1 Samuel 10

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Read 1 Samuel 10

1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance?” When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?”’

“Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.

“After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

“Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

Saul Made King

As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. 11 When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

12 A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.

14 Now Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?”

“Looking for the donkeys,” he said. “But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”

15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.”

16 Saul replied, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.

17 Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the Lord at Mizpah 18 and said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.’ 19 But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’ So now present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.”

20 When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken. Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22 So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”

And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.”

23 They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. 24 Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.”

Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

25 Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the Lord. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes.

26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.

Go Deeper

1 Samuel 10 opens with Samuel privately anointing Saul as the first King of Israel. Samuel proceeds to tell Saul of three very specific signs that will serve as confirmation that he is the Lord’s anointed one. Verses 2-6 describe in detail these outward signs that God graciously gave as confirmation to reveal His will for Saul. God perfectly confirmed Saul’s calling through the 1) report of the donkeys found, 2) encounter of the three men going to Bethel, and 3) encounter with the prophets. 

More importantly, God transformed Saul’s heart. Verse 8 reads “When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart.” Saul was a nobody, but God called him, anointed him, and changed his heart to prepare him to lead the people of Israel. 

In Ezekiel 11:19-20, we see a similar story. God is addressing the Israelites and gives them the following promise “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” This verse also reveals the magnificent power of God through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can change our focus from sin to God.

God’s work is done “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). God gave Saul a new heart and it transformed him from a nobody into the King of Israel.  As a result, his entire appearance, demeanor, and outlook were transformed by the power of God. Saul’s own friends and family did not even recognize him because of his heart transformation (v. 11-13). As we seek to follow God’s heart, may we remember our own hearts are transformed through His power and not our own. We can pray that as a result of God’s transformation, our appearance, our demeanor and our outlooks look more like Jesus than ourselves.


  1. Transformation can be defined as “to undergo a change in form, appearance, or character.” Have you allowed your heart to be transformed by the Holy Spirit?
  2. Do you trust God’s guidance and power, even if you do not feel fit for what you feel He has called you to do?
  3. What are some parts of your old/hardened heart that are difficult for you to release? Confess that to God and ask Him to help you let go of that.

Keep Digging

When Samuel was ready to reveal the new king to the nation, Saul could not be found. In verse 22 it says, “So they inquired again of the Lord, “Is there a man still to come?” and the Lord said, “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” Charles Spurgeon, in his sermon Hiding Among the Stuff, shows how both believers and unbelievers can be hidden among the equipment, avoiding the crown God has for them. “There may be some of you here present, who may be doing precisely what Saul did, only you are doing it more foolishly than he did. He did but hide away from an earthly crown, but you hide from a heavenly one.” 

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4 thoughts on “1 Samuel 10”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    We see Samuel anoint Saul with oil as the 1st king of Israel. Kings were doused with oil as a sign of God’s blessing. We also see God’s permissible will not his perfect will. He gives everyone the power to choose, but without his full blessing. The people demanded a king and God allowed it. I’m reminded that Jesus became God’s Anointed One, the Messiah of the world. There are parallels to Saul & Christ as wicked men despised & rejected both and refused to follow or acknowledge them as King. One was the 1st Israelite king, the other was King of the Jews. V19 pierces my heart, “But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your troubles and affliction.” Why would anyone reject the One who had saved them from their adversaries? Yet, we do the same in a thousand ways as we choose our way over The Way, The Truth, & The Life. I’m confessing a stubborn heart that will lead me astray every single time that I give in to it. Praying for everyone reading along in the BRP today Psalm 86:11, “Teach me your way, Lord, that I might rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I might fear your name.”

    1. Hey Ella, your wording is throwing me off here: The are parallels to Saul & Christ as wicked men…”. In no way was Saul wicked but he is being lumped together with Saul as being wicked. I do agree, however, that both were despised and rejected as being King. I appreciate your keen eye and wisdom, though. I just wanted to bring this to your attention.

  2. I am reminded of Isaiah 30:21 ESV “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying “This is ‘the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. And I want to remember also through all “the stuff” that I might be facing, Psalm 86:11.

  3. Saul was anointed, was told what to expect in the road ahead, and his heart was changed. At that moment he had a vision of how God was going to use him. He started walking towards his calling. So much was going well. Then why did he stop and hide? We’ve all been down that road, or will be. We have great vision and purpose of what God wants to do through us and then our eyes move away from God and we look at our inadequacies. We find ourselves hiding. Let’s open our eyes and see our vision clearly again. Can you identify with this? I sure can!

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