The Lord chose a tall handsome man from the tribe of Benjamin to be the first king. In Exodus, it was the priests who were anointed with oil, now it will be the king. A king would be crowned and anointed:
- crowning was a political act establishing king as ruler
- anointing was a religious act showing the representation of God (set apart)
Saul finds out when he meets up with Samuel looking for his donkey. Samuel has reserved him the “choice part”- the thigh. (normally the though was reserved for a fellowship offering for the priest).
When Saul leaves, Samuel gives him some signs that it was God who chose him to be king. The events predicted when he left all occurred exactly as stated. This also demonstrated that Samuel truly was a legitimate Prophet (one that speaks for the Lord).
How many people read this: “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person” and thought of Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!
Soon after becoming king, Saul had a chance to prove himself.
Ch 11- Suddenly, there is a an attack that appears to pop out of nowhere. The Ammonites were Israel’s enemies to the east. They were descendants of Lot whom Jephthah had defeated earlier (Judg. 11:12-33). Nahash evidently sought revenge for Jephthah’s victory (Judge) over his nation. The men of Jabesh-gilead offered to surrender and serve the Ammonites provided Nahash would make a covenant with them rather than slaughtering them.
Nahash’s purpose to put out the right eye of his enemies was not uncommon in that day. This wound made a conquered nation easier to control, and it testified to the conqueror’s superior power. Specifically, it made aiming arrows with the right eye impossible—and it made looking from behind one’s shield, which covered the left eye, impossible. Perhaps Nahash’s decision to attack them was because he assumed no one would come to their rescue.
Memory recall: the other day we read about a concubine being cut into 12 pieces, go back in your Bible and look at Judges 21:8
8 Then they asked, “Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the Lord at Mizpah?” They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly. 9 For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there.
The people from this town did not come to fight against the Benjaminites. What tribe is Saul from?? 😜
So, of course, Saul is going to not shy away from this battle!!
Samuels’s Farewell speech
Just like Moses and Joshua, Samuel did not relinquish his leadership without challenging the nation to be faithful to the Lord. He challenged them to point out his wrongs to provide an example of future kings. He reminds them of the past: Egypt, Moses, Aaron, and the Judges. God would have saved them from the Ammonites even if no king had been appointed.
Will the people put their trust in a human leader at their expense of their faith in the Lord? To visually show their request for a king was a rejection in God the Lord sends thunder and rain during the dry season. FInally, Samuel says:
“ If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.”
“Serve the Lord with all your heart.”