A Coveted King – Israel Makes A Choice
Book of 1 Samuel Chapters 9-11
It would have been very easy to title this lesson the permissive will of God. The decisions we make can change our lives forever. In fact some people are in such a position that the decisions they make can affect the entire world.
In most cases we just do what we do without thinking of the consequences of our choices!
When we do not place our trust in the Lord God for every situation that comes into our lives then we will make the wrong decisions!
The people of Israel would get what they asked for through the permissive will of God.
The people of Israel have lived with this decision up until the day we live in right now!
In learning from these lessons we need to also acknowledge the "providence" of God!
God will guide His plan of "salvation" into a perfect ending!
Israel had a king, including the Herods for more than 570 years!
Israel’s first king was King Saul.
Let’s begin our lesson:
*****1Sa 9:1 Now 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.
Benjamin was the last of the sons of Jacob. Of this tribe there was a man named Kish.
Kish was the father of the first King of Israel, Saul. The one thing that we know about Kish is that he was a mighty man of power.
Kish had great wealth and great substance and his family was regarded highly in the tribe of Benjamin.
And Kish was also a man of considerable physical strength.
*****1Sa 9:2 And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
Saul was a man with a fine appearance according to the Bible. Saul was probably close to 7 feet tall and Saul had the body of an athlete.
There was none other like Saul throughout Israel!
Saul was a great physical specimen of a man.
The name Saul means "asked for".
We can see that Israel was far more interested "in the physical things of government" than in their spiritual relationship with God.
Saul came to the attention of Samuel as he was searching for the families lost donkeys. Saul and one of his servants had searched for these animals for a long period of time and when they can could not find them Saul’s servant persuaded him to consult the man of God, this would of been Samuel.
At this time of Samuel, the true prophets of God were called Seer’s.
Zadok and Gad were also called Seers.
Some have thought that a seer was only a recorder of the events of the king’s reign and a prophet was one who acted in the Lords name, and by the Lord’s authority.
Some Seers were also called prophets and some were not but the Hebrew word "raah" used here for Seer is used 1308 times in the Old Testament mostly concerning seeing or being seen.
Samuel was sought out by Saul, not because he was God’s "voice" but because he was a "Seer".
We can see here that Saul had not observe the annual "feasts of the Lord" because he did not know Samuel.
It was probably evening time when Saul arrived at Ramah because the young ladies were going out to draw water as they did in the evening or the cool of the day.
By this time it is believed that Shiloh had been destroyed and we know that the Ark of the Covenant was not at Shiloh and therefore no worship services were held in Shiloh.
The name Ramah, the home of Samuel, actually means "high place" and it seems that this is the place were at least some sacrifices were offered.
And, we should remember that during the period when Shiloh had been destroyed it seems that that Tabernacle was moved to Nob and then to Gibeon, probably by Saul, and worship was in Gibeon until the time that Solomon built the Temple.
During this time of Samuel it seems that the people of Israel worshiped in high places because there was no house built for the Lord.
We should remember Noah built his altar to the Lord while he was still on Mount Ararat. Then did also Abraham and Jacob.
The Israelites were instructed to throw down the high places of the Canaanites.
This "high place" was built in Zuph which was the home region of Elkanah who was the earthly father of Samuel.
Some scripture that tells us of some things are found in the Book of Psalms:
Psa 78:60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
Psa 78:61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.
The Ark had left the Tabernacle in Shiloh and had gone into the hands of the Philistines. It was finally recovered and after the wrath of God at Bethshemesh it had been placed in the house of Abinadab at Kirjathjearmim and stayed there until King David recovered it some 100 years later.
2Sa 6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.
2Sa 6:3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.
The Tabernacle was moved to Nob and then to Gibeon:
(Note) Nob is within eye sight of Jerusalem!
1Ch 16:39 And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon,
It was probably King Saul that moved the Tabernacle to Gibeon but the Lord refused this place:
Psa 78:67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
And the Lord chose the tribe of Judah:
Psa 78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
(Note) the Ark was still at Kirjathjearmin which was part of Judah:
1Ch 21:25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
1Ch 21:26 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
1Ch 21:27 And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.
1Ch 21:28 At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
1Ch 21:29 For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.
1Ch 21:30 But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
It can be said that the Lord chose Judah, in sight of Jerusalem. God did not follow the location of political power.
*****1Sa 9:15 Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying,
1Sa 9:16 To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.
We should immediately notice that even though Israel had rejected the Lord he had not rejected them.
It would also be good to notice that the word Captain is the Hebrew word "nagid" was not a word that’s used for king which is the Hebrew word "melek"
To be Captain at this point would be the commander of Israel’s military. In other words any king of Israel would be one who was officially chosen by the Lord and serve as the Lord’s Vice-regent.
This Captain will save the children of Israel out of the hand of the Philistines "as a tool in the hand of God".
So, even though the Lord was rejected by Israel He still recognized their need for security!
*****1Sa 9:17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.
We must remember that Saul was close to 7 feet tall and when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him "Behold".
This was the man that the Lord would use, just as he did Samson, God would use Saul to begin to weaken the Philistines and prepare them for King David’s final conquest of this enemy of Israel.
The purpose of Saul was to stop Israel from walking in their own ways!
