God Likes Me

I have ben struggling with the idea that God may ‘love’ but not ‘like’ people.  I have frequently been around people who have excused their cold-hearted behavior to others with the excuse, “I have to love them, but that doesn’t mean I like them.”  I thought maybe God was like that with me.  I often don’t like myself much.  I often feel like a failure.  I often think I am obnoxious.  It might make sense that God loves me but doesn’t like me much.

Yet today I feel that God has worked behind the scenes to disprove my fears.  I talked to God about living in his presence and I felt him indicate that I would talk to someone on the train today.  I rarely do that.  I get embarrassed.  However, I fell asleep reading my Bible commentary and when I awoke a stranger was sat next to me reading a Bible and a commentary.  I felt God wanted me to talk to him, but I lacked the courage.  I asked God for courage and found that I was soon talking to Duane Koenig of Moody Publishers. We talked all the way as we walked across Chicago to Moody where we both work.  He then gave me a tour of the Moody Publishers wing of Moody and we talked about my wife or me publishing for Moody.  I don’t know what will come of it – however, like Saul in 1 Samuel, I found that God had in store for me more than I had realised.  Perhaps God likes me.

1 Samuel 9

1 There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. 2Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.

 3 Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” 4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

 5When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

 6But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”

 7Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

 8 The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel[a] of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.” 9(Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)

 10“Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was.

 11As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”

 12 “He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice at the high place. 13As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”

 14They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

 15 Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed this to Samuel: 16“About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.”

 17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

 18Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

 19 “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”

 21Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”

 22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number. 23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”

 24So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

 25 After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house. 26 They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

Questions

  1. Describe Saul’s status and physique.
  2. Why would Saul appear to be the kind of man the people are looking for?
  3. How does God transform Saul?
  4. What God-given qualities do you have?
  5. What purpose does God have for your strengths?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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15 Responses to God Likes Me

  1. Rebecca Langer says:

    Describe Saul’s status and physique.
    Saul is described as being of good appearance and a head above the rest. He was in good standing, probably affluent.
    Why would Saul appear to be the kind of man the people are looking for?
    he had things going for him: good looking, wealthy, of status, it is just the kind of person that a nation would want for a King.
    How does God transform Saul?
    In the beginning, when Saul was first crowned King, he was ‘hiding in the baggage’ and timid, but when the Spirit came upon him, Saul had power.
    What God-given qualities do you have?
    I am a people person, and generally get along well with everyone. I am outgoing, and I like to make people feel welcomed.
    What purpose does God have for your strengths?
    I have already used them in ministry (i.e. camp counseling) and believe that I will continue to use them morer as time progresses (most likely in an El. Ed. classroom.)

  2. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. He was a Benjamite who came from a family of good standing. He is described as being good looking and a head taller than anyone else.
    2. He was tall which would incur respect from the people as well as the status of his family. The people would be glad to have a king who was easy to look at and who looked the part of a good king.
    3. He comes from the smallest tribe of Israel and feels that he is insignificant, however he is given the place of prominence at the feast and is chosen by God to be the king.
    4. God has given me the ability to encourage people and listen to them. He has also given me a heart that wishes to serve those around me.
    5. I think that He wants to use them to further His kingdom and in order to lift up other believers around me.

  3. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Saul was a Benjamite, son of Kish. Saul was handsome and was a head taller than everyone else in Israel.
    2. Saul would appear to be the kind of man the people are looking for because he is tall and handsome, and it would seem that he would be a good leader, based on that. That is the type of thing that the people were looking for in a king.
    3. God transforms Saul through the prophet Samuel.

  4. Amy Kringle says:

    1. He was tall and handsome.
    2. It seems like he is a strong person who would be respected by people because there is nothing wrong in his appearance.
    3. At first he felt insignificant but then through what Saamuel said, he was strenghtened.
    4. I look for opportunities to serve people and I am empathetic.
    5. He has given those strengths to build others up and serve them and help strenghten others and, as a whole, strenghten the body of believers.

  5. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. He was of the smallest tribe of Israel. He was a head above of everyone else and was the really good-looking.
    2. He was tall and handsome, which were desirable characteristics of a king.
    3. God transforms Saul through Samuel. Samuel esteems him higher than all the families in Israel.
    4. People have said that I am caring, compassionate, and cheerful (makes people smile).
    5. To show His love and kindness to those around me. Also, to be a living testimony for Christ.

  6. Cassie Clark says:

    1.Saul was in the smallest tribe of Benjamin and was considered to be very tall and handsome.
    2.He seemed attractive in human ways.
    3.Just in this chapter, God uses Samuel to esteem him highly.
    4. I have an ability to form a few, strong relationships. Also God has and is teaching me to think critically.
    5.Hopefully to teach and encourage others.

