Day 5

Saul Anointed King

from the 1 & 2 Samuel reading plan


1 Samuel 9:1-27, 1 Samuel 10:1-27, Psalm 2:1-12, Ephesians 1:15-23

BY Rebecca Faires

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 9:1-27, 1 Samuel 10:1-27, Psalm 2:1-12, Ephesians 1:15-23

Have you ever asked for something you didn’t need? Ten years ago, my husband took a shine to cycling. Bicycling. He hadn’t engaged in the sport before, but he knew how to ride a bike. And since riding a bike is literally a metaphor for something you can never forget, how could I possibly find a flaw in his plan?

As he researched the sport, he decided he needed vintage cycling jerseys. (I understand his wanting to look like an Italian racecar driver from the ‘40s. It’s a great look.) During these years we were poor school teachers, eating pasta for every meal. Extra purchases hurt us right in the grocery budget, but nevertheless, vintage cycling jerseys were purchased.

When these gorgeous, fabled items arrived in the mail, we admired their magisterial purples and heraldic sables. But what came next, gentle reader, is what pains me the very most: he never wore them. It turns out my husband loves neither cycling nor the wearing of spandex-y garments. But since we shelled out so much money for them, we’ve held on to them for three moves. To this day, they remain stashed away in our attic, still in their original packaging.

We just had to have them. But we didn’t need them!

Israel asked for something they didn’t need: a king. They started looking around at their neighbors—the Philistines, Moabites, and the Ammonites—for a model of how they wanted to live. They wanted a king like all the other nations, but their misplaced trust in an earthly king was a foolish rejection of God. Israel were His chosen people; He didn’t want them to live like the rest of the world. But they insisted on getting their own way, and He gave them exactly what they asked for.

Saul was a flashy, handsome guy who was physically “impressive” (1 Samuel 9:2), but spiritually dull and cowardly (1 Samuel 10:22). Of course, our inclination in reading this passage is to focus on Saul, just like Israel did. But the impressive and miraculous signs, even his prophesying, ultimately do not point to Saul’s fitness, but God’s.

When those wicked men asked, “How can this guy save us?” they were doubling down on their doubt of God’s provision (1 Samuel 10:27). They wanted a king, so God gave them Saul—a man literally head and shoulders above all the rest in Israel—to rule over them. When he shows up, they still doubt. Ironically, this doubting of God’s provision would later be Saul’s undoing as well.

Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is at work, we ought never doubt of God’s provision. But if God’s Spirit does not lead the way, we ought not go forth. The real importance of this passage is simply this: God works His mercies by His Spirit, even amongst a rebellious people.

This theme should be familiar, because the real story of God’s Anointed One is not about Saul. Saul’s kingship was an ironic foreshadowing of the true Anointed One, Christ. May our hearts seek first His kingdom. May we look to Him to provide us with what we truly need, rather than trying to build a kingdom of our own making.

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Post Comments (61)

61 thoughts on "Saul Anointed King"

  1. Lana says:

    I too have hiding tendencies. One day my boyfriend’s mother dropped by his house unexpectedly. I wasn’t mentally prepared to meet her for the first time. So I hid in his closet. Behind the clothes. Because I didn’t feel ready. And my boyfriend called me out and everyone had a good chuckle, le sigh. Wasn’t one of my best moments. So I feel like I can definitely relate to Saul on this one! I would have probably done the same thing. Praying for humility and confidence eternally rooted in God’s love. May I never drink my own kool-aid. May I maintain a daily dependence on God.

  2. Danielle says:

    I absolutely love seeing how God puts all of the little, seemingly insignificant, pieces into place to bring about His plan and goodness in our lives. My absolute favorite part of today’s reading was when Saul first found Samuel and asked for the seer. Immediately, Samuel talks to him about his three missing donkeys – all initiated by Saul’s servant encouraging Saul to go look for the seer. My Bible notes read – “Often we think that events just happen to us…but God may use common occurances to lead us where He wants.” Am I looking for God in all the little details? The last bit of notes on Saul added – “while our strengths and abilities make us useful, it is our weaknesses that make us useable. Whatever we accomplish on our own is only a hint of what God can do in our lives.” Lord, use me as you need me and help me surrender all to you!

    1. Lana says:

      Love your notes!!!

    2. Sheryn says:

      My favorite part of your comments…”am I looking for God in all the little details?”
      thanks for sharing!

    3. Leah says:

      Love this

    4. Shayla says:

      Joining you in this prayer, sister! Surrender and sanctify, oh Lord we pray!

      So late getting to this 1 & 2 Samuel study, however, it is so encouraging to read the comments of women who have gone before me to see how God faithfull reveals himself.

    5. Kaelyn says:

      Thank you for sharing your notes. They were a great extension to this lesson/message.

  3. Kaylee says:

    I’ve never understood the story of Saul more than I have this morning! What I love is how gracious God is over and over again; while we (and Israel) choose to follow our own path sometimes in spite of what the Lord says is right, he allows us to fail. He allows us to stumble to be picked back up again. He allowed Israel to want something they didn’t need and as a result we see how an earthly king will never be good enough. I love how this lesson foreshadows to the coming of Christ. People were expecting a king, one to have an earthly throne, but they were again disappointed by what God provided. Despite their disappointment, God’s plan prevailed. Thank you Jesus right!?

  4. Faith says:

    I so love SRT, and the comments just help further my exploration and understanding! Thankful for this “community!”

  5. Claire says:

    “May we look to Him to provide us with what we truly need, rather than trying to build a kingdom of our own making” Thank you @RebeccaFaires for your words.

  6. Tochi Heredia says:

    What stood out to me from yesterday’s and today’s verses is frustration and confusion. Samuel’s frustration at the people of Israel for their discontent and capricious requests, and Saul’s confusion (“I was just looking for my father’s donkeys and now I’m KING?!”)
    But it amazes me that, no matter how humanly wise, no matter outwardly impressive, we’re so tiny and clueless compared to our God, “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?” (Romans 11:34)

    I can’t help but asking, why him, why these people? They’re the worst! Yet He knows why, and He owes us no explanation.
    Maybe He chooses flawed, unqualified people because we pale in comparison with His son. Maybe we were never supposed to be qualified, maybe we just have to do as He says and trust that He knows what He’s doing.
    Sooo much to ponder/pray/repent about today.

    1. Heather (MNmomma) says:

      powerful…..thanks!

  7. Mary says:

    Praying for you Erin!

  8. Erin says:

    My husband and I could use prayer going into this weekend. He is a pastor and interviewing at a new church this weekend that we feel called to. I’m trusting that “wherever the Spirit of the Lord is at work, we ought never doubt of God’s provision. But if God’s Spirit does not lead the way, we ought not go forth. ” We are asking for prayers of wisdom and discernment to know where God is and isn’t leading us. Thank you all!

    1. Sarah says:

      Praying for you to find peace with your path to do God’s will.

    2. CC says:

      Praying for you and your husband, Erin!

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