Saul was annointed and called by God to be king and the people rejoiced. It was a weird event anyway. Samuel annointed Saul and told him what was up.
Then Samuel took a small container of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head. Samuel kissed him and said, “The Lord has chosen you to lead his people Israel! You will rule over the Lord’s people and you will deliver them from the power of the enemies who surround them. This will be your sign that the Lord has chosen you as leader over his inheritance. (1 Samuel 10:1 NET)
So Saul is annointed King in this moment, but then later they call the assembly of the tribes together to pick out a king from the people. When they narrow it all down by tribe, Saul is HIDING amongst a bunch of luggage and supplies. He doesn’t even come forward to take hold of what has already been conveyed upon him!
THEN there is this little comment:
But some wicked men said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and did not even bring him a gift. But Saul said nothing about it. (1 Samuel 10:27 NET)
There are some notes that say “Saul said nothing about it for a month.” Saul didn’t need men to credit him or praise him (at this point anyway) in order to be a leader. He didn’t even need 100% buy in from his people in order to command and lead them.
I read that and I hoped that something would come up and refer back to those guys. It can’t just be in there for just that! There has to be some follow up! Everyone goes back to their homes, even Saul. They go about their business and then a small border town gets invaded. They negotiate with their invaders. “Give us a week to see if anyone comes to rescue us. If nobody comes, we’ll surrender willingly.”Now you have to scratch your head on this one. The invaders could have taken them with a fight, but if they wait a week for deliverance, they’ll have an even bigger fight on their hands. If nobody comes, however, then they get to take the city without a fight!
That’s when Saul kicks it into action. He was annointed king by Samuel and did nothing. He was annointed in front of the people and did nothing. Now the land is being compromised and the spirit of the Lord has come upon him! It’s nation time!
The Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and he became very angry. He took a pair of oxen and cut them up. Then he sent the pieces throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, who said, “Whoever does not go out after Saul and after Samuel should expect this to be done to his oxen!” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out as one army. When Saul counted them at Bezek, the Israelites were 300,000 strong and the men of Judah numbered 30,000. (1 Samuel 11:6-8 NET)
He basically called the people to arms and they responded. 330,000 men joined him and they beat the conquerers silly. Not a single group of 2 survived. It said that the survivors were so scattered each one of them fled and was left on his own.
After the victory, Saul has a chance to get revenge on his critics and naysayers.
Then the people said to Samuel, “Who were the ones asking, ‘Will Saul reign over us?’ Hand over those men so we may execute them!” But Saul said, “No one will be killed on this day. For today the Lord has given Israel a victory!” Samuel said to the people, “Come on! Let’s go to Gilgal and renew the kingship there.” (1 Samuel 11:12-14 NET)
He didn’t do it. The people were now rallying to him, and they were ready to hang the traitors, but he didn’t participate it.
I just wonder if he knew that there would always be naysayers and that you can’t take them seriously. I wonder if he knew it was all the Lord’s work and that what these men said about Saul really fell on the Lord, so he’d let the Lord handle it? I wonder how those guys fit in with the rest from then on–if they were scorned, or put down, or if anyone even remembered that they were punks on the day of Saul’s coronation?