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1 Samuel 9 - The Lost Shepherd

The world is led by empty suits. Stop mindlessly following them and instead turn to Christ.

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1 Samuel 9 Summary

RECAP: Samuel had been capably leading God's people, but his sons were not following in their father's ways, so the Israelites demanded a king, so that they could be like the the other nations, with a king to lead us... and to fight our battles (1 Sam. 9:20). In making this request, the Israelites were subtly rejecting God as their king.

So God gave them what they wanted.

God's choice for His people's new king certainly looked the part, a handsome young man... taller than any of the people (v2). But it doesn't take long to see that there's not much to Saul beyond his good looks.

We meet him - this man who will shepherd God's people - hopelessly looking for a pair of donkeys he lost. After wandering all over the land looking for them, it's Saul's servant who suggests that they consult the man of God. Ironically it's the servant who is leading the good looking, but incompetent shepherd.

Worse yet, Saul has no idea who it is the servant is referring to, even though Samuel was probably one of the most famous people in Israel as their leader and representative of God on earth. Saul's pockets are empty, but thankfully the servant is prepared enough to have brought some money, so the servant and the doofus find their way to Samuel's city where the first thing Saul says to Samuel is tell me where I can find the seer (v18).

After treating Saul as the guest of honor, a position the future king feels woefully out of place in, Samuel sends the servant on ahead so that he can reveal the word of God to Saul (v27).

Even if you've never heard the story of King Saul, it's clear in the very first chapter that tells about him that the story isn't going to end well.

Dig Deeper

These chapters about King Saul are not in our Bibles just for comic relief or as an example of the ineptitude of political leaders.

Like every chapter in the Old Testament, the purpose of these accounts are to point you to Christ, your true King and Shepherd, who looks nothing like what the world expects Him to look like.

Isaiah prophecies of our King:

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:2–3

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who sent us His Son to be our King and Shepherd

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to help you see beyond the things that seem good looking to most so that you can recognize & follow God's good and perfect will.




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