A King is Crowned

Tom Groelsema, Speaker

1 Samuel 10:1-27 | August 8 - Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning,
August 8
A King is Crowned | 1 Samuel 10:1-27
Tom Groelsema, Speaker

That is our prayer this morning as we turn to God’s Word. I invite you to turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Samuel 10 as we continue to make our way through this book, looking at the life of Samuel. We have a couple more chapters, a couple more weeks in this series, and then I believe we’ll be returning to Genesis comes this fall. Let’s turn now together in our Bibles to 1 Samuel chapter 10.

As you’re making your way there this morning, one of the things that I sometimes wonder about and am sometimes intrigued about, is America’s fascination with the Royals. You know, the English royal family. So Elizabeth, Charles, Diana, William and Kate, the used-to-be’s Harry and Meghan, and it seems that we often cannot get enough of them. If you watch the news at all, when there is a news story that comes on about the Royals, sort of American news is suspended and our attention is turned to that family.

There’s a funeral, a wedding, a pregnancy, a royal birth, a disagreement, tension in the family, and Americans get fixed on what is going on in England. Think for example about the Netflix, the popular Netflix series The Crown, 73 million viewers to The Crown, to learn about the Royal family.

Now sometime ask Pastor Bruce about his close encounter with the Royals, being in England, getting a good glimpse of the family, but I want to ask this question: Why is there so much interest? There’s something about kings and kingdoms that seems to grab us. Probably the pageantry, history, the Royal line, the expectations that come with royal life, maybe even our own dreams and fantasies about princes and princesses.

But people of God, I think there’s something more to that. I think there’s something about a hope that comes with kings and kingdoms. That when we are ruled well, life is good, it is secure, we are protected, and so maybe there’s just a little bit of us that longs to have a king. A king is different even than a president, isn’t it? The longing to have a king.

Well, Israel longed for that. We’ve been seeing that in 1 Samuel 10. In fact, they demanded. You remember it wasn’t their demand for a king per se that was misplaced, but it was their demand to have a king who would rule them like the rest of the nations. “We want a king like everyone else,” is what Israel’s cry was. “We want to be like the rest of the peoples.” God was their king, but they wanted a worldly king, and the Lord granted their demand and His choice was Saul.

Well, in our text this morning, the story now takes one step farther. Saul is not only chosen, but he is appointed, or anointed and appointed, as king, and in the midst of those events, what we see is God’s sovereign hand at work, not only to anoint and appoint Saul, but even more to establish His own kingdom and His own reign over His people.

So let’s read together 1 Samuel chapter 10. This is the Word of God.

“Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head,” on Saul’s 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 down 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.”

“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 nearby 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.”

People of God, there are two scenes in this passage and two applications that we’ll make at the end. The first scene is Saul’s private anointing. So chapter 9, you’ll recall, ended with Saul and Samuel having a private meeting together. Samuel is ready to bring the Word of the Lord to Saul regarding his reign as prince over God’s people, and chapter 10 begins with that message being delivered. Samuel delivers the message from God to Saul, and it has to do with Saul’s anointing to be prince.

To be anointed simply means to be set apart by God for a divinely chosen task. So Saul is being set apart from the rest of God’s people for a task that he is going to take up. He is consecrated through this anointing to the Lord’s servant, to the Lord’s service. The anointing happens, there’s a flask of oil, the Bible says here, was poured over Saul’s head. The oil symbolizing the Spirit’s equipping of Saul for his task, that he is dedicated and set apart to the Lord. But not only was oil poured over Saul’s head, a word from Samuel accompanied that. There was a commission, a message, and you see it in verse 1.

Samuel says to Saul, “You are going to reign over the Lord’s people and save them from the hand of their enemies. Saul, you are going to be a deliverer.” This is along the same lines that, along the same message that Samuel had received from the Lord in chapter 9, verse 16, where God had said to Samuel Saul is going to save My people from the hand of the Philistines.

