Saul and his servant were searching for his father’s missing donkeys (animals like small horses). After 3 days, they arrived in the region called Zuph, where Samuel lived in the town called Ramah (7:17; 9:25).
Actually, God was sending Saul to Samuel, but Saul did not know it (9:16). Even when Saul was approaching Ramah, he was not thinking about Samuel. Instead, Saul was thinking about his father, and he had decided to return home.
Then Saul’s servant proposed that they should first go to see ‘the man of God’. That phrase means a holy man. A holy man could pray to God so that they could find the donkeys. He might also receive a message from God to tell them where they should go. They also called him ‘the seer’. In other words, someone who sees things that people cannot usually see. He sees those things because God shows them to him.
Saul thought that he should give something to the holy man. He had very simple ideas about religion; he probably thought that he was paying for the prayer. He did not think about his duties to God or about the proper way to pray. He just wanted to make a payment which the holy man would accept.
The servant had a small coin. It was less than the amount that people had to pay in order to make an axe sharp (13:21). However, it was enough to convince Saul that he should visit the holy man in Ramah.
That holy man was Samuel - and already, Samuel knew that Saul was coming (9:15).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.