"Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost" (1 Sam 9:3).
God used adversity to call the first king of Israel. In 1 Samuel 9 and 10, we find Saul working in the family business, employed by his father, Kish. In Bible times, donkeys represented trade and commerce, for they were the primary means of transporting goods.
Some of Kish’s donkeys were missing, so Kish told his son Saul to take a servant with him and go find the missing donkeys. Saul and the servant traveled the countryside three days in search of the missing donkeys – but without results. Saul thought his father might worry about him, so he told the servant, "Let’s go back."
The servant replied, "Look, in this town there’s a man of God, a prophet. Let’s go see him and maybe he will tell us which way to take." In today’s terminology, it was time to call in a consultant.
So Saul and the servant went through the town and the prophet – a man named Samuel – was walking toward them along the street. As Samuel walked toward Saul, God told the prophet, "The man who is approaching is the one I told you about. He will be the leader of My people."
Saul stopped Samuel in the street and said, "Sir, would you please tell me how to find the house of the prophet?"
"I’m the prophet you’re looking for," Samuel replied. "Today you’ll have dinner with me and tomorrow I’ll tell you everything that is in your heart."
Saul’s pathway to leadership led through the experience of a business setback: a missing herd of donkeys. God arranged every step of Saul’s journey.
It was God who sent the donkeys away, which made it necessary for Saul to go searching for them. When Saul was ready to give up the search, God arranged for the servant to suggest that they look for a prophet in a nearby city. The Lord spoke to the prophet and told him to expect Saul’s arrival. There was not a single detail left to chance. God’s plan worked flawlessly.
So it is in your life and mine. God is in control of every detail in your life.