So Samuel comes along to Saul and says, “You’re going to deliver, you’re going to save the people of God from the hand of this enemy that rules over them.” But he also said to Samuel, verse 1, “You are going to be a prince over the Lord’s heritage.”

That’s a particularly important message for Saul. Who are the people of God? Who is Israel? Nothing less than the heritage of the Lord. A heritage, of course, is something that is irrevocably given to us. You can’t take it away. When you have a heritage, it’s stable, it’s solid, it’s something that you’re able to hang on to permanently, and Samuel says to Saul here, “The people of God, they are the Lord’s heritage.”

What a great reminder to Saul as he begins his reign. “Saul, these are not your people, they are the Lord’s people. You are prince over a people that you don’t own. These are people that the Lord owns. They are His heritage.” And this was a reminder to Saul of his role, that Saul is going to be king, but he was a king in service to the King of Kings, to the Lord. He is to steward the people of God on behalf of God Himself.

Well, how could Saul know that he was really being set apart by God as king? That this wasn’t some message that Samuel had dreamed up, some message that came from Samuel’s heart or Samuel’s thoughts, but this was from God Himself? Well, Samuel says there’s going to be three signs that accompany this message for you, Saul.

The first sign was a sign of information, we could call it. Samuel was told to go near Rachel’s tomb where he would meet two men who would tell him that the donkeys that he had been searching for had been found. And they would also come with a message about his father, that his father now was anxious and concerned for Saul, was no longer caring about the donkeys, but, “Saul, where are you? Saul, what’s happened to you?” So this was a message that the mission that Saul had been on was now complete. It was finished. The donkeys had been found. He didn’t need to look any further.

But note, people of God, the details in this sign. There’s incredible detail here, about place, about people, about message, go near Rachel’s tomb, they’ll be a, you’ll meet two men, not one man or three men, and all of these details confirming that God was sovereign over this event, and God is directing it all. A sign of information.

A second sign was a sign of elevation, we could call it. So after going near Rachel’s tomb and meeting up with these men, Saul was to go farther. Specifically, he was to go to the oak of Tabor, and there would be three men who would be going up to meet God at Bethel, so they are on their way to worship the Lord, and Saul’s going to be meeting up with them. What are they going to be carrying? Well, in their hands they’re going to have three goats, three loaves of bread, a skin of wine. Their hands are going to be full of things that they are bringing to sacrifice to the Lord, to worship God.

And Samuel said to Saul, “When you meet them, they are going to give you two of the three loaves of bread.”

What does this mean? Well, it shows Saul’s elevated status as the king who’s coming on the scene. That these men are going to give them part of what they were going to offer God in worship at Bethel, they now give over to Saul as a sign of his sacred calling, that God has raised him up to serve and to rule the people of God.

And then sign number three. We could call this one a sign of transformation, or equipping. Saul’s going to be transformed and given what he needs to lead the people of God. So Saul is to go farther on, past the oak of Tabor, and he is to go Gibeath-elohim. Now Gibeah was Saul’s hometown, so he is returning to where he came from. Gibeath-elohim means the hill of God.

But note in our text here, verse 5, this was also a hill, we could call it, of the Philistines. Because what Samuel says to Saul, “When you go back to Gibeath-elohim, there is a garrison of the Philistines stationed there. They have camped out there. They have made it their home, their property.” And the sign for Saul is that as soon as he gets back to Gibeath-elohim, he’s going to meet a group of prophets who are making music and prophesying, and the Spirit of the Lord, Samuel says, “is going to rush upon you and you’re going to join these prophets in making prophecy.”

This sign, of course, is the most interesting one, isn’t it? And it raises a number of questions in our mind about Saul and what is going on with the Spirit coming upon him. What does it mean that the Spirit would rush upon Saul? Or you notice verse 6, what does it mean when Samuel says to him, “When this happens, you are going to be turned into another man”? Or even farther down in verse 9, that God is going to give you another heart?

