Israel demanded a king to rule over them instead of God.
Samuel finds and anoints Saul to be Israel’s first King. “Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying,16 Tomorrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.” (9:15-16) “Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?” (10:1)
Samuel gives Saul specific instructions. Saul complies. One is that the spirit of the Lord would come upon him and God would be with him. “And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.” (10:6-7)
Saul was a reluctant king. When his presentation before Israel to be pronounced as King, he was hiding.
“When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found.22 Therefore they enquired of the Lord further, if the man should yet come thither. And the Lord answered, Behold he hath hid himself among the stuff.23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.” (10:21-24)
Saul was a warrior king. Saul led the armies of Israel against the Ammonites. “And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.” (11:11)
If the story ended here, all would be fine. It does not. Tomorrow we will see the other side of Saul’s life.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001