1 Samuel 9-10: “The Lord Leads Samuel To Search Out A King In Saul”
1.1. In our last study, we looked at chapters 7-8.
1.1.1. We saw in chapter 7 that the
next generation of the children of
1.1.2. In chapter 8, we saw though that the children of Israel suddenly decided that they must be as the other nations and have a king to rule over them as a nation, and they came to Samuel and requested that he appoint a king to rule over them.
1.2. In our study today, we are going to look at chapters 9-10 and the search that Samuel makes to find a king for the children of Israel, a search that ends with the Lord’s selection of Saul, the son of Kish, a Benjamite.
1.2.1. In our last study, we looked
at the quote from Warren Wiersbe about how that the scriptures reveal that the
Lord had intended in time to give them a king, “There is every evidence in
the Pentateuch that Israel would one day have a king. God promised Abraham, Sarah, and Jacob that
kings would be among their descendants (Gen. 17:6, 16; 35:11), and Jacob had
188.8.131.52. We concluded then that the
desire to have a king wasn’t really where
1.2.2. With her new king,
184.108.40.206. King Saul ends up being a thorn in the side of the Israelites as he ends up turning away from the Lord’s will and building God’s kingdom to living solely for himself and building up his own kingdom.
1.2.3. One of the questions that always comes to mind concerning this man is, “Was Saul truly one of God’s people, was he truly saved or not?” The answer to this question will reveal to us much about this man Saul.
220.127.116.11. Intriguingly, it was the Lord who chose Saul to be king, even though Saul turned out to be a wicked man and a complete and utter failure as a leader of God’s people. However, when Saul was chosen the people were demanding to have a king like all of the other nations, and in doing so they were rejecting the Lord as their king (1 Sam. 10:19). It was thus that the Lord chose Saul to be king.
Saul was the people's man however, not God's man. Saul was chosen by the Lord because he was the man that the people wanted. He had all of the fleshly qualifications for leadership that the people would appreciate and revere. He was a man's man, a head and shoulders taller than the rest, good looking and charismatic, he could be commanding and resolute in making decisions (unless of course it came to doing what was really right), etc. However, there was nothing spiritual about him. In 1 Sam. 12:13, we read that Samuel told the people that Saul whom he was appointing as king over them was the king of their choice, and I believe that in saying this he was meaning that Saul was the kind of king that they wanted, not just any king, and not the Lord's best choice to reign over them.
King David, he was God's man. He came along after Saul and was a man after God's own heart. David had none of these fleshly qualifications for leadership such as Saul, however the scriptures tell us that none of that stuff mattered because God looks inside at the heart, and David had a heart for God.
Back to Saul.
We read Samuel's words to Saul in 1 Sam. 10:6 and in that chapter Samuel
told Saul that he was to go with some men up to Bethel where the prophets were
and that at that time he would prophesy and be changed into another man,
"6 “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you
shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man." There was a change of heart then for Saul,
although he was not regenerated in the sense that this occurs through the Holy
Spirit in the New Testament times. In 1
Sam. chapter 11, we read next that Saul was now being led of the Lord and had a
great victory over the Amonites. In 1
Sam. chapter 12, Saul is then taken by Samuel and formally crowned as king over
However, just afterward in 1 Sam. chapter 13, the first battle that Saul now conducts as king (this one against the Philistines), Saul was not willing to wait until Samuel came to him to make a sacrifice to the Lord and give God's blessing to them before the battle, and after waiting 7 days Saul went ahead and assumed the priestly office and made the sacrifice himself for the people. This was rebellion against the Lord and for this Samuel told Saul in 1 Sam. 13:13-14 that he would be replaced as king by a man who was after God's own heart, "13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.14 “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”"
After this point in time, everything went down hill for Saul, and although he rained 32 more years he grew more and more cold and rebellious in his heart towards the Lord, to the point that he eventually became a demon-possessed spear chucker.
