1Samuel 9-10

Thursday Evening Bible Study

March 1, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

Samuel is the last of the “Judges”. He is the man who will bridge the gap between the time of the Judges and the beginning of the Kings of Israel.

We’ve seen the Israelites in a war with the Philistines, where they not only lost many of their soldiers, but the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, though they sent it back when they started experiencing strange “plagues”.

We’ve seen Samuel rise up to lead the nation, leading them to a victory over the Philistines.

We’ve seen the people disappointed as Samuel ages and his sons were corrupt.  The people demanded a king.

(1 Sa 8:22 NKJV) So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.” And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”

9:1-27  Lost Donkeys

:1 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.

:2 And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.

:1 a man of Benjamin

The tribe of Benjamin was different from the other tribes at this time because of it’s small size.

Back in the book of Judges (Judg. 19-20), it was the tribe of Benjamin that stood up to protect the wicked men of Gibeah.  As a result, they had lost all but 600 of their men. 

Interestingly enough, Saul will even be from the rebuilt city of Gibeah.

:1 Kish – “bent”

:1 a mighty man of power

Saul’s father, Kish, was a wealthy, powerful man.

:2 Saul – “desired”

:2 choice and handsome

handsometowb – good, pleasant, agreeable

Saul was a good looking man with great physical appeal, big and handsome.  He would make a sharp looking king. 

I think  a lot of people make their actual political choices based on good looks than actual ideas.  Looks are not enough to make a good leader.

:3 Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. And Kish said to his son Saul, “Please take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.”

:3 Saul’s father

You might get the idea that Saul is a young teenager being sent on an errand by his dad.  Wrong.

We think Saul is about 30 years old at this time.

1Samuel 13:1 is translated by some of the versions to say that Saul was thirty years old when he became king (though the Hebrew is difficult and many translations don’t word it this way).
(1 Sa 13:1 NLT) —1 Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty-two years.
Also, as soon as he was anointed king, he forms an army.  He takes 2000 men under his leadership, and to his son Jonathan, 1000 men under his leadership.  So just shortly after his becoming king, his son Jonathan was old enough to take leadership of a 1000 man army.  Even if Jonathan was as young as fifteen years old, Saul would probably be at least 30.

NOTE:  David became king after having been a keeper of sheep.  Saul became king after having been a keeper of donkeys.

:4 So he passed through the mountains of Ephraim and through the land of Shalisha, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, and they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.

:5 When they had come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, let us return, lest my father cease caring about the donkeys and become worried about us.”

:5 they had come to the land of Zuph

The difficult thing about this passage is that we don’t have a lot of presently known geographical markers with these various places mentioned.

“Mountains of Ephraim” and “the land of the Benjamites” are pretty vague territorial names.  The other names are totally unknown (at least so far).

Show map with Gibeah, Ephraim, Benjamin

I could not find any locations for Sahlisha, Shaalim, or Zuph.

Shalisha – “third”
Shaalim – “foxes”
Zuph – “honeycomb”

We can assume that Saul starts out in Gibeah, because we know that to be his home.

I think the idea here is that he and his servant are wandering for days, possibly weeks.

:5 and become worried about us

A good thing to be concerned about.

:6 And he said to him, “Look now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man; all that he says surely comes to pass. So let us go there; perhaps he can show us the way that we should go.”

:6 a man of God


:6 in this city

It could be Ramah, Samuel’s home town.

But Samuel also travelled in a circuit to the cities of Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah.
We really aren’t sure what city this is.

:7 Then Saul said to his servant, “But look, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread in our vessels is all gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?”

:8 And the servant answered Saul again and said, “Look, I have here at hand one-fourth of a shekel of silver. I will give that to the man of God, to tell us our way.”

:7 no present

The custom was to pay the prophet when you needed his help.

Saul left his cash and credit cards at home.

:8 one-fourth of a shekel of silver

About 3 grams of silver.  Today worth about $3.50.

:8 the servant

This is a good, faithful servant.

He’s the one that suggests that Saul and he go to Samuel to ask for help.
He’s the one that thought about bringing his wallet to pay for things.

His boss (Saul) is a little flawed.  He didn’t think of any of those good ideas.

