Finding a king, Prophet as fortune teller.
It’s a common refrain when preachers tell you about biblical prophets. They aren’t like fortune tellers. They tell the truth about the nature of God. But here Samuel is also a pretty standard fortune teller, too.
So he knows the future with some precision, and knows Saul will be chosen king. Some observations:
- God’s “least shall be first” principle is in operation, to a degree. Saul is from Benjamin, the least tribe and he’s from the least clan in it. As he encounters Samuel and events unfold as Samuel predicted, he is filled with the spirit, which lets him see himself as king.
- Saul physically looks like a king. He’s handsome and tall. God really is giving the people what they wanted.
- They meet in a town where Samuel has gone to do sacrifices. I was interested that in the days before the temple, the priest traveled around.
- Saul meets Samuel because he’s looking for some lost donkeys. It looks very star wars in my head. The lost donkeys keep returning, soon everyone’s saying to Saul “stop worrying about the donkeys”.
- He’s shy. When eventually he’s chosen by lot at a big national council, he can’t be found because he’s hiding in the supplies
So we are to know that god’s hand is all over it. He didn’t abandon them to their sub-optimal king plan. It’s second best, but god’s still in it. He even organises someone to find the donkeys.
He’s the god who loves despite…