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As they went up the hill to the city, they met young women coming out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?” 12 They answered, “He is; behold, he is just ahead of you. Hurry. He has come just now to the city, because the people have a sacrifice today on the high place. 13 As soon as you enter the city you will find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat till he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.” 14 So they went up to the city. As they were entering the city, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.
15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: 16 “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.”
In the last chapter, we read that Israel had demanded a king. God knew that He would lose them as a people if He didn’t give them one. They were going to have a king whether it came from God or not. So, He told them to return to their towns and wait.
Samuel periodically made a circuit through all of Israel as a judge. The people knew that the Lord spoke to Samuel, so they would bring Him their questions to get answers from the Lord. Even though Samuel knew that he was old and his time as a judge was almost up, and even though he knew that God was about to give Israel a king, he didn’t change his habits. Samuel continued to make his yearly trip
There are a lot of people that plan on changing their lifestyle once this or that happens. People plan on enjoying time with their children ‘this summer’ or ‘once we get _____ finished.’ They plan on going to church once they get married or some other religious thing. These always take the form of
I’ll start [doing this better thing that I should already be doing with my life] once [some far off unforeseeable event that I expect to one day occur] happens.
The really solid people you know aren’t those kinds of people. People like Samuel are already doing the things they know they should
Samuel was still 100% listening and speaking and judging on behalf of God. God used that habit and lifestyle to guide Samuel right into what was going to happen next. Saul’s hometown was miles away from Kish, where they were now. Kish was several days’ journey from Ramah, where Samuel was from. God used Samuel’s route and habit, as well as Sauls perseverance (to look for the lost donkeys) and wisdom (to know when to give up) to bring the future king of Israel to her last judge.
If you know a good habit you should pick up, go for it. It might be preparing you for something that is going to happen, and God needs you to start sooner than later.