1 Samuel 9:1-27 - God Chooses Saul
I. god chooses saul (1samuel 9:1-27)
A. saul searches for his fathers donkeys (V.1-14)
1. Kish, the Father of Saul, and His Son (v.1-2)
a) Saul’s father was a mighty man a power (v.1)
Kish, the father of Saul, was a wealthy and influential man in Israel. Saul came from a prestigious family, and was born to wealth and influence.
b) Saul was a tall and handsome young man (v.2)
(1) Saul was notable, not only for his family, but also for his appearance. Saul was tall (taller than any of his people) and good-looking. In fact, there was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. Saul looked like a great king. If being king over Israel was all about image and appearances, Saul was the man.
(a) In 1 Samuel 8, the people of Israel had just rejected the LORD God as king over Israel, because they wanted a king like all the surrounding nations had (8:5,19-20). What they really wanted was the image of a king, because God gave them the substance of a king better than any man could. Saul was exactly the type of king that the people wanted. God is giving Israel the kind of leaders they wanted and deserved!
(b) The name Saul means “asked of God.” Israel was asking for a king, and Saul would indeed be the one “asked of God.”
(2) What is not mentioned in these first two verses is God. Saul came from a wealthy, influential family and was good looking. But there is nothing said about his relationship with the LORD God of Israel. There is nothing said because there was nothing to say!
(a) Saul reflected the spiritual state of the whole nation of Israel. There may have been some spiritual image present, but the heart was far from where God wanted it to be.
(3) From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people does not mean Saul had an extremely long neck and head. It means he was “head and shoulders” taller than just about anyone else.
2. Saul And His Servant Search For His Fathers Donkeys (v.3-14)
a) A king is lead by three lost donkeys (v.3)
Look at how God opens one of the most important chapters of Israel’s history! A king will be led to the throne by three lost donkeys! We have no idea how God will use the seemingly normal – and annoying - circumstances of life.
(1) There Are Two Mistakes People Make Regarding God’s Guidance Through Circumstances.
(a) To Think Every Event Of Our Lives Is Heavy With Meaning From God. This is wrong, because though nothing happens by accident, not everything happens for a great purpose.
(b) To Ignore The Moving Of God In Our Lives Through Circumstances. God wanted to use this situation to guide Saul, and God will often use circumstances in our lives the same way. We need to trust in God’s goodness and in His ability to make all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).
b) God works His plan through three lost donkeys (v.4)
(1) This was frustrating to Saul. Yet, God was working out His plan through the lost donkeys, in a way Saul couldn’t even imagine.
(a) Those Donkeys Could Have Gone Anywhere. But they went exactly where God wanted them to go (1 Samuel 6:10-12). They submitted themselves to what God wanted them to do. We often speak of “dumb animals,” but these donkeys were smart enough to submit to God. Are we that smart?
(b) Saul Had No Idea He Was Being Guided By God, But He Was. The same is true in our lives. God has a plan and a purpose for you right where you are at, and you should submit to God and get in with His plan.
c) The suggestion of Saul’s servant shows something about these two men (v.5-6).
(1) THEY WEREN’T MEN OF MUCH SPIRITUAL CHARACTER! They seem to be men who wouldn’t think to come to the prophet Samuel for real spiritual guidance, but they do think, “Hey! Maybe he can help us find the donkeys!”
(a) Yet, their words are a great credit to Samuel. His reputation was well known: A man of God . . . an honorable man . . . all that he says surely comes to pass. What do people think about you? When they are looking for a man or a woman of God, would anyone ever come your way?
d) There was no present for the man of God (v.7-10)
(1) Out of respect for the prophet Samuel, Saul did not want to approach the prophet of God empty handed. But it is wrong to think that Samuel had some type of fee for his “prophetic services.” Samuel was a great prophet of the living God, not a fortune-teller.
