As we continue our study of I Samuel, our text this morning is a bit long. Let’s read — and think through — I Samuel 9 . . .
Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, has a son who was a model for the magazine GQ. Not really, but Saul was “as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel” (v. 2). And he was also taller than everyone else.
It is in the course of everyday life — the episode of some lost donkeys — that Saul’s life will dramatically change! The search for the missing donkeys was coming up empty-handed (vv. 3-4), so Saul was fearful his father would stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about them (v. 5). The servant suggested they consult a nearby “man of God” for advice. Saul agrees and realizes they have no gift for the man. The servant offers his own money and they set out to find the man of God (vv. 6-10).
Receiving some advice about the “seer,” they meet Samuel on his way to the high place. Just the day before the Lord had instructed Samuel to anoint “a man from the land of Benjamin”! “He will deliver Israel from the Philistines . . . for their cry has reached me” (v. 16). When he sees Saul, Samuel is told by the Lord that “this is the man I spoke to you about” (v. 17).
Samuel invites Saul and his servant to eat with him and promises to tell him “all that is in [his] heart” (v. 19). “And don’t worry about the donkeys,” he says! (v. 20). God must have given Samuel supernatural insight into the whereabouts of the donkeys! Samuel then says, “And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?” (v. 20).
Saul responds in humility, for he came from the least of Israel’s tribes — “Why do you say such a thing to me?” (v. 21). Samuel sits Saul and his servant at the head of the table to which 30 others were invited and instructs the cook to bring the designated piece of meat for Saul. Samuel tells him that this meat was reserved specifically for him! (v. 24).
Around daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof to get ready to leave. At the edge of town, Samuel asks Saul to send his servant ahead and for Saul to stay “that I may give you a message from God” (v. 27).
My, how the Lord uses simple things to accomplish His purposes! A couple of lost donkeys! And searching for them leads to Saul meeting the prophet Samuel who will anoint him as Israel’s first king!
We also see how the Lord had supernaturally communicated to Samuel what He wanted him to do. God told Samuel where the donkeys were and to speak some incredible words to Saul: “to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line” (v. 20).
We must be impressed with Saul’s humility and his openness to hearing “a message of God” which Samuel will give him.