1 Samuel 9

1 Samuel 9

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Saul Chosen to Be King

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.

Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the young men with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.” And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, let us go back, lest my father cease to care about the donkeys and become anxious about us.” But he said to him, “Behold, there is a man of God in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes true. So now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us the way we should go.” Then Saul said to his servant, “But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?” The servant answered Saul again, “Here, I have with me a quarter of a shekel of silver, and I will give it to the man of God to tell us our way.” (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let us go to the seer,” for today’s “prophet” was formerly called a seer.) And Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

As they went up the hill to the city, they met young women coming out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?” They answered, “He is; behold, he is just ahead of you. Hurry. He has come just now to the city, because the people have a sacrifice today on the high place. As soon as you enter the city you will find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat till he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.” So they went up to the city. As they were entering the city, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.

Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed to Samuel: “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.” When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.” Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?” Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?” Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”

Then Samuel took Saul and his young man and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons. And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside.’” So the cook took up the leg and what was on it and set them before Saul. And Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat, because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests.”

So Saul ate with Samuel that day. And when they came down from the high place into the city, a bed was spread for Saul on the roof, and he lay down to sleep. Then at the break of dawn Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Up, that I may send you on your way.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.

As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.”


1 Samuel 9 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Life is filled with so many common events.  What would our perspective be if we looked at even the common occurrences of life that set the table toward God making a move?  It is a solid truth that God uses all things to bring about His will.  Many times these common events lead us to the exact place we need to be at the right time for a revelation toward a greater adventure.

I know my life has had these time and again.  From random meetings, relationships took off and were birthed toward bigger things.  This happened between me and my associate Brad.  I took a meeting with this new Campus Life director of the county at Taco Bell one day. It’s funny because I wasn’t really keen on even having the meeting with the schedule I had.  But I felt I should go and meet at least.

Within just a few weeks, Brad reached out asking to meet weekly for discipleship, which we began immediately.  In time, that led toward God stirring in his own heart a call to the pastorate.  For a poor congregation, we stepped out and brought him on part-time.  As we’ve grown, the need for our congregation and outreach has also grown alongside that. God continued to confirm in his own heart this is his calling.  He comes on full time in the Spring.

It all began with a random, common event.  A lunch I didn’t even want to take.

The groundwork for the first king of Israel is being laid.  It opens with a lost donkey, a pursuit of what would be a precious commodity back then, and a chance encounter with Samuel.  Obviously, it wasn’t a chance encounter as God was orchestrating the entire event but to Saul, it was nothing more than random.  For Samuel, God had specifically told him the time and place when Saul would come into the city and what he was to say and do.  He knew this man, whom he had not ever met, was to be the king.

It’s such a fascinating story.  But it is also a tremendously interesting thought to zoom in on.  God can use all circumstances, from the good to the bad, to bring about the groundwork for the ever-unfolding of His will in our lives.

What would change in our thought process if we looked from this perspective upon various common relationships and meetings we may take or have?  What would change in our own interaction with these if we believed God could or would use these toward the shaping of not only his destiny in someone else but also ourselves?  AND, how would this change the topic of what we spoke of, speaking Holy Spirit, prophetic words into their lives?

I’ll tell you what it would do.  It would lead us on the greatest adventure we’ve ever considered.  The greatest adventure among the common, everyday thing – looking for where God is at work and joining Him there.

1 Samuel 9 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Saul had everything going for him. He came from a family of prominence and wealth. His father was most likely a feudal lord – a landowner and a leader in times of war. Saul was handsome and striking in his appearance being taller than all the rest. He was a man among men and someone whom people surely admired.

“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.”

1 Samuel 9:16 NASB

An interesting phrase to consider is the translation “prince over my people.” Notice, God does not say king or royal heir. The Hebrew word used here ‘nagid’ can also mean ruler or leader. The KJV uses the word ‘captain.’ Why not king?

The royal line was with Judah.

“Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up?  10  “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Genesis 49:9-10 NASB

This is a HUGE detail that foreshadows what is to come over the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. God did not see Saul as a fulfillment of prophecy in his kingly leadership. He was simply seen as a leader or commander. This was due to the people’s impatience with wanting a king like the other nations and deciding that they no longer would view God as their rightful King. This does not mean, however, that God was not involved in the decision. In fact, He would be the one to choose Saul so the people could experience what happens when they take matters into their own hands.

“He didn’t step off His throne just because Israel asked Him to. He would indeed give them a king, but He would send a flawed king to a flawed Israel.”

David Guzik

This is an important reminder for us. God may give us what we want in our impatience and selfishness, but in the end, it may not be what we really need.

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