Judges through Poets- 6a The Kingship of Saul

In both the lives of David and Saul we see: early success followed by grievous sins.
Saul’s sins lead to bitterness and hatred.
David’s sins lead to genuine sorrow and forgiveness from the Lord.

Saul
1 Samuel 13:2-4 – Saul attacked the Philistines. The Israelites became ‘a stench’ to the Philistines.

1 Sam 13:8-14 =
The Philistines have gathered to do battle against Israel. Many of the people were hiding in the mountains. Many people followed Saul (v7)
The problem in this passage is that Saul performed an act only the Priest should perform. In 10:8 Samuel says that he is the one to perform the sacrifices.

V12b ‘I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering’ literarily means ‘I made myself strong to do this’

Saul disobeyed by not trusting in the authority of God’s word. Duet 17 states that trust in God’s word is essential to Kingship.

In 1 Samuel 14:24-26 Saul makes a foolish oath cursing everyone who eats food. Jonathon says (v29) ‘my Father has troubled the land’
Why did Saul make the oath? V24:‘…before I have taken vengeance on my enemies’

1 Samuel 15:1-3
‘Samuel also said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’

Saul disobeyed this word from God (v7-9) and fully earnt divine rejection.
Saul did not respond with repentance. ‘Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honour me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.’ 1 Samuel 15:30

An evil spirit comes on Saul to torment him (1 Samuel 16:14-16).
The passage does not say that the Lord made Saul evil. Saul was evil in himself. The Lord hardened him in his sin not to make him sinful. God uses the forces of evil for his own purposes.

Saul directly sinned against God by going to a medium. Samuel told Saul that he and his sons would die the next day (1 Samuel 28:19). Saul responded physically (1 Samuel 28:20) but without repentance.

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