1 Samuel chapter 9 is a very interesting passage. It shows the power of God in knowing what lies in store for us – even when we are involved in mundane, everyday routines.
Remember, in the last lesson (Samuel 8) the people asked for a king. Even though God knew better, He was about to grant their request.
And, Saul had no idea what was about to happen as he went out to look for stray donkeys.
Let’s keep this in mind as we study the Scripture.
In verses 1-14, Saul and his servant try in vain to find the lost donkeys. So, they decide to ask a “seer” to help them find the strays and return home.
This is where an innocent quest changes Saul’s life — and eventually the nation of Israel.
Saul Meets Samuel at Zuph
“Now a day before Saul’s coming, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel saying, “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines.
For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.”
When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, “Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall rule over My people.”
Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.”
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 in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind.
As for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found.
And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?”
Saul replied, “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 to me in this way?”
Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who were invited, who were about thirty men.
Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion that I gave you, concerning which I said to you, ‘Set it aside.’”
Then the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it before Saul.
And Samuel said, “Here is what has been reserved!
Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you until the appointed time, since I said I have invited the people.”
So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
When they came down from the high place into the city, Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof.
And they arose early; and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, “Get up, that I may send you away.”
So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.
As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Say to the servant that he might go ahead of us and pass on, but you remain standing now, that I may proclaim the word of God to you.” – 1 Samuel 9:15-27 NASB
To Find a Donkey
Why was it so important to find a few donkeys? Well, in those days donkey’s were a sign of wealth. And, Saul’s father, being a wealthy man desperately wanted to find them.
So, he sent his son Saul on an important mission. But, the mission to find the stray donkey’s became the least of what happened to this tall young man.
He was about to meet the prophet Samuel; and learn of his destiny.
The Anointment of Saul
First, I’d suggest reading all of Samuel 1:9 so you can see how this immaculate chain of events came to pass. It really amazed me.
Throughout the Bible, God uses seemingly ordinary events to turn people’s lives upside down.
Many of the things we set out to do in life are not newsworthy but, God can use us in a mighty way if we only listen.
If we take the time to look at “good & bad” things happening right now in our lives, maybe we can see God’s purpose for us.
Becoming a Person of God
When Saul said to Samuel; “Why then do you speak to me in this way?“, he displayed his feelings of low self-worth.
And, this feeling would plague him throughout his reign as king.
Saul, like many of us could not shake this feeling although God was leading him.
So, Saul never really became a person of God because he could not accept God’s love to achieve that inner peace.
I, like many others struggle with these things. Who am I to deserve God’s love even though I know I’m not worthy.
The comfort lies in the truth which is; none of us is worthy.
But, Christ is worthy and He stands in for us.
With that said, can’t we at least make a small effort to accept the love God freely gives? He is always waiting for us to trust Him.
Sure, we can give in to insecurity, impulsiveness or even arrogance. Or, we can accept the responsibility to commit to God with our hearts and our souls.
Yes, we should remember what happened to Saul — and learn from him.
As for you and I, God may just be planning something extraordinary for us!
Love in Christ,
If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16 here.