So, the question I have is whether or not he ever was truly considered by the Lord to be one of God's people or not? Sure, the Spirit came upon him a few times and initially even made a change of heart, one that lasted mere days.
If his life were to be compared against one of the four soils of Jesus’ parable, he would probably be the one that had no firm root in himself and lasted only for awhile but when persecution arose (he realized that there was a price to be paid for obedience to the Lord) he immediately fell away.
In Ezek. 33:13, the prophet writes, "13 “When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die." These words would then also apply to Saul wouldn't they? By this standard he would be condemned to hell because he certainly did not repent and turn back to the Lord and obey and serve Him, as far as we know.
But then, here is the sticky point. We do not know how Saul passed his last moments on this earth. He fell on his sword in battle (1 Sam. 31:4), but yet it appears that he did not die right away because later we find that an Amelekite man told king David that he came upon Saul when he was wounded and killed him (2 Sam. 1:10). There are times when a person will repent upon his deathbed. I led my grandfather to Christ this way 10 years ago. People can have a change of heart and the Lord can draw them unto himself, even at the very last minute. Many pastors have stories of deathbed conversions and last minute changes of heart they have witnessed.
Plus, we don't really know what is inside a person's heart, and for that reason there are going to be many surprises when we get to heaven. People we thought would be there won't be, and people we didn't think would be there will be there. People we thought would be at the head of the line for rewards aren't close to the front, and people we never heard of are in the front line up.
Think about this also. Not only might not Saul be in heaven, but king Solomon might not either. Remember, he spent his last days building altars for worship to the gods of his wives.
There is another complication in our scheme as well. In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, Paul discusses rewards for believers and mentions there that it is possible for a person to make it to heaven and have all of his works burn up. An old Texan preacher named Ron Dunn once remarked on this saying that there will be some folks who will be "saved but singed!" There are going to be some people in heaven who have just enough faith to make it yet not enough to receive a reward for any good work they have done. Well, I think then that it is best not to be too dogmatic about who is or who is not going to be in heaven, even when it comes to wicked king Saul. He might have repented right there on his deathbed, though we would all agree this was unlikely.
The point we each ought to take to heart is that we shouldn't try to live our life with a big question mark about whether or not we ourselves will be saved or not. Its much preferred to live our life so as to be sure that we are that branch that is found abiding to the vine (John 15) and thus the Lord will not pluck us out and throw us into the fires of hell. We ought to live as close to the Lord as we can, and as far away from the way the wicked people of this world live! Unless we live our lives this way we will never have assurance that we will are headed for heaven.
1.2.4. Have you ever considered that just as king David served in the scriptures as a type of Christ, the King of Kings, that Saul might be looked at as being a type of the Anti-Christ?
18.104.22.168. Saul was crowned before David just as the Anti-Christ will rule upon the throne before Jesus.
22.214.171.124. Whereas David was a man after God's own heart, Saul didn’t adhere closely to the things of God. Saul was a man after the world’s heart.
126.96.36.199. Saul had all of the characteristics of leadership that people of this world think of and respect for leaders (good looking and charismatic, commanding, could make decisions except when it came to doing what was truly right, etc.), much like the Anti-Christ.
188.8.131.52.1. Saul was a take charge type of guy and took charge when he was supposed to wait. He relied on his talent. In contrast David “inquired of the Lord.”
184.108.40.206. David was interested in doing God’s will and building God’s kingdom, however Saul was only concerned about his own selfish and self-centered desires and building his own kingdom.
220.127.116.11. David’s reign was one of peace, however Saul’s reign was one of terror.
18.104.22.168. Whereas Jesus was always walking in the Holy Spirit, Saul ended up being possessed by an unclean spirit, just as will happen to the Anti-Christ.
22.214.171.124. Saul was sort of a counterfeit of what David was in substance as God's king over the people.
1.2.5. Saul though can be looked at as a perfect example of a “carnal believer.”
126.96.36.199. In 1 Cor. 3:1-4, Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about how the fact that they were walking as “carnal” Christians and not Spirit-filled had caused him not to even be able to write to them and instruct them in the Lord in the way that he should have been able to do, “1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?”
