Friday, April 25, 2008

King Saul's Experience

Samuel Appoints Saul

1 Samuel 10

1Samuel took a jar of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head. He kissed Saul
and said, “The LORD has appointed you to lead his people. 2After you leave me
today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb on the border of Benjamin at
Zelzah. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you were looking for have been
found. But now your father has stopped thinking about his donkeys and is
worrying about you. He is asking, “What will I do about my son?”’

3“Then you will go on until you reach the big tree at Tabor. Three men on
their way to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One man will be
carrying three goats. Another will be carrying three loaves of bread. And the
third will have a leather bag full of wine. 4They will greet you and offer you two
loaves of bread, which you must accept. 5Then you will go to Gibeah of God,
where a Philistine camp is. When you approach this town, a group of prophets
will come down from the place of worship. They will be playing harps,
tambourines, flutes, and lyres, and they will be prophesying. 6Then the Spirit of
the LORD will rush upon you with power. You will prophesy with these
prophets, and you will be changed into a different man. 7After these signs
happen, do whatever you find to do, because God will help you.

8“Go ahead of me to Gilgal. I will come down to you to offer whole burnt
offerings and fellowship offerings. But you must wait seven days. Then I will
come and tell you what to do.”

Saul Made King

9When Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart. All these
signs came true that day. 10When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, Saul met
a group of prophets. The Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied with
the prophets. 11When people who had known Saul before saw him prophesying
with the prophets, they asked each other, “What has happened to Kish’s son? Is
even Saul one of the prophets?”

12A man who lived there said, “Who is the father of these prophets?” So this
became a famous saying: “Is even Saul one of the prophets?” 13When Saul
finished prophesying, he entered the place of worship.

14Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?”

Saul said, “We were looking for the donkeys. When we couldn’t find them,
we went to talk to Samuel.”

15Saul’s uncle asked, “Please tell me. What did Samuel say to you?”

16Saul answered, “He told us the donkeys had already been found.” But Saul
did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about his becoming king.

17Samuel called all the people of Israel to meet with the LORD at Mizpah.
18He said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I led Israel out of
Egypt. I saved you from Egypt’s control and from other kingdoms that were
troubling you.’ 19But now you have rejected your God. He saves you from all
your troubles and problems, but you said, ‘No! We want a king to rule over us.’
Now come, stand before the LORD in your tribes and family groups.”

20When Samuel gathered all the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin was
picked. 21Samuel had them pass by in family groups, and Matri’s family was
picked. Then he had each man of Matri’s family pass by, and Saul son of Kish
was picked. But when they looked for Saul, they could not find him. 22They
asked the LORD, “Has Saul come here yet?”

The LORD said, “Yes. He’s hiding behind the baggage.”

23So they ran and brought him out. When Saul stood among the people, he
was a head taller than anyone else. 24Then Samuel said to the people, “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!”

25Samuel explained the rights and duties of the king and then wrote them in a
book and put it before the LORD. Then he told the people to go to their homes.

26Saul also went to his home in Gibeah. God touched the hearts of certain
brave men who went along with him. 27But some troublemakers said, “How can
this man save us?” They disapproved of Saul and refused to bring gifts to him.
But Saul kept quiet.

The Holy Bible, New Century Version


Samuel had been an exceptional judge over Israel. But when it was time for him to retire, his sons were corrupt and inadequate for leading the nation. The people failed to recognize that God alone was their king and that their disobedience to him was the reason for their problems. God knew that Israel's desire for a king was based on her reliance on human rather than divine strength.


In the life of Saul, we learn the important lesson that seeking God and being obedient to him is far more important than all of the human strengths we may possess.


Pick at random a score of great saints whose lives and testimonies are widely known. Let them be Bible characters or well-known Christians of post biblical times. You will be struck instantly with the fact that the saints were not alike. Sometimes the unlikeness’s were so great as to be positively glaring. How different, for example, was Moses from Isaiah; how different was Elijah from David; how unlike each other were John and Paul, St. Francis and Luther, Finney and Thomas a Kempis. The differences are as wide as human life itself-differences of race, nationality, education, temperament, habit and personal qualities. Yet they all walked, each in his day, upon a high road of spiritual living far above the common way.

Their differences must have been incidental and in the eyes of God of no significance. In some vital quality they must have been alike. What was it?

I venture to suggest that the one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity. Something in them was open to heaven. Something which urged them Godward. Without attempting anything like a profound analysis. I shall say simply that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing. They did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response. They were not disobedient to the heavenly vision. As David put it neatly, "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8). (From The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer)


If you want to be used by God, what do you see as the source of your potential success? Are you relying too heavily on your human strengths or doubting because of your human weaknesses? Remember, only God's power can make us useful for service in his kingdom, and with his power we are more than conquerors.


Necessity of Divine Power-Exodus 3:11-12; Judges 6:12-14; 2 Chronicles 14:11; Ezra 1:2; Psalm 20:6-7; 2 Corinthians 12:9.

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