:9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: “Come, let us go to the seer”; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)

:9 prophet … seer

The writer is giving us a little historical background.

seerra’ah – to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider. 

The emphasis is on “seeing”, on having visions.

prophetnabiy’ – spokesman, speaker, prophet. 

The emphasis is more on speaking for God.  Samuel was known for both.

:10 Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

:10 So they went


God’s leading

God is going to use these silly lost donkeys to connect Saul with Samuel.
God uses donkeys

God spoke to Balaam through a donkey.

Saul runs into Samuel because of lost donkeys.

We saw how God used the milk cows to get the Ark back to Israel.
God uses all sorts of things in our lives to get our attention and get us to where we need to be.
The donkeys get lost.
Saul takes along a servant who knows about Samuel.
The Bible says,
(Pr 3:5–6 NKJV) —5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Sometimes we can fall into the idea that when God “leads us”, it must be with some sort of mystical trance, that our eyes roll back inside our head and we quiver and shake.  Sometimes God will work in a very natural, simple way.  Sometimes He even uses donkeys.

I think the challenge is often to recognize how God is leading.

:11 As they went up the hill to the city, they met some young women going out to draw water, and said to them, “Is the seer here?”

:12 And they answered them and said, “Yes, there he is, just ahead of you. Hurry now; for today he came to this city, because there is a sacrifice of the people today on the high place.

:13 As soon as you come into the city, you will surely find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now therefore, go up, for about this time you will find him.”

:13 he must bless the sacrifice

This would be a feast involved with a “peace offering” where an animal is sacrificed and the people sit down to have a meal with God.

It’s kind of like a big thanksgiving dinner.

It has been suggested that this is where the practice of saying a “blessing” before the meal comes from.

:14 So they went up to the city. As they were coming into the city, there was Samuel, coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.

:15 Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying,

:16 “Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him commander over My people Israel, that he may save My people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked upon My people, because their cry has come to Me.”

:17 So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, “There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people.”

:15 the Lord had told Samuel in his ear

Samuel has a special relationship with the Lord.

God speaks to him.  He even whispers things in his ear.

:16 their cry has come to Me

crytsa’aqah – cry, outcry; cry of distress (especially as heard by God)

(1 Sa 9:16 NLT) …Anoint him to be the leader of my people, Israel. He will rescue them from the Philistines, for I have looked down on my people in mercy and have heard their cry.”

There is a sense in which it is the right time for a king.  A king will provide unification to the nation.  A king will provide protection.

:17 shall reign ‘atsar – to restrain, retain, close up, shut, withhold, refrain, stay, detain

(1 Sa 9:17 ESV) …“Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.”

:18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, “Please tell me, where is the seer’s house?”

: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 tomorrow I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart.

:20 But as for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not be anxious about them, for they have been found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father’s house?”

:20 as for your donkeys

Samuel knows why Saul has come, looking for his donkeys.

Samuel is demonstrating the “word of knowledge”, having been given knowledge about something that he wouldn’t have otherwise known about unless God told him.

God sees.  God knows.
And He can tell someone else about it.

God is using this to reassure Saul that something is different about Samuel.  He is a prophet.

:20 on whom is all the desire of Israel?

Samuel is saying to Saul that Saul is the one that Israel has been looking for.  Israel has been asking for a king.  Saul is the one who will be king.

:21 And Saul answered and said, “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 like this to me?”

:21 of the smallest of the tribes

Remember why Benjamin is the “smallest” of the tribes.

Most of the Benjamites were killed during the war that took place over the wickedness of the man of Gibeah. (Judg. 19-20)


God uses small things

This sounds like what Gideon had said when the angel told him that he would deliver Israel from the Midianites.
(Jdg 6:15 NKJV) So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
Paul told the Corinthians that God prefers to use people who are not “great”.
(1 Co 1:27–29 NKJV) —27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

God wants people to be attracted to Him, not the “great” stars.

:22 Now Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall, and had them sit in the place of honor among those who were invited; there were about thirty persons.

:23 And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Set it apart.’ ”

Samuel had already spoken to the cook ahead of time in order to have a special meal for their expected guest.

:24 So the cook took up the thigh with its upper part and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Here it is, what was kept back. It was set apart for you. Eat; for until this time it has been kept for you, since I said I invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

:24 the thigh

Was this a special piece?  Was there significance in this?

