Last week we witnessed the inauguration of King Saul – the first King of Israel! And for Israel to get it’s first king had been quite a process. But to briefly summarize it in point form:
The elders of Israel had foolishly requested it. God had graciously allowed it. Samuel had faithfully arranged it. Saul had reluctantly accepted it. And all the people gladly affirmed it. Well, most of the people gladly affirmed it.
You’ll recall at the very end of 1 Samuel chapter 10, as Saul’s Inauguration Day came to a close, it says…
…there were some scoundrels who complained, “How can this man save us?” And they scorned him and refused to bring him gifts…1 Samuel 10:27
So it would seem that not everyone was convinced that Saul was the man to lead their nation – or more specifically, they were not convinced that Saul was the man to save them from their enemies – which was really what they wanted a king for in the first place. You’ll recall back in chapter 8 that the elders of Israel, after being warned of how costly a king would be, they said to Samuel:
“…we still want a king,” they said. “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.” 1 Samuel 8:19
Having someone to lead them into battle was one of the underlying reasons for having a king. They wanted someone who could command the armies and give them victory over their enemies!
And at first glance, it would certainly seem that Saul was an ideal candidate for that! You’ll recall that he was a big boy – he stood head and shoulder taller than everyone else. He was just the kind of guy that you’d want to follow into battle. He’s no scrawny pencil-pusher – he’s a bit of a hulk! He’s a well built farm-kid that towered over everyone else!
So why would these scoundrel’s complain “How can this man save us?” Why would they doubt his abilities to be their king and lead them into battle?