v 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.
At last the people had a King. This was the moment many of them had looked forward to. After this coronation ceremony – and it was a distinctly religious event with peoples minds turned to worship, and with special offerings – there was a palpable sense of delight running across the nation. It was a joy, tinged perhaps with relief that they had someone who could rally the troops if the need arose, and then lead them into battle. For the first time for a long time the whole nation had a leader they could recognise. There had been significant leaders before, like Joshua, Gideon and Samson, but never a King. The whole process had been overseen by Samuel, for he was the man in touch with God. It went against the grain for him to appoint a King because he felt that God should be acknowledged as their ruler, but he acted under God’s instruction in doing so.
Notice however, in verses 26-27, that not everybody was in favour of Saul becoming the King. They poured scorn on his leadership abilities and felt he was totally unsuitable. Wisely, Saul totally ignored them; after all, Samuel had said that he was the right man – God’s appointed leader. How often that happens when new leaders take up office – there will often be the nay-sayers who complain that it is not the right person. That is part of the burden new leaders have to carry, and if they are wise they just get on with the job under God’s leadership. In verses 12-13 you can read how graciously Saul dealt with this opposition in the long run.