1 Samuel 10-14; the anointing and elevation of Saul, the Benjaminite chosen to be Israel’s first king. Samuel the last prophet, priest and judge reluctantly obeys God and gives the people what they want – A King. They already had a king, even God states that Saul is only a prince. [1 Sam 9:16]
In chapter 10 all seems to go so well at the beginning of Saul’s reign, he prophecies with the other prophets and the Holy Spirit come upon him in a supernatural way. I found 1 Sam 10:6 and 9 reflect what happens to anyone who will trust in the Lord. 2 Cor. 5:17 – a new man, this is what happens to Saul, not something that Saul did to himself. We are changed by our gracious and merciful God. Anyone who thinks that they have made themselves something is really fooling no one. We can’t change us – it is only under the divine power of God that we are what we are. His handiwork, His strength, and His glory! When Saul is announced to the people, they praise and even sort of worship Saul – “Long Live the King.” I always wondered where that phrase came from, well now I know. Samuel is still disgruntled with the decision of having a king rule instead of Elohim. Samuel tells them how they are rejecting God who has delivered them. Even though the majority seem to embrace this new method of rule, there will always be those who are the critics – look at 1 Sam. 10:27 – Saul is not without his own critics. NOTE: every man of God called to the ministry to preach and pastor the flock of God will always have those who want to see his demise. They lurk in the background just waiting to pounce on the opportunity to denounce and ridicule the Preacher! 1 Sam. 11 tells the story of about Saul’s first real test. With the Holy Spirit coming over him, He able to deliver the people from the Ammonites. I hate to say this but, Saul is a glory hog and sought approval from the people. In the future there will be a David in Saul’s life, that will exceed Saul’s accomplishments – oh the rage that will come from Saul because someone else received the glory. In 1 Sam. 12 we are privileged to hear the final message from the final Judge – Samuel calls for accountability from the people, they are to bring any grievance to the LORD and he , Samuel is willing to stand trial. The people find no fault in him – he is exonerated. In 1 Sam 12:14-17 there is the reminiscences of 2 Chronicles 6 & 7 – where Solomon tells the people that they will not be faithful, prays to God and asks that if the people would pray, repent and follow again the word of the Lord – would He forgive? God’s answer is in 2 Chronicles 7:12-14. The IF . . . Then covenant, conditional for the nation Israel – albeit for us as well.
The Philistines – the nemeses of the Israelites, and the downfall of a recently anointed king, is what we have in 1 Samuel 13. It was honorable that King Saul would not want to go to war without the blessing of Yahweh. But . . . when he loses patience and takes on the role of Priest, because Samuel is delayed – I have used a phrase in my minister and have warned others pastors as well – “Don’t get bigger than your ministry.” Saul did what he thought was right, but he was not the right one to offer the sacrifices – “What Have You Done!?” We hear that in Genesis 3 and Exodus 32. We hear that a lot from parents asking their children about their actions. Isn’t it always like that, as soon as we lose our patience and take things into our own hands, that the answer from God shows up? Saul loses his kingdom over one disobedient act. Careful, the same thing happened to Moses. God gave the victory, oh but at what cost to King Saul! We have the prophetic announcement of the “God chosen king in David as a result of this failure by Saul.” Saul reigned 42 years, how miserable it must have been, to know that God left him in place, but that Saul’s successor was already picked? Another aspect of this sad chapter in 1 Samuel 13- Jonathan, the son of Saul, is a warrior, and as we will fin out a close companion of Dai=vid. Jonathan wages war against the Philistines. Saul steals the glory from his own son, when it would have been honorable to acknowledge that Jonathan won the battle. This is a significant warning to anyone in ministry – don’t take what is not yours, especially those who work and support you. Give credit where credit is due. Saul became King, but barely into his reign, He trusted in himself – not the Holy Spirit that had come over him. Warning to the wise!