Israel was going to receive the king they had been asking for, but this wasn’t the king they needed.
1 Samuel 10:9-27
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.
Israel is struggling. They’re falling apart. They want a king. In Chapter 9 we see Saul preparing to be the next king, the king that Israel thinks they need. The thing is, Israel has missed the point. They already have a King – God who has lead them, guided them, and protected them. So God calls all of Israel together and in verses 17-19 we see God speaking through Samuel, reminding Israel of everything he has done for them. God has brought them out of slavery, he has given them all they needed, but still they choose to reject him. They want to have someone appointed as king just like the other nations, a worldly king where final authority rests with the king.
God gives them what they ask for and selects a king from amongst the tribes. However, from the moment he is chosen there are already issues. Saul, the new king, goes missing. How can someone who hides from his people be a good king? How can he teach and guide his people? He can’t. The King that would save his people would not be a king like the Nations’, he would be a king under God where final authority rests with God, Jesus.
Jesus is the ultimate King we need. His reign as King should shape our lives and guide our actions. However, just like the people of Israel we can too easily find ourselves rejecting Jesus’ reign. We too easily drift into a life centred on money, or career, or human relationships. We need to get our loves in the right order. We need to love Jesus first, our King who died and rose again to save us. Then our money, our career, and our relationships will fall into their right place, as areas of life where we live for Jesus.
Head: Why do you think Saul hid when he was chosen to be king?
Heart: What does the drift into a life centred on money, or career, or human relationships look like in your life?
Hands: What changes do you need to make to get your loves in the right order?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you sent Jesus to be the ultimate King for us. Sorry that we so often want to be our own king, ruling our lives the way we want to. Please forgive us and help us to turn back to you, remembering all that you have done for us. Amen.
A song to listen to: You are My King
Natalie Yong- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina