1 Samuel 9:1-11:15 Comments by Stephen Ricker
one tidbit at a time read & study work the soil kind & courteous be serious about books the lion king stay connected to now dig in deep CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE

Samuel Anoints Saul as King
Comments for Study 4

1 Samuel 9:1-11:15
Memory Verse: 11:6

BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MAP OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF ISRAEL.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF ISRAEL'S KINGS.

I. Let's Go Home (9:1-27)

>1. Describe Saul. (1-2)

* 1 Samuel 9:1-2 "There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites--a head taller than any of the others."

* "a man of standing" -Most likely this means he was an elder too.

* "Kish" -Some think Kish was the grandson of Abiel and son of Ner. He was apparently a man of wealth, owning both asses and servants (1 Sam. 9:3). The description of Saul as being from the humblest family of the tribe of Benjamin is probably a good example of oriental modesty (1 Sam. 9:21). (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Saul" -Saul means asked for.”

* "a head taller than any of the others" -God's choice of Saul has some hidden comedy for the Philistines were often tall (i.e. Goliath) thus making the Israelites see themselves "like grasshoppers in (their) own eyes." (Num. 13:33) Saul ended up showing that height is not always the cause of victory and success.

* A nation is in sad state when it wants, follows, and/or chooses a leader by outward appearances. The same can be said of a congregation who chooses its pastor and/or elders.

* Saul will also be described before his rise to power as humble and obedient to his father.

* The year is now 1050 B.C. Saul was born in 1080 B.C. He is thirty years old. Samuel is forty-five years old for he was born believed to be born in 1105 B.C.

>What event led him to Samuel? (3-5)

* 1 Samuel 9:3-5 "Now the donkeys belonging to Saul's father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys." So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them. When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, "Come, let's go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us."

* "Take one of the servants" -This shows that Saul's father's household was of some wealth and standing.

* "donkey" -A humorous play on the fact that a rebellious and stubborn nation had asked for a king. (Isa. 1:3) Contrast this to David, the shepherd boy.

* "the hill country of Ephraim" -Ephraim means "two pasture lands." It bordered the land of Benjamin. An entire region is intended rather than a particular mount. The following cities were located in the hill country of Ephraim: Bethel (Judges 4:5); Gibeah (Joshua 24:33); Ramah (Judges 4:5); Shamir (10:1); Shechem (Joshua 20:7); Timnath-heres or -serah (Joshua 19:50; Judges 2:9).

* "Shalisha" -Shalisah means "the third." It is probably the same as Baal Shalishah. Baal-shalishah may be modern Kefr Thilth, twenty miles south-west of Shechem. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Shaalim" -Shaalim means caves, cavities.” The place is sometimes equated with Shaalbim or the land of Shual. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Benjamin" -Benjamin means "son of the south."

* "Zuph" -Zuph means "honeycomb." Samuel's grandfather gave the name to the place. It's exact location is not known.

* "my father" -Saul was thinking about his father. He knew that his father loved him and cared about him more than a group of donkeys. Saul's childhood seems to be a good one. He was from a stable and upright family.

>Whose idea was it to go to Samuel? (6-10)

* 1 Samuel 9:6-10 "But the servant replied, "Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let's go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take." Saul said to his servant, "If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?" The servant answered him again. "Look," he said, "I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take." (Formerly in Israel, if a man went to inquire of God, he would say, "Come, let us go to the seer," because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.) "Good," Saul said to his servant. "Come, let's go." So they set out for the town where the man of God was."

* "But the servant replied" -The servant brought up of the idea to seek God for help through Samuel; Saul did not. Some have used this to say Saul was not spiritually inclined and thus easy to see why his kingship failed. However such hind-sighted judgment is not wise. Are we any different? No. Only two were ever born in a relationship with the Father because they were sinless; is Adam (created not born) and Jesus. Everyone else was called before they knew God were still in sin. We are are like Saul and David who wrote, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psalms 51:5) Paul, perhaps from his own experience wrote in Romans 3:9-18, "What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.' 'Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.' 'The poison of vipers is on their lips.' 'Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.' 'Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.' 'There is no fear of God before their eyes.'"

* "in this town there is a man of God" -Some say that this shows that Saul did not know of Samuel and then ask how could the former passages say that Samuel was known by all Israel. Rather, Saul most likely knew of Samuel, but did not know where his house was since Samuel traveled to three other locations besides his house to preform his duties. Saul and his father's family would have gone to the site that was closest to his house. He easily would have know of Samuel without knowing where his house was. How many church goes knows there pastor from the pew without knowing where he lives?

