Samuel Gathered the leaders of Israel together

Quote: “I have chosen you.” Keep that note of greatness in your creed. It is not that you have got God, but that he has got you. Why is God at work in me, bending, breaking, molding, doing just as He chooses? For one purpose only-that He may be able to say, “This i … More

Chosen

Saul returns home, and says nothing about the private anointing (vv. 14-16). He told his uncle about finding the donkeys with Samuel’s help, but Saul said nothing about the kingship. Samuel calls an assembly of all Israel. There, perhaps by use of Urim and Thummim, Saul is publicly identified as God’s choice for Israel’s king (vv. 17-27).

Samuel gathered the leaders of Israel together at Mizpah, a favorite place for assembly in Samuel’s day. After reminding them of their foolish insistence on having a king apart from the directive will of God, he set about to demonstrate God’s selection of Saul by a process of elimination (vv 18-19). The way Saul was chosen may seem like luck but actually the opposite is true. God had instructed the Israelites to use this method for consultation in times such as this (Num. 27:12-21). By lot or some similar means the choice was made from the tribe, of Benjamin, clan of Matri, and family, of Kish (vv. 20-21). But when Saul was chosen, he was nowhere to be found. Indicative of his unassuming humility were his initial attempts to avoid the glare of publicity (v. 22) and his refusal to be vindictive against those who ridiculed his selection as king (v. 27). But the masses were convinced of his eminent suitability for the high office and in jubilation cried out, Long live the king!

However, in the eyes of the Lord, Saul was disqualified. The prophetic word of Jacob was that the scepter (of kingship) would not depart from Judah (Gen. 49:10). The promised dynasty of kings which would eventually produce the Messiah must originate in Judah. Saul as a Benjamite could not, then, meet the basic prerequisite of lineage. Nonetheless the people had made their demand, and the Lord had acquiesced. All that Samuel could do was invest Saul with his authority and responsibility as outlined in a scroll prepared for this occasion of coronation (vv. 23-27). Undoubtedly the scroll included the Mosaic regulations for kingship (Deut. 17:14-17). Interestingly valiant men were immediately attracted to Saul in Gibeah

After the elders of Israel came to Samuel demanding a king God told him to grant their request. Acting on this Samuel sent his messengers throughout the tribes to summon the people to meet at Mizpah. This was the site where 25 years earlier Israel had renewed its covenant with the Lord and would now be the spot where God would lead in the choice of its first king (v. 17). Once assembled at Mizpah Samuel reminded the people of what their leaders had determined to do.

Application

It is easy for me to hide from important responsibilities because I am afraid of what others will think or because I am unsure of what the future holds. I need to prepare now to step up to the plate of any future responsibilities the Lord may put in my path. I need to count on God’s provision rather than my feeling of inadequacy. 

I Samuel 10:14-27 (English Standard Version)

Saul's uncle said to him and to his servant, "Where did you go?" And he said, "To seek the donkeys. And when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel." And Saul's uncle said, "Please tell me what Samuel said to you." And Saul said to his uncle, "He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found." But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything. Now Samuel called the people together to the LORD at Mizpah. And he said to the people of Israel, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.' But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, 'Set a king over us.' Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your thousands." Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot; and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. So they inquired again of the LORD, "Is there a man still to come?" and the LORD said, "Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage." Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people." And all the people shouted, "Long live the king!" Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the LORD. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. But some worthless fellows said, "How can this man save us?" And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

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