Saul was the first king of Israel. He was the son of a wealthy landowner and became king unexpectedly and rather reluctantly.
The people had requested a king to help them fight their battles. They were happy with Saul because of his regal stature–he was a head taller than anyone else (vs. 10:23).
God spoke to Samuel about anointing a king over Israel and Samuel met privately with Saul and declared him the new king.
Saul’s rise to power as king occurred through a series of events that included a secret anointing by Samuel (vs. 9:1–10:16) and his selection by lot in (10:17-27) and culminated in His victory over the Ammonites (vs. 11:1-15).
After the defeat of the Ammonites a solemn ceremony was held at Gilgal as an occasion to rededicate Saul as Israel’s new king and affirm that God was still their true King. At Gilgal Israel offered peace offerings in thanksgiving to God and all the Israelites were filled with joy (vs. 15).
Over the course of our Christian lives, we all need to “go to Gilgal” for spiritual renewal and revitalization. Our personal journey to Gilgal should be a point or place in our lives of rededication and thanksgiving, reaffirming God as our King and asking Him to re-fill us with the power and joy of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, going to Gilgal may be a trip we need to make regularly, maybe even today!