Saul was a handsome man: “There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he” (9:2). As I read, I have some thoughts about this first king of Israel and the time of his rule. He was good looking, yes, but the best looking and most impressive looking folks are not always the best choices for leadership and responsibility. Gotta look more deeply, as the Lord does: “The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (16:7).
Saul was shy and anxious. When the time came to present him to the people, he could not be found because he was hiding among the luggage (10:22). What an imperfect instrument, but still, God can use him with all his imperfections, as he can us.
Together, the tribes of Israel were able to rescue the men of Jabesh-Gilead from their oppressors (ch. 11). Together, we can often do much more than we can do alone.
It was time for Samuel to make his exit, and he gave his farewell address (ch. 12). The people applauded him and acknowledged that he had been a trustworthy leader. It is good to leave behind a good reputation.
The rest of Saul's reign was fraught with problems but more on that from the following chapters and, also, some additional lessons. Oh, that for Saul, and for us, the words of George Herbert would be found with us.
Teach me, my God and King,
in all things Thee to see,
and what I do in anything,
to do it as for Thee. -- George Herbert (1633)