Faithful Lord, may your holy Word today free my praise, inspire my prayer, and shape my life.
Read 1 Samuel 10:9–27
Saul Made King
9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. 11 When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
12 A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.
14 Now Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?”
“Looking for the donkeys,” he said. “But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”
15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.”
16 Saul replied, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.
17 Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the Lord at Mizpah 18 and said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.’ 19 But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’ So now present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.”
20 When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken. Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22 So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”
And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.”
23 They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. 24 Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.”
Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
25 Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the Lord. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes.
26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectLord, I thank you that you give a voice to the voiceless and a platform to those overlooked. I thank you that your kingdom turns worldly values upside down and bids the broken-hearted to draw close to you.
There is an uncomfortable irony in this passage. For all his much-lauded strength and physical presence, Saul is noticeably quiet. In fact, in one scene he’s absent. When asked by his uncle how he fared during the donkey search, Saul replies that Samuel the prophet helped them locate the missing animals.
No mention is made of his extraordinary appointment as king-elect. And when Samuel convenes the people at Mizpah to confirm Saul’s appointment, he is nowhere to be found. He is hiding among the baggage (v 22). He is a man in hiding. Surely this kind of modesty is commendable; no one likes a spiritual show off! And yet the text implies that this is a sign of weakness on Saul’s part, that his silence and avoidance are indications of slippery, devious tendencies.
These shadowy characteristics will soon be revealed in Saul’s life. But it raises a tricky question for us. If we have a God-given gift or role that is recognized by others, why might we often shy away from pursuing it wholeheartedly?
Are there areas in your walk with God that would express less integrity than he deserves? Confess them and ask him for his power to live in altogether right ways.
Mighty God, I want to live a life that is pleasing to you. May I be willing to cooperate with your will and become the person you want me to be.
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