As soon as the people refuse to obey God and Samuel (1 Sam. 8:19-22), we are introduced to the king they had asked for, Saul (whose name means “to ask”). 1 Samuel 9 describes that Saul came from a wealthy family, from the small tribe of Benjamin. He was tall and strong with broad shoulders — kind of the Disney prince type.
While looking for his father’s donkeys Saul ends up hearing about Samuel, the prophet. In God’s foreknowledge He told Samuel who was coming, with enough time for Samuel to prepare the best seat and food for Saul at the feast, and the best room in town — how one would treat a king. Saul meets Samuel while everyone is waiting for Samuel to present the offering (take note of this for Sam. 13:8-10). And even though Saul does not want to be king, he is chosen according to Israel’s request.
1 Samuel 10:1-16: Saul hears God’s plan for his life from Samuel, which isn’t given just with words, but with numerous confirmations, so that he can be sure that Samuel’s words are from God. After all of this Saul hides his calling from his family.
1 Samuel 10:17: Samuel gathers Israel and calls them to repentance for a third time reminding them of God’s faithfulness and grace in the past. But Israel is there for a king, not for repentance. So, by casting lots, Saul is chosen as king. He comes out of hiding and Israel likes what they saw. Without a doubt, God answers Israel’s request “a la carte”.
1 Samuel 11: Saul exercises his authority as king, as he is moved by the Spirit of God to lead Israel in battle. It is after this event that all of Israel accept him as king and his kingdom is established.
God delivered his people over to their desire of having a king according to their standards.
Saul was from wealth, tall, and strong. He was also a bit of a coward. A great contrast is seen between king Saul and the real King of Israel, Jesus. When Jesus arrives in the flesh, he still isn’t what Israel wants or expects.
How about us? Who is our king? Are we waiting for Disney Jesus or for the real one?
We think we know better than God, and we want to rule our own lives. But God knows the future because he ordains it (as we can see in these chapters). Let’s not be foolish and continue to try to rule our own lives. God’s Kingdom, God’s ways, under Jesus;’ rule is the best place to be.