrated himself to be a brave and capable warrior, an able general, and a strong leader. When the Ammonites attacked, he acted decisively and firmly, and he did so with honor. This won the confidence of the people and earned him a great endorsement speech by Samuel. But don’t forget that this story is a tragedy. This is a roofline life, and Saul has reached his peak.
Following his burst of glory, Saul’s life began to unravel. He became a victim of himself: full of pride, impatience, rebellion, jealousy, and attempted murder. Over a long and painful stretch of years, he shriveled into a twisted, maniacal, pathetic figure. Eventually, he would commit suicide. Evil had begun to pour into his life like sewage flowing into a harbor, deep beneath the surface, under cover of night. No one could see it. In fact, for a long time, no one could even smell it, but slowly and ever so surely it polluted the waters of his mind and soiled his soul.
One of the chief qualities I look for in a prospective staff member or employee is modesty. I want a confident man or woman, but one who finds the job a little daunting. That tells me that he or she has a healthy view of the role we’re looking to fill. It is daunting! A modest person will be more likely to rely upon the Lord to succeed and will be much less likely to fail. I am always leery of people who seek the limelight.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.