  7. Moon [ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.Describe Saul’s status and physique.as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else(v.2)
    2.Why would Saul appear to be the kind of man the people are looking for? “1Sam.8:20 our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles” People were looking for a king who could fight their battles so Saul’s manly good looking was the character that people looked for. also good looking could be a plus fact as their king before other nations.
    3.How does God transform Saul? God transformed Saul who came from a smallest tribe of Israel to a highest one of Israel.
    4.What God-given qualities do you have?
    5.What purpose does God have for your strengths? I believe God is and will be using my strengths for His righteous and His work.

  8. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) He was tall and handsome, someone who definitely looked like a leader.
    2) On the outside, Saul had the appearance of a powerful leader because he was strong and young.
    3) He transforms him from someone with fear to a couragous leader.
    4) I think I have a compassionate heart, and a sensitive conscience.
    5) I am not sure how God is going to use my strengths, knowing the Lord, he will probably use my weaknesses more than my strengths to furthur emphasize his power.

  9. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. Sual was as handsome of a young man as anyone could find and he was a head taller than the rest.
    2. Saul would appear to be the man people were looking for becuase he was tall and handsome, which if we face it often plays a role even in our like for a certain person, a certain politician, and so on, becuase humans tend to be very outwardly focused.
    3. God transformed Saul from being just another average man to having the opportunity to rule over all other families in Israel.
    4. God has given me the qualities of compassion and joy.
    5. God has given me these qualities for the purpose of enabeling me to be compassionate to His children and allowing His compassionate heart to shine through my own reaction to others’ needs. He has also equiped me with joy for the purpose of showing the world what joy He brings, and what a joy it is to know the Lord.

  10. Kristen Patush says:

    1.Describe Saul’s status and physique.

    Saul was a handsome young man and was a head taller than the rest. He was akso from the smallest tribe of Benjamin.

    2.Why would Saul appear to be the kind of man the people are looking for?

    He was handsome, strong, and young….a good leader in the eyes if the world!

    3.How does God transform Saul?

    God gives Saul the oppurtunity to be King over Israel.

    4.What God-given qualities do you have?

    God has given me the oppurtunity to attend Moody, study under the world’s finest professors, and hear some of the world’s most wonderful Bibe teachers on a daily basis! Unbeknownst to me, I would definitely say that God like me. =)

    5.What purpose does God have for your strengths?

    To serve Him, and glorify Him to the best of my abillity. To make disciples, and bring people closer to Him.

  11. Melissa Morris says:

    1. Saul had his physicalities going for him… he was handsome and young.
    2. Because we generally want someone who is strong and young to lead us.
    3. God gives him the chance to be king.
    4. Oh gosh… I’m terrible with these kinds of questions. I suppose discernment and the ability to listen well to others, as well as connecting well with others.
    5. To serve Him in the way that He called me to. Whatever job and place God has for me, I will go there and do my best for Him.

  12. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.Describe Saul’s status and physique.
    – a young man without ezual among the Israelites- a head taller than any of the others.
    2.Why would Saul appear to be the kind of man the people are looking for?
    – Because people who look at the appearance, unlike God does tend to get attracted by someone outstanding among them.
    3.How does God transform Saul?
    – From Saul who was just a common guy worrying about trivial things like donkeys and gifts to give to seer to Saul who was dignified by a message from God.
    4.What God-given qualities do you have?
    – honesty, openness.
    5.What purpose does God have for your strengths?
    – to make people encouraged through me.

  13. kendalle says:

    1.Describe Saul’s status and physique.

    Saul was from the smallest Tribe and was pretty good looking.

    2.Why would Saul appear to be the kind of man the people are looking for?

    He was amazingly good looking person and People though he was a great leader.

    3.How does God transform Saul?

    Saul becomes the King and Ruler of Israel from God.

    4.What God-given qualities do you have?

    I honestly Don’t know1

    5.What purpose does God have for your strengths?

    glorify Him with whenever he wants to do

  14. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1,Describe Saul’s status and physique.
    – He was an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites – a head taller than any of the others.
    2.Why would Saul appear to be the kind of man the people are looking for?
    – Because Saul was great looking
    3.How does God transform Saul?
    – God made him a King
    4.What God-given qualities do you have?
    – Patience
    5.What purpose does God have for your strengths?
    – Serving people even if they are those who bother me.

  15. aaron wright says:

    1. he was a big strong man
    2. great leader with the looks!
    3. God convicted him of his sin and made him king
    4. patience and compassion
    5. showing love and compassion to those in my youth group who dont see that at home.

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