Samuel had persuaded the people in Israel that they must not select their own king. If they tried to do that, the nation would not remain united. Different groups would appoint different leaders to be king, and they would all fight against each other. That would be a terrible situation. Israel would not be strong enough to oppose any of its enemies.
Instead, the people had to accept the king that God had chosen for their nation. 1 Samuel 10:20-21 describes the slow, careful process by which God showed his decision. We are sure that many men there felt a strong sense of ambition on such an occasion. They wanted the wealth, power and honour that the king would receive. They were sure that they could rule Israel well.
Saul did not share their feelings. He alone knew what would be the result of the process to select the king. He knew that God had chosen him. So he was afraid. Instead of ambition, Saul felt a sense of responsibility. Instead of hope, he felt a sense of fear. So, he went and he hid himself.
It was hardly an honourable way for Saul to begin his rule. When Samuel declared Saulís name, nobody could find Saul. Then Samuel had to inquire of God, in order to find out where Saul was. Another pause followed while people searched for him.
There was probably much confusion until Saul stood up among the people. Then people saw how tall he was. That immediately impressed them: Saul looked like a king. That quality mattered to them; they wanted a king whom the soldiers would follow into battle (8:20). So the people accepted Saul as their king.
Next part: Saul begins his rule (1 Samuel 10:25-27)
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 450 page course book.
© 2014, Keith Simons.