Read 1 Samuel 10:26 – 11:15
“Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.”
1 Sam 10:26
Is there anything we can’t do if we are ‘accompanied by valiant men’? Why did God touch these men’s hearts so they would believe in Saul?
At this point, Saul had already been anointed king privately by Samuel. He’d returned home to Gibeah saying nothing of his anointing then responded with all of Israel to Samuel’s summons to go to Mizpah. Samuel announced that a king would be chosen by lot – though both he and Saul already knew that God would have the lot fall on Saul. God’s promised signs had come true after all (10:9). The Spirit of God had come upon Saul and he was changed. But that doesn’t mean he was confident in this new calling. Imagine being the first king of a nation that had only had God as King up to this point. Imagine the prophet, the spokes person for God telling everyone that choosing a king was a bad idea. Then imagine that you knew you were chosen anyway. What a huge responsibility! No wonder he hid among the baggage, presumably hoping against hope that the lot would fall to someone else. (10:22)
Saul is dragged out of the baggage and presented to the people as their king. And you’d think Saul’s life would now be different. But at that moment, nothing really seemed to change. Samuel still led. Samuel explained the regulations of kingship. Samuel dismissed the people to their homes. And Saul responds like just one of the people . “Saul also went to his home…”- with mixed reviews. (v 26-7)
Later even though Saul is already king when the Ammonites threaten Jabesh Gilead, the elders of Jabesh don’t respond like part of a nation under a king. They speak on their own behalf offering a treaty. When that doesn’t work, they send word throughout Israel – not simply to their newly anointed king. But their new king does hear of their threat and once again the Spirit of God comes on Saul and he responds as king rallying the men of Israel to fight (11:8)
We don’t know who these valiant men are that accompanied Saul to his home. But we do know God had touched their hearts and that they went with Saul to Gibeah at this time in between being named king and being confirmed king. How gracious God is to touch hearts and send valiant men in the ‘time in between.’