ACHIEVEMENTS AND FAILURES OF KING SAUL (ISRAEL 13:8 – 14; 15:7 – 25)
At the end of the lesson, you should be able to:
- State his achievements
- Identify his failures
- Suggest lesson we can learn from his failures
Samuel was directed by God to choose and anoint Saul as the king of Israel.
Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin.
He became the first human king of the nation of Israel. He accomplished several things.
Successes of King Saul
1) He was anointed by God; as king to rule the Israelites.
2) He was chosen even though it was not God’s idea for a king over his people.
3) He was a great warrior. He led the Israelites to war and defeated their enemies.
Failures of King Saul
1) God told Saul through Samuel to destroy the Amalekites completely.
Saul however disobeyed God. He spared the king and the fat livestock.
He claimed to have spared the fat animals for sacrifice to God.
Because of this disobedience, God rejected Saul as king.
2) The Israelites were faced with many enemies.
The worst were the Philistines.
It was a custom for the king of Israel to enquire from God whether to go to the battle or not.
The priest/prophet gave permission to the king to go to war. When Saul was faced with the dilemma whether to fight or not, Samuel enquired from God.
Saul did not wait for permission to go to war from Samuel the priest.
He decided to bypass Samuel by offering a sacrifice to God before going to war.
This action displeased God because it was not his work to offer sacrifice to God.
It was the work of priests.
3) After God rejected Saul as the king of Israel, Samuel was guided by God to go to Bethlehem.
He was asked to go to the home of Jesse who had eight (8) sons.
In that home, God was to show Samuel the next king of Israel.
Samuel would then anoint the chosen son of Jesse.
Seven of Jesse’s sons were brought before Samuel one by one.
God told Samuel that he had not chosen any of them.
When David, a shepherd, was brought before Samuel God said to him ’this is the one – anoint him!” (1 Samuel 16:12).
David was anointed (poured oil on) as the next king of Israel.
However he had to wait until Saul died before he could take over kingship.
4) After Samuel anointed David to become the next king of Israel, Saul was jealous and plotted many times to kill him.
David was employed to serve Saul. He played the harp, lyre wherever an evil spirit possessed Saul.
5) When Samuel died; the Philistines gathered to fight Israel. Saul was filled with terror.
Saul enquired from God whether he should go to war, but did not get an answer.
Saul disobeyed God by asking a medium (witch) to consult the dead for him.
This act led to the death of Saul together with his son Jonathan in battle.
6) Saul was concerned with what people thought of him than pleasing God.
He wanted to please people and not God.
He was disobedient with God (1 Samuel 15:24)
Lessons, which Christians can learn from King Saul’s failures
1) Value of being patient.
2) Christian should obey God, follow His commands and not be afraid of people.
3) Christian should obey religious leaders placed over them by God.
4) Christian leaders should be humble.
5) It is against the teachings of God, against the will of God to consult the spirits of the dead through mediums.
7) Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
8) God desires sincere worship.
9) Political leaders should consult and listen to religious leaders.
10) Christians should not turn against their enemies or rivals.
They should not plot to have them destroyed and killed.