15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: 16 “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.” 18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?” 19 Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. 20 As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?” 21 Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”
(1 Samuel 9:15-21)
Yesterday we saw how Saul and Samuel first met. Today we’ll study the words Samuel spoke to Saul upon meeting him.
Before Saul could even request Samuel’s help in finding his father’s lost donkeys – the reason he came to the city to find Samuel – Samuel takes charge of the conversation and gives instructions to Saul. From the reader’s perspective, it seems that Samuel had been expecting Saul and from our previous studies we know this is true [1 Samuel 9:15-16].
This must have seemed apparent to Saul as well. Samuel never asks Saul, a stranger, who he is or what he wants. He simply starts talking to him telling him to go up to the high place, where the daily sacrifices had already been held and the feasting was about to begin. Saul was to eat with Samuel that evening and would also stay the night.
Samuel also informs Saul about the missing donkeys: they have been found. Samuel also revealed that he knew that they had been lost three days ago. By informing Saul about these donkeys without being asked about them, Samuel proves that he is truly a man of God for no human being could know such things without God telling him.
There are a couple of interesting things about Samuel’s words to Saul. The first is he says that he will tell him all that is on his mind. He says this before revealing that he knew about the donkeys. So for a split second Saul must have thought that he would find out about his father’s animals in the morning because the donkeys were the thing that was on his mind at that point.
But then Samuel tells Saul about the donkeys and also tells him not to set his mind on them. There was no reason for Saul to be preoccupied about the animals anymore because they had been located and are safe. With the donkey’s no longer on his mind, one had to wonder what else was on Saul’s mind.
The thing that would now be on Saul’s mind would be Saul’s next words: “and for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?” These words implied that Saul was destined for greatness within Israel – he was the one whom all of Israel desired. As we’ll study tomorrow, these words made no sense to Saul. Certainly, he spent the night wondering what more Samuel would tell him the next day.
This passage is interesting because it reveals a bit of how God works with us. God knows what is on our minds. He knows our fears and our worries. He knows our desires and our questions.
God doesn’t leave these issues unaddressed. When we approach Him in prayer, He gives us the information and answers we need to put our minds at ease, even sometimes doing so before we even ask.
But God also fills our minds with questions. The more we learn about God the more questions we have and the more important those questions are.
God doesn’t want us to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear. God knows we need basic necessities to live [Matthew 6:25-33]. Instead, He wants us to think about bigger issues – issues that do not affect us as much as they affect others.
Instead of being concerned about the problems in our lives, when we have a relationship with God, we think about the problems in other people’s lives. And we live for Jesus by serving and helping others.
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