God’s Spirit at Work

In the NIV Application Commentary, Arnold says:

We should take from this passage (1 Samuel 10) the means by which God leads his people.  The anointing of Saul is parallel to another passage familiar to Christians because of its use by Jesus early in his ministry:  “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach god news to the poor” (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18).  Thus, our passage about King Saul has three features in common with this verse spoken by the Lord’s Messiah (or “Anointed One”):  Both were given the Spirit of the LORD; both were anointed; and both were commissioned for a specific task – Saul to serve as Israel’s first king and the Messiah to proclaim good news to the poor (an agenda spelled out more clearly in the rest of the Isaiah passage, Isa. 61:2-7). Anointing and reception of God’s Spirit are indispensable for service in his kingdom.

Finally, Saul is one of the best examples of personal transformation because of the work of God’s Spirit in one’s life, even though God eventually withdrew his approval and blessing from Saul.  In this first unit introducing us to Saul, we learn of his anointing and confirmation as Israel’s first king.  But this passage lays special stress on Saul’s change of character.  One’s personal conduct and moral character are central not only in one’s standing before God but also for leadership among God’s people.  Furthermore, as the long and sordid story of Saul continues, we will see that God apparently does not long bestow his Spirit where there is no continued change of character.

1 Samuel 10

1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?[a] 2When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?”’

 3 “Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. 4They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.

 5 “After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. 6 The Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

 8“Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

Saul Made King

 9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying. 11When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

 12 A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father?” So it became a saying: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.

 14Now Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where have you been?”

   “Looking for the donkeys,” he said. “But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”

 15Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.”

 16Saul replied, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.

 17 Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the LORD at Mizpah 18 and said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.’ 19But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’ So now present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and clans.”

 20 When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken. Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22So they inquired further of the LORD, “Has the man come here yet?”

   And the LORD said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.”

 23 They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. 24Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.”

   Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

 25Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the LORD. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes.

 26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent.

Questions

  1. What does Saul do that shows he is changed by God?
  2. Where does Saul hide? Why do you think he did this?
  3. How did Saul respond to those who despised him?
  4. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in spiritual transformation?
  5. How is a person’s character related to God’s blessing today?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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14 Responses to God’s Spirit at Work

  1. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Saul prophesies to show that he is changed by God.
    2. Saul hides among the supplies. He might have done this because he didn’t want people to see him and notice him because he was so tall.
    3. Saul did not say anything to those who despised him, he kept silent.
    4. The Holy Spirit is the main role in spiritual transformation. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no spiritual transformation, it is the Holy Spirit that does the transforming.

  2. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. What does Saul do that shows he is changed by God?
    Saul starts prophesying!
    2. Where does Saul hide? Why do you think he did this?
    Saul hid in the baggage. He was probably scared to pieces. That’s a lot of responsibility to suddenly be proclaimed King!
    3. How did Saul respond to those who despised him?
    He kept silent.
    4. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in spiritual transformation?
    A major one! He is essential in order to have any transformation at all!
    5. How is a person’s character related to God’s blessing today?
    I think that God will bless those that honor Him by their character. Part of having good character will be accomplished when we listen to the Holy Spirit and not ourselves.

  3. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.What does Saul do that shows he is changed by God?
    – He joined in a procession of prophets’ prophesying.
    2.Where does Saul hide? Why do you think he did this?
    – He hid among supplies I think because he was afraid of how people would think about himself as a king.
    3.How did Saul respond to those who despised him?
    -He kept silent.
    4.What is the role of the Holy Spirit in spiritual transformation?
    – Holy Spirit guides us to the Truth and makes us become like Him.
    5.How is a person’s character related to God’s blessing today?
    – whether one is hot-tempered or easy-going, one’s character is to reflect God and one should guard and appreciate the character. I think one’s mind-set or character cannot increase or decrease the degree of glory of God, but blessings from God can be given according to our effort we make to guard our character.

  4. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. Saul shows that he is changed by God as he prophesied among the other prophets.
    2. Saul hides among the supplies.
    3. Saul responds to those who despised him by holding his peace.
    4. The role of the Holy Spirit in spiritual transformation is that it brings about the change in our hearts, as it did in Saul’s, and can lead us to do things that on our own we never could have done, beyond just prophesy, the Holy Spirit equips people today as well in various ways as he allows maybe a really shy person to speak boldly about the truth, or a fragile person to gain strength through His power. The Holy Spirit is the embassador of spiritual transformation.
    5. A person’s character is related to God’s blessing today as He blesses us by our unique characteristics allowing our strengths to be used for His Kingdom, and our weaknesses to make known His strengths. Our character, no matter what it is can be shaped to glorify the Lord, and bringing to the Lord is the biggest blessing of all!

