1 Samuel 9-11
1 Samuel 9-11
The story turns to a Benjaminite named Saul, who’s father has sent him on a mission to find their herd of donkeys that have gone missing. Saul and his servant journey up and down the hills and valleys all around the area of Israel they live in, and all without finding the donkeys.
They’re about to turn back when the servant tells Saul that there’s a prophet in the nearby town and they should go see him. Saul agrees and when they arrive they find Samuel and he’s actually been waiting for them. Samuel tells them to join him for dinner and then in the morning he’d have a message for Saul, and without being asked he told them the donkeys had been found so don’t worry about them.
God had spoken to Samuel the day before and told him a Benjaminite would come to him, and that man was to be anointed as king. The next day Saul is anointed king and Samuel tells him a list of signs he’ll encounter on his way home to confirm what Samuel has just told him.
After all these confirmations, Samuel calls an assembly and before all the tribes Saul is proclaimed king. But not before Samuel reminds them that they are implicitly rejecting the God that has saved them and given them this land, and chowing instead to follow a man and have him lead them and battle for them.
There’s a little dissent among some of the people that Saul is to be king, probably because of the fact that he was from Benjamin and wasn’t a wealthy or well connected man. His first test was when an Ammonite king lays siege to an Israelite city and they send for help. When the message gets to Saul, who was plowing a field at the time (funny thing for a king to be doing), he was enraged at the terms of surrender offered by the ammonites, and so he sends a message that ever a led body man must rally to his side and they’re going to save this city.
They end up breaking the siege and saving the city, and their victory was so great that his men wanted to find and put to death those that doubted him. But Saul was magnanimous and instead they all go at Samuel’s behest to have a coronation for Saul as king of Israel.
While Peter and John are boldly preaching in the temple, an astonishing move considering that the priests in the temple were the main antagonists to have Jesus killed, they’re seized by the temple guards and the Sadducees. This group denied the resurrection you’ll remember from Jesus sparring with them, so they can’t have someone proclaiming this rabbi from Galilee who they had put to death is actual alive. That would make them on the wrong side of two major issues here, and the thing they hated more than anything was looking bad in the eyes of the people.
They get held in custody overnight, because you couldn’t have court proceedings in the night, except when trying to kill the messiah I guess, but anyway they’re held till morning. When the Sanhedrin convenes they demand to know by who’s name they’re doing what they’re doing.
This gives Peter an opening to use his favorite phrase. He begins a speech and says that they’re performing healings in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, “whom you crucified.” That’s who. He just keeps throwing that back at them.
They knew Peter and John weren’t formally educated, but the spoke so eloquently, and the man they healed was standing there next to them. When they deliberated privately they said that this man had been healed in public and he’s plainly standing there, even though they all recognized him as the cripple that begged at the gate. There’s no use denying it because nobody will believe their denial.
They decide to tell Peter and John that they can go but they aren’t allowed to proclaim Jesus or the resurrection. Peter says ‘yeah, that’s not going to work for us’ so they just get threatened to be quiet and released.