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6. Saul Becomes King

December 17, 2009

Text:      I Samuel 8:1-11:12

Outline:            I. The Need      I Samuel 8:1-22

II. The Appointment      I Samuel 9:1-24

III. The Anointment      I Samuel 9:25-10:8

IV. The Transformation      I Samuel 10:9-16

V. The Presentation      I Samuel 10:17-27

VI. The Confirmation      I Samuel 11:1-15

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Sampson has died, Samuel is old, and Saul is to be king, the third leader appointed to defeat the Philistines. Although Israel has recommitted themselves to the Lord, they have yet to accept God as their King. Israel will soon be leaderless. Samuel’s two sons judging at Beersheba are corrupt. No one with leadership qualities is available to take over from Samuel so Israel’s elders approach Samuel and ask for a king. Samuel is displeased [probably in denial like Eli was with his sons] but prays to the Lord for guidance. God tells Samuel to listen to the people; that they have not rejected him [they rejected Samuel’s sons] but that they have rejected God as their king. God then asks Samuel to warn the people. Samuel tells the people that they will lose their freedom to choose. Their sons and daughters will be conscripted to serve militarily, to tend the kings fields, to pay taxes and/or give up their personal possessions, and to serve for the benefit of the king. They will be serving man, not God. Their life would change significantly. But the people still clamor for a king to lead them and to fight their battles for them. They do not want their God-given responsibility anymore. Samuel inquires of the Lord again and the Lord agrees to give them a king. In fact, Moses prophesied that a king would eventually rule over Israel in Deuteronomy 17:14-20.

Saul, a Benjamite from a revered family, is sent out by his father to find their lost donkeys. Saul gives up but his servant encourages Saul to seek out Samuel. They come to Samuel with no food and no water; only the money the servant has with him. God has told Samuel to expect Saul and to anoint him to lead Israel against the Philistines. Samuel meets Saul, invites him to dinner, and asks Saul to meet with him in the morning. Samuel assures Saul his donkeys are found and that Israel looks up to him. Saul’s humble response is that he is only a Benjamite [remember they were nearly wiped out]. Saul eats with Samuel who gives him the very best portion. Saul meets alone with Samuel the next morning after sending his servant on his way. Samuel anoints Saul as the leader over Israel, tells him where to find his donkeys, and that his father is worried over his absence. Samuel also gives Saul specific instructions concerning food for his journey and for meeting with other prophets to receive the Holy Spirit and be changed into a different person. Samuel advises Saul to stay busy and meet him in seven days at Gilgal.

God does change Saul’s heart and gives him the Spirit so he can prophecy with the prophets. This change is noticed immediately by others and Saul proceeds to the high place at Gilgal to wait for Samuel. Along the way, Saul meets his uncle who inquires as to where he has been. Saul tells him about finding the donkeys but not his anointing.

Samuel summons Israel’s leaders to Mizpah and scolds them for rejecting God and demanding a king. Samuel is to present Saul as king but Saul is in hiding. Saul is discovered and Samuel presents him to the people and explains the rules for being a king. Samuel returns home but some Israelites do not accept Saul as king.

The Ammonites besiege Jabesh Gilead and the Israelites ask for a treaty making them subject to Ammon. The Ammonites would rather disgrace Israel so the leaders of Gilead ask for a 7day extension to consult and seek allies with the rest of Israel. Saul hears of their plight, is filled with the Spirit, and becomes angry. He summons Israel to arms, organizes an army, and slaughters the Ammonites. Thus, Saul is confirmed/accepted as Israel’s king. God gets the glory and the people celebrate.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Failure to teach/train “Responsibility” leads to error.

2. Corrupt leadership exposes the faults of a nation/church/organization. Corruption is even revealed to those who are corrupt.

3. Nations must value and adhere to Godly leadership and advice if they are to prosper and live in peace.

4. Listen to the advice of Godly people when seeking their knowledge and/or favor. Approach them with an objective in mind.

5. When consulting God, LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY to what He says. God’s overall plan is sovereign even when we disagree with Him.

6. God is jealous but also gracious in meeting the needs of His people. He works His Divine and Sovereign Plan while considering the wishes of His people. He gladly considers our wishes when we consider His wishes. God enjoys teamwork. In fact, God is so gracious He gives us what we want instead of what we need [discipline]. This is called God’s Grace.

7. It helps to look and act like a king/leader if one is to become a king/leader. But one must also have a heart and passion to be a king/leader to go along with “looks”. Jesus came to us as a lamb [servant] but He will come again as a lion [King]. As Christians, we are to be like Him and have a heart and passion to SERVE and LOVE. Ruling will come later.

8. Don’t rush a person into leadership. Let them become familiar with the requirements and mature.

9. God’s transformations are absolutely miraculous. Observe these transformations in others and offer them encouragement.

10. Respect is gained and people will follow your lead when:

• Exhibiting a passion for what is right.

• One organizes, defines, and leads toward a common goal.

• Praise is given to whom it is due.

• Success is celebrated.

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