Bible Insights

Saul Squanders What God Gives Him

Even If God Sets Us Up for Success, We’ll Fail If We Don’t Obey Him

God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, ask for a king. This isn’t what God wants, but he gives them what they request. He gives them a king.

At God’s direction, Samuel anoints Saul as king, appointing him ruler over God’s people and their nation.

To prove this is God’s doing, Samuel makes three prophetic promises to confirm that God’s hand is in this. They all happen.

The final one is that the Holy Spirit will empower Saul, and he will prophesy. Then God will change him into a different person, presumably a person ready to lead well and keep them focused on God.

The Holy Spirit does indeed come upon Saul, he prophesies, and his heart changes. Samuel presents Saul to the people with the confirmation that there is no one like him in the entire nation.

This means Saul is unique and equipped to be king, Israel’s first king (1 Samuel 10:1, 6, 9, 24).

God gives Saul a promising start. He’s poised to lead well. But despite God’s provision. Saul squanders what God gave him.

Instead of trusting God and instead of doing what Samuel—Saul’s spiritual guide—tells him to do, he worries and grows impatient.

He ignores Samuel’s instructions, and even worse, he disobeys God’s law.

And it only takes a few chapters in 1 Samuel for this to occur. Saul repeatedly shows he’s not the man God wants as king. By the time we get to chapter 15, God has enough of the disobedient king.

God tells Samuel, “I’m distressed I made Saul king.

He’s not following me anymore and doesn’t do what I say” (1 Samuel 15:10-11). Later Samuel confronts Saul and tells him that because he rejected God’s words, that God rejects him as king (1 Samuel 15:23).

Though Saul had a great start as king and was positioned to be a great one, his lack of trust in God and disobedience causes his downfall. Despite what God gave him, Saul squanders God’s favor and doesn’t finish well.

[Read through the Bible this year. Today’s reading is 1 Samuel 8-10, and today’s post is on 1 Samuel 10:1, 6, 9, 24.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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