SAUL, ISRAEL’S FIRST KING

    Printer-friendly versionSend by email

    [1 Samuel:9:1-27]; [1 Samuel:10:1-27].

    Lesson No.: 
    205
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (I Corinthians 1:27).

    Cross References: 

    I Saul’s Visit to Samuel
    1. Saul, the son of a mighty man of power, has a wonderful physique, [1 Samuel:9:1-2].
    2. He is sent by his father to seek lost livestock, [1 Samuel:9:3-5]; [Amos:7:14-15].
    3. Saul is led of God to Samuel, [1 Samuel:9:6-17].
    4. Samuel honours Saul at the feast, [1 Samuel:9:18-27].
    5. Saul manifests humility, [1 Samuel:9:21]; [1 Samuel:10:22]; [Proverbs:15:33]; [Proverbs:22:4]; [Isaiah:57:15]; [James:4:6].

    II Saul’s Anointing
    1. Samuel anoints Saul and gives three signs, [1 Samuel:10:1-8].
    2. Saul is saved, [1 Samuel:10:9-13].
    3. He is chosen by lot to be king, [1 Samuel:10:14-27].

    Notes: 

    Saul, a Physical Specimen
    When God chose Saul to reign over Israel, He chose a man of marvellous physique. He was a “goodly” or handsome man, the best to be found in Israel. He was a tall, athletic specimen, perhaps about seven feet in height, which in the eyes of Israel made an ideal man to lead the army of Israel. His father, Kish, was a “mighty man of power” -– no doubt a man of wealth and influence among the people.

    Sent to Samuel
    It may seem as though it were a matter of chance that Saul came to Samuel while seeking after the lost livestock of his father. But God told Samuel, “To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin,” God said, “I will send....“ Many times it seems as though it were by accident that people have been led to hear the Gospel, but it is not an accident -– it is Divine direction. If a man is hungry for the truth, God will lead him over land and sea, if need be, that he might hear the truth and be set free. Saul searched the land of Shalisha, Shalim, Benjamin, and Zuph until he came to the man of God -– but God brought him there.

    Good Qualities
    One of the good qualities that Saul possessed early in life was humility. When Samuel suggested that he was the one that Israel was to choose for their king, Saul replied, “Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?” It was this humility that caused him to hide himself among the stuff at a time that he was to be honoured among the people. God loves humility and hates pride.

    A haughty monarch once made his boast, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Daniel:4:30). While the words were yet in his mouth God humbled him by taking his kingdom from him; yes, and not only his kingdom, but also his reason. It is well for man to know that he had nothing that God did not give him or permit him to obtain. If you have wealth, “Thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy:8:18). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (James:1:17).

    Humility
    The words of Saul were, “Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least...?” When God called Gideon, his reply was, “Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judges:6:15). God chooses humble men that He might show for his great power.

    When the Lord told Moses that He would send him to Pharaoh, Moses said, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus:3:11). “Who am I?” Who are any of us that God should show unto us His great power? It is only this: “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.” Paul the great Apostle to the Gentiles said, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle” (I Corinthians:15:9). God’s great men are humble men. Even among sinners it is often said, “The truly great are humble.”

    Wisdom
    The wisdom that Saul had was manifest when the children of Belial said with a sneer, “How shall this man save us?” Saul held his peace. Solomon wrote, “He that refraineth his lips is wise,” and “Whoso keepth his mouth and his tongue keepth his soul from troubles” (Proverbs:10:19;:21:23). Through James we learn that our religion is vain unless we bridle our tongue. Pilate marvelled that our Saviour kept silence when He was reviled. Is your wisdom known by a seal upon your lips?

    A Rich Reward
    When the servant of Saul suggested that they go to the man of God to inquire of the way, Saul said, “But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?” The servant answered, “Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.” “What have we?” Saul came to the man of God with a vessel spent and empty, to inquire of the way. He came to the right source. The man of God showed him the way. He came empty and went away with a crown. He came, a herdsman; and left, a king. Yes, and more than a king! He came a sinner and departed a child of God.

    What a marvellous thing is this! We come to the Lord broken, spent, and empty; we leave with the fullness of joy. We kneel before Him as a sinner, guilty, condemned to die; we receive forgiveness with a full pardon. We, who were slaves of Satan, are now heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (I John:3:1).

    A New Creature
    There can be no doubt that Saul received a definite experience of salvation. Samuel told him, “The Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.” We are told, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” (II Corinthians:5:17), which is another way of saying that he is “another man.” The same thing is implied when Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”

    When we are saved, we are not only forgiven for our sins, but we are transformed. A miracle is wrought which changes us from children of this world to children of God. “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We who were dead in trespasses and sin, live to walk in newness of life. God gave Saul “another heart,” and “the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied.” What a change this was in the life of Saul! Surely no one can doubt that Saul was saved. All those who knew him before asked with wonderment, “What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” So great was the surprise of the people that it became a proverb or saying among them, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

    A Good Start -– A Sad End
    What a wonderful start for the man whom God had chosen to rule over Israel! But how said it is that he did not long continue in the way into which God had led him. It is a warning to all today that it is possible to receive the “born-again experience” and become a child of God and then to backslide and eventually be eternally lost. Saul once knew the fellowship and favour of God, but there came a time when the Spirit of God departed from him and “the LORD answered him not” (I Samuel:28:6).

    A suicide’s grave and a devil’s hell was the fate of the man of whom the people once asked, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” Jesus said, “He that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew:10:22). It is well for the man that has started in the way to “take heed lest he fall.”

    Questions: 

    1. How tall do you think Saul was?
    2. From which tribe of Israel was he?
    3. How do we know that Saul’s coming to Samuel was not by chance?
    4. What good qualities did Saul manifest?
    5. How do we know that Saul was converted?
    6. Give Scriptural proof that it is possible to be saved and then to backslide and eventually be eternally lost.
    7. What promises does God give to the humble?
    8. In what manner did Saul manifest wisdom?
    9. What is the value in our money of one fourth of a shekel?
    10. What were the signs that Samuel gave Saul to show that God was with him?