The account of Samuel going to Jesse’s house and wanting to meet with his sons is a familiar one. We know that Samuel bypassed Jesse’s older sons and wanted to know if he had another. He did, of course, David was out in the hills watching over his father’s sheep.
But we don’t hear so much about Samuel meeting Saul who was out looking for his father’s donkeys.
Have you read about Saul and the lost donkeys?
You find the event detailed in 1 Samuel 9.
Here are some Saul and donkey facts to teach your kids.
- Saul came from the Tribe of Benjamin – not a big tribe compared to the others. They had had their problems going to war with their enemies.
- Saul’s father was Kish. He was a rich man with many sheep and donkeys, and a lot of land.
- Saul’s father’s donkeys ran away. Donkeys were valuable property in that time and place. One reason was because horses were scarce and therefore, donkeys were much needed.
- Saul was tall – the only place in the Bible where it says an Israelite was tall – he was a head taller than those around him. Usually, we read about the enemies of the Israelites being tall – not an Israelite himself.
- Saul was also the most handsome man in Israel. He looked like a king.
- (Jumping ahead) If Saul were so tall, Why didn’t he fight Goliath? Why did he allow a young boy to fight the giant?
- The people asked for a king and God gave them what they wanted.
- Kish sent Saul and a servant to look for the donkeys. For two days they searched.
- Saul decided they should go home when they couldn’t find the donkeys. Otherwise his dad would send a search party out for them.
- The servant hesitated and said that before they went home they should go to the next city and ask the man of God about the donkeys. That man was Samuel and the servant had heard that whatever this man said would happen.
- Saul thought they should have a gift for the man.
- The servant had a small piece of money and Saul decided that was enough.
- Young girls going to get water at the well (outside the city) told them where to find Samuel.
- An old man met them at the gate of the city. When they asked where Samuel was he said they were talking to him.
- Samuel invited them to a feast and then said not to worry about the donkeys because they had safely returned home.
- Saul was placed at the best table with the best food at the feast.
- Then Samuel took Saul to a quiet place and told him many things. He then anointed him with oil.
- Samuel was not surprised to see Saul. God had told Samuel that Saul would be the next king.
- Before this, Israel was ruled by judges – this was the first time the tribes had one central leader.
- Saul’s reign started well but soon fell apart as he disobeyed God.
Imagine — starting out looking for your dad’s donkeys and coming home anointed king!!!!