It seems to be the priest’s portion:

(Le 7:34 NKJV) For the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering I have taken from the children of Israel, from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and I have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons from the children of Israel by a statute forever.’ ”
This part would have normally gone to Samuel.

:25 When they had come down from the high place into the city, Samuel spoke with Saul on the top of the house.

:25 on the top of the house

Ancient houses had something like a patio on top of the roof.

Saul is going to spend the night sleeping on the roof.

:26 They arose early; and it was about the dawning of the day that Samuel called to Saul on the top of the house, saying, “Get up, that I may send you on your way.” And Saul arose, and both of them went outside, he and Samuel.

:27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us.” And he went on. “But you stand here awhile, that I may announce to you the word of God.”

:27 stand here awhile


Stand still to receive

Sometimes if we want to hear what God has for us, we need to stop and be still.
(Lk 10:38–42 NKJV) —38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Sometimes the best place to be is quiet, sitting at Jesus’ feet.

10:1-16 Saul anointed king

:1 Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: “Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance?

:1 kissednashaq – to put together, kiss; to handle, be equipped with

This was an act of respectful homage, a token of congratulation to the new king.

We can sometimes look at Saul thinking of what he would become, but at this point, he is God’s man, the one that God has chosen.

:1 has anointedmashach – to smear, anoint, spread a liquid

This is the root for the word “Messiah”.

The term “anointed” is often used to describe the king.

Having the oil poured on Saul makes him the “anointed”.

Oil is seen in Scripture as a picture of the Holy Spirit.  In Saul’s life, he will come into contact with the Holy Spirit later that day. 

With David, when he was anointed with oil, the Holy Spirit came upon him immediately.

(1 Sa 16:13 NKJV) —13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

:2 When you have departed from me today, you will find two men by 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. And now your father has ceased caring about the donkeys and is worrying about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?” ’

:2 you will find two men


God wants you to trust Him.

Samuel tells Saul what is going to happen later on that day.  Pay attention to the kind of minute details that Samuel will predict.
He wants Saul to understand that God is at work in all the things that are happening.  He wants Saul to understand that God has truly picked him out as king.
The same works for us in all of Scripture.
There are hundreds of prophecies in the Scripture, many that have been fulfilled, some still yet to be fulfilled.
Sometimes people may wonder, why is the Bible any different from any other “religious book”?

There is no other “religious book” that has fulfilled prophecies like the Bible.  None.

God says,

(Is 46:9–10 NKJV) —9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’

:2 Rachel’s tomb

Near Bethlehem (Gen. 35:19)

(Ge 35:19 NKJV) So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).

:2 your father has ceased caring about the donkeys

Saul had been concerned that his father would become worried about him (1Sam. 9:5), and that’s what would happen.

:3 Then you shall go on forward from there and come to the terebinth tree of Tabor. 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 skin of wine.

:3 Tabor

Not Mount Tabor (further north), but the “Oak of Tabor”, near Bethel.

:3 Bethel

This was one of the cities that Samuel visited on his circuit.

Bethel was one of the “high places” where people worshipped God.  Though the ark was in Kirjath Jearim, God had not yet declared a permanent place for central worship since the collapse of Shiloh.

:4 And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall receive from their hands.

:5 After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying.

:5 hill of God

Or, “Gibeath-elohim”

Perhaps ancient “Gibeon”?  There are a lot of places called “hill”, Geba, Gibeon, Gibeah, etc.

Show map – They will start near Bethlehem, find people going to Bethel, and end up at Gibeon

Gibeon was the place that made the pact with Joshua and ended up becoming servants for the Tabernacle.

It is also the place we believe the Tabernacle might have been (but not with the Ark), and where Solomon met God in a dream.  It was called the “great high place”. (1Ki. 3:4-5)
(1 Ki 3:4–5 NKJV) —4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

:5 where the Philistine garrison is

(1 Sa 13:3 NKJV) —3 And Jonathan attacked the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!”

:5 a stringed instrument, a tambourine …

These prophets would be singing praises to the Lord and they would be prophesying in the Spirit.


