Israel desired a king; they wanted to be like other nations. Chapters 9 and 10 are the Lord’s describing of how Israel got their king. Saul was a son of a man of wealth and prominence. Considering that the tribe of Benjamin was nearly wiped out (Judges 19-21) because the Lord was against them on that occasion, it is something of note of what we read here (9:1). The son of Kish went seeking for lost livestock. Not finding them they seek guidance from Israel’s judge and “seer” (9:1-10). The “seer” is Samuel, and having caught up with Samuel, Samuel proceeds to honor them (especially Saul) and tells them the livestock has been found. More than that, as Saul picked up on, Samuel speaks to Saul about how the whole land is in front of him (9:15-24).
Application: It is clear that a good image of Saul is given for us in this chapter and the next two. This painted picture, however, is not long lasting. Whatever strength Saul had it was not one of much depth. It is interesting that ArtScroll (Jewish commentary) speaks of Saul as a great Torah scholar, one who was head and shoulders above the entire nation in both physical strength and character (p. 53). One who is strong in character does not easily fold like the Scripture speaks of Saul as having done. This is our application: as we consider our individual selves, does 1 Corinthians 15:58 play a role in our lives, and how strong is our character?
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