The Israelites are getting ready to see huge change. God has heard their prayers for a king and is about to answer them. And, of course, he does it in God fashion. He appoints the underdog, the least of the Israelites, and he springs it on his candidate completely unexpectedly. A few things I noticed in this chapter is how my perspective of Saul changed from his introduction in the beginning to his position in the end. He is introduced as the most handsome man in all of Israel, the son of a “wealthy, influential” man. He is “head and shoulders taller” than anyone else in the land. He is from the tribe of Benjamin. That last one is the one we should note more than anything. He is from the tribe of Benjamin. Remember what happened to the tribe of Benjamin in Judges? They were all but wiped out and cut off from the Israelite camp. Saul is a remnant of that. He is barely a survivor, and to the Israelites, particularly the Levites, the tribe from which Samuel hails, the tribe of Benjamin is kind of a nothing, and their people are nobodies. Saul admits this up front after he meets Samuel, who tells him all Israel’s hopes rest on his beautiful shoulders. He says, “But I’m ONLY from the tribe of Benjamin, the SMALLEST tribe in Israel, and my family is the LEAST important of ALL the families of that tribe! (NLT, emphasis mine)” We can glean a couple things from Saul’s reaction and honesty. He may be the most handsome man in all of Israel, and his father may have wealth and influence on his side, but Saul is humble enough to admit that he knows exactly where he stands in society’s eyes. There is something to be admired in young Saul, and his fascinating tale as the first king of Israel is just getting started!
Writing prompt: certain circles
In Saul’s hometown, he was somewhat of a “bigwig” because he was hot and his daddy had some money and power, but when he got out into greater Israel, he was aware of his tribe’s status, which was at the bottom of the barrel. Have you ever been a big deal in one group and a total nothing in another? Write about the hats you wear in the different circles in which you run and consider how Saul must have felt when he was asked to wear a crown in the giant circle called Israel.