1.2.6. I do want to mention at the outset here today though that it is important for us as Christians to beware of looking too much upon the outward external aspects of those who are leaders, and even of churches themselves. In our nation with the advent of the television, a leader’s charismatic and attractive appearance has done more to sway voters that I believe than we imagine. Yet, it is the internal aspects of a person’s character that really out to be that which we consider to be of real value.
188.8.131.52. Concerning churches, many Christians today desire to attend the big church with a nice big attractive facility, big youth group for their kids, lots of activities, a good looking charismatic pastor who tells funny stories, etc., however what the church teaches from God’s word (how balanced and accurate to scripture the teaching is) and how you are led to honor, reverence, and worship the Lord are the things that are of real substance and are the very things that should determine which church you should attend, regardless of all of the external stuff.
184.108.40.206.1. We Christians need to get out of this consumer mentality that we have regarding churches and go to the church where we can best be fed from God’s word and thus grow spiritually in the greatest measure.
2. VS 9:1-2 - “1 Now
there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of
Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty
man of valor. 2 He had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and
handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the
Notice Saul’s description here: choice, handsome more than any in
The tribe of Benjamin was not the tribe from whom the
Messiah would come, the Lord had determined long before that that tribe would
be the kingly tribe of
2.3. Benjamin was the youngest and the favorite son of Jacob. His mother Rachael, whom Jacob loved more than his other wives, died giving birth to him.
2.4. When Jacob gave his final blessings to each of his sons, he called his son Benjamin a “ravenous wolf” (Gen. 49:27).
In Judges 19-20, Benjamin was the tribe in Israel
that started a civil war when they refused to hand over the men of a city who
had committed a heinous act in raping a man’s concubine all night causing her
to die by the morning. The tribe was
almost wiped completely out as a result of the battle that ensued as all
3. VS 9:3-17 - “3 Now the
We see here in our story of Samuel’s search for a
3.1.1. Saul’s father’s donkeys are lost and he sends Saul to look for them.
3.1.2. Saul tells his servant that they need to go home because Saul’s father will now be concerned about them, but the servant tells Saul about this man of God (a prophet) in the town who could tell them about their journey they have set out.
3.1.3. Saul and his servant feel obligated to give something in return to the prophet if they should request his services, and they just happen to have a fourth of a shekel of silver which they could use.
3.1.4. When they go into the town they just happen to meet some women who are drawing water who tell them that the prophet (seer) is ahead of them because he just happens to be in town to offer a sacrifice.
3.1.5. As they come into the city, they just happen to run directly into the prophet.
3.1.6. The day before the Lord spoke to Samuel and told him that at this very time on the next day that He would bring to Samuel the man who was to be king over Israel.
3.1.7. As soon as Samuel sees Saul, the Lord tells him that this is the man who is to be king.
3.2. It was mentioned earlier that Saul was not a particularly spiritual man, and here we see that he has never even heard of Samuel before, and Samuel was God’s appointed leader of Israel and thus the most important man in the nation of Israel at this point in time. Not only so, but Ramah where Samuel lived was only about five miles from Saul’s home in Gibeah.
3.2.1. Evidently, Saul and his family pretty much stayed to themselves and farmed. They were not people who participated in the worship of the Lord nor attended the annual feasts.
4. VS 9:18-27 - “18 Then
Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s
house is.” 19 Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up
before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the
morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind. 20 “As
for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them,
for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in
4.1. Saul must have been shocked when he met Samuel because Samuel immediately takes control and tells Saul things that he must do.
4.1.1. Samuel tells Saul to go up to the high place.
220.127.116.11. The children of Israel used the high places until the temple was built, however this caused them to stumble for we find that later in their history in rebellion to the Lord they were still going up to the high places to worship.
