The Challenge of Change

Key Verse: “Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.”
—I Samuel 10:24

Selected Scripture:
I Samuel 10:17-26

THIS PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE concerns Israel’s demand to have a king to rule over them. Samuel had served well as judge over God’s children, but the people wanted a change, and to be like other nations who had kings. Although he was displeased with their request and understood the dangers involved in making such demands, God assured Samuel that it was his will that their demands be met to give them necessary experiences.

“The Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”—I Sam. 8:7-9

Saul was God’s choice as king to rule over the tribes of Israel, and he was well suited for the job in many ways. He was of the tribe of Benjamin whose land lay between that of the two principal tribes, Judah and Ephraim. This factor gave him the advantage to work in sympathy and cooperation with the most influential of all Israel’s people. It also eliminated any jealousy that might occur if he were of one of the major tribes.

We note also that Saul was a large man, being head and shoulders above all the rest of the people. Physical stature was a mark of great importance among the nations in historical times, and Israel was no exception in their admiration of Saul’s prominence. His impressive features appealed very strongly to the sentiments of the tribes of Israel as they sought to join the ranks of neighboring nations. The stature of a larger man would command greater respect. Another characteristic which Saul possessed, and perhaps another reason why he had been especially chosen by God for such an honorable position, was that he was humble, even as Samuel proclaimed, “When thou wast little in thine own sight.”—I Sam. 15:17

In consideration of these particular distinctions which King Saul possessed, we may learn a spiritual lesson that is applicable to the Lord’s people during the present Gospel Age. God is choosing from among fallen mankind those who will be kings and priests in the future kingdom under Christ. They, too, must be ‘taller’ than others of the human family respecting their development as ‘New Creatures’ in Christ Jesus, rising above the fallen tendencies of mankind. They must also be “little” (Matt. 18:3) in their own sight, humble and obedient to the will of God, realizing their unworthiness of such a High Calling in Christ Jesus. The children of Israel had chosen to reject the special relationship they had enjoyed under judges to assume a new role as a member among the nations of the world. This new rulership would bring about a dramatic change.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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