I think the big question is, when the Spirit comes upon Saul, does this mean that Saul was regenerated here? Was Saul born again? Does Saul have the kind of experience that Jesus talked to Nicodemus about, that you must be born again and the Spirit moves as He wills. Is that what is happening to Saul? Is this sort of a new birth for Saul? And does he become a prophet? Or another way of saying it is, is he given to the prophetic office, does he now hold that office among these other prophets, or alongside of Samuel for that matter.

Well, people of God, I think the answer is found in the words that are used in our text here. That the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul, verse 6. This was a word that’s used for others in the Old Testament, even surrounding the story. The Spirit of God is said to have rushed upon Sampson, Judges 14 verse 6. And what that means is that he was given power at that moment to defeat the Philistines, equipped by God for the crisis and the task that was in front of him at that moment.

Go to chapter 11, just the chapter we’ll come to next week, and verse 6, the Spirit rushes upon Saul again. This time when he learns about threats from the Ammonites and he is equipped and given what he needs to defeat the Ammonites.

1 Samuel 16:13: The Spirit of God rushed upon David, equipping him for his service as king.

You see, what the word “rushed upon” simply means is to be equipped for a task of leadership that God is giving. So as the Spirit comes rushing in upon Saul, what is it? Well, it’s equipping for the task of king that he’s about to take, that the Spirit of God is coming upon him and the new calling that he has. This is what it means that he was given a new heart, a new heart to lead the people of God, or that he has turned into another man. He receives equipping to be king, something that he did not have before. So he’s a changed man, yes. But changed and raised up and elevated to be the kind of leader that God was calling him to be.

These are all signs to confirm for Saul that he was set apart to be king over the people of God. Verse 9 tells us all the signs came to pass.

Sign number 1 – he meets up with the two men.

Sign number 2 – he meets up with these men who are on their way to Bethel.

Sign number 3 – the Spirit of God comes upon him, rushes upon him.

And the prophetic sign particularly prompted a lot of wonder among the people of God. They started asking questions: What happened to Saul? He’s changed into another man. This is not the man that we knew. In fact, where does he come from? What’s his father’s name again? Like if you can figure out what his pedigree is, this is not the Saul that we know.

In fact, there even was established a proverb. A proverb was created – Is Saul also among the prophets?

It’s like our phrase that we use sometimes. You know, “Wonders never cease.” I mean, this is incredible. Wow. Never seen anything like this before.

People of God, in the middle of all of this, this private anointing of Saul, this first scene, there are early warning signs that he would be a king like all the other nations had, that he would be a worldly king, not the kind of king that Israel needed.

So he’d been told that he would deliver Israel from the Philistines. Saul is sent to Gibeah where there is a garrison of the Philistines. What an opportunity. It’s laying right before Saul to do the very thing that God raised him up to do, to defeat them, to destroy them, and in fact, Samuel had even said to him, “When the three signs are fulfilled, you should do what your hand has found to do.” Probably saying to Saul, “Go, defeat them, slay them, that’s what you are to do.” And Samuel says, “When you get back, come to Gilgal, I’ll be there with burnt offerings and peace offerings,” the kinds of sacrifices that you would offer after a battle.

But what did Saul do? What’d Saul do about these Philistines that are in his own hometown? We don’t read anything about that, do we? It seems that he did nothing. The very calling of God that was upon his life, he doesn’t fulfill at least here initially we see, he is not a changed man in character. He fails to follow God’s calling and obey God’s commands. And at the end of the first scene, when his uncle asks him where he’s been and what Samuel has been saying to him, what does Saul say? Well, he told them about the donkeys, the donkeys have been found, and that’s all he said.

But the Bible says about the matter of the kingdom, he said nothing. The donkeys have been found, but he didn’t say anything about being prince over the people of God, over the Lord’s heritage, this calling to serve on behalf of God. He said nothing about the matter of the kingdom, that he is to be a servant of the Lord.

Well, there’s scene number two. If scene number one is Saul’s private anointing, scene number two is Saul’s public appointment. So there’s no longer a private encounter here but a public gathering of the people of God as Samuel called them together before the Lord at this place called Mizpah. It’s an important place.

