King Saul was told to destroy the Amalekites; he was given a command from the Lord. He disobeyed that command and God said, “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night (1 Samuel 15:11-12 NIV).
Samuel was greatly disturbed when the Israelites wanted to have a king over them instead of recognizing God as their King. He was upset again when the anointed king would not follow the command of the Lord. He mourned. He went to Ramah and continued to grieve. God asked Samuel how long he would mourn—because there was still more to be done. God was to have him anoint a new king, King David.
There are moments in life when we get stuck in a hole, whether it be the sinking sand of failure or frustration or mourning or comfort (yes comfort), we don’t want to move. We embrace where we are at when God wants us to move forward. God told Samuel to fill up his horn—to get prepared and press onward and accomplish the task at hand. There’s more to be done my friend. Let us keep on keeping on.
“The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’” 1 Samuel 16:1 [NIV]
Did you ever take a hike through the woods and see the large trees that were planted many, many years ago? With the thick trunks and high branches the trees tower above all. I like to touch the bark of the tree and imagine how it went from a little tree to a great tree.
God promised that those who mourn in Israel would be “like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” Great oaks. I’ve heard of oak trees that were 30 feet wide and 60 feet tall. I have not seen anything so great with my own eyes but these trees are in the record books.
Those who were mourning became great oaks. They went from the lowest place in life to the greatest position. Why? For God’s glory. No matter where you are at in life, God can take your life and turn you into a great oak when you are firmly rooted in him.
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” – Isaiah 61:3 [NLT]