1 Samuel 10-11: How the Holy Spirit Changes us to be Different People

It never ceases to amaze me how the Holy Spirit can change people’s lives in a 180 degree turn. I’ve seen it in the testimonies of people in my church. Men and women who were incarcerated, drug addicts, criminals were completely changed into different people. People on fire for Jesus Christ.

He changed me from a selfish, party girl, to a dedicated Bible teacher. If someone would have come to me in my 20s and 30s and told me that I’d be some day teaching the Bible with a reach all over the world, I’d have thought they were high on something. Yet, here I am. Changed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

See, people can’t change people. Only God and the power of the Holy Spirit can change people. In today’s story, you’ll see that Samuel, or even the Israelites themselves, couldn’t change the reluctant, timid Saul into King Saul, the leader until the Holy Spirit took control. Let’s dig in….

1 Samuel 10 – A King Anointed

Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the Lord has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession. When you leave me today, you will see two men beside Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah, on the border of Benjamin. They will tell you that the donkeys have been found and that your father has stopped worrying about them and is now worried about you. He is asking, ‘Have you seen my son?’

“When you get to the oak of Tabor, you will see three men coming toward you who are on their way to worship God at Bethel. One will be bringing three young goats, another will have three loaves of bread, and the third will be carrying a wineskin full of wine. They will greet you and offer you two of the loaves, which you are to accept.

“When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you. Then go down to Gilgal ahead of me. I will join you there to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. You must wait for seven days until I arrive and give you further instructions.”

Samuel’s Signs Are Fulfilled

As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, they saw a group of prophets coming toward them. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy. 11 When those who knew Saul heard about it, they exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet? How did the son of Kish become a prophet?”

12 And one of those standing there said, “Can anyone become a prophet, no matter who his father is?” So that is the origin of the saying “Is even Saul a prophet?”

13 When Saul had finished prophesying, he went up to the place of worship. 14 “Where have you been?” Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant.

“We were looking for the donkeys,” Saul replied, “but we couldn’t find them. So we went to Samuel to ask him where they were.”

15 “Oh? And what did he say?” his uncle asked.

16 “He told us that the donkeys had already been found,” Saul replied. But Saul didn’t tell his uncle what Samuel said about the kingdom.

Saul Is Acclaimed King

17 Later Samuel called all the people of Israel to meet before the Lord at Mizpah. 18 And he said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has declared: I brought you from Egypt and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all of the nations that were oppressing you. 19 But though I have rescued you from your misery and distress, you have rejected your God today and have said, ‘No, we want a king instead!’ Now, therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by tribes and clans.”

20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the Lord, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the Lord, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! 22 So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?”

And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” 23 So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else.

24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the Lord has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him!”

And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

25 Then Samuel told the people what the rights and duties of a king were. He wrote them down on a scroll and placed it before the Lord. Then Samuel sent the people home again.

26 When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But there were some scoundrels who complained, “How can this man save us?” And they scorned him and refused to bring him gifts. But Saul ignored them.

[Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the people of Gad and Reuben who lived east of the Jordan River. He gouged out the right eye of each of the Israelites living there, and he didn’t allow anyone to come and rescue them. In fact, of all the Israelites east of the Jordan, there wasn’t a single one whose right eye Nahash had not gouged out. But there were 7,000 men who had escaped from the Ammonites, and they had settled in Jabesh-gilead.] (This paragraph, which is not included in the Masoretic Text, is found in Dead Sea Scroll 4QSam)

1 Samuel 10 NLT

4 Things Predicted that Came True

  1. What was lost would be found.
  2. A hunger would get fed.
  3. He will join in the praise of God.
  4. He’ll be filled and transformed by the Holy Spirit.

These are the same 4 ways that God confirms His blessing on us. (Borrowed from the lesson on 1 Samuel 10, by Pastor Sandy Adams, in the free Bible app, Through the Word.)

  1. We are the thing that was lost, but now is found.
  2. Our spiritual hunger is met when we come to Jesus.
  3. A desire is born in our hearts to praise the Lord.
  4. We are filled gloriously with the power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s interesting, too, that God has to constantly remind the Hebrews that it was Him that brought them out of slavery in Egypt (You can read about it in Exodus). Jesus saves us from the slavery of sin and religion (You are not free if you are a slave to religion!).

