The Calling of Saul as King

1 Samuel 9:1-10:27


Intro: We have seen where the people made their request – Give us a king like the other nations – Exactly what God is going to do



RD v. 1-2 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.


Now the first thing that we see about Saul is that He was a man of Power and Prestige

A)He came from a wealthy & powerful family among the tribes of Israel


B) So right away – He has a likening to Kings of other nations

1) Our country today – Normal guy could never be King – Need Huge Financial backing to fund a campaign


C) A 2nd thing we see about Saul is that he was very Handsome – In fact it says here that - There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel.


D) And he as tall as well – taller than anyone else – He was the Shaq of Israel

1) We might say of Saul that he was the total package – Tall/ dark / handsome and Rich { Movie Star material – Next Hollywood Hunk –


The name Saul means “asked of God.” Israel was asking for a king, and Saul would indeed be the one “asked of God.”

A) And when the people were introduced to him – most of them embraced him right away as a good Choice – Just what they wanted -   


B) There is one thing that is missing in this description of Saul - there is nothing said about his relationship with the LORD

1) There is nothing said because there was nothing to say!

C) See it is true that size and looks aren’t everything.  Isaac Watts was a genius of a man who wrote some great hymns that we sing. 

1) He was a brilliant man, a genius.  He was only about 4’10” tall.  He was a little sensitive about being a little short.  And he wrote one day,


“Were I so tall to reach the poles, or span the oceans with my hand; I must be measured by my soul: for the mind is the standard of man.”


D) In other words, you can be a big, strong, good looking - idiot. 

1) It is the heart of a man that matters most


E)  Saul reflected the spiritual state of the whole nation of Israel.

1) There may have been some spiritual image present, but the heart was far from where God wanted it to be.     RD v.3-5


Now this gives, some insight into Saul’s family. 

A)Saul came from a good home where he knew that a prolonged absence would cause his father to begin to worry about him. 


B) It shows that there was some kind of loving atmosphere and relationship within the home.  { I am amazed at how some kids are able to run amok

1) If you have come from a good home, loving parents, a home of a lot of security, and love; in your list of blessings, put that at the top. 


C) It is a tremendous blessing to come from a good home with a loving environment.  Saul had that advantage, a good home life. 


D) Misconception here – Saul is not a little kid - we must remember that we are dealing with a patriarch type of society. 

1) Though Saul is still under his father, a wealthy man, and he is out on a mission, he probably was close to thirty seven years old. 


E) As soon as he was anointed king, he conscripts an army.  He takes 2000 men under his leadership/ his son Jonathan, 1000 men under his leadership. 

                                              RD V.6-10

Now Saul was worried because the custom was that when you went to a prophet of God to get advice or guidance, you would give an honorarium,

A) Saul didn’t have anything.  They had spent all their bread, but the servant fortunately had a fourth part of a shekel.                RD V. 11-16


B) WHY did the Lord speak into SAMUELS ear?. Because of what we saw in 1 SAM 8:21  And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the ears of the LORD.


C) Lesson:  Those who speak to the Lord intimately and frequently will hear     the Lord speak to them


D) REMEMBER: We need to become sensitive to the voice of the             Lord... That still small voice  (God Speaking)

1) Elijah – not the earthquake – not the Fire – not the Wind – Still small


Amazed at how he was able to distinguish the still small voice of the Lord from all that was happening around him

A) Tells me that Elijah must have spend many hrs in the desert waiting on the Lord and learning to hear his voice


B) Do you WAIT on the Lord and SPEAK to the Lord?

   1) That is the place of HEARING from the Lord


C) That is NOT as easy as turning on the radio or grabbing the hot                selling book

1)  It COSTS us in time


D) BUT - If we spend time with Him, we will hear from Him


E) So Samuel was expecting to find the leader for Israel the next day because the day before the LORD had spoken to his ear, saying, "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;

Now, I think that this story is interesting, in that, it shows us how God often works in very common, natural ways in our lives. 

A)I imagine that when those donkeys ran away it was a real bummer for Saul


B) It must have been an irritating thing to go look for those donkeys.  The longer they looked, they could not find them. 

1) But The real story or issue isn’t the lost donkeys. 


C) The real issue is to bring Saul to this man of God, Samuel, that he might anoint him as the captain of God’s people. 

1) But Saul, looking for the donkeys, probably being upset, getting a little worried about his dad worrying:


D) He didn’t realize that God’s hand was in the whole situation as they were looking for these donkeys. 

1) The real issue was that God was working behind the scenes to bring him to Samuel in order that he might be declared the man that God had chosen to be king over Israel. 


I have found that God so often works in very natural ways in our lives.  A)We think that to be led by the Spirit is some kind of trance experience.  Or it only happens after – fasted for 40 days


B) But God leads us in very natural ways: in what seems to be very natural circumstances. 

1) Often, its just an impression, a wish, or a desire. Something that he places on your heart - 


C) The Bible says that, “The steps of a good man are ordered of the LORD: and he delights in his ways.”  

The Bible says, “Commit your ways to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not into your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” 

D) So a man whose life is committed to God is a man who is being led by God, even in the daily apparent mundane things in life. 

1) Yet, God’s hand is there and guiding him. 


E) So Saul was searching for these donkeys in a random way. 

1) Yet God was leading him all the way, bringing him to the place where the prophet of God just so happened to come there that day. 


RD V. 17-18  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."18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, "Please tell me, where is the seer's house?"