* "he is highly respected" -The servant had a good knowledge of Samuel, more so than Saul. Later Saul's attitude would show that he did not take time to learn and understand the things of God and his knowledge of Scriptures remained poor after the Lord called him.

* "seer" -Seer is "roeh" in Hebrew where prophet is "nabi" in Hebrew. Seer here means someone who discovers things for someone for personal reasons. The seer can be informed or inspired by God or an evil spirit. Later the two words were used interchangeably, for in 1 Chronicles Samuel is called a roeh without any sense of incongruity. (1 Chron. 9:22, 26:28, 29:29)

* "What can we give the man?" -The Lord said we should never come to him empty handed.

* If anyone believes and/or says that they were a good person before they accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord cannot have a relationship with him because the first step in accepting the need from a Savior is to acknowledge we need to be saved from our sins and that we were completely utterly lost and corrupted without him.

* "everything he says comes true" -Deuteronomy 18:21-22 states the requirements of a prophet. "You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Many have claimed to speak for Jesus. Among them are people whose words are not Jesus' words. If they predict a date of the rapture and Jesus' second coming and it does not come to be, then the person should not be listened to. If says they are of Jesus, but point to someone else, then they are not to be listened to.

* "a quarter of a shekel of silver" -Before coins silver and gold were weighed out.

>Did they know where he lived? (11-14)

* 1 Samuel 9:11-14 "As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some girls coming out to draw water, and they asked them, "Is the seer here?" "He is," they answered. "He's ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice at the high place. As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time." They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place."

* "some girls coming out to draw water" -They usually did this in the cool of the evening.

* "He's ahead of you. Hurry..." -Samuel was on the road that Saul was on. Samuel was returning from traveling. Most likely he was completing his ministry circuit.

* "for the people have a sacrifice" -Samuel was required to offer the sacrifice according to his priestly duty.

* "before he goes to the high place to eat" -Depending on the type of offering, the priest were allowed to eat a portion of the sacrifice. (Ex. 19; all of Leviticus, Num. 15 & 28-29)

* "those who are invited will eat" -Depending on the type of offering, the people were allowed to eat a portion. The Lord's portion was the fat, which was burnt on the altar.

* "to the high place" -Israelite sacred places, temples and the tabernacle were on high places up to this time, as the Canaanites had been. There were several such locations before Solomon built the temple on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem. (2 Chron. 3:1) Because the Israelites started to blend pagan practices at these high places they were banned when the temple was built. (1 Kings 3:2) Solomon's temple had not been a sacred place before David wanted to move it to his home in Jerusalem, then on part of Mt. Moriah. Solomon turned the rocky out-crop, the small Mount Moriah, into a platform with large block stones and put the temple on the platform.

>What does this show about him and his relationship with his father?

* Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you."

* Saul was an ordinary person when the Lord called him through Samuel, though he was more ethical and moral than some of his piers. (See the book of Judges.) In fact it appears that his servant was leading things and came up with the good idea of seeking a man of God for help.

* Saul was respectful, faithful, loving, and obedient to his father.

* Saul kept looking for the donkeys until he ran out of food and water and knew his father would know that and begin to worry. He was a good son from what appears to be a tight knit, moral, wealthy, and respectable family.

* Saul really didn't want to go to the prophet. He wanted to go home.

>2. What instructions had Samuel received from the Lord regarding Saul? (15-17)

* 1 Samuel 9:16-17 "About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader over my people Israel; he will deliver my people from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked upon my people, for their cry has reached me." When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, "This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people."

* "I will send you" -Samuel was prepared for Saul. God initiated, not Samuel.

* "anoint him leader" -The Hebrew word "nagid" can be also translated "prince" for the Lord God was to be their king, even though they rejected him. The word king is deliberately avoided. Israel's kings were subjected to the Lord.

* "he will deliver my people from the hands of the Philistines" -Saul's main purpose, the purpose of the king was to protect the people from their enemies.

* "their cry has reached me" -The Lord said the same thing to Moses. God knows his people suffering.

* "the Lord said to him" -The Lord spoke directly to Saul. It is not clear if the voice was audible or not.

* "govern" -The Hebrew verb us usually translated "restrain". Thus, the governor that Saul should have been was a servant of the Lord to the people, for the people's own good.

>What does this teach us about the God of Israel?