Back in chapter 7, as we’re making our way through 1 Samuel, this was a place where Israel had gathered before God in confession of sin and repentance. They confessed their sins to God. They repented before the Lord, and then the Lord heard them and delivered them from the Philistines. Now here we are back at Mizpah again. Why? Because repentance is still needed from the people of God. They weren’t past it. They weren’t past sinning against the Lord and confessing their sins to Him. They needed to repent again, especially in their demand for a king.

Well, in this public appointment, we see three things. We see first of all rebuke from the Lord to His people. This is verses 17 to 19. They gather to anoint a king, but the very first word that comes from the Lord was a rebuke and a reminder that he was their deliverer. God gave them a history lesson.

Verse 18. He says to them, “I brought you up out of Egypt. I delivered you from the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.” God leads them back to Egypt and says, “Remember how My hand set you free? Remember how in the wilderness years that I was there for you and defeated kings who opposed you? Remember how it came to the conquest and My hand was there again to establish you and deliver you from the nations around you?”

God takes them back and says, “Haven’t I been enough? Sufficient to be your deliverer?”

All of the emphasis upon “I.” I did this, God says, I did that for you.

And then God reminds them of their need to repent, because what God does is shifts from these are the things that I have done for you to what you have done. And God says, in verse 19, “But today, right here and now, you have rejected your God who saves you from all the calamities and distresses, and you have said, ‘Set a king over
us.'”

People of God, what the Lord does is rehearses what He did for them to help them know that they could trust Him. God was all that they needed for deliverance. But Israel wanted a substitute savior, “God, you’re not enough. We want a king to save us. We want a king to deliver us.” They were not content, you see, to be the Lord’s people, to have God as their God. That was not enough for them. So they rejected the Lord and demanded a king.

And God says therefore, this is what you must do. As He brings this rebuke, at the end of verse 19, He says, “Therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your thousands.”

Friends, this is not just a normal gathering of God’s people. This isn’t God saying, “Well, just kind of meet together before Me.” No, this was an indictment against the people of God. When God says, “Gather before Me by your tribes and by your thousands,” we are to remember back another time that God’s people had to do this before the Lord, and in the same way, by tribes and by thousands. That time was on the edge of Ai, God’s people moving into the Promised Land, and you remember that story that Achan took some of the spoils of the city of Ai for himself and he hid them away, “These are going to be mine. We can destroy all the rest, but this stuff’s going to be mine,” and God’s people come against Ai and they’re not able to defeat the city and they realize there’s sin in the camp. Somebody has taken some of the cherished items, the items that had been set apart, for themselves. And God says to His people there, He says, “I want you to meet before Me, gather before Me by your tribes and by your thousands, and what are we going to do? We’re going to cast lots. We’re going to see how is guilty.”

Here God’s people have to do it again. God says, “I want you to gather before Me by tribes and by thousands. What are we going to do? We’re going to cast lots again.”

God’s people had to be thinking, “Oh, no. We remember what happened to Achan. We remember that the lot fell on him. We remember that God’s people came under God’s judgment. What’s going to happen to us this time?”

And the lot begins to fall, so they go from rebuke to revelation, lot by lot, they go through Israel. Out of the 12 tribes, the lot falls on the tribe of Benjamin. They roll stones again and cast lots again and from the clan and tribe of Benjamin up comes the clan of the Matrites. And from the clan of the Matrites, Saul’s name appears, and the lot is from the Lord.

But where’s Saul? Couldn’t be found. “Saul! Saul! Saul, where are you? Saul! You’re supposed to be king,” and silence. Saul’s nowhere to be found, and the people of God, they say, “Do we have the wrong man? Is there somebody else? Is there someone who is still to come?” They ask this of the Lord and the Lord says, “He’s just hiding among the baggage.”

Israel ran to Achan when the lot fell on him to find the hidden things that he had taken, and now the lot falls on Saul and Israel runs, not to find hidden things, but to find a hidden man, in Saul. And the irony is that he came out from the baggage, taller than anyone among the people from the shoulders up. I mean, how could he hide actually? He’s a huge guy. How could he hide?

