Atomic Jesus Supernaturalist

Saul then.  Saul now.
Suppose a Soul living in today's high-tech world should by chance open a Bible and happen to read these words:   
"So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel that God gave him another heart and all those signs came to pass that day."  {First Samuel, Chapter 10, verse 9}.  Those words create a transition in an important story.  It's the story of a farm-boy who became a king. 

Under the watchful eye of Samuel the Judge, Saul the tall young Benjamite is set on his way to Mizpah to be crowned as the first king over Israel's twelve tribal families.  It was in Mizpah that the people first greet their new monarch with the cheer, "God save the king!"  The farm-boy from the tribe of Benjamin was given a new lease on life by the living God Himself.

Before Saul's unexpected journey to wealth and fame began, Samuel the Judge had given Saul certain information that would enable Saul to know that almighty God had indeed taken an interest in the Benjamite farm-boy:  "At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you with power, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person."  The supernatural facts are plain.  The straightforward story of Saul's rise and fall is written for all to see.

The secular-materialist mindset of today's world is hardened against almighty God.  People embrace ideas that enable them to think the Hebrew/Christian Bible is perhaps a document of social symbolism; or perhaps a collection of clever tales designed for the oppression and exploitation of lesser, not-so-clever people.  

During this present Age, the people of planet Earth have been absolutely free to choose thinking of, believing in, and worshipping whatever ideas about "god" they happen to like.  In Western culture, "the god of no-god" is a popular choice.  A complete list of so-called "deities" now commanding worship in this world would be long and strange.  "Religion" has always been a strange business.  In every Age of this old world, people have always had difficulty understanding there is nothing religious about God.

Before Saul was crowned, the LORD told Samuel that the people of Israel had insulted Him with their whining insistence for a "king to rule over them."  As if God Himself weren't good enough.  The tribes of Israel wanted their Nation to imitate the nations around them.  They wanted a "king", too.  In the Old Testament, the people of Israel play the part of all humanity.  Then, as now, the people are squares surrounded by the circle of God's immutable determinations.  Then, as now, the people are never satisfied for long.  They always want more.  They are always filled with doubts and fears.  Those twelve tribes of Israel were awed by trappings of worldly majesty and power.  In their darkened and fearful minds, their own history had become myth.  At the time of Saul's coronation, nearly 400 years had flown by since the days when God scorched the land of Egypt, destroyed Egypt's Pharaoh and established Israel as a power in that part of the world.   A lot of people today are still talking about those days and working hard to convince themselves none of it happened.

Four-hundred years seems a long time by human measurement.  By God's Standard, it is miniscule.  In a short 400 years, the tribes of Israel had lost reverence for the spectacular events that freed them from slavery in Egypt.  God hadn't lately done anything spectacular.  The generation Saul inherited were impressed by the pomp and circumstance of outlandish kings.  So God gave Israel her first king:  Saul.

God does all things well in this old world and He didn't spare Himself with Saul.  To start with, God gave Saul another heart.  God made Saul "a different person" in an instant of time.  The materialist mind of this modern world can hardly (if at all) imagine how such an instantaneous transformation of personality could be accomplished.  It takes time to do things in this world.  Nothing good happens overnight.  Etc.  Etc.   All that stuff is true as long as it applies only to this world.   Applying human perceptions of time to the being and presence of God is absurd.  God created time.  In His hands, time is a tool.

When Saul ascended the earthly throne of Israel, he was starting with a God-given clean slate.  When Saul's reign ended he was covered with shame.  He had become the consort of witches.  His death was ignoble.  The allure of earthly power went to his head.  Saul started believing (as other kings have believed) that his authority and power were self-originating, self-directed, and self-perpetuating.  Today, many people are thinking the same way:  me, myself, and I.

Receiving a new start in life on Earth (even from God Himself) does not excuse an earth-dweller from taking responsibility for the choices that we all must make.  In Old Testament days, God took limited counsel with human creatures.  During this present Age of Grace, the Christ of God has made His Presence universally accessible:  "Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the LORD of hosts."  Taking advantage of this privilege is a choice.

In this dying world of space-and-time, the yearning, troubled living Soul can turn to God "in Spirit and in truth" through the Office of His Christ, Jesus of Nazareth. God through His Christ-Spirit takes it from there.  Anyone in this world today who is sincere in their asking and in their determination to wait on God for an answer can "get another heart" just as Saul did, 3000-odd years ago.

It's sad, but for many people such an instance is not to be.  A confusion of religion, politics, and science does its mind-boggling work of slow death.   Lucifer chortles.  God is grieved with the hardness of our hearts and yet He allows the beat to go on, and on.  But for how long?  Certainly not forever.

Approximately 2000 years have passed since Jesus ordained the new testament of His blood in this old world.  Not long after the incarnate Christ established that new covenant, another young Benjamite, also named Saul, began working with murderous diligence to stamp out the anti-religious doctrine spreading like wildfire through the new disciples of Christ.  This bloody young Saul was changed in one thunderous instant from a persecutor of Christ into one of His most eloquent and devoted disciples.

Before his encounter with the Christ of God, Paul the apostle had been known as Saul the persecutor.  As a zealous persecutor of Christ's disciples, Saul breathed "murder and destruction" against them.  As his ancient namesake had been, Saul the persecutor was a Benjamite.  Along with a new name, Paul the apostle was given a new heart, just like old king Saul.  Unlike old king Saul, Paul the apostle remained faithful and is today considered by many to be the most eloquent of all the new testament writers.

Hindsight is always 20/20.  So take a sharp look back through the lens of time with a simultaneous focus on Saul the first king of Israel, and Paul nee Saul, apostle of Christ. Some people might say their names and the dramatic changes that took place in their lives is merely a coincidence.  But in reflection isn't it worth wondering (and without too much doubt) if God the Father hadn't planned it all along?

thesupernaturalist.com
This page was created on January 15th 2002
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