I Samuel 9:1-24

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Text: I Samuel 9:1-24

A KING AFTER MAN'S HEART

INTRODUCTION:

In this message I want you to note how God directs two people who are going to be involved in the same situation and brings them together at just the right time in just the right place.

I recently received a letter from someone. He was all excited about something, but I perceived that it was something he should be very careful about doing. After thinking about it and praying about how I should respond, I wrote him a letter in which I attempted to caution him kindly about the consequences of this thing. I was concerned about how he might receive the letter because I believed it would be very disappointing to him. I received a response from him a couple of weeks later. It seems that about the same time the Lord was directing my letter to him, he was directing his thinking along the same lines as my letter. And when he received my letter, God had already prepared his heart to receive my letter as a confirmation of what he had been thinking. So I received a letter thanking me for my forthrightness and honesty in dealing with the situation. God had worked in my heart and also in his although we were about a 1000 miles apart from each other.

Romans 8:28 - (28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This was true for Israel.

This is also true for you and me.

Now God never loses control of any situation. He always accomplishes His purposes.

In I Samuel 9:1-24 , we see that Saul was a king after man's heart. He was the kind of king the world would admire.

I. SAUL HAD SOME POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS - 9:1-2

I Samuel 9:1 - Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.

I Samuel 9:2 - And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly [i.e. handsome]: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier [i.e. more handsome] person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher [i.e. taller] than any of the people.

1. He was of the tribe of Benjamin

2. He was a choice young man.

3. He was handsome

4. He was tall - He would have been 10-12 inches taller than the rest of the people. He would have stood out in a crowd.

II. SAUL HAD SOME NEGATIVE CHARACTERISTICS - 9:1-2

We need to look at the things which were not said about Saul. Sometimes the things not said speak very loudly as they do here.

Nothing is said about Saul's wisdom or his learning.

Nothing is said about Saul's virtue.

Nothing is said about Saul's godliness

Lesson: We don't need to follow big-name people whether they are preachers or whether they are star athletes. Watch out for people who are highly esteemed by the world. The things that really count in life are a man's relation to God, not how the world esteems him.

III. SAUL WAS UNAWARE OF THE MAN OF GOD - 9:3-6

I Samuel 9:3 - And the asses [i.e. donkeys] of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses [i.e. donkeys].

I Samuel 9:4 - And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shalim, and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not.

I Samuel 9:5 - And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the asses [i.e. donkeys], and take thought for us.

I Samuel 9:6 - And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.

Lesson: Seek a man of God for spiritual matters.

Churches often seek a young pastor who can work well with the young people. Now this may be well-intentioned, but it is not very spiritual. What will happen to this relation in five or ten years when he is a little older? My father's church was once looking for a man who has earned a doctorate but who is no more than 35 years of age. Now think about this: You are talking about 5-6 years of training beyond college if you go full time. To have had this much education and not be more than 35 years of age does not allow much time for the experience needed to pastor a church of 700-800 people or however many they had. What is wrong with an older, experienced, and godly pastor who no longer plays ball with all the young people? Seek God's man instead.

IV. SAUL WAS UNCONCERNED ABOUT SPIRITUAL MATTERS - 9:6

I Samuel 9:6 - And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither [i.e. there]; peradventure [i.e. perhaps] he can shew us our way that we should go. Saul was concerned only for the lost animals.

Lesson: People claim that someone is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good. Think about this for a minute. Have you ever met someone who was really heavenly minded enough? Who would have been more heavenly minded than the Lord Jesus Christ? No one. Was He of no earthly good? Of course not. Let's not be so earthly minded that we are of no heavenly good.

People should be more concerned with doing God's work than with menial earthly tasks; yet, menial earthly tasks are necessary.

V. SAUL SEEMED TO THINK OF SAMUEL AS MORE OF A FORTUNETELLER THAN A PROPHET - 9:7-10

I Samuel 9:7 - Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread [i.e. food] is spent [i.e. gone] in our vessels [i.e. sacks], and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?

I Samuel 9:8 - And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.

A fourth part of a shekel is one tenth of an ounce.

I Samuel 9:9 - (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)

This verse explains for later readers that a "seer" (from "to see") became known in later times as a "prophet."

I Samuel 9:10 - Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was.

VI. SAUL ALLOWED HIS SERVANT TO PAY FOR HIS RELIGION - 9:8

I Samuel 9:8 - And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.

VII. SAUL WAS DIRECTED TO SAMUEL - 9:11-14

I Samuel 9:11 - And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens [i.e. women] going out to draw water, and said unto them, Is the seer here?

I Samuel 9:12 - And they answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before [i.e. ahead of, just ahead of] you: make haste [i.e. hurry] now, for he came to day to the city; for there is a sacrifice of the people to day in the high place:

A high place was an elevated place of worship and sacrifice located on a hill or an artificial platform. The idea was essentially Canaanite but Israel used such places before the construction of the Temple.

I Samuel 9:13 - As soon as ye be come into the city, ye shall straightway [i.e. surely] find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden [i.e. are invited]. Now therefore get you up [i.e. go up]; for about this time ye shall find him.

I Samuel 9:14 - And they went up into the city: and when they were come into the city, behold, Samuel came [i.e. was coming] out against them [i.e. toward them], for to go up [i.e. on his way up] to the high place.

VIII. GOD PREPARED SAMUEL IN ADVANCE FOR SAUL'S VISIT - 9:15-17

I Samuel 9:15 - Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying,

I Samuel 9:16 - To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save [i.e. deliver] my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.

Anointing was a setting apart for service. It was a religious act that established a special relationship between God and the king, who served as His representative and ruler over the people.

Captain is prince or ruler.

I Samuel 9:17 - And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same [i.e. this one] shall reign over my people.

IX. SAUL MET SAMUEL - 9:18-24

I Samuel 9:18 - Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's [i.e. prophet's] house is.

God brought Saul and Samuel together at the same time in the same place. He was clearly in control of the circumstance and meeting.

Similarly, God will bring people into your path that He wants you to speak to. You don't have to force it.

I Samuel 9:19 - And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart.

I Samuel 9:20 - And as for thine asses [i.e. donkeys] that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them [i.e. don't be anxious about them]; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father's house?

And on whom is all the desire of Israel? refers to Saul's being king over Israel. It suggests that there is a more important matter at hand than the donkeys, which had been lost. All the desire of Israel was on having a king.

I Samuel 9:21 - And Saul answered and said, 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 was puzzled about the way Samuel was speaking to him. If someone were to say these things to you, you would wonder why, too.

I Samuel 9:22 - And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlour [i.e. hall], and made them sit in the chiefest place [i.e. in the place of honor, at the head] among them that were bidden [i.e. invited], which were about thirty persons.

I Samuel 9:23 - And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee [i.e. set it aside].

I Samuel 9:24 - And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it [i.e. the leg with what was on it, the thigh with its upper part], and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which is left! set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, I have invited the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day.

It was obvious that Saul was being honored, but why? He had no clue. He would find out in the morning.

You can find out in our next message on I Samuel, but if you can't wait to learn this, you should feel free to read ahead in the text.

CONCLUSION:

What I want you to see is how God orchestrated this meeting with Saul and Samuel and to realize that he does the same sort of thing with us all the time.

Remember Romans 8:28 .

Romans 8:28 - (28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.