* First, it is God who chooses us, we do not chose him. (2 Tim. 1:9; Gal. 3:22) When God calls us he forgives our sins when we respond in faith. (Acts. 15:11; Rom. 1:5, 3:22, 30, 5:1; Gal. 3:8; Eph. 2:8-9)

* Second, God is faithful to his promises. He promised Israel that they would get the human king that they wanted; and this in spite of the fact that they had rejected him as their king.

* Third, God's purpose in human leaders is for the benefit of the people; not visa-versa. The leaders God's appoint are meant to serve the people.

* Fourth, God understands human sinful nature and can work out his plan in spite of it. God is always glorified and everything goes according to his will and plan no matter what we say, think, or do. God used the kingship to portray Jesus the Messiah.

* Fifth, before David's good rule was Saul's poor leadership; and so before Jesus' second coming as King and Lord of the earth the Anti-Christ rule will exist. The bad ruler comes first to show the greatness of the Righteous Ruler, a stark contrast is created.

>3. How did Samuel greet Saul? (18-20)

* 1 Samuel 9:18-20 "Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, "Would you please tell me where the seer's house is?" "I am the seer," Samuel replied. "Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart. As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and all your father's family?"

* "in the gateway" -Samuel was returning from a journey around his ministry circuit.

* "Saul approached Samuel" -Saul did not know exactly who the servant was referring to. Also, Saul did not personally know Samuel and visa-versa. Though, if Saul's family where devout Jews they would have had to attend the three Feasts of the Lord at one of the places that were set up to do so at the time. (Note: the temple at Shiloh was destroyed when Saul was young. He was born in 1080 B.C. Saul is not thirty years old.)/p>

* "I am the seer" -Seer was the same as calling a person a prophet in those days.

* "Go ahead of me to the high place" -Samuel invited Saul to the worship service (sacrifice).

* "you are to eat with me" -Samuel invited him to partake in eating part of the sacrifice; perhaps we can even loosely call it "supper".

* "tomorrow I will let you go" -Samuel was going to help Saul only after he had performed his service before the Lord.

* "and tell you what's on your heart. As for..." -Samuel indicated that Saul had something on his heart besides the donkeys.

* Samuel was a humble man of God. He did not begrudge Saul becoming the new leader. Samuel invited him to join him in worship, a meal, and a evening together. Saul would not be so kind to David, his replacement. Samuel respected God's will, Saul would not.

>How did he hint at Saul's future greatness?

* "And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and all your father's family"

* Samuel was referring to the fact that all of Israel was searching for a king like Saul was going to be.

* Samuel put Saul at the head of the table and a special portion of meat to indicate that he was the one that God had chosen.

>How did Saul respond? (21)

* 1 Samuel 9:21 "Saul answered, "But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?"

* Saul was humble and had little understanding.

* Saul did not see himself as a great man.

* Gideon, also a Benjamite, responded the same way. (Judges 6:15)

* God takes the lowly things, the small and powerless things in the world to build up his kingdom. 1 Corinthians 1:28-31 states, "He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'"

>How do these events reveal Saul's human humbleness?

* "Am I not a Benjamite" -Jacob had prophesied that the kingly like would come from Judah, not Benjamin. (Gen. 49:8-10) Perhaps Saul had known this for all Israel had to be talking about the kingly line after Samuel agreed to appoint a king.

* "from the smallest tribe of Israel" -The Benjamite tribe was decimated in a punitive battle (Judges 20:46) and Benjamin was the youngest son of Israel.

* Playing down one's self was considered good manners in ancient Israelite society, especially before a man of God and a prophet.

* Saul seems to be shy. (1 Sam. 10:22)

>How did Samuel instruct him?

* 1 Samuel 9:22-27 "Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited--about thirty in number. Samuel said to the cook, "Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside." So the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, "Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion, from the time I said, 'I have invited guests.'" And Saul dined with Samuel that day. After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house. They rose about daybreak and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, "Get ready, and I will send you on your way." When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to go on ahead of us"--and the servant did so--"but you stay here awhile, so that I may give you a message from God."

* "at the head" -Samuel is treating Saul was grace and humility. Samuel obeyed God's direction without selfish envy or pain.

* "the one I told you to lay aside" -Samuel had prepared for Saul.

* "the leg" -The leg was for the priests only. Saul was given a portion of what the priest were allotted. (Ex. 29:27) Samuel set a president that the kings allotment should come from the Levites. David later ate the consecrated bread that only the Levites were to eat.

