Saul and his servant only intended to visit the town called Ramah briefly. Their plan was to go to the house of Samuel, Ramahís holy man. They would pay him to pray about the missing donkeys (animals like small horses). Then they would leave, either to find the donkeys or to return home.
However, they soon discovered that they had gone to Ramah on a special and important occasion. Samuel was arranging a special meal for the townís principal citizens, in order to give honour to a very important guest. Nobody knew who that guest was. However, Samuel had recently agreed to appoint Israelís first king (1 Samuel chapter 8).
Saul first met Samuel at the entrance to the town. Samuel was going onto the hill above the town in order to offer a sacrifice. A sacrifice was an animal that someone offered to God. On this occasion, the sacrifice was a large animal, perhaps a bull, that would provide the meat for Samuelís guests.
We can see how much Samuel trusted God. God had told Samuel that he (God) would send Israelís future king to him (9:16). Samuel did not try to find a suitable person; he trusted God to send that person. Samuel did not even ask God who that person would be; he waited for God to tell him. In the meantime, Samuel made all the preparations that were necessary to entertain a king.
Saul, on the other hand, was just trying to find some donkeys. He did not know the reason why God had brought him to Ramah. In fact, he did not even think that God had brought him there.
Soon however, the purpose of these strange events would become clear, even to Saul.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.