As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God."
1 Samuel 9:27
The relationship between Saul and Samuel is unusual in the Old Testament. It marks a unique transition. Samuel is the last of the judges. Samuel is a priest. Samuel is a prophet. Saul is the first of the kings. We see a transition taking place. The emphasis was still vital that God's Word guide the direction of Israel. And Samuel begins there with Saul. He wants to make known to him the Word of God.
Leadership provides direction, but it requires direction, perhaps a better word might be "directives". True leaders have guiding principles and philosophies that dictate their leadership. Samuel wanted to be clear with Israel's first king that the Word of God must be that directive. And Saul begins very well in this sovereign encounter.
I have always found this story a bit amusing. Saul is on a quest for lost donkeys. He did not focus his life anything beyond that goal at this time. And in the middle of searching for these lost beasts, God interrupts this farm boy with a bigger calling. It had to come as a shock. He had been unprepared for it. But the text makes it clear that Saul was God's choice. Sovereign leadings of God will bring all events together for His glory.
I am impressed that the story of Saul begins so well. It is encouraging to see him spending time with the man of God, listening to the Word of God. The world would be a better place if more leaders did so.
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13