||The Fisherman's Page
||collection of my teachings from scripture.
Saul, Part One: 1 Samuel 8 - 15
- first King of Israel, son of Kish, tribe of Benjamin
- one of the most pathetic of God's chosen servants - he made God
sorry for choosing him!
- a tall, well built, strong and brave man, chosen by God to
represent His rule over Israel.
- Although 1 Sam 7: 13 tells us that the Philistines were subdued
by the hand of the LORD in the days of Samuel, later, under the corrupt
injustice of his two sons, Joel and Abijah, the people fell under the
oppression of the Philistines again, so much so that they did not
have any weapons and were not even allowed to sharpen their own tools!
(1 Sam 13: 19 - 23).
- All the Israelite leaders went to see Samuel at Ramah and
demanded for a king at a time when Samuel's two sons, Joel and Abijah
behaved corruptly as judges over the people.(1 Sam 8: 1 - 5).
1. Saul's Calling - Three Signs.
- When Israel refused to heed God's warning about the evils of
having a human king, God sent Samuel to anoint Saul as king, secretly in
the land of Zuph (1 Sam 10: 1), followed by a public installation
ceremony at Mizpeh (1 Sam 10: 17 - 25), where Samuel explained to the
people the behaviour of the king and wrote it in a book and "laid it up
before the LORD" (1 Sam 10: 25)
- However some rebellious Israelites despised Saul and brought him
no presents. (1 Sam 10: 27).
- Three signs were given by the LORD through Samuel after his
- two men by Rachel's tomb at Zelzah (10: 2)
- three men at the terebinth tree of Tabor - carrying three young
goats, three loaves of bread and a skin of wine.
- a group of prophets at the hill of God in Gibeah
- Saul was to obey God and do as told at each place. All
those signs took place that day (10: 9)
- Saul's calling was a sure calling. Although it was a result
of Israel rejecting God as their king, Saul's calling was to be part of
God's sovereign will.
2. Saul's Conquests -Three
- Campaign against the Ammonites. (1
Sam 11: 1 - 11)
- Saul raised an army from all over Israel, won a great victory
against Nahash the Ammonite and set free the city of Jabesh Gilead from
- Yet he refused to give in to his followers' prompting to kill
those rebels who despised him earlier. Instead, he said, "Not a
man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has accomplished
salvation in Israel." (1 Sam 11: 13).
- The victory over the Ammonites was like a stamp of God's
approval for Saul's appointment as king. After the victory, a
ceremony was conducted at Gilgal to confirm his monarchy.
- Samuel gave final reminder to Israel to hold fast to the LORD's
commandments, accompanied by a great miraculous sign of thunder and
rain, handed over the leadership of Israel to King Saul (1 Sam 12).
- Campaign against the Philistines.
(1 Sam 13, 14)
- "... against Moab, Ammon, Edom, Zobah and Philistines.
Wherever he turned, he harassed them" (1 Sam 14: 47)
- Campaign against the Amalekites. (1 Sam 15)
3. Saul's Conduct - Three Great
- First Sin - performing the sacrifice
- Saul, after his initial attack on a garrison of Philistines in
Geba, was impatient after waiting seven days for Samuel to arrive, and
with his army scattered from him, took over the work of offering a
burnt offering, a work which can only be done by a priest.
- punishment: Samuel prophesied that God will reject his
kingship. The LORD had already set apart for himself "a man after
his heart" to replace Saul (1 Sam 13: 7 - 14)
- Second sin - keeping instead of destroying
- After his victorious campaign against the Amalekites, Saul
spared their King Agag and and the best of the livestock they looted
instead of destroying.
- when confronted by Samuel, Saul gave the excuse that the
livestock was to be used as sacrifice "to the LORD your God" (! Sam 15:
- Samuel's well-known rebuke - to obey the voice of the LORD is
better than to sacrifice, and to heed his voice than the fat of rams
(1Sam 15: 22)
- Rebellion = witchcraft, stubbornness = idolatry (1Sam 15: 23)
- Punishment: Saul's plea for forgiveness was not effective,
Samuel used his torn robe to declare symbolically that the LORD has torn
the kingdom from Saul.
- Third sin - persecuting God's anointed
- 1 Sam 16 - 26 records Saul's persecution of David to prevent
him from ascending to the throne as God's chosen king. In the
course of doing so, he massacred Ahimelech and his family of priests,
culminating in the sin of consult a medium to ask for help from the
spirit of the departed Samuel.
- this section will be
taught in Part Two.
- Israel's sin "...they have rejected me that I should not reign
over them" (1 Sam 8: 7)
- Samuel warned Israel "... And you will cry out in that day
because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD
will not hear you in that day." (1 Sam 8: 10 - 18)
- Saul's calling - when he was "little in his own eyes" (1 Sam 15:
- Saul was from an insignificant clan of the smallest tribe of
Israel. "Am I not a Benjaminite, of the smallest of the tribes of
Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of
Benjamin?..." (1 Sam 9: 21)
- Yet God gave three signs to him that he was called to be king.
- Samuel rebuked King Saul for disobeying the voice of the LORD. (1
Sam 15: 22)
- Saul's repeated acts of disobedience
- made God regret that He had set up Saul as king (1 Sam15: 11, compare Gen 6: 6, where God was grieved in
His heart for having made man)
- a warning for us in the Body of Christ today e.g. Romans 11: 22