Samuel said to all the people, 'Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen?
Surely there is no one like him among all the people.' So all the people shouted and said, 'Long live the king!' ... Saul also went to his house at Gibeah; and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him"
(1 Sam 10:23-24, 26).
The people of Israel longed to be like the other nations. They became thoroughly star-struck when they laid eyes on their new Hollywood king. Completely blinded by his height, they missed the obvious warning signs that should have alerted them to serious trouble ahead.
First, "tall," a sign of fleshly power, had already been described in Hannah's prophetic prayer as a negative asset
(1 Sam 2:3; in Hebrew, "very proudly" literally is "tall, tall").
That's why the path to "the king according to God's own heart" in 1 Samuel involves the felling of two tall people
(1 Sam 9:2; 17:4).
Second, Saul is from the same city (Gibeah) where a sin of Sodom-like proportions occurred (Judg 19:12-16), resulting in a bloody civil war and the near extermination of an entire tribe
(Judg 20:4-5, 9, 13-15, 19-21, 25, 29-31, 34, 36-37, 43).
Job qualifications in God's kingdom, however, go
much deeper than flesh,
so let's not be fooled by bulging muscles and glittering gold.
"But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees,
for man looks at the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks at the heart'"
(1 Sam 16:7).