A Humble King


When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day. When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.

Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?” And he said, “To seek the donkeys. And when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.” And Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me what Samuel said to you.” And Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything. I Samuel 10:9-16 ESV

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11 ESV


There was once a mule who had had a relaxing day and a lot of good corn to eat. At the end of the day he frisked and played around and thought to himself that his father must have been a swift racehorse to have such a strong and energetic son. But the next day the mule was put into a harness and made to work hard all day pulling a cart. At the end of the day he was very tired, and he said to himself, “I guess my father was only a donkey, after all.”

Saul might have been proud of God’s choosing him to be the first king of Israel. He might have boasted to his family about what had happened to him, but he didn’t even mention it. God had given him a different heart and made him a humble person. He knew that he came from an ordinary family, and that if he was going to be a great king it would only be through God’s power, not his own. So he didn’t brag to his family, but instead waited until God’s time came for him to be proclaimed king.

In this way, Saul was a little like Jesus. Jesus was humble and gentle, and he didn’t grab all the glory for himself. He let God his Heavenly Father give him all the glory he deserved at the right time and in the right way. Jesus’ path to glory was through becoming a human being, suffering, and dying on the cross. Because he did that, our sins are forgiven and we are God’s children now and forever. And God has given Jesus a name that is higher and more glorious than any name in the universe. Someday all people will confess that Jesus is Lord and King.


Dear Jesus, thank you for being our Lord and King, and for saving us to be your people. Amen.