I know, I know, I’m skipping big, important chunks of 1 Samuel here. Hannah prayed, Samuel was born, worked for Eli, heard God, became prophet. All caught up! It’s Saul time.
The beginning of this story is great, Saul starts out as a stand-up guy (in fact, he stood a little too tall when he was trying to hide in the supplies!) Things take a turn for the worse later, but when Samuel first meets him, Saul seems like as good a king as the next guy. He's humble (“Am I not a Benjamite… and is not my clan the least of all the clans….?” 9:21), hard-working (“Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen…” 11:5), and a team player (“’This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel’…” 11:7). All this and he’s tall? Long live the King!
A little poem, in honor of Israel’s first king:
Saul, Saul, this Benjamite was tall!
He saved some people from becoming Cyclops
And they decided he was tops!
"Be our king!" the Israelites cry,
"Without you to protect us, we'll surely die!"
But oh, how the mighty fall.
Their king went crazy and that was (s)all.