Outer Wrapping? Not Worth Much!
We just started our advanced Bible class on Kings of the United Kingdom. That means that we will be studying about Saul, David and Solomon. Our first class included some introductory material and the very beginning of Israel’s cry for a king and Samuel meeting Saul. One particular verse prompted this article.
1 Samuel 9:2 Kish 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.
Why mention how handsome Saul was and how tall he was? Because Israel’s outcry for a king was based on what I would call “outer wrappings”. You see, in Israel’s own words, “appoint a King to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
Israel already had Jehovah as their KING and His appointed prophet, Samuel, as their judge. But they wanted to be like all the other nations around them; PAGAN NATIONS, IDOLATROUS NATIONS. They yearned to look like every other nation; no longer content with being GOD’S CHOSEN NATION.
So what did God do? He let them have exactly what their hearts desired. Did God do so because He agreed with their outcry for a king? NO! In fact, God told Samuel, 1 Sam. 8:7-8, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their King. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.” His punishment for their rebellion was to give them exactly what they wanted.
How did Israel react when they received Saul as their king? 1 Sam. 11:15 “So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul King in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.” In Israel it was PARTY TIME!
So how did their “Saul experiment” end? Read 1 Samuel 9-31 and you will witness the details of the train-wreak called King Saul; misery, pain, domination, etc. Be sure and remember that it all started when Israel became smitten with “outer wrappings”.
Lesson? Obsession with outward appearance (failure to look deeper inside) will usually end in a train wreck; whether for a person, a couple, a family, or a nation.
Samson can personally testify to the extreme price-tag of obsession with the outward - eyes gouged out. The sons of God in Gen. 6 can also bear witness to the bankrupting cost of fascination with the outward beauty of the daughters of men - the FLOOD!
Also notice that New Testament scriptures point out for Christians:
1 Pet 3:3-4 “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Tim 2:9-10 “likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.”
Nations need to be trained how to recognize the INWARD qualities of a leader who honors and reveres God Almighty and His Son, Jesus the Christ. Young men and women need to be trained to spot the INWARD qualities of someone who honors and reveres God Almighty and His Son, Jesus the Christ. Note: only citizens and parents who “honor and revere God Almighty and His Son, Jesus the Christ” can recognize a godly leader for the nation and train their children to find a godly spouse.
When life is all said and done, remember this: Outer Wrapping? Not Worth Much!