God also reminds them that they turned away from Him — the ONE TRUE GOD — and worshiped the false gods and fake idols of their pagan neighbors. We now, have turned from God to worship Mary, dead saints, the Pope, a church, statues that can’t see, hear nor speak, celebrities who don’t care about us, money, power and fame that lead nowhere.

Here’s an interesting thought… After the Rapture, when Jesus comes to take His true believers up to Heaven with Him, the people are going to cry out for a king, a leader to bring order to the chaos that will ensue all over the world. That, my friend, will be the Antichrist.

God didn’t abandon us. We moved further and further away from God to the point that people are offended by everything but SIN! Friend, there is something seriously wrong with that!

The Good News is that God hasn’t abandoned us! Let’s go on…

1 Samuel 11 – King Saul’s First Battle

About a month later, King Nahash of Ammon led his army against the Israelite town of Jabesh-gilead. But all the citizens of Jabesh asked for peace. “Make a treaty with us, and we will be your servants,” they pleaded.

“All right,” Nahash said, “but only on one condition. I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you as a disgrace to all Israel!”

“Give us seven days to send messengers throughout Israel!” replied the elders of Jabesh. “If no one comes to save us, we will agree to your terms.”

When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the people about their plight, everyone broke into tears. Saul had been plowing a field with his oxen, and when he returned to town, he asked, “What’s the matter? Why is everyone crying?” So they told him about the message from Jabesh.

Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. He took two oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the messengers to carry them throughout Israel with this message: “This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who refuses to follow Saul and Samuel into battle!” And the Lord made the people afraid of Saul’s anger, and all of them came out together as one. When Saul mobilized them at Bezek, he found that there were 300,000 men from Israel and 30,000 men from Judah.

So Saul sent the messengers back to Jabesh-gilead to say, “We will rescue you by noontime tomorrow!” There was great joy throughout the town when that message arrived!

10 The men of Jabesh then told their enemies, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you can do to us whatever you wish.” 11 But before dawn the next morning, Saul arrived, having divided his army into three detachments. He launched a surprise attack against the Ammonites and slaughtered them the whole morning. The remnant of their army was so badly scattered that no two of them were left together.

12 Then the people exclaimed to Samuel, “Now where are those men who said, ‘Why should Saul rule over us?’ Bring them here, and we will kill them!”

13 But Saul replied, “No one will be executed today, for today the Lord has rescued Israel!”

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us all go to Gilgal to renew the kingdom.” 15 So they all went to Gilgal, and in a solemn ceremony before the Lord they made Saul king. Then they offered peace offerings to the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites were filled with joy.

1 Samuel 11 NLT

When was the last time that YOU sincerely thanked God for a good thing that happened to you?

When the Holy Spirit comes upon a truly repentant person who surrenders his or her whole life to Jesus, his or her life is completely changed for the better! You begin to notice the Hand of God in everything that happens to you and around you. Consequently, you thank God in all circumstances! You automatically want to praise God for everything.

At first, Saul hid from his own coronation! That’s not humility, that’s insecurity. God gave him the power of the Holy Spirit, yet Saul didn’t embrace it. The second time God fills him with the Spirit, he gets angry with what King Nahash was doing to some of the Israelites. He now sees that God has a job for him to do and it isn’t plowing fields.

What’s God Calling YOU to do?

To find out, you first must repent and surrender your WHOLE LIFE to JESUS!

When Jesus was baptized, what happened immediately after? We find it in the Gospels. Let’s look at Matthew‘s account…

Jesus will separate the wheat from the chaff.
Jesus will separate the wheat from the chaff. Image by Good News Productions International from FreeBibleImages.org. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

John the Baptist said…

11 “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”

15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.

16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

Matthew 3:11-17 NLT

That started Jesus’ earthly ministry. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit in each and every one of His born-again believers continues His ministry now, until the day Jesus returns for us or He call us Home!

Do YOU Want Jesus to Change YOUR Life?


Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

New Wine

In Christ Alone

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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