Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 5: 1 Samuel 9-10

Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. We pick back up today with our 28 Day reading challenge in 1 Samuel 9-10. If you are just joining us, don't feel like you have to have read all the readings prior, just jump in and read the passage for the day and give your thoughts. Here we go!

These are two of my all-time favorite chapters in the Scriptures right here. I know that when we often think of Saul we think of the guy who was rejected by God as king; however, we forget that it was God who first chose him. Before he had his kingship taken from him, God had anointed Saul for the job. Because there are too many parts I like in these two chapters, I'm going to bullet-point out my favorite segments.

Chapter 9:
* I think we need more seers in our days - people who can hear from God (9:9)

* I love the fact that Samuel had been told by God the day before to keep an eye out the next day for a man from the tribe of Benjamin who He would anoint king (9:15-16)

* Saul is humbled by the fact that Samuel has said these things to him and he mentions his family being the least significant. This tells me that with God is doesn't matter what your past is or who your family is or isn't. God anoints those He chooses. (9:21)

Chapter 10:
* Samuel anoints Saul to be the leader of Israel and gives him a picture of what he will experience as he travels ahead. Then he tells him two things that I think every leader should take notice of: First, he tells him that the Spirit of the LORD will come upon him and he will prophesy. Then he says, "you will be changed into a different person.(10:6)" Amazing! Samuel tells Saul that when the Spirit of the LORD comes on you it is going to make a different person. Isn't this true for us as well? When the Spirit of the LORD comes upon us we too should become different people. Second, I think the next verse is a verse every leader should study, reflect on, and wrestle with. Samuel says to him, "After these signs take place, do whatever you think is best, for God will be with you. (10:7)" WOW! Really? He didn't say, "pray really hard before every decision." He tells him to simply do as he feels is best because God is with him. Do you believe this to be a lesson that leaders could learn from? I could understand if Samuel would have told Saul to consult him before any tough decisions or make sure to fast and pray for several days, but he didn't. All he tells him is to do what he thinks is best because God is with him.

* When Saul's friends learn he is prophesying and has been anointed their response is to question where he is from and who his family is (10:11). This was the exact same response to Jesus ("isn't he from Nazareth?"/"isn't this the son of Joseph?"). How many times do we let people's questioning of our ability to keep us from stepping into God's plan for us?

* In response to Saul's friends questioning, one of the neighbors responded by saying, "it doesn't matter who his father is; anyone can become a prophet. (10:12)"

* After declared king of Israel, the Scriptures tells us that God touched the heart of a band of men to surround Saul to be his constant companions (10:26), but there were also detractors (10:27). I pray that I will always have a band of people who God puts on their hearts to support me. We all need that. Unfortunately, there are often too many detractors out there that the companion's voices get drowned out. We have to be like Saul and choose to ignore the voice of the detractors.

What were your thoughts as you read? What questions emerged?


  1. Well, I think you pretty much covered it! LOL.

    Really good stuff. I, too, love these two chapters. The immediate thing that stands out to me is how God chooses a man who is the least among his people. We seem to see that all throughout scripture. And when we read it it doesn't bother us at all. We think, "Wow! That's really cool!" So why, then, do we have a problem with it when we see it in our own time? I think when it comes to today's standards, we are still looking for the most qualified people to do the things God wants, no needs, done. Why are we so quick to challenge someone who may not be qualified at this moment? We say it all the time.... "God qualifies the called, not calls the qualified". But I think we don't believe it often enough. The first shall be last. And the last, first.

    Something else that stood out to me... I love the fact that God doesn't begrudgingly anoint Saul. Even though Israel has turned their back on Him and asked for a King, God doesn't just give them a power-hungry tyrant, as if to say, "Ha! now take that!". If you really look into this chapter, you see the depths to which God is willing to go to show His people how much He loves them. He anoints their king, just as they asked, but He decides to do it in grand fashion, preparing the finest dinner for Saul, seating him at the head of the table, showering him with love and praise, and raising him up from nothing. If our family turned their backs on us for another leader, would we show the kindness to our "replacement" that God showed to Saul?

  2. The Word of God always has revelation for those reading with a heart to learn.

    It was interesting to see that Saul had enough knowlege that there were godly men ( Prophets - Seers) And early trust had been formed. We ought to look back and see even in our lives the influence of someone who told us about godly men and women.

    Samuel was already preparing for Saul for he had the cook set aside a special piece, a choice piece. We ought to look for those times that God has set aside something special for us.

    Samuel chose to speak to Saul alone. There are times our Father wishes to speak to us aside from the "noise".

    The three men reminded me of the three men that met Abram. Messengers from God. Saul's three men brought him Bread and Wine. I see a fore shadow of the Bread - the Body of Christ and the Wine - the shed Blood of Christ. Those symbols Bread and Wine are powerful indicators! are so right... Saul was changed by was not a learned was a spiritual encounter.

    And the detractors....Gee, seems like the Church of today....there will always be those who grumble at the move of God because it did not happen the way they wanted it to.

    Always great to read what everyone is learning....!

