GOD SOVEREIGNLY GUIDES IN THE SELECTION OF SAUL TO BE KING
– GIVING THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY HAD DEMANDED
(:1-2) INTRODUCTION: THE IMPRESSIVE NATURE OF THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
A. (:1-2a) Saul’s Impressive Pedigree
Son of Kish – “a mighty man of valor”
But the house of Benjamin would not have been the first place to look for a king.
The people wanted a warrior who could lead them in battle.
B. (:2b) Saul’s Impressive Physical Appearance
Very handsome and strong
The people wanted someone who looked impressive.
Important Principle: Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.
Saul had a lot going for him; so much potential; yet such a bad ending.
Hamby: “When we choose less than God’s best he still does not abandon us. It grieved God and his prophet Samuel that Israel demanded a king. Samuel was sent to reason with Israel but they replied, ‘No, we want a king like all the other nations.’ They thought that they knew what was best, they took counsel of their own hearts and having chosen a course independent of God, they proceeded at once to follow it up. Sometimes the severest judgment God can give us is to let us have our own way. And yet even when we reject God’s best he does not forsake his people. Most of us are painfully aware that things would be far better in our lives if they had made wiser decisions. I believe that it is especially frustrating to realize what they are going through now is the result of poor past decision in our lives, times when we settled for less than God’s best.”
Mathew: “Let me make an application right here to you who are not yet married. I know what you are looking for–someone who is tall, blond, slender, athletic, blue-eyed, and tanned. The modern Christian has no interest in the heart. There is a fluttering and a rush, but whether an individual fears God and obeys him implicitly–the divine qualification–is not what most people are using as criteria for a spouse. Most people judge by outward appearances.”
I. (:3-10) SEARCHING FOR DONKEYS – OCCASION FOR SEEKING OUT THE MAN OF GOD —
GOD SOVEREIGNLY GUIDES OUR EVERYDAY RESPONSIBILITIES TO FULFILL HIS WILL
Amazing that Saul had occasion to seek out Samuel.
Faithfulness of Saul to follow out his father’s instructions and give this mission his best effort (:3).
Concern not to alarm his father by extending the search more than was prudent (:5).
Respect for the man of God (:6).
Concern over the proper protocol to approach the man of God with the appropriate gifts, etc. (:7).
Willingness to accept wise counsel from subordinates (:10).
II. (:11-14) SEARCHING FOR SAMUEL – ASKING AND FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS
GOD SOVEREIGNLY GUIDES OUR APPOINTMENTS TO FULFILL HIS WILL
Amazing that Saul could hook up with Samuel – even though he was seeking him out.
Men have not always been unwilling to ask for directions!
Providential to find him at home in the city since he traveled all over in his capacity as judge.
III. (:15-21) SURPRISE AT SAMUEL’S WARM RECEPTION —
GOD SOVEREIGNLY REVEALS HIS PURPOSES IN HIS TIMING
Deffinbaugh: “Samuel, Saul, and his servant make their way up to the high place, where he gives them the place of honor at the head of all the invited guests. Samuel is a man of faith. When God informs him that the king will come on the following day (9:16), Samuel makes reservations for him as the honored guest of the sacrificial meal (9:23-24). He has the cook set apart the choicest portion, telling him to serve it when instructed to do so (when the promised king appears). When Saul and his servant are seated, Samuel instructs the cook to bring out the portion which has been set aside in expectation of his arrival. The man who appears to be an unexpected drop-in is in fact, expected and none other than the guest of honor.”
Guzik: “We might imagine that Samuel was very interested to see how Saul would react when he was honored this way. Often, the way one reacts when they are honored shows what kind of person they really are. If they receive the honor humbly, without regarding it too much or becoming proud about it, it says something good about them. But if they show a false humility or a proud heart in the way they receive the honor, it shows something bad in their character.”
IV. (:22-27) SAMUEL PREPARES SAUL FOR THE CORONATION ANNOUNCEMENT —
GOD SOVEREIGNLY PREPARES OUR HEARTS TO RECEIVE THE APPROPRIATE WORD OF GOD FOR OUR CIRCUMSTANCES