King Saul the Insecure Ruler of the Jewish People
Born under the tribe of Benjamin, Saul was the son of Kish. Saul the insecure became the first king of Israel at about the time that Samuel had retired as the last Judge of Israel. Like other nations, the people insisted they have a king, although the land of Israel was under the command of Judges. Samuel, the last judge of Israel, asked for the Lord’s guidance. God directed Samuel to annoint Saul as the first king.
Saul’s army had a number of victories under the blessing of God. These included their battle against the Philistines, Moab, Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah and the Amalekites. In the battle against the Amalekites, Saul the insecure showed disobedience to the Lord by keeping their King Agag alive and the best of the cattle and sheep to make a sacrifice to God. As a result, God rejected Saul as king of Israel. The Lord then ordered Samuel to anoint David as the next king.
After David killed Goliath, Saul the insecure kept David with him because his son Jonathan was one of David’s closest friends. On their return after the defeat of the Philistine giant, the women sang and danced this refrain, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was not pleased and tried to kill him, but David proved elusive. Saul feared David because the Lord was with him, thus Saul gave him command over one thousand men. David succeeded in everything he did which made Saul fear him even more. Saul even threw in marriage to his daughter and asked David to bring the “foreskin of a hundred Philistines” as the bride price, hoping that David would be killed. But David succeeded.
After Samuel died, the Philistines invaded Israelite territory and gathered forces at Shunem. Saul’s faith dwindled, and Samuel was not around to give Saul his frequent Godly advice, so Saul traveled all the way to En Dor to consult a medium on the battle’s outcome. The result of his communication with the spirit of Samuel distressed him immensely; Saul was told that the entire Israeli army would be defeated by the Philistines, and three of his sons would be killed.
The prophecy became a reality. The Israelites were no match against the assault of the Philistines. Saul fell on his sword after hearing his three sons were killed on Mount Gilboa. Their bodies were cremated at Jabesh. After learning of Saul’s death, David moved to Hebron and was crowned the new king of Judah.
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