Tuesday 10 June 2014

Bible Book:
1 Samuel

"‘The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around." (v. 1)

1 Samuel 10:1-10 Tuesday 10 June 2014


To gain an understanding of today's passage you need to go backto 1 Samuel chapters 8 and 9. In those days thejudges or the prophets were rulers over Israel. However the peopleof Israel ask the prophet Samuel to appoint them a king. Samuelwarns them what will happen if they are ruled over by a king, butthe people still insist. Samuel takes this to God, who tells him todo as the people say.

In chapter 9 God leads Samuel to Saul (or rather leads Saul toSamuel). He is described as "a handsome young man", who stood "headand shoulders above everyone else" (1 Samuel 9:1) (whetherthis is in terms of physical appearance or repute isuncertain).

Then in chapter 10, the anointing of Saul takes place, settinghim apart by God as the ruler of the people of Israel. The actualannointing takes place in verse 1 and then there are extensiveinstructions proving to Saul that it is God who has annointed him.Here is Samuel taking the twin roles of annointer and prophet.

The practice of annointing rulers still takes place to this day,and forms part of the coronation of the British monarch.

If you carry reading you can discover what happens to Saul andhow he turns out to be a poor king - so much so that Samuel, underinstructions from God, ends up annointing another.

As we are in the week following Pentecost, here is a contrastbetween God offerng and then withdrawing annointing, and the giftof the Holy Spirit (and the annointing by the Holy Spirit), whichis freely given. 

To Ponder

  • Being annointed with oil means being set apart by God. To whatextent do you need a physical act to signify being set apart?
  • Much of today's passage is about confirmation to Saul that hehas been set apart. How much confirmation do you need from God, orhow useful do you find it?
  • God blesses. But can God's blessing also be withdrawn? What doyou think?
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