King Saul

Posted on September 9, 2020

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King Saul


  1. Who Was King Saul?
    1. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin, the son of a man named Kish.
    2. He is described as a choice young man. He was considered the most goodly or attractive person in all of the children of Israel.1 Samuel 9:2: nd he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.


  1. In What Time Period did He Reign?
    1. Saul was born around1076 BC in the land of Benjamin in Israel. He became the first King of Israel around 1046 BC where he united tribes and defeated enemies such as the Ammonites, Philistines, Moabites, and Amalekites.Apr 18, 2019


  1. How Did He Become King? Did God Call Him or was He Voted In By Man?
    1. First, the people reject the reign of God and call for a king.1 Samuel 10:17-19: And Samuel called the people together unto the Lord to Mizpeh; And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you: And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes, and by your thousands.
    2. Next, Saul is revealed and the people embrace him as king.1 Samuel 10:22-24: Therefore they enquired of the Lord further, if the man should yet come thither. And the Lord answered, Behold he hath hid himself among the stuff. And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.


  1. Why did Israel Need a King?
    1. Samuel was getting on in years, and the sons he had appointed as judges were not walking in the Ways of the Lord.
    2. The people of Israel took notice that other nations had kings to rule over them, and wanted to be like the other nations.
    3. 1 Samuel 8:3-6: And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.


  1. Was God Happy with the Decision the People Made?
    1. God had been ruling over Israel Himself. It was a theocracy, a government ruled by God, and the people rejected the rule of God and called for a human king.1 Samuel 8:7-10: And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
    2. 1 Samuel 12:12-14: 12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king. Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the Lord hath set a king over you. If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God:


  1. Where Did He Reign?
    1. He was officially made king in a place called Gilgal.1 Samuel 11:14-15: Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there. And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
    2. 1 Samuel 13:2: Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.


  1. What was Saul’s Sin?
    1. Saul was disobedient to the Word of the Lord. He had stopped following after God’s Will and did his own thing. We see the Word given in1 Samuel 15:1-3: Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
    2. To see how Saul disobeyed, and how God responded, let’s skip down to1 Samuel 15:9-11: But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, Itrepenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.


  1. What was Saul’s Role with David?
    1. When we first meet David, he is a shepherd boy, the son of Jesse. Samuel is about to anoint him as king. 1 Samuel 16:11-12: And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, Thereremaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
    2. He does not take over as king for some time, but from this point on, God was preparing him. He meets Saul as a harpist whose playing can calm his troubled soul.1st Samuel 16:14-16: But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
    3. When Goliath comes and intimidates the people of Israel, only David stands up to him. 1 Samuel 17:45-46: Then said David to the Philistine, Thoucomest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
    4. When David kills Goliath, this draws the attention of King Saul.Skipping down to verses 55-57: And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling is. And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
    5. David and Saul’s son Jonathan become like brothers, and David is kept in the king’s household.1 Samuel 18:1-2: And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.
    6. From there, Saul became more and more jealous of David, because he knew that God was with David and had left Saul. David would eventually become the king.


  1. How Did Saul Die?
    1. Saul ultimately meets his end in an all-out battle with the Philistines. We can read about this in1 Samuel 31:1-6: Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.


  1. What Can We Learn from King Saul?
    1. The people wanted a king because they saw that other nations had one. How often do we see something someone else has, and wish for it. It might not be what God wants for us. He may want something better.
    2. We should never put humans on a pedestal, as the people did with Saul. He looked good, was admired by the people, but he had quite a fall, as often happens when we put our trust in a man.
    3. It is important not only to know God’s Word and study it, but we need to obey it to the best of our ability. Saul heard the Word of the Lord, but did not obey, leading him to ultimately be rejected as king.
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