King Saul
Israel's First King

"Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him [to be] captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me. And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.
- 1 Samuel 9:15-17

 

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Saul, The First King

t-dropcap.gifThe Lord had always intended to give Israel a king (Deut 17), but Israel's sin was in demanding a king from the wrong motives, in looking for that king in the wrong tribe, and in demanding a king before it was God's time to give them one. A man named Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin was chosen, a man of impressive stature, who embodied the basic ideals Israel had at the time, being much more concerned with his appearance than his heart. It's sad how Saul's character turned out to be a reflection of Israel as a whole.

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1 Sam 9:1-2 "There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. . . And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said to him, "There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one you shall anoint to reign over My people."

Saul was a weak and ineffective king who didn't do much with his life except try to murder David, his son-in-law, despite David's repeated expression of loyalty, because he knew David was destined to take his place one day on the throne. Saul's hatred and insane jealousy for David made him fail as a king and Samuel regretted anointing him. Saul's reign ended in disaster. He received no answer for his prayers, and even sought the help of a witch.

The battle that took place the next day at Gilboa was a bitter defeat for Israel, Saul himself was wounded, and he committed suicide by throwing himself on his own sword. Three of his sons, including Jonathan also died.

The greatest failure for Saul, the first king of Israel, was when he disobeyed God at Gilgal. The Philistines were encamped against Israel and Saul's troops were deserting daily. The prophet Samuel had promised him that all would be well, only he must wait for God's time. Samuel would come at the end of a week and would offer a sacrifice. Then Saul's armies would have the victory. Saul impatiently went ahead and offered the sacrifice himself. No sooner had he finished than the prophet appeared. Saul had greatly sinned in officiating as a priest.

1 Sam 13:11-14 "And Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul said, "When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, "then I said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD.' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering." And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. "But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."


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The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament


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The Story of the Bible

The Old Testament

Quick Summary

About

Divisions

Timeline

Charts

Maps

Creation

Adam and Eve

The Flood

The Tower of Babel

Abraham the First Hebrew

Isaac, Son of Promise

Jacob and the 12 Tribes

Joseph and Egypt

Moses and the Exodus

The Giving of the Law

The Tabernacle

The Wilderness Wanderings

Joshua and the Promised Land

The Judges

Samuel the Prophet

Saul, Israel's First King

King David

King Solomon

The Divided Kingdom

The Northern Kingdom of Israel

The Southern Kingdom of Judah

The Assyrian Captivity

The Babylonian Captivity

The Return From Babylon

The Prophets

The Messiah

Conclusion

Bibliography and Credits

Summary of the Old Testament Books

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

Samuel

Kings

Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

Read the Old Testament Stories

The 7 Days of Creation

The Fall of Man

Cain and Abel

Noah's Ark

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