Well, what he is trying to hide, of course, was his character and his sin. I don’t think that Saul here is hiding out of humility. Some people wonder that, and was Saul just saying, “Well, I’m not up for the job. There has to be somebody else for the task. Don’t pick me,” that kind of thing. I’m not sure, I really don’t believe that’s what was going on in Saul. I think he was hiding out of shame. Because you see, if this was an Achan-like event, Saul was hiding because he knew he had not obeyed the Lord and what if the lot would fall on him.

Then comes renewal. Earlier when Saul’s uncle asked him about what Saul had said, Saul didn’t mention the matter of the kingdom, but the Lord wouldn’t let Saul or Israel forget about kingdom matters. The very first thing Samuel told the people after they hailed Saul as their king was to tell them, verse 28, about the rights and duties of the kingship. “We’re going to talk about the kingdom,” is sort of what Samuel says. “We’re going to talk about what the rights and duties of the king are, what the responsibilities of God’s people are before the king,” and notice this, he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. In other words, God’s people and Saul, you as king, you are to never, ever forget these things. They were memorialized, a lasting testimony is created.

Well, what were these rights and duties of the kingship that Samuel told the people about? Well, friends I think it’s the very thing that you heard about last week. In Deuteronomy 17, as God’s people are ready to enter the Promised Land, that God tells them here is what your king is to be like. When you have a king one day, and you’re going to have one, when you have a king one day, this is how the king is supposed to live. This is how the king is supposed to act. This is what your king is to be like. He should not acquire many horses, should not acquire many wives, should not acquire excessive silver or gold.

I heard Derek say it last week, not too many guns or girls or gold. That’s not what he is to be like.

Why? Because his heart is going to be drawn away by these things. Your kings are not to amass these things because your king’s heart will be drawn away from Me and instead here’s what God said in Deuteronomy 17: Instead, he should write for himself a copy of the law and it should be with him so that he reads it all the days of his life and he would learn to fear God.

He’s to have a pocket copy of God’s law, always with him, always available, ready, handy, to take out, to read again, oh, that’s right. I am supposed to fear the Lord and keep His commands. That’s my duty as king. My duty is to fear the King, the Lord God.

And Samuel, he lays this all out. He told the people all these things, here at the very beginning of Saul’s reign, reminding them that Israel, although they wanted a king like the rest of the nations, their king was not supposed to be anything like the rest of the nations. He is to be different, he is to reign under God, keeping His Word.

And the story ends all Israel returned to their houses, Saul included, went to his own home. Some men of valor went with him, fighting men. Saul would need them. He’s going to battle the Philistines. He’s going to, in fact, defeat the Ammonites in the very next chapter. But there were others, the text calls them worthless fellows, verse 27, who said, “Can this man save us? Really? Saul?”

I think they heard what Samuel said. He’s not to have too many guns or to have too much gold or have too many wives. Well, if he doesn’t have all of those things, how is he going to save us at all? Come on.

You see, they, too, wanted a worldly king, and if Saul’s not going to be worldly, then we’re not with him, so they rejected him and they despised him. They were just like Eli’s wicked sons, worthless men, worthless fellows.

Well, friends, what are to learn from this chapter? Two points of application this morning. First of all, this is simply a reminder that God is sovereign over all things and in His sovereignty, in His sovereign will, His sovereign purposes, God’s kingdom will prevail. This is a tension-filled passage. I don’t think we can get away from that. There’s things that we wonder about, have questions about. Israel demands a king, they rejected God by demanding a king, God acquiesces and gives them a king, He anoints and appoints Saul to be king. I wonder how can all this happen? God doesn’t want them to have a king, but he gives them a king. What’s going on?

And the point here, friends, is the fact the God did this. This is God. God’s acquiescence to Israel’s demands is not God throwing up His hands and saying, “Okay, fine, forget it,” sort of like with a whining child, you know? They keep pestering you, pestering, whining, complaining, and you finally sort of give in to them. This is not God doing that, saying, “Fine, just have your way. I don’t know what else to do. I’m frustrated.”

