The Story of Samuel | Saul the Benjamite | 1 Samuel 9.1-6 |

by | Jul 27, 2020

“There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else. Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them. When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.” But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.” 1 Samuel 9.1-6

For anyone who knows their biblical history, Saul becomes a major player as the first King of Israel. He does both good and evil in the sight of the Lord. This account is God responding to his people’s demand for a king. He chooses Saul, warts and all. He is a young man, impressive looking, and a head taller than anyone else. Even in that day people looked up to height.

Benjamin was the smallest of the tribes and Saul, the son of Kish. He was not only tall but he was handsome. The Lord arranged it that Kish might lose his donkeys and that he might sent Saul to Samuel to go looking for them. At their meeting, Samuel would tell Saul everything the Lord had revealed to him and he would be made king.

The major fault of the Israelites was that they overlooked God as their king in order to put another on the throne. Even now we exalt our leaders, presidents, movie stars, athletes, billionaires and bloggers who make a name for themselves. It’s no doubt that their worldly accomplishments are great but as we know— this world will pass away. “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever,” 1 John 2.17.

The affections of the Israelites shifted from God as their King and Deliverer to Saul, he would become their “messiah” and the wickedness of the nation would be revealed through his actions.

How often do we place our trust in men and women instead of God? Think of future or past presidents who you revere — Trump, Obama, George W, Regan — think how our country’s hopes rise and fall with each election. But in truth, all of this will pass away. No one can replace our God as our source of help and hope. As 1 John 2.17 tells us, this world will pass away but we who do God’s will will last forever (my translation.) Even Jesus tells us in Matthew 24.35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

We are only at the beginning of the story of King Saul, but hold on to your horses, it’s about to be a wild ride. As we follow Saul, his ups and downs, anointing and disappointments, let’s keep in mind the true leader of Israel — The Lord God Almighty.

“O Lord God, I admit my hopes too often reside with our leaders. I find myself placing my trust in humanity when they are all just as flawed as I am. We as a nation place confidence in men and women who will ultimately fail us. Everyone of them will fail and everyone is a sinner. Only Jesus, God’s chosen Son, led a perfect life, dying for the sins of the world. It is in you I place my hope and my trust. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me know the truth of your message and the confidence in your words that will never pass away. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen