(A brief intro: This is the first part of a story I wrote for the AWANA children's church during the school year. It follows the the Biblical narrative of Samuel and Saul, with my own twist on it. Each week, I ended on a cliff hanger, which I hoped would keep the kids enthralled and help me avoid finding a new story each week. The title, however, is one I created now. Unlike my other story posts, this is already written, so I'll actually finish the story arc...eventually)
Samuel had been a pretty good prophet and ruler for Israel, but now he was old and his sons, who he had appointed as rulers, made a mess of things. So one day, the people of Israel came to Samuel and asked, “We want a king!”
Samuel was not impressed with this. Raising greedy sons had made him a grumpy old prophet. “What do you need a king for, huh? Why you doing this to me? I’m not good enough for ya?”
“We want to be like the other nations, who win battles and stuff with their king!” They whined.
So Samuel humphed and grumbled, “Fine! I’ll go ask God.” And he left, grumbling under his breath.
“These stupid Israelites don’t know what’s good for them, asking for a king! What about God as a king? Huh? Stupid Israelites…”
So Samuel prayed and asked God what he should do. And God said…
“Give them what they want.”
Samuel was shocked. “Wh…what?”
“Give them a king. They forgot that I’m their king a looong time ago. So do what they want you to do, but warn them how bad a king will be.”
When Samuel returned to the leaders, he said, “Alright, you hooligans, you can have a king, but be warned! A king will take away your sons for his army and personal service, your daughters for his cooks and cleaners, you best food, fields, slaves and livestock for himself and favourite generals. You’re gonna BEG to be free from a king when he comes.”
“Pff, whatever, just give us a king.”
“Ya! Lets win wars and stuff!”
Samuel just shook his head. “What ever you want.”
The next day, Samuel departed to find a king. Around supper time, he found himself in the land of Benjamin. Just as he was going to go eat, a huge, handsome man with a servant appeared. They looked out of breath and a little dazed from the heat. The man was the biggest man Samuel had ever seen; at least a head and shoulders taller than the tallest Israelite. “Excuse me!” said the tall man. “Do you know where the prophet is? We’ve been looking for our donkeys all over Benjamin and can’t find them and hoped you would help us.”
And then Samuel heard a voice.
“This is the guy. This is Israel’s new king.”
Samuel knew it was God, so he looked at the man, and asked, “What’s your name, son?”
“Well, Saul, you look tired. Come up and eat with me, and I’ll tell you where your donkeys are.”
Saul go all excited and ran off ahead. When Samuel met up with him, he told him to get on his knees, then he poured oil on his head.
“What are you doing?” asked Saul
“God says you’re the new king of Israel. Now you’ve just been anointed.”
Saul was completely silent. He was so shocked, he had nothing to say.
“Be at the temple tomorrow, and we’ll officially declare you king.” After supper, Saul went home, still in a daze from what he just learned.
The next day, Samuel stood at the front of the temple with a white envelope in his hand.
“Listen up!” he shouted. “God rescued all you ungrateful poopheads, from Egypt and lots of wars and pretty much everything else, but now you want a king. Fine! His name is in this envelope!”
All the tribes became dead silent. Samuel slowly opened the envelope…
“From the tribe of Benjamin…from the family of Matrites…son of Kish, your new king, Saul!
Everyone cheered, especially the Benjaminites. Then the cheering stopped, but Saul was no where to be seen. Samuel cleared his through and called again, “Your new king, Saul!” Again, the people applauded, but still no Saul. Then someone called out, “Here he is! In the baggage!”
Everyone turned to the pile of bags and coats, to see an embarrassed mountain of a man slowly stand up and shuffle to the front to accept the crown.
“Oh no” though Samuel. “Israel’s screwed.”