Studying the scriptures will helps us find the answers to some of the the most difficult questions that has been troubling us. One of these questions I have had is why God chose Saul as the first king of Israel. As I explore the reasons for the selection of Saul as the first king of Israel I must reflect on the political issues at that time in Israel. The twelve tribes had greatly increased in population, but also there was also a greater force acting upon them and that force was to become more like the countries around them. Samuel serve the twelve tribes as a judge, prophet, and a priest; he did not rule over them as a king. When Samuel was old he set his sons up as judges. His sons however were not honest and walked not in Samuel’s way. Therefore the elders decided they wanted a king like the other nations that surrounded them. So God gave them a king after their own desire. This might be a reason that God gave them Saul, a king like the other nations. Early in life I was told be careful for what you ask for because God might permit it to happen. Saul was the type of king they were desiring so God gave them the king they desired.
After Samuel’s withdrew to Ramah he stilled mourn for Saul. However, God instructs Samuel to stop mourning for Saul seeing that God had rejected him. God then gave Samuel the task to anoint the next king of Israel. Samuel at this time was aware of the way that Saul was ruling and how he had warned Saul that his kingdom would not continue. He also knew that Saul was probably keeping an eye on his activities for Samuel as a priest was still a powerful force in Israel. We see in I Samuel 16:2 that Samuel fear to execute this task that the Lord had given him to complete because of Saul. So God told him to go and to use the occasion as an opportunity to offer up a sacrifice at Bethlehem. Another reason I believed Samuel was afraid to go was that the anointing would cause an uprising to take place in the near future. As I read I Samuel 16:1-13 I realized that Samuel was looking for an adult who might be able to take over the kingdom from Saul in the near future. But God had His own timetable. As someone who has follow the Lord for over fifty years I have realize that waiting on the Lord is one of one of the hardest to learn attributes a Christian can develop in their walk with the Lord.
Why was David in the field instead of at the feast? I believe the simple answer is someone had to watch the sheep while the family attended the sacrifice. David being the youngest was the best choice for this task. However, he was the one that was to be anointed so they sent to fetch him and waited unto he arrived. When he did arrive, Samuel anointed him in the midst of his brethren and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David. Samuel went back home and David went back to tending the sheep in the field. Unlike Saul’s anointing there was no other events that happened afterwards. It was probably a relief to Samuel. It is several years later that we have the next reference of Samuel. This reference is found in I Samuel 19:18 when David fled and escaped from Saul and came to Samuel at Ramah.
As we study the scriptures, we must realize that the characters that we study are just like us. They have the same needs as well as fears as we have in the world today. We know that God’s hand is in the affairs of of this world, not men, but we tend forget this in our daily living. As the Lord taught us to pray: “Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it it in heaven.” God is in control. So, when everyone around you is worried about the affairs of this world understand that God is in control still.