Growing Despite the Physical – Growing Despite the Yeush
One of the signs that Shmuel provides for Shaul as a proof that Shaul has been Divinely-ordained to serve as the king of the Jewish people is Shaul’s sudden transformation into a navi. The bystanders are apparently shocked by this development, which gives rise to an expression הגם שאול בנבאים (Shmuel 1 10:1-12).
Shaul Hamelech is granted nevuah one more time, in the end of his life, during his final attempt to capture and destroy the future King David. Once again the people express their surprise at Shaul’s prophetic ability, הגם שאול בנביאים (Shmuel 1 19:24).
It may be that the first time, their surprise was similar to that of Reish Lakish upon discovery that what appeared at first as a beautiful young woman in reality turned out to be R’ Yochanan, the great Amora. How could such physical beauty be associated with such lofty ruchniyus, wondered Reish Lakish? People who are physically beautiful are more likely to be attached to gashmiyus. They are presented with more opportunities to engage in the carnal. The world beckons them. We are told that Shaul is very tall and distinguished. The people were thus surprised that he was able to reach the high madreiga of nevua, which required a major break with gashmiyus.
The second time around, their surprise was for a different reason. Shaul Hamelech was punished with ruach raah. Malbim explains that this was created by the fact that he had ruach Hashem that had left. The vacuum from kdusha itself creates that ruach raah. This person is filled with bitterness, darkness.
When a person never reached a high madreiga, for him to reach it is not as difficult of an endeavor as someone who was so high who had fallen so low. The people were surprised that Shaul Hamelech, an individual who had experienced such am incredible spiritual fall, could still attain the simcha and shleimus of prophecy. It was a true miracle.