Chapters 8–15 cover the early life of Saul and the sins
that led to his rejection by the Lord. Specifically today’s reading
covers the request for a king.
Jehovah God had been King of Israel and had cared for the
nation since its beginning; but now the elders of the nation wanted
a king to lead them. Their request was motivated by several factors:
(1) Samuel’s sons were not as godly as he, and the elders feared
that they would lead the nation astray when Samuel died; (2) The
nation had been through a series of temporary leaders during the
period of the judges, and they wanted a more permanent ruler; (3)
Israel wanted to be like the other nations and have a king to honor.
Samuel’s reaction to their request shows that he fully understood
their unbelief and rebellion. They were rejecting Jehovah in wanting
a king. In choosing Saul the nation rejected the Father; in choosing
Barabbas they rejected the Son; and when they chose their own
leaders instead of the witness of the apostles, they rejected the
Chapter 9 explains how Saul was brought to Samuel and
privately anointed for the kingship. Note his humility in verse 21,
and also in chapter 10:22, when he hesitated to stand before the
people. God gave Saul three special signs to assure him and these
signs occurred. Samuel also instructed Saul to tarry at Gilgal and
wait for him to come.
Saul had everything in his favor. He had a strong body, a
humble mind, a new heart, spiritual power, loyal friends, and most
of all the guidance and prayers of Samuel. Yet, in spite of these
advantages, he failed miserably because he failed to allow God to be
the Lord of his life.