In I Samuel 9:16, God told Samuel, “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.”
This verse tells us that God had heard the plea of His people for help: “For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.” So what did He do in answer to their cry? He says: “About this time tomorrow I will send a man to you …”. When God wanted to help His people, He send His deliverance through a person — in this case, the man Saul whom He had anointed as king, who would give them victories over the Philistines. We see this often in scripture: when God helps His people, He does it through a person:
— At the end of Exodus 2, it says that “God heard (Israel’s) groaning” under the persecution of the Egyptians — and then Chapter 3 begins: “Now Moses …”. God provided His deliverance to Israel through a person, Moses, whom He called.
— Surely the most prominent example of this is Jesus Himself. When God’s people needed deliverance from their sins, God didn’t accomplish it by waving a magic wand, or sending an angel to perform a miracle, He did it through a Person: as Galatians 4:4-5 says: “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Again, God provided His deliverance through a Person!
Not only does this call us to trust the Person of Jesus to deliver us from our sins, but it also reminds us that God often sends His temporal deliverances to us through the agency of a person — a God-sent individual whom He has assigned to help, to give, to pray, to counsel, to provide. God uses people to accomplish His purposes. When we are in need of help, and cry out to Him, and He sends His deliverance to us, we need to remember where the help came from — it may have appeared to come from a man, but it was in fact God providing through a person.
This truth should also challenge us to be sensitive to the needs of others, and to the voice of God’s Spirit directing us to help. We may well BE that person He wants to use to provide for His people in need of help!