* "Samuel talked with Saul on the top of the roof" -The top of the roof was a cool place in the evening. Samuel needed to instruct Saul about his new role as king. Samuel treated him as an honored student.

* "Samuel called to Saul on the roof" -Saul spent the night sleeping on a bed made for him on the roof, a custom of the day was for guests to sleep on the flat roof.

* "send the servant ahead" -Samuel knew that Saul's anointing needed to be secret for now. Not all who are called to lead do so the next day.

II. Saul Anointed (10:1-27)

>4. Describe Samuel's anointing of Saul.

* 1 Samuel 10:1 "Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?"

* "kissed him" -Samuel wanted Saul to know that he would love him and not hold anything against him.

* "his inheritance" -The word kingdom is not used. Saul was not king of God's kingdom. Inheritance refers to the people, not necessarily and area and/or the land. (1 Kings 8:53; and 2 Kings 21:14; Isaiah 19:25)

* A leader, especially when the baton is passed; should always have a servant attitude. Jesus taught, "So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'" (Luke 17:10)

>Why did he do it in private?

* Saul's anointing as king was not the right time for Israel to find out. Saul needed to be changed before he could be announced and truly be king. Saul was not ready to be king for the Spirit of God had not been upon him yet. Also, Saul's kingship would take time to establish.

* I can imagine that all of Israel was hoping that they or their son would be anointed king. They must have been like Cinderella's sisters.

* Saul needed time to adjust to his new calling.

>What is the meaning of anointing with oil?

* "a flask of oil" -Perhaps spiced olive oil. (Ex. 30:22-33)

* The oil was a symbol of God's blessing and the Holy Spirit. The oil was for ceremonial purposes for man cannot call down the Holy Spirit on anyone; that never happens. Rather, the Holy Spirit comes to those who Jesus sends him. God anoints with the Spirit; man can only use oil. The ceremony with oil only confirms what God had already established.

* Hebrews 1:8-9 "But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."

>5. What signs were given Saul to confirm Samuel's words to him, and to assure him that God was with him? (2-7)

* 1 Samuel 10:2-7 "When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel's tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, 'The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, "What shall I do about my son?"' "Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them. After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you."

* "you will meet two mean near Rachel's tomb" -This is the first sign.

* "three men going up to God to Bethel" -This is the second sign.

* "they will be carrying" -This is the third sign. They will be carrying offerings.

* "they will offer you" -This is the fourth sign.

* "you will meet a procession of prophets" -This is the fifth sign.

* "The Spirit of the Lord will come on you in power" -This is the sixth sign.

* "You will prophecy to them" -This is the seventh sign.

* "you will be changed into a different person" -This is the last and most important sign. Saul needed to be changed into a different man, changed by the Spirit of God.

* "once these signs" -Saul was not to act until the Spirit changed him.

* "do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you" -The Holy Spirit directs people according to his will and way. We need to Spirit, or the work of our hands are nothing.

* "you will prophecy" -Speak to the word and will of God in glory, humility and honor for him. Prophecy is always in words that others can understand. It is never in utterances.

>What important instruction did Samuel give Saul?

* 1 Samuel 10:8 "Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do."

* "Go down ahead of me to Gilgal" -Perhaps Samuel had told Saul when this would happen. We are not told how Saul knew when Samuel was referring to.

* "I will surely come down to you" -Samuel made it clear to Saul that he would come. (1 Sam. 13:8)

* "you must wait seven days" -Seven days, a whole week is seen as a complete cycle. Saul may or may not recognize that he would be tested. At this time the instructions seem clear.

* "to tell you what you are to do" -The kings of the nations around them could do what they wanted (though most were required to follow the laws of the land). Saul was required to listen to God's prophet for Samuel was given God's instructions. Saul was required to obey God as Samuel and all the judges before him, were required to do.

>6. Describe the change that came about Saul. (9-13)

* 1 Samuel 10:9-13 "As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. When they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophesying. 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?" A man who lived there answered, "And who is their father?" So it became a saying: "Is Saul also among the prophets?" After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.'

* "God changed Saul's heart" -God made an ordinary man a changed man. God always changes the heart of people before he can use them. (Matt. 18:3)

* "Gibeah" -Saul's hometown.

* "Spirit came on him" -After God changes us he sends his Spirit on us. John 14:26-27 "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

* "he joined in their prophesying" -Saul began to speak God's word.

* "isn't this Saul" -The people who knew Saul saw the changed and couldn't believe it. Saul must not have been a very spiritual man for the change to be this drastic. Of course, the Holy Spirit did not come on every believer like he does in the age we are now in, the church age and age of grace.

