1 Sam 10:1-16 – Saul Anointed King

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1Sam 10:1

  1. Saul was chosen by God to be king over Israel and leader of God’s people.
    1. Even you and I can receive a mission from God. In general, all Christians are commissioned to tell people about Jesus and spread the kingdom of God, but God can also call each of us to specific individual tasks.
    1. How do I know if God has given me a specific task?
      1. If you often think and/or are bothered that, for example, “the congregation should pray more!” or “the church should evangelize more!”, then this is probably because God has called you to do just that. You are experiencing these feelings because God is calling you to “pray more” or “evangelize more”.
        1. Personally, I believe that God has called me to different tasks at different times. At the age of 18, when I was a new disciple, my heart burned for evangelism and I witnessed about Jesus to everyone and everything, at all times. While studying at the Bjärka-Säby Bible School, God led me into a time of prayer and I often took long prayer walks where I had long conversations with God about everything and nothing. When I worked as a youth pastor in Bankeryd, God developed me into a shepherd, I learned to take care of the young people and help them grow in faith. At Örebro Mission School, God opened my eyes to biblical teaching and I spent much of my time trying to get better at preaching.
      1. Often it is easier for people around you to see what gift and task you have been given by God. Ask your loved ones what they think God has called you to do and what gifts God may have given you.
        1. God has given all human beings natural and innate gifts, such as musicality, humour or dexterity. God wants you to use these natural gifts in the service of his kingdom.
        1. God can also give supernatural gifts to all believers in Jesus. These gifts are not innate but are given by the Holy Spirit according to what He considers best (1Corinthians 12:4-11).
      1. If you really have no idea what task God has called you to, you can seek God’s will by praying and fasting. Simply talk to God and ask him to give you a task and equip you with the right gifts for the job. If you do not receive any answer from God at all and you have no idea what God has called you to, then generally prepare yourself to serve God in the best way possible and wait for God’s right time. When the time is right, God will show you what you are to do.
  2. In Old Testament Israel, one was anointed king in much the same way as one is “crowned” king in Europe.
    1. Being anointed with oil, as Saul is here, is a symbolic act that demonstrates what the Holy Spirit is doing in Saul’s heart. Saul is here anointed with oil on the outside, but in a few verses will be anointed by the Holy Spirit on the inside (1 Sam 10:10).
      1. When God gives someone a mission, he also gives the power needed for the task at hand. Now that Saul is to be king over Israel, he too will receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
    1. When God gave someone an important task, it was common for these people to be “anointed” for the task. For example, priests were anointed for their office (Exodus 28:41) and prophets (1 Kings 19:16). 
      1. Sometimes the oil was poured on the priests (Exodus 29:7), sometimes it was sprinkled on the priests (Exodus 29:21).
      1. The recipe for anointing oil is found in Exodus 30:22-33.
    1. Jesus was anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38) and we Christians today can also be anointed with the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20).
      1. In the new covenant, EVERYONE can be anointed! God wants us to live a Christian life that is really more than we can handle on our own, thus making us dependent on God’s power. God wants to empower us to live a spiritual and miraculous life.
        1. We have several examples of this in the Bible: the little shepherd boy David defeats the giant Goliath in a duel, Paul, the forerunner of Christians, becomes a devoted missionary, Hannah served God with fasting and prayer night and day at the temple (Luke 2:36-38).
      2. Being anointed with the Holy Spirit is, as in the Old Testament, about being empowered by God for the task at hand. Just as Saul was empowered by God to be a good king over Israel, so we can be empowered by God to be good at the task we are given by God.
      3. According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 12, all of us Christians belong to one body (Christ), but we are different parts of this body and in other words have different tasks. In order to function well in these tasks, the Holy Spirit equips us with various gifts of grace.
      4. In the same way that an engine without oil goes bad and risks wearing out, one can experience the Christian life as “sluggish” if one is not anointed by the Holy Spirit for the task at hand. Without the Holy Spirit, it can feel like you are struggling against the wind and the blessing is missing, but with the Holy Spirit, things go more smoothly, you get more power and different kinds of blessings flow over.
      5. Do you want to be anointed with the Holy Spirit and empowered for your Christian life and mission? Then ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.
      6. Don’t you know what task God has given you? Then pray that God reveals it to you or gives you a mission.
  3. Not only did Samuel anoint Saul king, he kissed him too. In doing so, Samuel shows that it is not only God who will bless Saul, but Samuel will also support him.
    1. The prophet Samuel was at Saul’s side until Saul eventually broke God’s commandments (1 Sam 13:13-15).
  4. Samuel reminds Saul of the necessary fact that Israel is the Lord’s inheritance. The people of Israel do not belong to Saul, they belong to God. Saul may rule over Israel, but he must never forget to whom Israel belongs.

1Sam 10:3

  1. The prophet Samuel gives Saul a detailed sign from God that will confirm what God has done with Saul. This confirmation will give Saul the assurance that God has indeed anointed him king. If Samuel’s sign had somehow not matched reality, then Saul could understand that what Samuel had done was not from God.
    1. If someone comes to you with a prophetic message, how do you know it’s really from God and not made up? If you’re not sure, it’s very good to ask God for some kind of confirmation, just like Saul did here.
    2. If in the future you begin to doubt that God has really called you to a certain task, it may be good to remember that it was confirmed.
  2. Christians can learn to listen to the voice of God. At first, you may hear more general messages, such as “I feel that someone is feeling a little bad right now”. If you are a group of people, it is not very strange if that particular message would hit at least someone. The prophet Samuel has learned through years of training to hear God’s voice in detail.

1Sam 10:9-10

  1. These prophets were a bunch of people who had given themselves wholeheartedly to God. There were many such groups at that time (2 Kings 5:22).
  2. Saul was anointed king before, but now he is anointed by the Holy Spirit!
  3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit and being transformed go together.
    1. All of us have faults and shortcomings in our lives, and God wants to change us for the better, so that we become more and more like Jesus (Romans 8:29). It is important for the Christian to allow himself to be filled with the Holy Spirit again and again (Eph 5:18-19).
  4. Compared to the prophet Samuel or King David, Saul was not a very spiritual person. This does not mean that Saul was necessarily a bad person, but if you want to be a leader of God’s people, it is good to train yourself in the spiritual life.
  5. The prophet Samuel could only anoint Saul with oil as a symbol of what the Holy Spirit would do. Only God can transform Saul’s heart.
    1. In the same way, we Christians can only bear witness to Jesus, share our faith and baptize those who confess their faith, but we cannot change a person’s heart. It is important to understand and accept one’s part in events and trust God to do His part.
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