1 Samuel 10:17-27
17 Samuel sent a message to the Israelites. He told them to meet with the Lord at Mizpah. 18 He said to them, “The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, ‘Israel, I brought you up out of Egypt. I saved you from their power. I also saved you from the power of all the kingdoms that had treated you badly.’ 19 But now you have turned your backs on your God. He saves you out of all your trouble and suffering. In spite of that, you have said, ‘We refuse to listen. Place a king over us.’ So now gather together to meet with the Lord. Do it tribe by tribe and family group by family group.” 20 Then Samuel had each tribe of Israel come forward. The tribe of Benjamin was chosen by casting lots. 21 Next he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward, family group by family group. Matri’s group was chosen. Finally Saul, the son of Kish, was chosen. But when people looked for him, they realized he wasn’t there. 22 They needed more help from the Lord. So they asked him, “Has the man come here yet?” The Lord said, “Yes. He has hidden himself among the supplies.” 23 So they ran over there and brought him out. When he stood up, the people saw that he was a head taller than any of them. 24 Samuel spoke to all the people. He said, “Look at the man the Lord has chosen! There isn’t anyone like him among all the people.” Then the people shouted, “May the king live a long time!” 25 Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of the king who ruled over them. He wrote them down in a book. He placed it in front of the Lord in the holy tent. Then he sent the people away. He sent each of them to their own homes. 26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah. Some brave men whose hearts God had touched went with Saul. 27 But some people who wanted to stir up trouble said, “How can this fellow save us?” They looked down on him. They didn’t bring him any gifts. But Saul kept quiet about it.
In order to be like the nations around them, God’s people called on him to give them a king. A leader, and as verse 27 suggests many looked to this king to be their savior. So God calls them through Samuel to Mizpah, a place of discipline and intercession. Yahweh, the I am, confronts his people with his covenant promises. He is their God, who has delivered them, time and time again. Then come the chilling words – “But you have rejected your God who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses.” By calling for a king, God’s people were rejecting the covenant, when God had chosen them and promised to be their Lord forever. They were rejecting his leadership and governance over them.
And incredibly this faithful, covenant God accedes to their request. Not half heartedly but with the best, a man unique amongst God’s people, and a man in whom God had placed his Spirit. Saul.
Two things speak to me in this passage: where is my salvation found, and who is my King?
God has promised salvation for me and everyone who believes in him. Why then am I tempted to replace him with other things to “save” me like money, education, career? Why do I want to replace him with something I have achieved myself? Isn’t he enough for me to know my present and future is secure?
Rejecting God. It is ultimately displayed in people putting Jesus on trial and killing him. Our covenant God who saves, saved us all, by blameless, sinless Jesus dying in our place. God has appointed Jesus King and he sits at his right hand in glory. He is the King I want to lead my life!
Written by Claire Moore