Did King Saul Ever Have A Chance?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by saturneptune, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    In, 1 Samuel, starting in Chapter 8, we read where the Israelites wanted a king "like the other nations." Samuel was against it, as was the Lord, but the Lord to Samuel to heed the word of the people. The Lord goes on to tell Samuel, and Samuel the people, exactly how a king would treat them, taking their wealth and family members for his own personal use. Still, the people wanted a king like the other nations to lead them into battle. Obviously this was a move to become less dependent on the Lord. So the Lord picked Saul as King and Samuel annoited him. There is also almost an entire chapter detailing God setting up circumstances to bring about the first meeting between Saul and Samuel.

    Almost from the start, Saul made made mistake after mistake in obeying the Lord, until finally, the Lord in essence told him it was over, and he lost his office and his life.

    I have always wondered, if after God warned the people what their first king would be like, if there was anything Saul could have done differently?
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    My thinking?

    It's not that there is nothing that Saul could have done any differently. Of course, he had choices. It's that the people asked to be ruled like the other nations were ruled and to be given a king like that.

    And they got what they asked for. Someone who didn't love the Lord. Someone who was into personal power and was petty and jealous.

    That's who Saul was. He made his choice as to whom he would serve and how he would live before he was made king.

     
  3. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    You know, that is a pretty good summary of the subject. His heart never was with the Lord, as was David despite his sins. In a way, this kind of reminds me of the comparison between Judas and Peter, one betrayed the Lord, and the other denied Him. Judas did it out of a selfish, evil heart. Peter loved the Lord, and when he denied Him, Peter was just plain scared.
     
  4. Scarlett O.

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    Exactly. Their second king, David, was a man after God's own heart. Not meaning that he was a goody-two shoes or "special". We all know he was a terrible husband and father and was often governed by his passions (anger, desire, pride ...) Many people suffered from time to time because of his choices in life.

    BUT, when he got called on the carpet by others and God, David repented.

    His personal sins make him sick and he humbled himself before God and he changed his attitude and ways. He didn't blame anyone else nor whine about it.

    David's heart was constantly for the Lord, despite his many shortcomings. Saul, imho, never knew the Lord. Thus, the difference.
     
  5. The Archangel

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    The question of Saul comes up every-so-often in our church, usually in discussions about God's sovereignty, plans, etc.

    There are some back-story things to consider about Israel and an earthly king. We have to remember that God always planned, at some point, to have Israel have a king.
    The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
    until tribute comes to him;
    and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
    (Genesis 49:10 ESV)

    “When you come to the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ [15] you may indeed set a king over you whom the LORD your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. (Deuteronomy 17:14-15 ESV)
    So, the issue here is not wanting an earthly king. The issue is wanting a "king like other nations." This is best understood as wanting a king "that looks like and acts like the kings of the other nations." And, indeed, that was Saul.

    Saul was tall, good to look at, etc., just like the other "pretty" kings of the other nations.

    But, we should know from the text, the first time we meet Saul, that he was to be a bad king. Why? The first time we see Saul (1 Sam 9), he is on a mission to find his father's lost donkeys. The first time we see David...he's away from the family faithfully tending to his father's sheep.

    The text implies who will be successful as king and who will be a failure.

    Furthermore, we should have expected Saul to fail as a king--as he was from Benjamin, not Judah.

    What is more, when Saul is dis-qualified from being king (which is to say that his offspring will not be king), it comes on the heals of horrendous disobedience.

    One thing Saul does is to act in the place of a priest. Remember...Saul is already a King, he has already prophesied, and now, in the absence of Samuel, he sacrifices animals in place of a priest. Nowhere in Scripture do we see one man take the tripartite mantle of "Prophet, Priest, and King" until Christ.

    Every king-like leader in Israel, Moses, Saul, David, etc., has, at most, two of the offices. Moses is a "King" and a prophet, but his brother Aaron is the priest.

    I maintain that Saul is disqualified precisely because his disobedience--at its root-- is to appoint himself as "Priest" in addition to his kingship and his prophecy. Only Christ is allowed to wear the three titles and hold the three offices.

    So...could he have done otherwise? Sure. He was willfully disobedient. But, knowing what the text says and shows through implication, we should have expected Saul to fail. While his disobedience was his alone, we should have expected it.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     

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