As we talked about the monarchy yesterday, the first major player in that movement, so to speak, is King Saul. We read of him primarily in 1 Samuel 9-31 through his anointing, his military campaigns, his mental and spiritual struggles, and ultimately his death. Saul is referenced in 1 Chronicles 5, 8, and 9 and his death is recorded in both 1 Chronicles 10 and 1 Samuel 31.
Whilst there are many stories to read and many lessons to learn surrounding Saul, perhaps the primary point for you and for me would be his spectacular fall from being the anointed and chosen leader of God’s people. Being the first chosen king (1 Samuel 10.1) Saul had a wonderful opportunity to set the benchmark in obedience for the nation: do things right and we are promised blessing (cf. Deuteronomy 28). Despite starting well Saul falls into thinking he can rule without total obedience to God (1 Samuel 15.15). I recently read that
“Saul chose a different path and strayed away from God. We find a perfect example of his disobedience in the incident where God commanded him to kill all the Amalekites, but Saul kept the king and some of the spoils of war.”
A descendent of the spared king would later surface in the book of Esther seeking the death and destruction of God’s people. Saul’s disobedience was compounded by lying and we see, simply, that he had turned away from seeking God’s will in his leadership first and foremost.
Whilst we are certainly not under the covenant of obedience equals blessing and disobedience equals curse, the principle of putting God first in all of our decisions is still very much in play. Think on these passages today:
“So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.”
(Matthew 6.31-34, NET)
“There are many plans in a person’s mind,
but it is the counsel of the LORD that will stand.”
(Proverbs 19.21, NET)
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22.36-4, NET)
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