Saturday, July 16, 2011

1 Samuel 9 - A King for Israel: Tall Saul

LINK: 1 Samuel 9

BACKGROUND


In 1 Samuel 8, Israel demanded a king like all the other nations (8:5, 20) because the Ammonites were encroaching from the east (12:12-13). They did not fully understand that God was their king. Samuel was grieved, but the LORD told Samuel that the people were not rejecting him but God. It was not that a king was not good because God had already revealed that a king would come (Genesis 17:6, 16; 35:11; Deuteronomy 17:14-20), but the circumstances (fear of the enemy) and the timing were not in God's plan.

Samuel warned them that this king would not rule benevolently and would be a demanding dictator.  We will see that this was precisely what happened when Saul took the throne (14:52) with many more to follow (2 Samuel 15:1, 1 Kings 12:12-15; 21:7).

In 1 Samuel 9, the focus goes from Samuel to this new king, Saul.  He belonged to a powerful and wealthy Benjamite family. Saul was tall, strong, and good-looking. God orchestrated a meeting between Saul and Samuel due to lost donkeys. God had prepared Samuel for this meeting, and Samuel obeyed even though he was not thrilled about having a king because God had a purpose for Saul in weakening the Philistines (9:16 and like Samson in Judges 13-16). When Samuel revealed to Saul that he was to be king, he was astounded and felt unworthy (8:20-21).  Too bad he did not stay humble! 

Stay tuned! The story continues tomorrow.
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