They Asked for a King…

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We could accidentally read 1 Samuel 10:24 and think that Saul becoming Israel’s first king was the Lord’s idea – “Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.’” But his story makes clear that before he was the Lord’s choice, Saul was the people’s choice. He stood head and shoulders taller than any other man. And we find that the first king, though maybe not the worst king, did not get the monarchy off to a great start. Saul makes his first appearance…not at all. The prophet Samuel stands before all the people ready to crown this guy asking where he is, and they find him hiding behind a stack of supplies! He thinks so little of himself that he hides from this highest honor. And yet, he spends the end of his life and reign so eaten up with arrogance and jealousy of his God-appointed successor, David, that he disobeys God and wastes military energy trying to track down and assassinate David. In the story of Saul we learn why it really is best to have God on the throne…no matter who the earthly king might be. There are many kings, but one Lord.

This week, I invite you to . . .

Read the Scripture: 1 Samuel 10:17-24

Engage God’s Story: I invite you to think through the answers to these questions from the scriptures themselves.

  • How does the Lord begin His address to the people?
  • What is the Lord’s tone? Is He eager to give the people a king? Does He refuse?
  • How does this passage describe Saul?
  • Now read 1 Samuel 13:1-15. What did Saul do wrong? Was it more than one thing? For what did the prophet Samuel rebuke him?
  • Could arrogance and “thinking yourself insignificant” or even hating oneself be related? How so? What would be the remedy?

Apply Your Story: There is always an intersection between the truth in scripture in our experience, because God’s story is our story.

  • Where do you see yourself in this story?
  • What truth do you find in this passage? Of who and how God is? Of the human condition? How we should live?
  • Can you relate to peer pressure? Recall an instance in your life when peer pressure or “mob mentality” took over a situation.
  • Would you dare to admit which one of these you struggle with more: thinking too highly of yourself or thinking too lowly of yourself? What perspective change is help combat this?
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