”The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel?’” (1 Samuel 16:1, ESV).
Calvary Monterey is studying the life of David in 1-2 Samuel this year. But before King David, there was King Saul, the first king of Israel. He was a failed king, more concerned with his kingdom that God’s, so God rejected him and his line from sitting on the throne. God would have established his throne forever, but instead went looking for a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14-14). That God-hearted man was David, but at the point of the quote above, Saul was still on the throne. He would be for another fifteen years or so, but God was ready to move on. He asked Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul?”
There are times when God has moved on, and so must we. We should not conclude that God is insensitive, for the life of Christ disabuses us of that notion. He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). He shows us what God is like, how God feels, what the Father thinks (Hebrews 1:1-3). And what Jesus reveals is a God who is heart-broken and sorrowful over the brokenness of humanity. So, here with Samuel and Saul, we should not think of God as a cold and unconcerned deity. No, He is more heartbroken over Saul than Samuel could ever be, but still, He has moved on to the next part of His redemptive plan. He was not going to stay stuck on Saul — and neither should Samuel.
Again, there are times we must move on because God has. God has made all of us uniquely, and everyone has events in life that press their buttons, but sometimes we are far too sensitive. We allow some hurt or failure or brokenness to define us. In those moments, we are in danger of sitting at a crossroads of life, unwilling to progress, staring at the road in front of us. “Let’s move on,” God says, but we are often unwilling. Samuel was crushed that it hadn’t worked out with Saul, but it hadn’t, and that was that. Time to go. David was in store. God had a “new plan A.”
I know I’ve gotten stuck in the past plenty of times. I’ve wondered how such-and-such could happen, or how so-and-so could have done what they did (myself included). I’ve had those moments of paralysis where I’ve become unable to enjoy God’s “new plan A.” I haven’t moved on. But when God has, we must. What about you? Have you ever found yourself stuck when God isn’t? He has forgiven, or redeemed, or is using the brokenness or hurt for something good in you, because that’s how He rolls (Romans 8:28). This is not always easy. Sometimes it takes a lifetime (and this article isn't about pains that deep). But we must allow Him. Like Samuel when he packed his bags and went to anoint David, let’s move on if God has, joining Him for His new plan A.