Then Samuel told the people the ordinances of the kingdom, and wrote them in the book and placed it before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his house. Saul also went to his house at Gibeah; and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him. But certain worthless men said, “How can this one deliver us?” And they despised him and did not bring him any present. But he kept silent.
– 1 Samuel 10:25-27 NASB
A little over a month ago in one of these daily devotions, we meditated on a verse from the book of Judges:
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
– Judges 21:25 NASB
The time of Israel’s judges was after the time of Moses and Joshua but before the time of Israel’s kings. The judges were individuals raised up as leaders by God at various times for specific tasks. Those tasks involved delivering Israel from its enemies. These judges included Gideon, Deborah, and Samson. They were leaders with limited authority; they did not have the title, or fill the role, of king. At the end of this period, God used Samuel the priest to anoint a king for Israel. That first king was Saul.
As I’ve said before, the Old Testament foreshadows Messiah in many ways. The passage above from 1 Samuel is one of the more subtle ways.
Samuel anointed Saul as king of Israel. “Anoint” means that Samuel poured oil on Samuel’s head. That’s how Israel’s king came to be called God’s “anointed.” And you may recall that the word “Messiah” means “anointed.”
In this passage, Samuel prefigures John the Baptist. As Samuel anointed Saul for service, so John the Baptist baptized Jesus for ministry. Saul was to be king of Israel and Jesus was to be king of the kingdom of God. As “valiant men whose hearts God had touched” went with Saul, so valiant men like Peter, James, and John went with Jesus. And as “worthless men” questioned the ability to Saul to accomplish anything as king, so worthless men (like many of the Pharisees and Sadducees) “despised” Jesus and questioned his worthiness to be Messiah.
Note that Saul “kept silent” with those who despised Him.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, be not silent with us. We esteem You. We take seriously the things You have said to us. Help me remember today the commandments You have given…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.