Now this blesses me because even though Samuel was the Prophet of God – There was nothing that made him stand out –

A) He wasn’t going around wearing – I am the prophet of God badge


B) Samuel just looked like an ordinary guy –

1) Ordinary people can be the MOUTHPIECE OF GOD


v. 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?"


C) This was probably to assure Saul that he was a true prophet of God.  See Saul didn’t mention anything about having lost donkeys. 

1) And yet, Samuel speaks the very thing that is on his heart: what he was worried about.  “As for those donkeys, don’t worry about it; they have already gone home.”  But then he said to him:


V.21 "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?"

Now here we see a good Characteristic in Saul’s life – he is Humble

A) He is genuinely taken back – by what Samuel is saying – I think this is one of the reasons why God Chose Saul – He was Humble


B) God resist the proud but Gives grace to the Humble / Humble yourself & God will exalt you – exalt yourself you will be humbled


C) I am really blessed by the Person who genuinely thinks that they are not ready for the task –

1) I ask them to pray about something – they are blown away- Who me ?


D) On the other hand – I am equally repulsed by the person who responds – I have been wondering when you were going to get around to asking ….


E) Saul’s problem is that his Humility would be short lived – Pride goes before destruction / haughty spirit before a fall .

1) But the person who is not confident in his flesh – will be confident in God


RD V. 22-24 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.'"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.


So Samuel holds this feast and gives Saul the special Choice portion which was a distinct honor – the thigh of the Shoulder

A) Interesting that Samuel gives Saul the Shoulder – speaks of Strength for Saul was a strong man – but not the Breast – or the heart


B) Saul was Strong but He lacked heart/ heart for God/a heart for the people

1) God would say of His next king – David – Man after my own heart

                                     Rd 25-27

How we wish we could have listened to this conversation!

A) No doubt, Samuel told Saul all about Israel’s desire for a king, and how he had to be a good king for Israel.


B) I can just imagine Samuel saying: “Look Saul, you have

a lot going for you.

1) You have the image, you are a humble man, and you will have the support of the people.


C) But if you don’t give your heart to serving God, and submit to Him as

your king, you will never be a fit king for Israel.”


Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain for 64 years. But when she was 11 years old, her governess showed her a list of the kings and queens of England with her name added at the end.


When she understood what it meant, she burst into tears. At first overwhelmed

Then she controlled herself and said solemnly, “I will be good.”


D) Here, Samuel gave Saul the opportunity to say with his heart, “I will be good.”


CH.10 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?

A) So this anointing with oil is a symbolic gesture: it was because God had anointed him to be the captain over Israel. 


B) The anointing was not really accomplished by Samuel pouring the oil on him. 

1) The anointing was confirmed by Samuel pouring the oil.  The anointing had come by God earlier.  / Oil is symbolic of the Spirit


C) Ordination / Baptism – Anointing of the Spirit –


Note again the Phrase - the LORD has anointed you commander over His inheritance?

A) Samuel reminds Saul that Israel belongs to the LORD, they are His inheritance.


B) At the same time, Saul has an important job to do, because God has placed him as commander over His inheritance.

1) You & I our STEWARDS – Families / Ministries / People


C) Saul should have tried to be the best king he could be, because he was taking care of a people who belonged to the LORD God.

1) Same is true for every - Sunday School teacher – Youth leader – teacher at CCS – Home group leader – Pastor - 

                                                                                              RD V. 2-13


3 Things happen to Saul to solidify his calling as King

A) 1st He is given a sign{ Meets these men who confirm the Donkeys are found { Exact – 3 men etc Confirmation- My calling – Everything went easy


B) 2nd He is anointed w/ the Holy Spirit- and prophesies – This reception of the Holy Spirit was the real anointing.

1) The oil poured out on Saul’s head was just a picture of this.


C)  A gallon of oil could have been put on his head, but if the Spirit of the LORD did not come upon him, it would have meant nothing!

1) This is a must for MINISTRY – Anointing of the Spirit – no amount of natural talent or Gifting can make up for that Anointing –


D) Disciples needed to be Baptized with the Spirit 


3rd He was given a new Heart v. 9 { Turned into another man

A) The Lord’s heart – HIS EYES / HIS HEART – Does first – the heart


B) Heart of Confidence – My eyes are on me – Scarred – Eyes are on the Lord – another story -                                                        RD v. 14-23

This was the first sign of weakness in Saul’s character. 

A) You might be thinking , “Hey, wait a minute.  This could be another sign of the man’s humility.” 


B) 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,

1) it is a sign of folly, or weakness. 


C) So this hiding from the call of God to be the chosen was the first  sign of weakness in Saul - 

1) Continue to Plague him – later on not dealing with his responsibility with King Agag –


D) I Hate Confrontation – But if I am going to lead this Church – times when it has to be done .


Saul is getting off to a Bad Start –CH Spurgeon,wrote a sermon using this passage called - Hiding Among the Stuff,

A) In it he shows how both believers and unbelievers can be hidden among

the equipment, avoiding the crown God has for them.


B) For the unbeliever it is the Crown of Salvation / But for the Christian it could be the Crown of suffering / or Ministry


C) There may be some of you here present, who may be doing precisely what Saul did, only you are doing it more foolishly than he did.

1) He did but hide away from an earthly crown, but you hide from a heavenly one.”                                                         RD V. 24-27


Here we see another advantage in the life of Saul

A) Not only is he big and handsome, the son of a caring father, humble in his beginnings and endowed with spiritual gifts


B) He is also surrounded by men whose heart the Lord had touched

    That is a POWER PACKED blessing from God