  5. Amy Kringle says:

    1. He began to prophesy.
    2. He hid with the supplies because he was fearful of the great task ahead of him.
    3. He kept silent.
    4. The Spirit brings about change by changing our desires so that our actions are not merely a behavior change but a heart and motive change.
    5. It is good to honor Christ with our character and good conduct. Good character often means that you are a wise person, but as we learned in Ecclesiastes, wise living doesn’t always mean that God will bless us on our life in earth

  6. Cassie Clark says:

    1.He shows obedience to Samuel and results in prophesying with other prophets.
    2.He hides amongst supplies. Maybe he was afraid of all the attention, or maybe worried about the weight of responsibility.
    3.He said nothing.
    4.The Holy Spirit is the one who changes us from the inside out! He is the agent of transformation.
    5.Although change is not always painless, it is a blessing from God when we are renewed and sanctified.

  7. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. he prophesied with the prophets.
    2. he hid himself among the supplies. i think probably he was fearful about becoming king and managing the responsibilities that came with it.
    3. he kept silent.
    4. He is the agent of spiritual rebirth.
    5. God watches character and actions of men. He will bless those that are up-right in character.

  8. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. All the signs that Samuel told him about come true. Saul begins to prophecy with the prophets.
    2. He hides in the baggage. I think he is a little hesitant to become king which seems evident in the fact that he doesn’t tell his father about his conversation with Samuel.
    3. He kept silent.
    4. When a person is anointed with the Holy Spirit that same Spirit brings about the spiritual transformation in them.
    5. I think that the Lord loves to bless those who are actively pursuing them. We are called to model our character after that of Christ Jesus’. When we do this we will receive blessings. These blessings may not be physical blessings, although they sometimes are. We are blessed spiritual when our character models that of Christ’s.

  9. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Saul shows that he is changed by God by prophesying with the prophets.

    2. Saul hid among the supplies. I think he did this because maybe he was scared of the great responsibility of being a king.

    3. Saul did not do anything to those who despised him.

    4. In spiritual transformation, the role of the Holy Spirit is to actually change us and it guides us in the process. It changes the way we think and our desires, which eventually changes our actions.

    5. A person’s character is related to God’s blessings by the way we are. Our talents, strengths, and weaknesses and are all God’s blessings and we are all made in the way God wanted us to be.

  10. Kristen Patush says:

    1.What does Saul do that shows he is changed by God?

    Saul prophesyed we with the prophets of God.

    2.Where does Saul hide? Why do you think he did this?

    he hid behind supplies. He did this because we was scared about beign king.

    3.How did Saul respond to those who despised him?

    Saul kept silent, which showed great wisdom on his part.

    4.What is the role of the Holy Spirit in spiritual transformation?

    It is by the Holy Spirit alone in someone’s life that they cna have spiritual transformation, the Spirit needs to be working in the heart, mind, and soul of the person in order to have a spiritual transformation.

    5.How is a person’s character related to God’s blessing today?

    Spritual transformation is an act of God’s grace. We desrve death and Hell. We deserve to be left alone in our wicked ways and reap the consequences. But, because God loves us and wants to see us reap a lifestyle of godliness and righteoussness for His glory, he blesses us with the ability to say no to our selfish ways and seek out a life concecrates to Him.

  11. Moon [ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.What does Saul do that shows he is changed by God?(v.6)the Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
    2.Where does Saul hide? Why do you think he did this?He was hiding among the supplies, I guess because he was afraid of the big transition and the position.
    3.How did Saul respond to those who despised him? kept silent
    4.What is the role of the Holy Spirit in spiritual transformation? The Holy Spirit teaches us to know God. And also He is consistently working in us to spiritually grow up
    5.How is a person’s character related to God’s blessing today?

  12. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What does Saul do that shows he is changed by God?
    All things happened to Saul as Samuel prophesied.

    2.Where does Saul hide? Why do you think he did this?
    He hid himself among the baggage because he was afraid of becoming abruptly a King.

    3.How did Saul respond to those who despised him?
    He ignored them, did not respond and kept silent.

    4.What is the role of the Holy Spirit in spiritual transformation?
    empower the specific person so that the one could do something that he or she could not done before.

    5.How is a person’s character related to God’s blessing today?
    I feel like God see’s people’s personalities and characters to use them in God’s way.

  13. aaron wright says:

    1. he began to prophecy
    2. hid in supplies out of fear of being king
    3. responded with nothing
    4. the spirit gives strength to the new believer to become more like Christ
    5. God uses both blessings and trials to advance someones character.

  14. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) He prophecies with the prophets.
    2) He hid among the supplies.
    3) Sual kept silent and didn’t respond hastily to those who despised and rejected him as king.
    4) He changes our hearts, like he changed Saul’s. He also empowers us to live for Christ.
    5) God will ultimately bless those whose character is God-honoring, even if His blessing is not manifested until we get the heaven.

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