Here we find out about Saul, a good looking wealthy son of the tribe of Benjamin. Saul’s father, Kish, loses some donkeys and sends Saul and a servant to go find them. Saul and the servant search for a while, going through several areas. Just before giving up, the servant advises Saul to find Samuel and ask for help since they are in or near a city that has a “man of God” as my Bible puts it in verse 6. They decide to do just that and Samuel meets them. Samuel had already heard from God that He would bring the “prince” (verse 16) to Samuel that day at that time. As Saul approaches Samuel God talks to him again, letting him know Saul is that man. Samuel welcomes him with honor to the sacrifice and meal on the high places and the next morning tells him he has something important to share with him and to send the servant on ahead. And now we will be kept in suspense until we read chapter 10!
Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjamite; Saul, a servant, Samuel, some young women, a cook
Verse 17 “When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! It is he who will restrain my people.””
1 Samuel 16:12 “And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.””
There are other verses that would have given me more cross references to look at, but I think that God making clear through speaking to Samuel, that Saul is the king He has chosen is the key to this chapter. The people requested a king and God is choosing them a king, just like all the other places. So their king will be good looking and tall. And the one cross reference is that of God choosing the next king…In just seven chapters from now.
Are we in such close communion and relationship with God that while walking toward someone God can whisper in our ear about that person? Does God ever tell you things throughout your daily life? That is the relationship I want to have with my Lord and Savior. I don’t want the times that I have Quiet Time to be the only times I can listen for Him. I want to train my ears to hear Him any time that He has something to say to me.
Also, when I ask God for something and He is going to give it to me, I hope that
- the things I ask for are in line with His will. I do not want to be in the position of getting something I asked for but I end up with problems later that God was trying to warn me against (which goes back to listening to His voice at all times).
- I can be patient and trusting in waiting for the completion of the answer. It can be hard to wait for a promise to be fulfilled and with anything that is a process, like healing, it can be even harder to wait through all of that process to the end result of the promise.
Saul is chosen as king here, which marks a significant change for the Israelites. This verse I chose also has a phrase that this new prince will restrain them. I remember that in the previous chapter God said a king would make the Israelites basically his slaves, and now this is the man who will do that. While Samuel is following God’s will in welcoming and honoring this man, it may have also been hard to know that this is the man who is the visual representation of the Israelites turning away from God’s rule. How sad and disheartening.
Jesus in the Old Testament
“Persisting in a demand contrary to the will of God may bring us what we ask for, even though it may be far from what we need. The good news is that God understands our weakness and gives us the Spirit to help us “in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought” (Rom. 8:26).”*
Romans 8:23-28 “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.
Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.
Next Week: 1 Samuel 9:26-10:13
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