What would Israel’s first king be like? Saul was from a prominent family, and he was handsome and tall. The elders wanted a king like all the nations and Saul would be the King they so desperately wanted. God prepared Samuel for his meeting with Saul. The previous day the Lord had revealed that tomorrow at a particular time he would send to Samuel a man from the land of Benjamin, and this was the man to be anointed “prince.” Saul was to be given the commission to save the people from the Philistines. When the prophet saw Saul, God identified him and explained that he would restrain his people.
Saul approached Samuel and inquired about where the seer lived. Apparently he had never met the prophet before, so Samuel identified himself, and he invited Saul to the “high place” as his personal guest. Before Saul mentioned the problem of the lost donkeys, the prophet assured him that they had been found. Samuel questions point to the fact that Saul would be the one who would fulfill the desire of Israel for a king. He was the chosen one, but Saul declared that he was from Benjamin, the smallest tribe, and even within that tribe his father’s family had little standing.
In spite of Saul's protest he was seated in the most honored place at the head of the thirty guests and a choice portion of meat was set before him. That night Saul was a guest at Samuel’s home, and all of this was in preparation for the grand announcement to be made the following day. Early in the morning, Samuel aroused Saul from his sleep, and he walked with Saul and his servant to the edge of the city. There the servant was dismissed so that Samuel might declare the word of God to Saul privately. The prophet then took a flask of oil and poured in on Saul’s head, kissed him on the cheek, and explained his actions. Samuel spoke of three signs that would confirm Saul’s anointing and assure him that God was with him in a special way. However, before Saul initiated any fight against the Philistines, he was to go down to Gilgal and wait seven days for Samuel. The prophet intended to offer sacrifices and show Saul what he should do. The campaign to deal with the Philistines would be launched with divine blessing and prophetic guidance. As Saul turned to leave Samuel, “God gave him another heart.” When Saul reached home, his uncle questioned him about his long absence. Saul briefly rehearsed the events of the past few days, but he did not volunteer any information about the matter of the kingdom.
Things To Consider:
- Why do you think Saul's physical makeup is mentioned?
- Why do you is it important that God fulfilled his promise in spite of Israel's rejection?
- Do you think it is strange that Saul did not know Samuel? Why?
- What do you think it was like for Saul to have a meal in his honor without knowing the host or the reason for the occasion?
- Why do you think Saul made excuses?
- What was the purpose of anointing Saul?
- Why is it important that God gave Saul a new heart? Could others recognize the difference?
- Is withholding information the same as lying? Why?