Advent – the God of salvation

Advent – the God of salvation

Acts 13:21

“Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.”

Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob but received the fiercest of blessings.

“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil” (Genesis 49:27).

It was the smallest of the 12 tribes but at times the cruellest of stories involve this tribe. The worst has to be the horrific death and abuse of the unnamed Levites concubine and the refusal to hand over the perpetrators meant that they were nearly annihilated by the other tribes.

The tribe was the smallest but in its history great people emerge: Ehud the warrior who delivered Israel from Moab; Mordecai and Esther rose to deliver the Jews from death; the reluctant appointment by God of Saul, the first king of Israel; and of course it is not coincidence that Paul is referring to Saul as a man holding the same name and from the same tribe as him, for he too was an apostle ‘abnormally’ chosen.

So the truth is this:

1.Benjamin was the smallest, the youngest and the most insignificant of tribes.

That could be how you describe yourself.

However, a King has come to save you.

2. Benjamin is compared to a wolf, known for devouring and dividing, preying and spoiling.

That could be who you are, that could be a reputation of you or someone you love.

However, a King has come to save you.

3. Saul was chosen reluctantly by God. Though held within his Sovereignty, Israel should never have asked for a King, God was their leader.

That could be how you feel, unimportant to God, not having His full pleasure.

However, a King has come to save you.

4. In the family there can be horrendous skeletons where the past is best forgotten but it is difficult when so many know of it.

That could be within your history.

However, a King has come to save you.

5. Greatness can emerge, it is possible. Saul symbolised Israel’s sin against God but Saul/Paul symbolised God’s grace to man, a murderer was forgiven.

This grace is available to you and to all.

A King has come to save you.

That King was not Saul, son of Kish. That King is Jesus!

The man from Benjamin also said in a later letter: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst” (1 Tim 1:15)

Christmas is not about anything else but this:

Jesus Christ came to save you from your sins.

After explaining that Mary was with child by the Holy Spirit, the angel told Joseph, “And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21)

Advent is about God bringing salvation to the least and the most undeserving.

To you and me.

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