Saul is Anointed as King

John Maxwell is an expert in the area of leadership, especially Christian leadership. In his book “Today Matters” he makes a statement that applies to growth. He says; The truth is, if we don’t take responsibility for our growth, it won’t happen. Growth is not automatic … More

Responsibility

When an Israelite king took office, he was both crowned and anointed. The coronation was the political act of recognizing the new king as ruler of the people. The anointing was the religious act of making the king God’s representative to the people.

As this chapter opens, we find Samuel pouring oil (a mixture of olive oil, myrrh and other expensive spices) over Saul’s head to symbolize the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in his life (v. 1). When Samuel poured oil on Saul’s head, this act represented God’s approval of Saul as a leader of His people. Another purpose of this ceremony was to remind the king of his great responsibility to lead his people by God’s wisdom and not by his own. While this ceremony is going on Saul’s father thinks he is lost and is looking for him (v. 2). Samuel now gives instruction to Saul as to what he will encounter on his way home (vv. 3-5). The Spirit of God will come upon Saul and he will began to prophecy (vv. 6-8). This gave Saul confidence in himself, as he could see what Samuel said was true, and it also helped the people to trust in Saul as their king and know that God had, in fact, chosen him.

After Saul left Samuel these promised signs came to pass (vv. 9-13). When a group of prophets met him the Spirit of God came upon him and he prophesied to them. This does not suggest, of course, that Saul became part of the prophetic ministry led by Samuel, but only that he was able to exercise a prophetic gift, at least on this occasion, though never having received prophetic training. However, this was a remarkable and convincing sign of God’s presence and power in Saul’s life. Everyone who had known him before knew that something had happened to him. God was giving Saul an opportunity. God never withheld anything from him, and yet he failed.

You might be wondering how Saul could be so filled with the Spirit and later commit such terrible acts.  It is because often, in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit only came upon a person temporarily.  In Saul’s case, he was a different person in his early years as king because of the Holy Spirit’s work in him. Then, as his power grew so did his pride and, after a while, he refused to seek God and the Spirit left him (16:14). Just as Saul has a personal and experiential evidence of the truth of God’s word that had been spoken to him, so do we as converts to Christianity have the same sanctifying power of the Gospel in our lives, but the Holy Spirit will never leave us as it did the OT Saints.

 

Application

Just as Saul rejected God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, men and women continue to do this today. I must never reject God by pushing Him aside and putting someone or something else ahead of Him? If I do the price may be very high!

I Samuel 10:1-13 (English Standard Version)

Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, "Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage. When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel's tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, 'The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, "What shall I do about my son?"' Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you. Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do." When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day. When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, "What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?" And a man of the place answered, "And who is their father?" Therefore it became a proverb, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.

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