Thursday, August 21, 2014

Divine Signs in Saul’s Call to Kingship

In 1 Samuel 9 -10 there are a lot of signs shown to Saul of Samuel’s foreknowledge.  These signs just seem to come thick and fast.

--When Saul came to Samuel to inquire of him where he could find the donkeys that were lost, Samuel was told by the Lord that he was coming, when he would be there, and that he was to be king.
--When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him Saul was to be king.
--Samuel told Saul without being asked that his donkeys had been found.  This demonstrates foreknowledge of Saul’s problem and the answer.
--Samuel had already saved some food ahead of time specifically for Saul.
--Samuel also told Saul about who Saul would meet on his journey home, what those people would do and say.  1) People would tell him the donkeys were found and of the worry of his father 2) People would give him provisions for his journey back, since he had exhausted his supplies. 3)People would prophesy and he would prophesy with them and be given a new heart by God.

We might well ask ourselves why so many miracles and so much seership demonstrated?

I personally think these miracles were meant to impress upon Saul that his calling to kingship was real.   He was inclined to doubt the calling because he didn’t see himself or his family as the clear choice for this honor.  In fact, he saw his family as the least of the tribe of Benjamin and Benjamin as the least of the tribes of Israel.

But when the man who gives the calling can tell you what you’re worried about and give you the answer before you even ask the question, that person is not to be dismissed when he tells you other things to come, even something as far-fetched as a call to kingship.

The miracles also build Saul’s confidence that the Lord knew him and knew what would happen and would guide him.  They taught in various ways the foreknowledge of God. 
1) The Lord knew what Saul was looking for and had taken care of the little things because there were bigger things for Saul to do. 
2) The Lord knew of Saul and could help others recognize him as king too.  (In fact, the drawing lots among the tribes and the battle Saul fights to save the Israelites at Jabesh-gilead in 1 Samuel 11 are divinely orchestrated as well and help convince Israel Saul is the one chosen by God.)  
3) The Lord could provide for Saul the things he needed.
4) The Lord could change Saul to fit the role he was going to have.

I think it is interesting that when Samuel finishes telling Saul all the things that will happen on the way home, he also tells him he will have to wait.

And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. (1 Samuel 10:8)

After all the miracles, Saul will have to wait seven days while nothing happens.  To me this exemplifies the principle that sometimes there is a bunch of miracles happening in our lives where we see quite clearly how the Lord is working, and other times we have to wait patiently and keep the faith.

Lucky Saul was given a time limit to wait, but we often are not; we just have to hang on.  There is a time for doing the hard work to show our faith (and we don’t often know how long that will be), and there is the time of miracles that confirm that faith.