“Therefore they inquired further of the Lord, ‘Has the man [Saul] come here yet?’ So the Lord said, ‘Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage.’ So they ran and took him from there . . . ” 1 Samuel 10:22-23
This is quite remarkable when you realize that the people were trying to make Saul king. The KING was hiding among the baggage! At first glance, you might give Saul some credit. Maybe he was humble? Maybe he was terrified of being king? But as you continue to read 1 Samuel, you see that “humbleness” or even “cowardice” just doesn’t appear as a description of Saul – ANYWHERE. So what was going on? Why was he hiding among the baggage? I have a theory – he was self-focused. He wasn’t focused on God or why God had chosen him. He was self-focused on being the “smallest of the tribes of Israel” and his family the “least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin” (1 Samuel 9:21). Those are Saul’s own words, but I don’t think these statements came out of humility – it was insecurity He was ashamed of where he came from and he feared what the people would think of him. Insecurity is a form of pride. And let me tell you – Saul had some pride! After he became king, he grew jealous of another man you might know well – David. You see David was everything Saul was not. He was humble. He was brave. He was not self-focused – He was God focused. Let me prove it to you.
David’s brothers were in Saul’s army. They were “fighting” the Philistines. David’s father told David to take his brothers some food. So David does. And when he does, he hears about a giant named Goliath – taunting the Lord of Hosts! Let’s see what David does.
“Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle array, army against army. Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line . . . ” 1 Samuel 17:21-22
Saul hides when God calls. David stands when God calls. Others have to run to find Saul among the baggage when God calls. David runs away from the baggage to the battle lines when God calls. Quite a difference, is it not?
The word “baggage” in the Hebrew means “stuff.” It can be anything from clothing to weapons. It is the junk you carry with you. It is the junk you may not even need. It is the stuff you hide behind. It is your insecurity. It is your pride. It is your fear. Saul hid. David ran. What do you do?
Ohhh. Bad question, isn’t it? Stings a little, doesn’t it? We are all a hot-mess of insecurity, doubts, fears, pride, and all forms of yuck. We all have a lot of baggage. But we as Christians have to look at ourselves with all honesty and try to overcome all of our baggage and follow the path God has for us. Easier said that done, right?
But David. David was probably a boy about 16 years old. He was the youngest of his brothers. He had been teased his entire life. He had a lot to live up to. He could have let his insecurity well up. He could have hid among the baggage – but he didn’t. Not even when his brothers told him to take a hike. They didn’t want David there. What do you do when people tell you to take a hike? Do you shrug your shoulders and say you must not have heard from God at all? When you get a discouraging word, do you question God’s voice and turn away? Do you hide among your baggage?
We will all face obstacles. We will all face people that tell us we don’t deserve to be where we are or where we are going. We all face those people that just put a damper on everything. And we all face our own baggage. We need to walk past those telling us to take a hike, and leave our baggage behind. We need trust God’s voice, follow His lead, and know He’s GOT THIS. God knows who YOU can be IN HIM.
God wants you to walk to the battle lines because the “battle is not yours, but Gods” (2 Chronicles 20:15). He wants you to pick up some smooth stones and put them in your pouch. He wants you to have the confidence that when you draw out that first stone and face that giant that HE is with you. God wants you to know that when you fling that stone it will fly by HIS might – not yours.
And when the stone hits, don’t be surprised. This was God’s fight all along. Just think what you would have missed if you continued to hide among the baggage.
So today, Christian Warrior – leave your baggage and grab that stone.