Worship and the Spirit

I don’t think it will be coincidence that these prophets will be carrying musical instruments.
God often uses music to stir up a person spiritually.
King Jehoshaphat wanted to hear from God before he went into a war allied with the King of Israel against the Moabites.  When Elisha was brought in, he was reluctant to prophesy, but he finally yielded and said,

(2 Ki 3:15 NKJV) —15 But now bring me a musician.” Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.

Elisha was then filled with the Spirit and told Jehoshaphat what he was to do.  God uses music to prepare a person’s heart for a work of the Holy Spirit.

:6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.

:6 the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you


The work of the Holy Spirit

There are folks who see the work of the Holy Spirit being different in the Old Testament than in the New Testament.  In the Old Testament, the Spirit seemed to only come on certain individuals, whereas in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon the whole church.
Perhaps there is a reason for the difference.  After all, Jesus had not yet died for the sins of the world.  Jesus tied the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church with His own death and resurrection:

(Jn 16:7 NKJV) Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Though there are some differences, I think that in another sense, the work of the Holy Spirit has always been the same.
Look at how similar the wording is in the New Testament:
(Ac 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The Spirit gives new life.
The Holy Spirit changes us.
The Holy Spirit strengthens us
The more we allow the Holy Spirit to affect our lives, the more we are changed.

I like to think about the hand in the glove.  A glove is not nearly so useful as it is when a hand is inside of it.  When a hand is inside a glove, everything the hand does, the glove does.  If we allow the Holy Spirit to fully control our lives, we will find ourselves doing all the kinds of things that the Holy Spirit does.

:7 And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.

:7 do as the occasion demands


Making decisions

Samuel is telling Saul to just “go with the flow”.
Sometimes a person can get bogged down in wondering about every little detail in their life.  They wonder if God wants them to wear black socks or white socks.  They wonder if they should have eggs for breakfast or cold cereal.  They wonder if they should turn right at the light or go straight.
Sometimes we simply worry too much.
When you’re filled with the Spirit, there is a sense in which much of the time you just “do as occasion serve thee”.  Just do what God puts before you.
There are still going to be times when we need to seek the Lord, seek counsel, wait on Him, etc.  But there are some things we need to simply learn to go with it.
We could call this “walking in the Spirit”.
David wrote,
(Ps 37:4 NKJV) Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

As God becomes your greatest joy, your sole delight, you will find new things happening in your heart.  God will begin to place new desires in your heart.  He will be giving you new “desires”.  And they will be for the things that He desires.

:8 You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.”

:8 go down before me to Gilgal

At first this sounds like this was something Saul was to do right away, but it seems that this is more of a rule that Saul was to follow when he needed help and guidance from Samuel.  We’ll see this happen later when we get to chapter thirteen:

(1 Sa 13:8 NKJV) Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.

See map. Gibeah, Ramah, Gilgal

Gilgal was down near the Jordan River.  It was the first stop for Joshua and the nation when they first crossed the Jordan to conquer the Promised Land.

:9 So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.

:10 When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

:11 And it happened, when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

:11 Is Saul also among the prophets?


People won’t understand

The people that had known Saul thought he had gone nuts on them.
It’s just like what happens to us when we fall in love with the Lord and we do silly things like going to church all the time.
Why would you ever give up a Thursday evening and go to church?
People who used to know us have a hard time understanding why.

:12 Then a man from there answered and said, “But who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb: “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

:12 But who is their father?

These people are assuming that to be a prophet, you have to have a father who is a prophet.

They are calling into question whether Kish is really Saul’s father.  They are questioning the legitimacy of his birth.

:13 And when he had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.

:13 high placebamah – high place, ridge, height, bamah (technical name for cultic platform)

Perhaps Gibeon?

:14 Then Saul’s uncle said to him and his servant, “Where did you go?” So he said, “To look for the donkeys. When we saw that they were nowhere to be found, we went to Samuel.”

:15 And Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me, please, what Samuel said to you.”

It seems that Saul’s uncle was at the “high place”, and this is where the conversation takes place.

I get the idea that Saul’s uncle knows a little about Samuel.  He’s fascinated to hear what Samuel has said.

:16 So Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But about the matter of the kingdom, he did not tell him what Samuel had said.

:16 he did not tell him

For some reason, Saul doesn’t talk about the king stuff. 

Is this humility?  Is this embarrassment?  Is Saul unsure of himself?