Friends, God is clearly sovereign in all of this. The Lord chose and appointed Saul. Samuel brings it to God’s people, “Do you see whom the Lord has chosen? This is from God.” Israel wanted to get away from God, but the fact of the matter is they could not get away from God, because God was sovereignly orchestrating even all of these events. His sovereignty is not suspended even though the Lord acceded to their wishes.

The signs that confirmed Saul’s anointing directed by God in detail. He’s sovereign over those things. The lot comes from the Lord and it fell on Saul. No matter how we might strive, you see, to grab the reins of our own life, just like Israel was trying to do, our own wanting it to decide for ourselves how we want to live, in spite of all those things, God is Lord and God is sovereign, even when we resist. Even when we rebel against Him.

You see this is another famous story from Scripture, Genesis 50, Joseph’s life when he says to his brothers at the end. You know, what you meant for evil, God meant for good. Even now what is being accomplished the saving of many lives.

Even in things that humanly were very, very evil, Joseph is able to say, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good. God is in it. God was directing it.”

This, of course, doesn’t make God the source of sin, or the source of evil. He rules and He overrules sometimes, our lives for the accomplishment of His purposes. And the tension here makes it hard to see it and understand it sometimes.

Friends, it’s that way in our life, too, isn’t it? Lord, how are you directing this? How are you orchestrating this? What are you up to in this? And what we’re able to see is what is in front of the curtain, what’s on the stage. We’re able to see what’s in front of it. Sometimes we’re not always able to see it, maybe often we’re not able to see what is happening with God behind the curtain of our lives. But God is at work, and He is at work for His good and for our good and His glory.

Here we’re to establish His kingdom, even through Saul, or maybe we could even say it this way, in spite of Saul. Because you see the other lesson is this, that Israel needed another king. Saul cannot ultimately be the one. He’s flawed, he’s failed, he’s already in this text not placed himself under the Word of God. When it comes to talking about matters of the kingdom, he’s silent. He doesn’t want to talk about those things, the kind of king that Israel needed is not the kind, or that they wanted, is not the kind of king that they needed. They did not need a worldly king, they needed a righteous one.

And you see, Saul’s life points in that direction. There must be another. There has to be somebody else. Who is to come? Who are we looking for?

Friends, you understand, of course, that who we’re looking for is Christ. He is the King of Kings. He is the Lord of Lords. He is the King that Israel needed, He is the King that we need.

Saul’s kingship was inaugurated as he went searching for a lost donkey or donkeys, and Christ’s kingship was hailed as He came riding on a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Saul was humanly impressive, standing head and shoulders among the people, but all that did was mask his sinful character.

It’s just the opposite with Christ. His humility cloaked His divine majesty and power. Saul concealed matters of God’s kingdom, Jesus boldly proclaimed that the kingdom of God is at hand. Believe and repent. Saul was not obedient to the Word of God, Christ is obedient to the last, even to the bitter and shameful death of the cross.

Some rally to Saul, others despised him, and people of God, we are faced with that same choice. The choice is between Saul and all he represents, worldly wisdom, power, acclaim, and Jesus and His kingdom of righteousness and peace. We may long for a king, but make no mistake about it, there is only one King that we are called to serve, only one King who is worthy to reign, and that is Jesus Christ, our King, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and where He reigns, all is just and all is right.

So may we join with Israel, not about Saul, but about Christ. Hail, King Jesus. Long live the King, long live the King, our Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray. Father in heaven, we do thank You for Your sovereign work in Israel’s history, even in the appointment of Saul, but through him to see a contrast, to see that we need another. There is One who is upon the throne, whose throne is everlasting, and that is our Lord Jesus Christ. So may we serve Him, may we worship Him, may be obey His Word, may we bow to His sovereign rule, may we love Him and find our delight in serving Him all the days of our life. We pray all these things, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.