22 Then Samuel took Saul and his young man and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons 23 And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside.’” 24 So the cook took up the leg and what was on it and set them before Saul. And Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat, because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 And when they came down from the high place into the city, a bed was spread for Saul on the roof, and he lay down to sleep. 26 Then at the break of dawn Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Up, that I may send you on your way.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street. 27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.”
(1 Samuel 9:25-27)
At the conclusion of the feast at the high place (where the sacrifices were being made at this time), Saul and Samuel came down into the city. A bed was spread for Saul on the roof of some house, presumably Samuel’s. Roofs back in that day were flat and were often used as outdoor living spaces, even sleeping quarters on cool nights.
At the break of dawn, Samuel called to Saul to wake him and send him on his way. It’s interesting that Samuel woke Saul up at the break of dawn to send him out of the city. Certainly by morning word had gotten around about this stranger who not only ate the sacrificial meal with Samuel and other dignitaries, but who was given the seat of honor at the dinner. Samuel seemingly wants to get Saul out of town before the rest of the citizens wake up and surround him with questions. Saul was definitely not ready for that.
As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel commands Saul to tell his servant to go on ahead so that the both of them can have a talk. Specifically, Samuel wants to make known to Saul the word of God. This seems to be the first opportunity Samuel has had to explain to Saul the reason behind what had transpired over the previous twenty-four hours.
Saul was not yet king. But he had been chosen by God to be Israel’s first king. This was the word that had come to Samuel and Samuel relayed to Saul. But besides telling Saul that God had chosen him, I think there are other things that Samuel began to teach Saul that day.
Recall that Saul was not a religious man. He didn’t even know who Samuel was even though at this time Samuel was the leader of Israel and had been for decades. It seems that Saul was not raised with the word of God – what we call the Bible. In those days, the only Scriptures that the Jews had were the five books of Moses: Genesis through Deuteronomy.
Before Saul can be Israel’s king he must learn something about God. Up until this point, Saul seemingly knew nothing. He cannot succeed as king without having at least the basic understanding of God and how He works.
The same thing is true today. Leaders are all appointed by God [Romans 13:1]. But they cannot lead people to prosperity and safety without understanding God. And they certainly cannot lead people into heaven without such knowledge either.
Tragically, the leaders in our world rely solely on themselves and other human beings to make decisions. They look at the world from a human and earthly viewpoint as opposed to a godly and eternal one.
This means they operate on faulty information, for the most part. Without having at least an awareness and recognition of God, they are doomed to make decisions that only create problems. God warns us of this very problem [Proverbs 3:5-6].
Those of us who are not leaders have the same issue. We cannot truly be successful unless we operate upon a foundation built on God’s truth.
God is the only source of truth [John 14:6]. So, operating without God means we are operating without truth. We make decisions in our lives based on bad information. And that means our lives will be on the wrong course at best and problem-filled at worst.
God wants us to have a bright future, filled with hope [Jeremiah 29:11]. And He’s willing to instruct us and lead us so that can be so [Psalm 32:8]. But we have to be in a relationship with Him for that to happen.
Just like one has to spend time with another person to get to know them one has to spend time with God to get to know Him. And we get to know God through His word as delivered through the Bible and prayer.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.