Get Busy, Get Happy
Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house at Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless, Samuel mourned for Saul, and the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel. 1Sa 15:34-35 NKJV
Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons." 1Sa 16:1 NKJV
Saul sinned, Samuel was sad and God seemed out of the picture. Did I mention that Samuel mourned?
This was the context when Samuel left Saul and went to Ramah. In fact, the scriptures state that Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death. This was truly the end of an era. Sometimes relationships end. From day one, Samuel the prophet was there for this young Saul. He ordained him, he taught him, he supported him, and interceded for him. Saul and Samuel were integrated. He was the first king and Samuel would do all that he could do to assist him to be a success. He was not a success. He failed in obeying the Lord, and God rejected him. It was tragic, and for that, Samuel mourned. He was sad because he disappointed Saul, himself, and most importantly, he disappointed God. Perceived self failure is catastrophic for the soul and the psyche of man.
Although it seems that God was absent, he was not. God now enters the scene and simply asks, "How long will you mourn for Saul? It was a straightforward question. Suggested in this question was that your mourning is under your jurisdiction and it can stop if you choose. Interesting to think that God is asking the great prophet how much longer you are planning on being sad. Is happiness a choice? How often do you and I hold onto things that we do not need to hold onto? We can often mourn, which seems so spiritual, longer than God has ordained. We hold on to past disappointments to the degree it harms us. Samuel did, and unfortunately, we do it as well. “How long”, would be the question which God would ask?
Samuel was stuck, and the Great Psychologist of man’s soul had a remedy. Get busy he would say. Focus on the future and not on the past. Get your eyes off yourself and focus them on something much larger than yourself. Get a vision for the future. Yes, that was his remedy. Listen to what he said, Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons." Fill your horn with oil and go, for I have provided a king among sons.
Get involved, get a vision and get going. That seemed to be what Samuel needed to get over this emotional “hump”. And it worked, for once Samuel obeyed the Lord and pursued another vision, he seemed better. This seems evident by the fact that from this point on we never hear of Samuel mourning or being sad again.
Samuel was not happy for a lot of reasons, one of which was he lost a vision for the future. Energy follows vision, depression follows ambivalence. He seemed to be adrift, having a perceived failure in his ability to mentor king Saul. He was adrift not knowing what he should be doing. Perhaps, he was even sad because he believed he disappointed God. This was his most notable failure, you know. Samuel was sad and he was sad for a long time. Mourning can often flee when we move. It worked for Samuel and it will work for you and me.
David would be his cure. You see, David was the answer for Samuel. He would be the new vision that he lost when Saul chose to disobey God. David would be the answer for Israel. He would become the king, and offer hope to a people who have felt adrift under the poor leadership of Saul. David was the “king among sons''.
So Samuel took his oil and went to Jesse’s humble home and worshiped there. No one knew what Samuel was actually doing there. Only him and God, but he had an agenda, and that agenda would eventually change the course of this world. God would in fact find a better man. He was a boy. Samuel would now have a vision, to first anoint and then to mold, form, and be a mentor. It would be this act of anointing and this act of mentoring that would lift Samuel’s spirit.
Samuel was not the first to find hope in a young life. He was not the first to find a life that had been battered and beaten by life’s disappointments to regain its ground in a child, in a future perspective. In fact, this person was not very far from David himself. It was his great-grandmother-in-law. Like the great grandmother-in-law of David, Naomi was invigorated because she gave herself wholly to the raising of Obed, David’s grandfather. You see, the opportunity to give oneself to something larger than themselves would in fact liberate one and cause them to “mourn no more”.
What perceived personal failure or disappointing situation are you holding onto that is making you sad? Your happiness may actually be a choice. Choose differently. Choose to pursue the will of the Lord. Choose to pursue the future. Choose to find life again in a vision, in a person, in the will and way of God.