1st Samuel – From judges to monarchial rule. Samuel anoints Saul as Israel’s first king

1 Samuel 9-10, (reading 9:15-19)
Have you ever wondered how God directs all things to His ends and purposes, for the ultimate good of His people, while down here life seems chaotic and stressful?
I title this portion of Scripture, chapters 9 and 10, as, “Where the rivers of Providential circumstance and prophetic revelation meet.” The unbelieving or the “spiritual” of today might refer to such situations as “serendipity”, but we have God’s word so we have the Spirit’s illumination: God is firmly in charge of things, indeed He directs the affairs of Israel, and here he lifts the hood for a moment so we can see the mechanics of how things work, so to speak.
I’ve you’ve ever ridden and felt the frustrations of reining in a “barn sour” horse, you’ll appreciate the attitude of the people of Israel at this time. They are head-strong, regularly checking in with the impulses of the flesh and the cultures around them and turning to the side, and God is continually having to jerk on the reins to point them back in the direction He wants to go.
Israel has panted for a king instead of listening to the prophets and judges. So God will let them have their way and let them feel the effects of that for a season. In fact, He is even going to set His divine anointing on Saul the Benjamite, and give him special spiritual gifting and enablement to lead the people, just as gentile. pagan nations had kings who were directed and protected by their false gods. The Lord does this to indicate to them, and to us, that human nature, being what it is, and with the best of intentions, is defective and corrupt and unless the heart is fundamentally changed, regenerated, even the power of spiritual giftedness will be corrupted to bad ends.
Chapters 10-31 are devoted by the Holy Spirit to reveal what is in the heart of people walking after the flesh, with mixed motivations, even when surrounded by goodness, God’s care and spiritual giftedness. God even got behind Israel’s choice. Pay attention saints! In short, we cannot blame circumstances or even lack of divine giftedness for all of our actions. Just as Jesus said it is not what goes into a man by way of food that defiles him, but what comes out of his mouth in speech.
The good news is that, though there are fatal defects in man, God will work to bring about the eventual birth of the righteous king of Israel who will not only be spiritually gifted, he will be a perfect man, to redeem and save us all and to be the king of Israel and the whole earth forever.
Read it and weep, saints! May God save us from ourselves.