Call to Worship May 23 2021

Expository Thoughts on 1 Samuel 10:17-27

Remember that previous times of deliverance by God are important in the Christian life. Israel was retold of their deliverance from the enslavement by the Egyptians. God reminded them of His kindness as he had Samuel call forth their king (vs. 18). This introduction was part of God’s purpose to recall His mercy and grace to them and their rejection of His authority over them (vs. 19). If we forget and rebel against God’s authority over us, then often it is due to overlooking God’s previous deliverances of His people.

Saul’s introduction before the heads of the tribes was memorable, but troublesome. Although God had previously chosen Saul, Samuel whittled down the tribal candidate according to the casting of lots. What seemed random was ultimately ordered by God. Israel was still bowing to the sovereignty of God even in the choosing of a human king. Once Saul’s name was announced he was not cooperatively responsive, like the announcing of a performer who does not appear as the curtain opens due to stage fright. He was huddled behind some baggage and the Lord had to point him out to be recognized. Not how most kings prefer to begin their reign over a people!

Saul’s reluctance was certainly natural. He knew his lineage was meagre. He understood Samuel’s words that God was not appreciative of the people’s rejection of Him.[1] Therefore, Saul hid himself, not fully understanding that God had a purpose for him. Saul began his kingship struggling to trust in the Lord. If God had chosen him, then God would lead him. Yet his first day reveals his greater concern for man’s approval more than God’s deliverance. This would continue to be a difficulty throughout his reign.

Samuel reminded Saul and the people who was in charge of the nation (vs. 25). He gave God’s ordinances regarding the kingdom and wrote it down for ongoing remembrance and posterity’s sake. Recognize the importance that God’s ordinances play in the deliverance of His people. Deuteronomy 17:14-20 was given for the benefit of a king and people. Yet, they needed to be reminded of those statutes for future reference. So, it is likely that those verses were a part of this introduction. Saul was installed as a vice-king.[2] He was to lead the people according to the law of the Lord, just as the judge was to adjudicate their difficulties in the same way, and the priest was to lead them in worship according to His law. Yet, think of all the ordinances, not just concerning a king, that had been previously ignored by Israel. The people would have been delivered from their enemies and walked in greater peace had they listened to and obeyed God’s word. So these words written down by Samuel were partially to aid the King in being a deliverer and not a tyrant.

Israel’s mindset is no different at this point than before God granted them a king. Most were satisfied and cheered (vs. 24), but still they missed the point. They already had the greatest kingship from the LORD himself (vs. 19). Some jeered or mumbled disparaging words, and others did not properly acknowledge Saul (vs. 27). Mankind is like those scoffers at the end of this chapter concerning Saul as king. These men looked at the person and the circumstances of his introduction without listening to the word of the LORD. God gave them a king in mercy to their short sightedness. Those men simply looked at the situation from a human perspective. They genuinely thought a mere human king could completely deliver them from the hand of their enemies. They sinned by not trusting in the LORD to protect His people. Even through the means of an extremely tall, hesitant, and hiding human king, God is capable of leading and protecting His people. May we never forget God is our deliverer through His plan and His word. Deliverance comes through His power and revelation. God revealed to us through His word the Law, sin, and our need to trust in Him alone through Christ alone. Let us not forget from whom our deliverance comes. Soli Deo Gloria!

[1] John Gill, Exposition of the Old & New Testaments, vol. 2, (Baptist Standard Bearer, Paris, AR., 2006.), 465.

[2] Dale Ralph Davis, I Samuel: Looking on the Heart, (Christian Focus Pub., 2014.), 110.