1 Samuel: The king is crowned

1 Samuel 10:1–27

If you squint really close in your Bible, immediately after verse 8, it reads, “And Saul replied, ‘Excuse me? What?'”

Seriously, if you’re Saul, what’s going on in your mind? One day you wake up, go look for the donkeys that wandered off, and next thing you know, the holy man is dumping oil on your head, kissing you, and saying not to worry about the donkeys. Talk about a weird day. This is how the system of a kingdom gets started?

As it’s been said elsewhere, “Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government.”

Clearly, Saul’s at a bit of a loss with the whole encounter because when his uncle finally finds him, Saul doesn’t start off with, “Well, let me tell you what crazy ol’ Obi-Wan told me.” He doesn’t say anything about anointing or reigning over God’s people or saving people from their enemies. And why not? That’s big stuff. And perhaps it gives us some insight into what kind of person Saul is. Indeed, when it comes to the public coronation at the end of the chapter, Saul has run away.

Responsibility is a tricky thing. We never ask for it. But when it drops in your lap, you’re left with two choices. Either you pick it up and run with it, or people suffer without your leadership.

Notice, also, the word “prince.” Samuel never once calls Saul a king. He calls him “prince.” That’s significant.

The rulers of Israel are not to be dictators. Not even monarchs like the other nations. They are to be stewards of God’s people in God’s land. There’s echoes of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Saul will be manger, not CEO. Saul will rule, not by his authority, but by God’s authority. Not Saul’s political schemes or military victories, but by God’s strength.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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