The Meticulous Sovereignty of God–1 Samuel 10

Posted: May 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Do you believe that God controls all things?  Do you believe that God controls even the way the dice roll?  Is God really in control of the seemingly insignificant things in life?  I believe the answer should be “yes” to all those questions.  Do I believe it without warrant or does the Bible point me in this direction?  I believe the Bible points me (clearly and consistently) in this direction.  Consider one passage that points me this way.

Read 1 Samuel and you will watch as Israel rejects God as their king.  They want to be like the other nations and have a human king directing their affairs (1 Samuel 8).  God obliges and commands Samuel to “heed the voice of the people” (1 Sam. 8:7).  When you read on into chapter 9 you find that it is Saul that God chooses to be the first king of Israel. 

When you read through chapter 10 and come to verse 17 you find Samuel gathering the people at Mizpah to proclaim Saul as king.  But in order to make sure the people knew this was God’s choice for king (and not Samuel’s), Samuel does something that demonstrates for us the meticulous sovereignty of God.  He casts lots (see note below).

Remember, Saul was already chosen to be king.  That happened in chapter 9.  This is massively important.  When Samuel gathers the people at Mizpah and casts lots it would not go well for him if the lot fell on the wrong person.  Why would Samuel take this chance?  Why the risk?  Because he knew that there was no such thing as chance, randomness, or luck…no risk!  There was only God.  And God controls even the dice (Proverbs 16:33). 

The progression is amazing to watch.  First, Samuel calls all the tribes of Israel to come near him.  The lot falls on the tribe of Benjamin.  If it had not, Saul would have been disqualified (he was a Benjamite).  Then the families of the tribe of Benjamin come forward and Matri is taken by lot.  Again, this must be if Saul is to be king.  And then, “Saul the son of Kish was chosen” (10:21).  Everything happened as it was supposed to.  Not one false turn of the dice.  It landed as it was ordained before the creation of the world.

This is the meticulous sovereignty of God being put on display.  The people could do nothing but bow their knee to Saul as the newly appointed king of Israel.  He was not Samuel’s choice.  He was not chosen by chance, luck, or randomness.  He was chosen by the sovereign hand of God. 

Let the truth of God’s meticulous sovereignty consume your thoughts today.  Hope in Him.

Note:  Although some translations (NIV, NKJV, etc) do not specifically say that Saul was chosen by “lot”, the ESV brings this out.  Older commentators such as The Geneva Study Bible (originally printed in 1560), Matthew Henry, and Fausset-Brown, also make this clear.  I am not certain as to why some translations do not make this clear in the English as it is a weighty bit of information.


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