Last week we read the story of Israel rejecting God’s rule, partially because of immoral behavior from Israel’s spiritual leaders. This week we will see Saul chosen as king. But how would you like to be chosen as king after what we learned in 1 Samuel chapter 8? Samuel told Israel that eventually an earthly king will exercise his rights. That means he’ll take their possessions as his own and tax their earnings, land, food, and cattle. He’ll force men & boys to fight in his army and force women to serve in his palace. Some he’ll take as his slaves. And God won’t step in to stop the king that Israel asked for in His place. So who would want to answer that Help Wanted ad? But even though Israel was destined to suffer because of their choice it didn’t mean that Saul was destined to be that type of king. Saul started with every opportunity to be a king, a man, that honored God and served Him well, even though his was placed in a bad situation. We have that same opportunity. No matter what situation we’ve been born into, pushed into, or found ourselves in, we get to choose whether or not to give into “destiny” or to defy it.
On Veteran’s Day our story opening story of defying destiny is very appropriate. If you don’t know of the Doolittle Raiders, it’s a tale of changing momentum in WWII. Months after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, these pilots staged an unlikely raid on Japan itself. While most didn’t expect success or much of a survival rate, out of 80 men on the crew, 3 died in the attack, 3 were caught and executed, and 1 more died in a Japanese prison. But even more amazing than the survival of 73 crewman were the results: even though they didn’t destroy much in the way of sensitive targets, it changed morale both in Japan and the US and it forced the Japanese to recall their aircraft carrier force back home from being in the Indian Ocean. These men were destined to fail but they defied destiny. Your life is never out of your hands. You always have a choice on what to do next.
1 Samuel 9: 15-17
1 Samuel 10: 1-27
1 Samuel 11: 11-15
Psalms 138: 6-8
Online Stories About the Doolittle Raiders