When God Said, “Quit Your Crying!”
The prophet Samuel anointed Saul as king, mentored him, prayed for him and served with him. Saul wore the crown humbly and honorably for a while, but the longer he wore it, the more it wore him. He grew paranoid and prideful, so God rejected him as king.
Samuel was devastated. His nation faced an uncertain future, his mentorship had failed and his friendship would fade.
God created us to mourn, He extends mercy to the grieving and He commands us to care for the broken. Jesus wept. So we know that God’s not opposed to our grieving, but we learn a valuable lesson from I Samuel 16:1.
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
Samuel mourned too long, so God told him to quit his crying and get on with life and ministry. We don’t know exactly why God was so perturbed at Samuel’s excessive sadness, but I can offer a few guesses:
Samuel’s sadness underestimated God’s ability to rescue Israel.
Samuel’s sadness overestimated his failure in guiding Saul.
Samuel’s sadness crippled his current ministry.
Samuel’s sadness was leading him to misery instead of healing.
God already knew of a shepherd boy, David, with a heart after God’s own heart. He would become Israel’s greatest king. Samuel needed to lift his head and move forward. It was time to leave the past.
Have you ever considered that you’ve been crying for too long? I can’t pretend to know if you need to mourn more or less, and please don’t run away from the very place to where you should be running. But all of us need to at least consider the possibility that we may have overstayed our time in the duldrums.
Mourn well, mourn healthy and then
move off the couch as soon as you can.