(a) “The word seer, roeh, occurs for the first time in this place; it literally signifies a person who SEES; particularly preternatural sights. A seer and a prophet were the same in most cases; only with this difference, the seer was always a prophet, but the prophet was not always a seer.” (Clarke)
(b) “When consulting a prophet, it was common courtesy to bring a gift (Amos 7:12), whether modest (1 Kings 14:3) or lavish (2 Kings 8:8-9).” (Youngblood)
e) God’s guidance through circumstances (v.11-14)
(1) It “just happened” that Saul and his servant came looking for their donkeys on the same day Samuel was in town. God is guiding through these circumstances.
(2) The People Are Waiting, And They Won’t Eat Until He Blesses The Sacrifice.
(a) Here is where the custom began of blessing your food before you eat it.
(b) Jesus also followed the custom: He took bread, and blessed it before He broke it.
(c) I think that it is a very good idea to stop and just give thanks to God for His provision. To bless God for He has been great in His provision for us.
(3) Jewish legends say that it was because Saul was so good looking that the young women wanted to talk to him.
B. saul and samuel (v.15-17)
1. Saul & Samuel’s relationship With God (v.15-17)
a) Saul has no relationship with the LORD… So all He can do is speak to Saul through lost donkeys.
b) But Samuel knows and loves the LORD… So the LORD can speak to Samuel in his ear.
(1) The LORD had told Samuel in his ear is literally, “had uncovered his ear.” The same phrase is used in Ruth 4:4. “The phrase is taken from the pushing aside of the headdress in order to whisper, and therefore means that Jehovah had secretly told Samuel.” (Smith, Pulpit Commentary) It doesn’t mean Samuel heard an audible voice from God.
(2) Samuel heard the voice of God at a young age (1 Samuel 3:2-10)
(3) Tomorrow about this time: God gave the prophet Samuel very specific guidance regarding future events. Samuel received this guidance wisely, and looked for the fulfillment of the words to confirm God’s choice of a king.
(4) But Samuel was also wise in not manipulating circumstances to “make” what God had said come to pass. Samuel felt that if this was God’s word, He was able to make it happen.
(5) I will send you: Even though Israel had rejected the LORD God as their king (1 Samuel 8:7), God was still in control. He didn’t step off His throne just because Israel asked Him to. He would indeed give them a king, but He would send a flawed king to a flawed Israel.
c) God works in very common circumstances.
(1) I imagine that when those donkeys ran away that there was quite a bit of worry: ‘Those dumb donkeys! Where did they go now?’ It was a hardship and an inconvenience. It must have been an irritating thing to go look for those donkeys. The longer they looked, they could not find them. The real story or issue isn’t the lost donkeys.
(2) The real issue is to bring Saul to Samuel, that he might anoint him as King. But Saul, looking for the donkeys, probably being upset, getting a little worried about it: ‘We better go home: dad’s not going to be worried about the donkeys, he’s going to worry about us.’
(3) He didn’t realize that God’s hand was in the whole situation as they were looking for these donkeys. 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.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way." (Psalm 37:23)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
C. saul and samuel finally meet (v.18-21)
1. Samuel proved that he was a true prophet of God (v.20)
All this must have seemed amazing to Saul. He is looking for a noted prophet, and the first man he asks is the prophet. At the same time, Samuel proved to Saul that he was a true prophet from God.
a) Saul didn’t mention anything about having lost donkeys.
(1) Yet, the prophet of God 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.”
2. Saul couldn’t understand why he was being chosen (v.21)
a) Saul’s Humility Was One Reason God Chose Him To Be King. But as he was lifted up as king, his humility left him. So why did God ever raise up Saul? Why does God raise one up to a place of prominence, and not raise up another?
(1) We sometimes think it’s because one is more spiritual, or holy, or better than another is.
(2) Or, we think that it is because one is more talented or usable or has more faith than another is. These things may or may not be the case. God has raised up many to prominence who were less deserving than others.
(3) Probably the biggest mistake we can make is to think that we can figure out all of God’s reasons for raising one and keeping another low. Many of these reasons are bound up in the unsearchable wisdom of God (Romans 11:33). What we should never do is assume that just because God is using a man, that he deserves it!