We must remember the theme of the Book of Judges.
Jdg 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
King Saul would at least hold Israel together and keep them from going their separate ways.
*****1Sa 10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
Saul had never met Samuel but Samuel knew a lot about Saul. The tribe of Benjamin had been almost wiped out completely not too many years ago and Saul had told Samuel that his own family was nothing. This statement was not true because the Bible tells us that Kish, the father of Saul was a mighty man of power.
Remember we read this in Vs 9:1
This anointing was private. It was intended merely to assure Saul that God had chosen him as Israel’s first earthly king.
Saul’s commission was clear, the Lord had chosen him to lead the people and more specifically, to deliver them from their enemies.
This anointing of oil indicated that God was approving Saul as king.
But Samuel made it very clear to Saul, these people would never belong to any king they belong to the Lord, they were the Lord’s inheritance!
*****1Sa 10:17 And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh;
1Sa 10:18 And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you:
Samuel had given Saul three signs that would occur on his journey home to prove to him that God was with him.
1) Saul would meet two men at Rachel’s tomb and they would say that "the young donkeys are found but you father is looking for you".
2) Saul would meet three men, one carrying 3 kid goats, one carrying 3 three loaves of bread, and one carrying a skin of wine.
3) The Spirit of God would cause Saul to prophesy with the prophets.
All of the signs occurred just a Samuel spoke and in the places Samuel had said.
This encouraged Saul but it was at Mizpeh where Israel had repented to the Lord and it would be at Mizpeh where Saul would be anointed.
Saul’s nomination to the throne of Israel is made public before the elders of Israel and representatives of all the tribes.
But, before this takes place the Lord reminds Israel that it was He that brought them out from Egypt and has delivered them up to this time.
It would be this day that Israel would got from being a theocracy to a monarchy!
A "Theocracy" is a government under the immediate direction of the Almighty God.
A "Monarchy" is a government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of a single individual, a man or in some cases throughout history some women have held this position.
*****1Sa 10:19 And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.
Again it was not Samuel who was rejected, but Israel had rejected Jehovah God.
Saul reminded Israel that under the covenant made to Abraham they were to follow the Lord but they had disobeyed the Lord by asking for a King.
And, Samuel informed Israel that "it was a sin" to not obey the Lord.
But Israel was now to present themselves to the Lord so He could hear their request!
*****1Sa 10:20 And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken.
Only the Lord and Samuel knew that the king had already been selected and anointed but Samuel wanted Israel to realize that Jehovah was in charge of the selection process.
They drew lots and the tribe of Benjamin was selected.
*****1Sa 10:21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found.
Nothing is known about the family of Matri except that Kish the father of Saul was from that family.
Kish was also the son of Abiel. Abiel had another son by the name of Ner who had a son name Abner.
It was Abner who would be the General of Saul’s’ army.
But at this time Saul could not be found!
*****1Sa 10:22 Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.
The Lord informed Samuel that Saul was hiding.
That word "stuff" would mean that Saul was hiding among the wagons and the baggage that contained the necessary items to care for this group of people.
Saul was not concentrating on the glory of God but only on himself!
In other words Saul was a reluctant king at this time!
*****1Sa 10:23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.
Saul had been chosen by lot but when Israel saw him they realized that he was the tallest man in Israel.
And Israel was in awe of their new king.
You know the world will be in absolute awe of King Jesus when He returns to this earth!.
The Book of Revelation says:
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
*****1Sa 10:24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.
It was a true statement that there were no others like Saul throughout all Israel.
AND, this same statement "God save the king" has been used in the coronation of monarchy every since this day!
*****1Sa 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, 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.
And Samuel told the people how the kingdom would be now.
These are probably the same things that we read about in chapter 8.
How a King would take their sons and daughters for his own use.
How a King would take their sons and daughters for the military.
How a King would take their possessions, including their land, to finance his war machines.
How a King would take the best that they had and leave them with what was left.
How a King would make himself rich off the backs of the poor.
How a king would take away their personal freedoms.
How a king would tax them into poverty.
And Samuel wrote these things down in the book so that they could not say they were not informed!
*****1Sa 10:26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.
When this assembly was ended everyone went back home including King Saul.
But there was a group of men who followed Saul because the Lord had moved them to do so.
Some people gave all gifts as tokens of their homage to the King but there were also those that disagreed with this choice of king!
*****1Sa 10:27 But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.
There was a group of wicked and worthless men that said how can this man save us.
They despise their new king and gave him no presents.
They had no respect for this man that their nation had chosen.
And Saul should have dealt severely with them at this time but he held his peace.
Anyone who is truly called to do a work for God will surely encounter opposition from Satan!
Even when God regards His people’s lack of faith as a rejection of His authority, He still maintains His commitment to them.
The Lord will always recognize the need for security and He will always intervene to prevent the destruction of Israel!
Israel did not need a king, they needed security and they still do!
When God’s people foolishly embraced the world and reject His authority, He will exercise His right to rule in a way that is best for them!
But when God’s people foolishly see false security and reject His authority He may discipline them by letting them experience the consequences of their behavior and their own choices!
That old saying "be careful what you asked for" has real meaning in our relationship with the Lord!