1st Samuel 13:13-14

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by GBC Pastor, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. GBC Pastor

    GBC Pastor
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    13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” ESV


    I am curious about how others might view this passage. It seems to me that two possible scenarios are in play here concerning Saul. Saul could have kept God's command, and not made an unlawful sacrifice, or he could have acted as he indeed did in carrying out the unlawful sacrifice. It seems to me the ability for Saul to have done either is equally possible. I also see two scenarios in relation to God in this passage. If Saul had kept God's command, "then the Lord would have established [Saul's] kingdom over Israel forever." However, Saul does not do this and therefore God decrees that Saul's kingdom, "shall not continue." God's omniscience is not challenged in this passage because He already has David in view here to be Saul's successor, "sought out a man after his own heart, so Saul's choice in no way catches God unprepared or off-guard. But the passage seems to reveal two very real choices that Saul could make, and that God was willing to accept (respond to?) either choice.

    So what say you? How would you interpret this passage?
     
  2. menageriekeeper

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    You can't view this passage without reading what went on in the preceding chapters. Remember, God was already irked that the Jews wanted a king. Saul was that king, but he had his doubts. Remember, when it came time to present Saul to the kingdom, he hid well enough that he couldn't be found and God had to tell Samuel where he hiding. (end of chp 10)

    Then, just as Saul was barely getting used to being king (just one year) an enemy had to go and start a war(really, Israel instigated it with an attack on the Phillistine's garrison). Saul had a choice. Wait on Samuel or go on and get ready to to fight (and that meant a sacrifice).

    What he chose shows where his faith was. He didn't really have much. I can't say he didn't have any, but what he had was not enough to sustain him under the stress of being king. He didn't trust God to provide him with the understanding and patience that a good ruler must have. So at the first sign of trouble, Saul caved to his own ideas rather than waiting for the Word of God, through Samuel.

    Was God surprised? No. Personally I believe God chose Saul intentionally. The people of Isreal needed to understand what their choice had wrought. They needed to suffer the consequences of what they had decided. They needed to understand that their actions would have an effect on the king.

    Where does that leave Saul? Exactly in the same place we find ourselves. Saul's earthly consequence was that his family line was removed from Christ's family tree. His spiritual consequence, however, is God's own. We aren't told whether Saul ever fully surrendered to God's will. My opinion is that Saul never gave over control of his life (in spite of the consequence that his line wouldn't inherit the crown after him). He could have. God always remains faithful to forgive. Just Saul never seemed too. But we don't know.

    That might be a good thing though. Keeps us from getting to complacent.
     
  3. GBC Pastor

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    I completely agree that the context of the chapters surrounding these verses reveal Saul's struggles and Israel's poor choices. However what I am looking to grapple with in this text is what is an apparent willingness by God to establish the throne of Saul forever had he made the proper choice.

    I also certainly agree as I stated before that God was in no way caught off guard or unprepared fo Saul's decision. What is interesting to me though is that it would seem God was willing to respond to whatever decision Saul made. God in this passage seems to allow Saul two choices, and God seems to be acting contingent upon those choices.

    In other words it was a real possibility that Saul not David could have had his throne established forever.
     
  4. menageriekeeper

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    Absolutely Saul had the choice and God would have responded as well to Saul following the Law (which had been in place for 400 or so years if I remember correctly) as He did to Saul choosing to break the Law.

    What is important to note is what God was looking for "a man after his own heart". Remember, later on David is described in this manner. Why not Saul? Because evidently Saul only played lip service to trusting God.

    Only a Calvinist would have a problem with God giving man a choice and then responding/reacting to the choice the man made. ;) :D
     
  5. AnotherBaptist

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    For us who dwell in the temporal state right now, yes, we can think it was possible. But for God Who Knows all things, no. He Knew beforehand what choices would be made. The establishment of an everlasting kingdom fell to a descendant. Could Saul have waited for Samuel and been that ancestor? Perhaps (assuming he didn't mess up some other way). But he wasn't and the issue is now moot.

    How many things do we forfeit now because we don't pray and ask for them? Choices.
     
  6. GBC Pastor

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    Couldn't agree more with this!:thumbsup:
     

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