Part 1 – Shadows of the Kingdom, Chapter 8 – Kings and Kingdoms
[Bible references: 1 Samuel 9:2; 13:1-14; 15:15; 1 Kings 13:6]
God gave Israel a king in the mold of other kings. In physical appearance, King Saul was a tall, handsome son of a powerful man, but spiritually, Saul would continue the national habit of “doing what was right in his own sight.” In fact, there were times when Saul was talking to Samuel that Saul made references to “Yahweh your God” instead of “Yahweh our God.” (That phrase had also been used by Jacob before his wresting match with God and would be used again by King Jeroboam at a later time.) Saul had ceased to trust in God. There would also be other times when, instead of leaning on God for victory, Saul would also resort to making foolish, rash vows.
Saul barely began his 40-year ministry as king before Samuel had to inform him that God had rejected him as king. Although that rejection happened early in his career, God did not replace Saul until much later. Saul would have to endure the knowledge that God had rejected him for the rest of his career, which was most of his career, as king. That may have been a factor in him becoming more unstable as time went on. Yet despite his rejection by God, he did have some success in conducting war against Israel’s enemies, but Saul’s standing with God did not change.
When Israel got what they thought they wanted, “a king like everyone else,” they – and Saul – had to endure the consequences of that decision. How do we avoid that mistake?
Read 1 Samuel 13:1-14; 15:15. Why do you think that Saul could not wait for Samuel to come to offer sacrifices? Compare that to Adam and Eve’s sin.