Saul was a “choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel” (NASB, 1 Samuel 9:2). This was God’s choice for king and in His choosing Saul, He seems to appeal to the Israelites human nature and what they would naturally choose. Saul is the most handsome of all Israelites and he is a head taller than any of his brethren. This man nobody could miss! If there ever was anyone suitable to be Israel’s first king, this was him. Surely Israel’s first king could not be just anybody, though he may have strong qualities of a leader. The king must look like a king and this Saul did perfectly.

His Steep Climb to Fame

Saul went from an ordinary son sent to look for some donkeys to being the king of Israel in one 24 hour period! How could this have been?! It was the Lord’s choice for this young man and all the smallest events that seemed so ordinary led to the Israel’s greatest moment in its history. Saul was hardly prepared for being the king. He even hid from the people and Samuel the day he was chosen king. Saul was not ready to be king but it was God’s decree and therefore was going to come to pass.

Saul became king when Samuel anointed him. At Saul’s anointing, Samuel prepares Saul for what will happen to him; something he has never before experienced. Samuel tells Saul that as he goes down up to Bethel, he will meet a group of prophets and upon meeting them, “the Spirit of the Lord will come upon [him] mightily, and [he] shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man” (NASB, 1 Samuel 10:6). And this is exactly what happened. The Lord did an amazing work in the heart of Saul at this time. Actually, in more detail it is recorded that God had already changed Saul’s heart just as soon as he had left Samuel, which was before his going up to Bethel. “Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart” (NASB, 1 Samuel 10:9). The Lord needed a prepared heart for His Spirit to come upon, no matter how temporary this might be. And for Saul, unfortunately, the Spirit coming in him was not permanent reality.