The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 178 of 210
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10: 8 - 16.
pp. 79, 80
From verse 9 of chapter 10: we discover that the three signs duly came to pass, and
that God gave Saul a new heart that same day. Before departing from Samuel, however,
Saul was told to go down to Gilgal and await seven days for the coming of Samuel, who
would then offer burnt offerings and a sacrifice of peace offerings. This first test of the
obedience of Saul to the instructions given by Samuel the prophet of the Lord seems to
have been completed satisfactorily, although we do not read the sequel.  Similar
instructions were given to Saul by Samuel later in chapter 13: 8-14, which seems to
read as though it is the sequel to chapter 10: 8.  It is unlikely to be so, as this second
occasion was approximately two years later when Saul's army was being threatened by a
very large force of Philistines, and with the delay of Samuel in not coming to Gilgal
within the seven days promised, Saul found that his army, losing heart no doubt, was
melting away from him. In desperation Saul took it upon himself to offer the burnt
offerings and sacrifices; a test of patience which we all need to learn at times. Samuel
appearing almost immediately afterwards utters words of censure upon this disobedience,
and tells Saul that his kingdom would not now continue, and that God had found a man
after His own heart to be captain over His people. This will be dealt with more fully
when we come to chapter 13:
"And Saul's uncle said unto him and to his servant, Whither went ye? And he said,
To seek the asses: and when we saw that they were nowhere, we came to Samuel. And
Saul's uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto you. And Saul said unto
his uncle, He told us plainly that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom,
whereof Samuel spake, he told him not" (I Sam. 10: 14-16).
At this stage we see how the coming of the spirit of God into the heart of Saul
influenced his behaviour. On his arrival back home it is not his father Kish that is
mentioned here, only his uncle Abner. This was the one who later became second only to
the king in Israel. He must have been a man of tremendous force and personality, for
Saul made him his commander-in-chief, and there is no doubt he was a great soldier and
leader of men. As we read of his deeds, we find also that he was a vain and ambitious
man, crafty and utterly ruthless, as well as being dishonest. It could be that Doeg the
Edomite, Saul's travel companion, in order to ingratiate himself with this influential
member of Saul's family would inform him of the honour conferred upon his young
master by the prophet Samuel. This information must have whetted Abner's appetite.
Abner was the sort of man that could have plotted to put his own son on the throne of
Be that as it may, we read that Saul gave his uncle no inkling of what transpired
between Samuel and himself. The honour conferred on him was very great, and it would
have been only human for him to make the most of it on his return. It would have been
very easy to boast a little, especially to this swash-buckling uncle of his. The Lord had
given him a change of heart though, and led by His spirit he kept his counsel and told him