Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Tell me where is the house of the seer?” Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?” Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”
Then Samuel took Saul and his young man and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons. And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside.’” So the cook took up the leg and what was on it and set them before Saul. And Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat, because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests.”
So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
Comment: Obviously we have most of the day sketched in just a few verses. But I can’t help feeling how uncomfortable Saul must have felt.
- Why was this travelling man, looking for donkeys, asked in for a meal by the honoured seer?
- How did Samuel know about the donkeys? Maybe Saul mentioned it, but how did Samuel know where they were?
- What would have entered Saul’s mind when Samuel said ‘And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?’. Unless there was a lot of conversation which we don’t hear about, it seems like a bolt out of the blue.
- It amazes Saul because he gives a pretty full account of his unworthiness. A humble man from a small clan of the the smallest tribe of Israel.
- And then he sits down at a meal prepared for 30 people and is given the choicest, specially prepared meal delivered by the cook and placed in front of him. Samuel comments that it is a special meal, made for a special but unrevealed reason.
- But at least Saul had a good meal after several days of eating from his food bag.
Prayer: What surprises still lie ahead of me in Your will, O God. I must confess I didn’t expect the dingoes to kill some of my sheep last night!