4.1.2. Samuel tells Saul that he will eat with Saul today.
4.1.3. Samuel tells Saul that in the morning he will tell Saul all that is on his mind.
4.1.4. Samuel tells Saul not to worry about his father’s donkeys for they have already been found.
Samuel hints to Saul that he is going to be made
king and leader over
4.3. In verse 21, I believe that Saul expresses a false humility after Samuel hints to him that he is to be the king over Israel, and he says, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?”
4.3.1. Warren Wiersbe quotes Andrew Murry on what true humility consists of, “True humility isn’t thinking meanly of oneself; it’s simply not thinking of one’s self at all.”
By the way, it turns out that Saul’s family was not at all small or
4.5. Samuel had the cook set
apart for Saul the large priest’s portion of meat for Saul to eat (1 Sam.
9:24; Lev. 7:32-33), and then when they sit
down to eat Saul is told that this portion had been set aside just for
him. By giving this large portion to
Saul, Samuel was honoring Saul publicly before
4.6. Note here that even Samuel is struck with Saul’s appearance when he first meets him, for Saul truly has all of the external qualities people value even today for greatness in leaders, as well as even for people in the entertainment industry.
4.7. As Saul is getting ready to leave at day break, Samuel tells him to send his servant on ahead because Samuel will now speak God’s words to him.
5. VS 10:1-8 - “1 Then
Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, “Has
not the Lord anointed you a ruler
over His inheritance? 2 “When you go from me today, then you will
find two men close to Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; and
they will say to you, ‘The donkeys which you went to look for have been found.
Now behold, your father has ceased to be concerned about the donkeys and is
anxious for you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?” ’ 3 “Then
you will go on further from there, and you will come as far as the oak of
Tabor, and there three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one
carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another
carrying a jug of wine; 4 and they will greet you and give you two loaves
of bread, which you will accept from their hand. 5 “Afterward
you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall
be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of
prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a
lyre before them, and they will be prophesying. 6 “Then the Spirit
of the Lord will come upon you mightily,
and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. 7 “It
shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion
requires, for God is with you. 8 “And you shall go down before me to
Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and
sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and
show you what you should do.”” - Samuel Anoints Saul as king over
We see here the process of anointing with oil that
5.2. Samuel tells Saul of several attesting signs that will occur in order to confirm his words to Saul:
5.2.1. Saul will meet two men close to Rachael’s tomb who will tell him that his father’s donkeys have been found.
5.2.2. When he has come to the oak of Tabor, three men going up to God at Bethel will meet him and one will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a jug of wine. These men will greet him and give him loaves of bread which he will accept.
5.2.3. After he has come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is, to the city, he will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying.
5.2.4. At that point the Spirit of the Lord will come upon him mightily and he will prophesy and be changed into another man.
5.3. Note that here in these verses that we have the first reference in the scriptures to a school of the prophets. Samuel himself may have begun this school and been preparing men to function in the office of the Lord’s prophet.
5.4. When it says here that Saul will at this point be changed into another man, it doesn’t refer to the regeneration that occurs to New Testament believers in Christ. God will do a work in his heart, however this refers mainly to a temporary change of attitude and mind that he will have as he begins to worship the Lord and prophesy.
5.5. Samuel tells Saul that when these changes happen to him that he should at that time do what the occasion requires for the Lord will be with him.
5.6. Samuel gives to Saul the instruction that he is to wait for him at Gilgal and that Samuel will come and make an offering, and at that time Samuel will tell Saul what he should do.
5.6.1. Saul’s true character is revealed already. Even this first command that Saul was given by Samuel was disobeyed for Saul does not go to Gigal to wait for Samuel.
