Did you know you can pay for personalized messages from actors, politicians or athletes? Almost any famous figure you can imagine. You can do so through an app called Cameo.
Well, what can I say, I had a few boring moments during quarantine. As a result, I’ve gone through some Cameo videos. I didn’t pay for anything, but I watched people like Troy Aikman, Randy Travis, Tommy Chong, and Anthony Anderson, to name a few.
When I watched some of these videos, I noticed something.
First, celebrities, of course, use the recipient’s name. That’s the kicker, having your favorite musician or actor recognize you. Typically, a friend or family member arranged and paid for the video. So, they also say that friend’s name. It reminds me of when the wait staff comes to your table on your birthday. They don’t know who you are, but someone told them there was a birthday.
Something else struck me, though. It was what almost all the celebrities said. It went something like, “Your friend told me about what you’re going through. I know what you’re going through is difficult. I know you’ve had a hard time.” Or they’d say, “I know you’ve been sick.”
Well, they read it from a form someone completed online. So, yes, they knew. But how much can you know about someone’s pain and struggle from one sentence or just by what someone else has told you?
Knowing involves more, doesn’t it?
Saul had planned to kill David. The king couldn’t stand the younger warrior’s success and fame. When David escaped from Saul in 2 Samuel 19, he went to see the prophet, Samuel.
Once Saul found out where David was, he sent messengers to capture him. When the messengers arrived they saw a group of prophets in a “frenzy,” led by Samuel. This was normal practice for prophets. As they prophesied, speaking praise to God, I assume, the messengers came under the spirit’s pull.
They joined the frenzy.
Saul found out and sent more messengers. The same thing happened to them. And it happened a third time with another group. Each time, Saul heard and knew what was happening.
Finally, he went himself.
Was he tired of hearing about what was happening? Did he run out of messengers? Was he intrigued? Whatever the case, Saul went to David himself. He, too, fell into a frenzy. This wasn’t the first time Saul had experience with this kind of activity. Read how that started in 1 Samuel 10.
Now, this isn’t a simple text. Saul will not reign for good; God rejects Saul as king. You also have to question the spirit Saul received from God. Some scholars have suggested Saul was insane.
So, I don’t mean to take all that lightly and churn out a trite Sunday school lesson. Instead, I think the deepness of the text invites us into a deeper understanding of the story.
And we can say the same thing about other stories found in scripture. Even about faith itself.
We can’t see or experience the deeper meanings if we aren’t willing to go past superficial knowledge. Knowing the story of Saul is one step in knowing how his experience speaks life into ours.
In order for us to truly know how God speaks to us, how faith moves mountains and how the mercy of God changes us, we have to go beyond just what someone else has told us. God has something to speak directly to your heart. It may be in a frenzy. It may be in a quiet moment of prayer or while in worship or service with God’s church.
Be willing to know more about God than those celebrities know about the people in their videos.