* "And who is their father?" -Samuel had started a school of prophets. The young prophets learning from him were considered his spiritual son. So now Saul is with them. the man who said this implied that Saul was now apparently with Samuel, a disdainful reference.

>Why must he be changed if he is to lead Israel?

* Israel's king should not lead like the gentiles kings. Israel's king needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit; he needed to be lead like God. A humanist nice man should not lead them.

>What does this teach about the work of God's Spirit? (See Acts 2:18)

* Acts 2:18 "Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy."

* All believers are now given the Spirit so that we can teach God's word as he mean it.

* God equips everyone according to the task he calls us. God never calls a person to a mission without equipping them. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 states, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good."

>What did people say to him?

* 1 Samuel 10:14-16 "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." Saul's uncle said, "Tell me what Samuel said to you." 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."

* "uncle" -Families were closer back then.

* "Where have you been?" -When God works someone close to us will put us down and complain, even persecute us.

* They were saying, "The son of Kish should have known better than to get mixed up in such company."

* The people of Saul's hometown knew something was up, they speculated from Saul's action that Saul was not telling all that Samuel said.

>7. How did Samuel officially establish Saul as King?

* 1 Samuel 10:17-21 "Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the Lord at Mizpah 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.' But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses. And you have said, 'No, set a king over us.' So now present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans." When Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri's clan was chosen. Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found."

* "Samuel summoned the people of Israel" -Saul could not announce himself. Only one could announce the leader of God's people. He needed God's servant to announce him, the same servant of God who Israel asked to anoint a king, Samuel. If Samuel didn't appoint a new leader, then there is no new leader to replace him leading to constant infighting and anointed leaders.

* "The Lord, the God of Israel says" -No other nation worshiped the Lord up to that time.

* "I bought you out of Egypt" -Israel was glad to be the Lord's people when he brought them out of slavery, but they did not want to obey him after that. Many people who call themselves Christians today are the same way. They accept Jesus as their Savior and claim he is their Lord, but they do follow his word, and sadly don't even read it let alone study it.

* "rejected your God" -The story of mankind is the rejection of God.

* "chosen" -The writer does not say how, yet we can assume it was with the breastplate that the high priest wore (Ex. 28:15-30, 39:8-21) or perhaps by lots. (Jos. 7:15-18)

>How did Saul show his human humbleness?

* 1 Samuel 10:22-24 "So they inquired further of the Lord, "Has the man come here yet?" And the Lord said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage." They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. 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!"

* 1 Samuel 10:27 "But some troublemakers said, "How can this fellow save us?" They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent."

* "hiding himself among the baggage" -Saul had humanly shy. This is a form of humility, but not the same as Godly humility.

* "some troublemakers" -Not everyone though Saul would be a good king. Saul did not react to this for his appointment was new.

* "How can this fellow save us" -They wanted a king who would save them from their enemies like the judges had done.

>How did Samuel instruct him?

* 1 Samuel 10:25-26 "Samuel explained to the people the regulations of the kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the Lord. Then Samuel dismissed the people, each to his own home. Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched."

* "the regulations of the kingship" -Samuel added to what Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 17:14-20 which states, "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us," be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, "You are not to go back that way again." He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel."

* "deposited it before the Lord" -Placed it on the altar. There was not a written contract between Israel and the Lord regarding the ruler of the people.

* "whose heart God had touched" -God blesses leaders with people who will support and help his leadership. These days it seems like leaders who call themselves Christians seem to for get this.

III. Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh (11:1-15)

>8. What critical situation arose? (1-5)

* 1 Samuel 11:1-5 "Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, "Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you." But Nahash the Ammonite replied, "I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel." The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you." When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud. Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, "What is wrong with the people? Why are they weeping?" Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said."

* "Ammonite" -The Ammonites were originally east of the Jordan River. (Numbers 32:1-42) They were descendants of Lot. (Gen. 19:38; Deut. 2:19)

* "Jabesh Gilead" -Jabesh Gilead was in the tribal area of Manasseh. "Jabesh Gilead means dry, rugged or “dry place of Gilead.” City whose residents, with the exception of four hundred virgins, were put to death by an army of Israelites (Judges 21:8-12). The four hundred women who were spared became wives for the Benjamites. While certainty is elusive, the area in which Jabesh-Gilead probably was located is east of the Jordan River about twenty miles south of the Sea of Galilee. The story illustrates the drastic steps taken to preserve the unity of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Holman Bible Dictionary) Later they were called people of Gilead.