5.7. Realizing what a mistake it was to make Saul king over Israel, I am reminded at this point that in the new testament to avoid these kinds of problems it commands us concerning leaders in the church that we are to:
5.7.1. Not to lay hands upon anyone quickly (1 Tim. 5:22).
5.7.2. That men must first be tested before they can be recognized as leaders (1 Tim. 3:10).
5.7.3. Not to lay hands upon a new convert, for a new convert can easily become conceited (1 Tim. 3:6).
6. VS 10:9-13 - “9 Then it
happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and
all those signs came about on that day. 10 When they came to the
hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came
upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. 11 It came
about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the
prophets, that the people said to one another, “What has happened to the son of
6.1. We see here that the Lord confirmed to Saul the words that Samuel spoke to him by causing all of the signs to come to pass that Samuel told Saul that he would experience.
6.2. We see here also that when the word got out that Saul had been prophesying with the prophets that the people who had known him and his unspiritual character before were deriding Saul and even questioning in mockery who his father was.
6.2.1. Perhaps like Saul, Saul’s father also had a reputation as a man who was not particularly God fearing.
7. VS 10:14-16 - “14 Now Saul’s uncle said to him and his servant, “Where did you go?” And he said, “To look for the donkeys. When we saw that they could not be found, we went to Samuel.” 15 Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me what Samuel said to you.” 16 So Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingdom which Samuel had mentioned.” - Saul tells his uncle where he had been and that he had seen Samuel the prophet
We see here that Saul is not yet ready to tell
anyone about the fact that he had been anointed king over
8. VS 10:17-22 - “17 Thereafter
Samuel called the people together to the Lord
at Mizpah; 18 and he said to the sons of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought
Israel up from Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and
from the power of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ 19 “But
you have today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and
your distresses; yet you have said, ‘No, but set a king over us!’ Now
therefore, present yourselves before the Lord
by your tribes and by your clans.” 20 Thus Samuel brought all the
8.1. Samuel calls all of the people together to Mizpah so that he can confirm to them whom the Lord has chosen to be the king over them.
8.2. Saul first preaches to all of the children of Israel assembled at Mizpah, and he tells them that even though the Lord had so graciously and powerfully delivered them from the Egyptians during Moses’ time, and all of the other nations since that time, that none the less the people had now rejected the Lord by demanding a king to reign over them.
8.3. Then, Saul brought all of the tribes together so that the Lord could choose the tribe from which their king was to come. The tribe of Benjamin was chosen. Then, he brought the tribe of Benjamin together by their families, and the Matrite family was taken. Finally Saul was chosen.
When Saul is searched for he cannot be found
however. It is only after the people
inquired of the Lord that the Lord told them that Saul was hiding by the
baggage, evidently in a closet. What a
place for the children of
Saul’s hiding behind the baggage wasn’t to show
modesty, it was done out of fear and to abrogate His responsibility before the
Lord. He was called to be the king over
9. VS 10:23-27 - “23 So they ran and took him from there, and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? Surely there is no one like him among all the people.” So all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!” 25 Then Samuel told the people the ordinances of the kingdom, and wrote them in the book and placed it before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his house. 26 Saul also went to his house at Gibeah; and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But certain worthless men said, “How can this one deliver us?” And they despised him and did not bring him any present. But he kept silent.” - The people come and take Saul and present him as their king
We see here that when Saul is finally found by the
baggage that he is brought and presented to the children of
So, then the children of
9.2.1. By the way, this is what the
9.3. We see here though that some people accepted Saul as their king, however there were ‘certain worthless men’ who did not accept him and questioned his ability to lead the nation.
It is very important to note here that in verse 25
that Samuel wrote down in a book what were to be the ordinances of the kingdom
9.5. Note that Saul for his part was noble in not speaking out against those who refused to accept him as their king on this day.
The children of
10.1.1. On Tuesday nights we have been looking at all of the characteristics of false teachers in the church which Peter lists for us in 2 Peter, and from that study we see that we must not be persuaded by the charisma of those who do ministry, but listen carefully to what they say and teach and compare it against scripture.
The children of
10.3. Stay in God’s “perfect” will for your life, for in that place where you are in His “permissive” you will only experience spiritual malnourishment and discipline from the Lord.