The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 175 of 210
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to be their leader against the Philistine invader. We ourselves may gain some reassurance
from this surely, that though we may displease Him by our forgetfulness of Him, yet He
will not turn away and be heedless of our cry to Him in time of trouble or difficulty.
On the morrow, as Saul was approaching Samuel we read in verse 17 that God said to
Samuel, "Behold the man whom I spake to thee of!". "Behold the man" brings to mind a
significant comparison with the cry of Pilate "Behold your King" as he brought forth
Christ to the people (John 19: 14). Saul was accepted with relief. The Lord as the true
King of Israel was once again rejected. The words "reign over" in verse 17 is a verbal
form more often translated "restrain", which is an accurate forecast of the stern and
severe rule that was characteristic of the reign of Saul--a very sharp comparison with the
reign of the One Whose rule will be with true love and justice.
"Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the
seer's house is. And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me
unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me today, and tomorrow I will let thee go, and
will tell thee all that is in thine heart. And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago,
set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? It
is not on thee, and on all thy father's house?" (I Sam. 9: 18-20).
9: 21 - 10: 7.
pp. 56 - 58
It may not have come as a surprise to Saul to hear that Samuel, the seer, knew of his
coming, or that the asses for which he had been searching had been found, but what was
obviously unexpected was to hear the words of deference and high honour concerning
him and his father's house from the lips of Samuel:
"Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least
of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?"
Saul would undoubtedly know what the words "the desire of Israel" (20) referred to.
Although he was a countryman, living in the territory of Benjamin, and claimed that his
father's house was "the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin", yet we read in
verse 1 that his father Kish was "a mighty man of power (substance)". It is most likely
therefore that they had heard of the intrigue to set up a king over Israel. Samuel, in
answer, conducts Saul to a place of honour at the celebration feast, and makes him his
guest for the night. In the morning he publicly anoints him before allowing him to return
home. The faithfulness of Samuel to God's words and his obedience in carrying out
every detail is plainly revealed in the preparations that had been made beforehand, so that
when the man foretold by the Lord to his servant duly arrived, the feast had been
prepared and the guests already invited. Even the double portion of honour for the one
who should come had been set aside from the sacrifice held at the high place the day