D. saul recieves the seat and portion of honor at the feast (v.22-24)
1. Saul In the Beginning Was A Man of Great Humility.
a) Jesus Speaks Of This Humility (Luke 14:7-14)
Many today take pride in their economic status. They boast about their riches and trust their money, thinking they must be great for acquiring all they have.
(1) But remember what Moses said to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land: “You may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth” (Deut. 8:17–18).
(2) Everything you have, God gave to you. Don’t parade your possessions as if you obtained them through your self-created abilities.
(3) We might imagine that Samuel was very interested to see how Saul would react when he was honored this way.
(a) Often, the way one reacts when they are honored shows what kind of person they really are. If they receive the honor humbly, without regarding it too much or becoming proud about it, it says something good about them. But if they show a false humility or a proud heart in the way they receive the honor, it shows something bad in their character.
b) A related area is pride in one’s class, looking down on those in “lower” levels of society.
(1) Such people don’t want lower-class people in their neighborhoods and certainly wouldn’t invite them to dinner. If you are guilty of this sort of pride, keep in mind that God loves poor people. Jesus Himself was poor in this world and spent most of His time ministering to the poor.
(2) Sometimes in moving up the social ladder, people may demand a certain kind of treatment.
(a) They expect the best of everything and get offended when they don’t receive it. One of the things Jesus criticized the scribes and Pharisees for was this: “They love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi” (Matt. 23:6–7). Resist the temptation to seek worldly honor, glamour, and privileges.
(3) Advertisers today continually entice us to draw attention to ourselves by what we wear. But undue attention to appearance can make people haughty, boastful, and indulgent, trying to show themselves as better than others. God hates that sin (Isa. 3:16–26).
2. The Command Against Showing Impartiality (James 2:1)
Partiality: To favor some people over others or to pay special attention to a person because of his wealth, social status, popularity, looks or influence, and note this is given to believers in Jesus Christ.
a) Do not profess faith in Jesus Christ and at the same time be a spiritual snob.
(1) Do not have you own little group while ignoring others. If you belong to Jesus & another person belongs to Jesus, he is your brother; we are all one in Christ & a servant of God.
(2) If a sinner comes in this classroom, remember that he is a human being whom Christ died for. He stands at the foot of the cross, just as you & I.
`You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. (Leviticus 19:15 NKJV)
3. The Picture of Partiality (v.2-3)
a) One Man Comes In Sharply Dressed Wearing Gold Rings Lit. “gold-fingered.”
(1) So you immediately think he is rich and escort him into a good seat down in front
(2) Jesus condemned this Matthew 23:1-7.
b) The Other Is Dressed Very Sloppy, Is Dirty, And Smells Really Bad.
(1) So you tell him he needs to stand up over there, or sit here on the floor at my feet.
(2) He is treated as being less important than the rest of us.
(3) The parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-25)
c) This Is Not Of Christ. Our Lord Was Born Into Poverty
(1) Jesus looks at the heart Matt. 22:16 & so does the Father 1 Sam. 16:7
(2) Samuel was made aware of God’s method of evaluating people
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV)
4. The Wrong Against Partiality (James 2:4-7)
a) It sets one up as a judge (v.4)
(1) It makes you out to be as God. It says who can & cant worship God, who is and is not acceptable to God. ILLUSTRATION OF PASTOR CHUCK RIPPING OUT THE CARPET.
(2) Only God can determine who He will accept and not accept
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God. (1 Corinthians 4:5 NKJV)
b) It reveals evil thoughts (v.4)
(1) This person focuses on outward things that change and corrupt and decay and waste away.
(2) It says that material things such as clothes and cars are more important than the person himself is. They had wrong motives and false standards; this was not of God but of the world.
c) It discriminates against the poor: A people especially loved by God (v.5)
(1) God loves the rich & the poor. He is not a respecter of persons however, God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise (1 Cor.1:26-27).
(a) The poor have a real dependence upon God for their daily needs
(i) Physical—Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread
(ii) Spiritual—Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in Spirit
(iii) Heirs of the kingdom—all that God has will be mine as well, for I am a Co-Heir of Christ.
(iv) Jesus welcomes all—the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out…John 6:37.