King Saul

I don’t usually write on the Old Testament, but so much of it still applies to today, to this nation, to my generation. The story of Israel’s relationship to God is often similar to our current response to God. The Israelites got bored and thought that God wasn’t enough. They turned away. God proved why they shouldn’t have. They returned to the merciful arms of God. This cycle is repeated multiple times throughout the Old Testament and provides hope for our modern-day return to God in His mercy.

  • 1 Samuel 8:5
    • 5 They said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not follow your example. Therefore, appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have.”
    • The people wanted equality with others who did not hold the same values.
  • 1 Samuel 8:19-20
    • 19 The people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We must have a king over us. 20 Then we’ll be like all the other nations: our king will judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles.”
    • The people placed God’s role in the hands of man. Their cravings were met in God, yet they wanted more.
  • 1 Samuel 8:21-22
    • 21 Samuel listened to all the people’s words and then repeated them to the Lord.[a] 22 “Listen to them,” the Lord told Samuel. “Appoint a king for them.” Then Samuel told the men of Israel, “Each of you, go back to your city.”
    • God gave the people what they wanted. He wasn’t powerless. He demonstrated His sovereignty in His discipline–letting His people discover the consequences to their actions.
  • 1 Samuel 9:16
    • 16 “At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over My people Israel. He will save them from the hand of the Philistines because I have seen the affliction of My people, for their cry has come to Me.”
    • Even in their disobedience, God cared about their hurt and wanted to stop it. He is a good God who doesn’t abandon.
  • 1 Samuel 9:21
    • 21 Saul responded, “Am I not a Benjaminite from the smallest of Israel’s tribes and isn’t my clan the least important of all the clans of the Benjaminite tribe? So why have you said something like this to me?”
    • The Lord has a plan for even “the least important.” He loves those whom society has cast aside, and He has a better plan for their lives than they can imagine.
  • 1 Samuel 10:9-10
    • When Saul turned around[a] to leave Samuel, God changed his heart,[b] and all the signs came about that day. 10 When Saul and his attendant arrived at Gibeah, a group of prophets met him. Then the Spirit of God took control of him, and he prophesied along with them.
    • Just because people act in opposition to God’s plan doesn’t mean that the Spirit can’t move in the situation.
  • 1 Samuel 12:16-18
    • 16 “Now, therefore, present yourselves and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. 17 Isn’t the wheat harvest today? I will call on the Lord and He will send thunder and rain, so that you will know and see what a great evil you committed in the Lord’s sight by requesting a king for yourselves.” 18 Samuel called on the Lord, and on that day the Lord sent thunder and rain. As a result, all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
    • The people were punished for thinking they didn’t need God, but their punishment resulted in reverence of God.
  • 1 Samuel 12:20
    • 20 Samuel replied, “Don’t be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the Lord.Instead, worship the Lord with all your heart.
    • Though the nation had turned from God, they were not too far gone.
  • 1 Samuel 13:11-14
    • 11 and Samuel asked, “What have you done?” Saul answered, “When I saw that the troops were deserting me and you didn’t come within the appointed days and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash, 12 I thought: The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven’t sought theLord’s favor. So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command which the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, 14 but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man loyal to Him,[a] and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded.”
    • We can seek the Lord’s favor all we want, but we won’t succeed without obeying His commands exactly.
  • Acts 13:21-23
    • 21 Then they asked for a king, so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for 40 years. 22 After removing him, He raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man loyal to Me,[a] who will carry out all My will.’ 23 “From this man’s descendants, according to the promise, God brought the Savior, Jesus,[b] to Israel.
    • After the nation was led astray by human leadership, God raised up a man after His own heart. I have the hope that the next generation will rise up as a generation after God’s own heart.
    • God is able to save, despite human failure. Jesus saves, no matter what mistakes we’ve made.

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