Resting In God’s Sovereignty – Earl Seals

Transcript: Hey, welcome back, CBF family. I’m excited to share with you a thought that is sometimes difficult to understand. As a matter of fact, it has to do with trials and obstacles. It has to do with not understanding, always, why God is allowing certain things into your life.

As a matter of fact, if you asked me what was my absolute favorite chapter in the Bible, you would probably never guess it. My favorite chapter is 1 Samuel 9. I remember reading it for the first time – I’m not going to read it all to you now; I can’t. But I would encourage you to go back and look at it, because it is just simply awesome.

It starts with Kisch, who is the dad of Saul, and Saul was the first king of Israel. So here’s Kish, and he has these donkeys. The scene is the donkeys get lost and Saul is assigned by his dad to go out and find the donkeys. From that, he grabs one of his servants.

I remember reading one of the first verses. It says “Kish was a man of wealth.” I circled that and went, huh. He was a man of wealth. From there, it shows the journey of where Saul and the servant are running all over Israel. Common day Judah, Israel at the time.

I remember starting to map it out, and there was 15 miles between this city and this city, and then they went another 30 miles to this city and this city. If you’ve ever been to Israel, you’ll know that it’s really diverse. It’s got Mount Hebron, which is 10,000 feet in elevation, and it’s got the lowest point on Earth, which is the Dead Sea, 1,000 feet below sea level.

When you see the road that they took, they’re traveling all over the place. I want you to imagine. It shows in here that I believe three days have gone by. They’re sitting on the top of the mountain, and you can kind of get the dialogue between Saul and the servant.

He says something like, “Yo, we can’t find those stupid donkeys. We should maybe go back because Dad’s going to get worried about us.” One thing leads to the next, and the servant pulls out a quarter of a shekel of silver.

The servant says, “Why don’t we go down to Jerusalem and talk to Samuel, who is a profit? Everything he says is true and right. He knows what’s going on. We don’t have anything to give him. We’ve eaten all our bread. Ah, here’s the silver.” He’s like, “Ah, that’s great, let’s go.”

They go down there, and as they’re entering the town – one of the most miraculous parts of the Bible I think is awesome – God says to Samuel, “Look up. Here comes the guys that I told you were going to come. I told you yesterday they were going to come today.”

It shows two things. You have Samuel, that God has preemptively ordained that these two guys are going to show up. And then you’ve got the two guys sitting on the mountaintop going, “What should we do? We should probably go home.” But God already knew what they were going to do.

Why do I tell you that stuff? Because of this. The donkeys. The donkeys were lost. If you understand the representation of the donkeys, you’ll understand.

See, back then, in an agrarian or agricultural type setting, your donkeys were your wealth. They were your influence – in a lot of cases maybe your pride, maybe your image, maybe your status in the community. They certainly might be your hope for the future. They might be the inheritance of the son or the daughter. They represented a lot.

And yet the donkeys were lost. If you think about that statement, the question is, how did they get out? Who left the gate open? What fencepost fell down, or maybe what donkey ran through the fence? Stupid donkey.

Quite frankly, that’s kind of like life. I had a flat tire and the plane was delayed and I lost this client, and – this sounds odd – I lost my job. I call them God-allowed circumstances.

There is a difference, quite frankly. We can have self-imposed consequences. Our sin, there’s a payment associated with that. There’s some problems associated. You drink a lot and you drive and you hit a telephone pole, congratulations, you chose to make some bad decisions.

But often we’re walking through life and situations arise that I just don’t understand. Provided that I’m pursuing personal holiness in my relationship with God, here’s what I know. I can rest in His sovereignty.

The donkeys get lost. The donkeys got out. The donkeys wandered all over. But what was interesting was this: they ran all over trying to find them, and finally there’s a crossings where they come to the end of themselves. They have no more food. They’re starving, their feet hurt, their backs hurt.

They’ve looked under not every rock, but around the rocks, and they can’t find these stupid donkeys – before they finally give up in their own power and say, “Why don’t we go ask God where they’re at? Go down and talk to Samuel, because he is a man of God and everything he says is right and true.”

Then when they go down there, the donkeys are there.

It is interesting that so often we come to the end of ourselves first, before we lean in and say, “My life is not my own. My life is your life. I don’t always understand, nor do I need to understand. I am yours. Do with my life as you choose.”

In that, you can have peace and you can have rest. So this week let’s pursue, this month let’s pursue, resting in both the sovereignty and the power of the Lord.