The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of England took place on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey. The queen arrived in a gold coach pulled by eight horses. Over eight thousand guests witnessed the public ceremony. Saul’s coronation was much different. Samuel declared Saul to be Israel’s leader (literally “prince”) by anointing him with oil on the outskirts of town. The ceremony was private, not even Saul’s servant attended (1 Sam. 9:27).
A series of three signs followed that confirmed God’s call. Each was a demonstration of the power of God’s Spirit. In the third, Saul joined a procession of prophets and spoke while temporarily under the influence of the Holy Spirit (1 Sam. 10:9–11). Those who saw were so startled that they turned the event into a proverb. This demonstration of the power of God’s Spirit to change Saul into “a different person” (v. 6) offered a glimpse into the kind of king Saul might have been if he had responded in faith. On the other hand, Samuel’s stipulation that Saul should wait for him at Gilgal foreshadowed the catastrophic failure that was yet to come (see 1 Sam. 13:8–14). Saul was no automaton. While the power came from God, the response would be Saul’s. God’s Spirit was able to transform Saul, but it did not relieve Saul of the responsibilities of faith or obedience.
It is unclear why Saul failed to mention the kingship upon returning home. Perhaps he had doubts about what Samuel had said. More likely, Samuel wanted Saul to keep the fact a secret until the public reveal at Mizpah (v. 17).
>> God’s power and our response are not equal partners. The kind of faith that bears fruit in obedience flows from the assurance that God’s Spirit will empower us. Obedience is the fruit of faith. Will you obey and follow Him today?
Today, ask the Lord to show you what you can learn from the initial success and the ultimate failure of Saul’s life. Let us learn from this example to follow God faithfully all the days of our life.