* "Make a treaty with us" -The Israelite tribe wanted to surrender. They did not even want to fight.

* "gouge out the right eye" -Thus making them unfit for war.

* "and so bring disgrace" -The nations around Israel hated Israel.

* "send messengers" -Nahash apparently was use to the fact that none of Gilead's kinsmen would help them out. Today, do Christians help Christians? Does the world see we are Jesus' people by our love? (John 13:35)

* "Saul was returning from the fields" -After being made ruler, he went back to farming for his family. He was waiting for the Lord's leading, perhaps as Samuel instructed him to.

>What does this show about Isreal?

* Israel were brothers, but did not act like brothers. They were scatted and selfish clans, each living and working for themselves. God never intended this.

* Separate Israel was weak. They thought that with a king to fight their enemies they would be strong.

* Similarly, some Christians look to others to share the gospel. We set up committees and organizations. Yet, how many share the good news of the kingdom of God to those around them?

>9. What happened to Saul when he heard the news? (6)

* 1 Samuel 11:6 "When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he burned with anger."

* "the Spirit of God came upon him in power" -Either the Spirit of God was not always in Saul, or more likely the Spirit's influence in his actions and life varied. The fact that the Spirit's influence varies in believers today is the constant use of the term "filled with the Spirit" used in the Acts to refer to someone who the Spirit of God came in power like Saul. So the question is, Are you filled with the Spirit, or just muddling along?

* "he burned with anger" -Anger is not always bad. God sent Adam and Eve out in his fury. (Gen. 3:22-24) Jesus was filled with anger in the temple when he drove the sells out. (John 2:13-16) Jesus is also angered at stubborn hearts that refuse to believe when concrete evidence of his divinity and Messiahship is given. (Mark 3:5)

>Why is this unique during that age?

* The Spirit came on other leaders in Israel during this time of the Old Testament. Now, every believer has the gift of the Holy Spirit.

* Peter proclaimed at the first Pentecost, "Acts 2:16-21 "No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"

>What did Saul's reaction to the bad news show about him? (7-11)

* 1 Samuel 11:7-11 "He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, "This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel." Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they turned out as one man. When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and the men of Judah thirty thousand. They told the messengers who had come, "Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, 'By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be delivered.'" When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated. They said to the Ammonites, "Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever seems good to you." The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together."

* "Bezek" -North of Shechem, west of the Jordan River but within striking distance of Jabesh Gilead.

* "last watch of the night" -The third watch, from about 2:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M.

* "Saul and Samuel" -Saul recognized that Samuel was still a leader of the people. Perhaps also he remembered some who grumbled against him being chosen as king and added Samuel's name so even if they did not recognize him, they would recognize Samuel.

* "the terror of the Lord" -The fear of the Lord is a good thing. We should recognize that we are at his mercy and need to turn to him as we are before his majesty.

* "turned out at one man" -When God's people humbly rely on him in obedience he blesses us with the unity of love.

* "no two of them were let together" -The route was complete. When God's people work together under the Jesus' banner we will be victorious.

>10. Why did the people say they would kill someone? (12)

* 1 Samuel 11:12 "The people then said to Samuel, "Who was it that asked, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' Bring these men to us and we will put them to death."

* People remembered those who questioned Saul's authority and leadership. They had credibility them, but with the Holy Spirit in power in Saul, they lost all credibility.

* When people speak out against us, we need to wait for God to come to our aid. At times in the past I have not done this, I tried to defend myself against lies. But Jesus says, "vengeance is mine. I will repay." Jesus is my vindicator.

>Who did Saul give credit to? (13)

* 1 Samuel 11:13 "But Saul said, "No one shall be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel."

* "No one shall be put to death" -Saul was being merciful.

* "today" -Why did Saul add this? Does this perhaps leave the door open for something in the future?

* "this day the Lord has rescued Israel" -Saul gave God the credit. He was off to a good start.

* Saul showed mercy, something he would not do against David, nor those who supported him.

>How was Saul's kingship confirmed? (14-15)

* 1 Samuel 11:14-15 "Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, let us go to Gilgal and there reaffirm the kingship." So all the people went to Gilgal and confirmed Saul as king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.'

* Samuel supported Saul's kingship, even happy that Saul was turning out to be a man who obeyed God, was filled with the Spirit, was merciful to others, and gave God the honor.

* The start of Saul's kingdom was good.

CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE


Click the house to go to the Bible Study HOME Page