Samuel is the last of the real judges and he is the one who bridges the gap between the people whom God has shown immense patience, spellbinding miracles and immense patience. Oh, did I mention immense patience twice? There are at least 39 verses that speak directly to this. For instance, Romans 9:22-24 “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
But the people want a king, some flesh and blood to rule over them; they want to be like everyone else. God so desires to call the human race back to Himself. Isn’t our story today buried in the story of the Israelites? God has given them freedom. He told them at the Red Sea, “I will fight for you, just be still”. He’s given them the law, His statues, the prophets, leaders, judges, a blueprint to live a holy life. Why? So, that all men would see this and by their example be drawn to God? Remember what Ruth told Naomi: “Your God will be my God”. But, the people want a flesh and blood king! The human condition, really is, some kind of condition!
God gives the people 2 kings in a row. The first, Saul son of Kish, is a man who looks the part but fails miserably to live up to the calling. The second, David, whom it is said was a man after God’s own heart, 1 Samuel 13:14. Their lives overlap in that David is anointed king while Saul is living and still holds the office of king; meaning David must wait for the Lord to remove him. You might expect that Saul desired to kill David and you would be right. So David is on the run until Saul meets his demise.
David plays a very clandestine game during this time. He is able to gather a unique group of men around him within the inner circle of his army, they’re referred to as “David’s mighty men” or the “Gibborem”. Imagine the leader it takes to assemble and hold this army of outliers together? David’s opportunities to eliminate Saul during this time are many. Yet, he responded: “For who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and remain innocent” (1Samuel 26:8-11)? David had a clearly articulated mission, yet he endeavored to persevere with much patience! When will our adventures become His adventures?. Ain’t it so!