10:17-27 Saul proclaimed king

:17 Then Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah,

:17 Mizpah

See map.

This is one of the main gathering places for the nation. This was where Samuel had gathered the people in their last battle with the Philistines (1Sam. 7:5).

:18 and said to the children of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all kingdoms and from those who oppressed you.’

:19 But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, ‘No, set a king over us!’ Now therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.”

:20 And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen.

:20 the tribe of Benjamin was chosen

Perhaps this was done by lot, sort of like drawing straws.  Samuel is going to use a random method to demonstrate God’s choice for king, even though he’s already been chosen.

:21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was chosen. And Saul the son of Kish was chosen. But when they sought him, he could not be found.

:21 he could not be found

Saul’s hiding could be out of humility.  I wonder if there is a slight reluctance to do what God has called him to do.

Pastor Chuck: “I know that you might think, “Hey, wait a minute.  This could be another sign of the man’s humility.”  No, when God has called you to a task or mission, for you to try to hide from that call of God - is not a sign of humility, it is a sign of folly, or weakness.  So this hiding from the call of God to be the chosen is a sign of weakness.”


What kind of humility?

I may be going out on a limb here, but I wonder if there aren’t different kinds of “humility”.
I think that all humility is good.
But some humility starts out the wrong way.
Saul will later become a proud, arrogant, paranoid man.  He will lose his humility.
Later, Samuel tells us how Saul started out,

(1 Sa 15:17 NKJV) So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?

I don’t want to sound too much like a pop-psychologist, but I would say that Saul started out with humility simply because he didn’t think he was worth too much.
And then when he experienced what God could do in his life, I wonder if he didn’t begin to think, “Yeah!  I am THE MAN!!!”
The truth is, even though we really aren’t worth too much, we have great value simply because God cares about us.  And God wants to work in us.  All of us.
We need to work at humility.
Peter writes,
(1 Pe 5:5–6 NKJV) —5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

 “be clothed with humility” carries the idea that we have a choice whether or not to “put on” humility.

We learn humility because God is great.  God has a mighty hand.  God is at work and God gets all the credit.

:22 Therefore they inquired of the Lord further, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord answered, “There he is, hidden among the equipment.”

:22 they inquired of the Lord

They didn’t know where Saul was, so they asked the Lord.


God knows where you are.

You can’t hide from God.
Others may not know where you are.  Others may not be able to see that you’re “among the stuff”, but God does.
When Adam sinned in the garden with his wife, he tried to hide from the Lord.
(Ge 3:9 NKJV) Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

Did God not know where Adam was?  God knew exactly where Adam was.  God asked the question because He wanted Adam to think about where he was.  He was hiding from God.

:23 So they ran and brought him from there; and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.

:24 And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?” So all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!”

They want their king to thrive and prosper.

In England they still say, “God save the queen”. (like the King James text)

:25 Then Samuel explained to the people the behavior of royalty, and wrote it in a book and laid it up before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

The book could have included what Samuel had warned about in 1Samuel 8:9-18.  It could have included Moses’ instructions for a king in Deut. 17:14-20.

:26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched.

:26 Gibeah

See map

It would seem that this is the same “Gibeah” that was wiped out in the judgment against Benjamin (Judg. 19-21).

:27 But some rebels said, “How can this man save us?” So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

:27 rebels – “children of Belial”, “children of Satan”. 

These are plain bad people.


People will challenge you

Even when God is involved in something, you will find that people will challenge you.
Sometimes we get discouraged with every bit of opposition.
Sometimes we ought to be encouraged – it means that you are being effective.
Every good leader, every innovator gets challenged.

:27  But he held his peace

held his peacecharash – to be silent, keep quiet; to be deaf


Hold your peace

I think Saul did a good thing here.
Be careful about defending yourself.  Sometimes it is better to be quiet.
Charles Spurgeon used to tell his students who wanted to be in the ministry that they needed to develop a “blind eye and deaf ear”.  He got that thought from:
(Ec 7:21–22 NKJV) —21 Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you. 22 For many times, also, your own heart has known That even you have cursed others.

The point is, sometimes you need to stop listening to what people are saying because it’s not going to help you one bit.

We get so incensed over things people say to us when we should just learn to be quiet and ignore it.