  3. Wow, a man that asks directons!But seriously,Saul's daddy was a mighty man of power so he probably ruled his home with a strict hand.I would guess he wasn't a warm and easy person to talk to. He sends his son on a servants errand and you know it must have been embarrassing to Saul to say, hey, I'm lost.I really wanted to return home with those dern donkeys so dad would not be disappointed in me,but I can't find them and now I am lost. How desperate do you have to be to ask a prophet for help? Samuel knew how worried he was about those donkeys because he told him straight off, hey yeah you found me and I'll help you. don't worry about the lost donkeys now, they're okay . Now let's go meet with God.Those distracting donkeys were taken care of so Samuel could have Saul's undivided attention.
    Samuel is so patient and kind. He spends time communing with him.He exlains to Saul that God has a plan for his life.
    When Saul leaves to return home he encounters people along the way that God has placed there to encourage him.Saul is feeling really pumped up.All is going well until he hears some negative people discussing him saying; who does he think he know the type and it kills the spirit. All of a sudden the music is quiet and the merry band of fellow prophets is no longer speaking the word.
    Saul goes to the high place back home to try to maybe find that feeling again. When his uncle asks him what Samuel said, he chickens out!He is afraid.Samuel sees he needs to help ol'e Saul out with his low self esteem problem and summons everybody to a church meeting. I love how he blasts at them for rejecting God and demanding a king and tells them you wanted a king so bad, well here he is....drum roll...nothing.. and here he is...and Saul is nowhere to be found, Samuel pauses and asks God, do we proceed?
    Saul didn't ask for the job,didn't feel qualified and certainly didn't want it. He tried hiding,and I don't know why he thought that would work since Samuel could see the lost donkeys!
    I can almost see the people running into his tent,grabbing him by the ankles and dragging him out from under the bed. Here he is, we found him hiding...we want him for our king...God save the king!
    Samuel was so gracious to not say anything about the hiding incident,he only remarks to the people,"there is none like him among all the people".The people took it to be Samuel referring to Saul's height, but don't you wonder if that comment wasn't a little tongue in cheek??
    At the last verse, it reminds me of a skit from Saturday night live..Gary Smalley? The charactor would look into a mirror and repeat positive phrases to himself and at the end of his affirmation he'd say,"and doggone it , people like me'
    Saul had so much going for him. God had chosen him to be king,Samuel was in his corner,the majority of the nation was all for him, but as always, there will be the few discontented,negative riff-raff that hate anything you like.Saul kept his mouth shut and that says a lot. He could have said to them, well doggone it,everyone else likes me; like Gary Smalley.

  4. Great thoughts Erik and an interesting point on the doing what one thinks is best in the site of God vs. praying...

    Ch. 9
    Take away: How many time has God been merciful and given us what we wanted instead of seeking what He wanted for us?

    Ch. 10
    Take away: I found it very interesting of Saul receiving the Spirit of Go and being filled, but yet we know where his life goes to later in Scripture...interesting how one picked by God and filled by God later ends how Saul did..

  5. A few things stuck out to me that usually get overlooked. Saul was an odd person. In a time when most young men took care of the families livestock, he couldn't track down a few donkeys. Also, he did not know who Samuel was. In the previous chapters we see that Samuel was known through all of Israel. In the spiritual realm, Samuel was very well known, yet Saul's servant suggests seeing him, not Saul.

    I really like how Samuel and Saul are contrasted here. Samuel led Israel from a spiritual stand point and was passing the leadership torch on to Saul. Saul came from a wealthy background, Samuel did not. They both rose from being obscure to leading the nation. Samuel shows leadership in submission to God, Saul basically will be at odds with the Lord the majority of his time as king.

    Israel went from following a prophet who spent his time going before the Lord for the people and then speaking and judging the people, to a king that will rule over them. Doesn't seem like a great trade to me.

    Two things I take away from this passage: Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. What the world has and thinks is so great might not be as great as what you already have.

  6. Great insight everyone...

    Robbie you are right, this is an example of God choosing who He desires versus who we might think may be most "qualified."

    Laurie, real men know when to ask for directions! LOL I love the SNL reference...those skits were hilarious. I think you make a great point regarding Saul hiding. I wonder what happened to Saul? He was apparently very humble during this time, only later does being king become about his own selfish gain. Sad to see when you know how the story ends.

    Josh, my biggest question is: what happened Saul? How come you didn't stay the course? We make villains of those in Scripture who mess up, but truth be told, we do it all the time. We could very easily lose our anointing of God if we begin using it to our own gain.

    James, I love the Eucharistic reference and symbolism...good catch

  7. Chad, good thoughts as usual...Samuel and Saul do contrast very well. I also love the "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it" statement...very true!

  8. Chad, I said that Friday! Quit stealing my best stuff!!!!

    LOL. I'm enjoying all of this. Getting to see everyone's take and how God reveals Himself to each of us. This is fun. Can't wait till the next chapters. Talk to you all then.

  9. Wow! Not sure I have anything else to add. Good job.