Friday, October 19, 2012

1 Chronicles 10:13-14 King Saul's End

13 So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. 14 But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

As the Scriptures states Saul though anointed as Israel's first king died for his unfaithfulness to the Lord (see 1 Samuel 13:1-15; 15:1-35, vs. 10). The passage also states that Saul's death was a direct result of his consulting a medium for guidance (see 1 Sam 28:3-25). Now from the time that God first prophesied of His rejecting Saul, and Saul's death at his own hands would be about 38 years. Thirty eight years of life lived as Israel's king, but with none of the true purposes of God fulfilled through it; and this often in spiritual torment and fear (1 Sam 16:14-23). And so Saul would live out his tenure in his own strength and power. 
Making many rash and ill advised decisions as he did (See 1 Sam 14:36-37), while having neither the true respect of the people (see 1 Sam 14:24-46) nor the personal Presence or Guidance of God (1 Sam 28:15). Thus Saul having been rejected by God for His disobedience, yet retaining external power in Israel, would only become more and more paranoid of David the son of Jesse whom God had anointed to replace him (1 Sam 18:8-16). And so in the end (though twice shown mercy by David, 1 Sam 24:1-22; 26:1-25) it would be Saul himself who would usher in his own demise. Now some of Saul's decisions as king born out of his fear of the people (1 Sam 15:24-25), and or his attempting to appease the people of Israel would only bring trouble to the nation. not only then, but also after his demise (2 Sam 21:1-14). And so Saul reigned for a season, but always without God and often in fear of, and or with murderous intentions towards David. The man whom the Lord said would (in God's timing) replace him (1 Sam 18:1-16). Sadly then Saul's best and most productive years were only spent in his futile and murderous attempts to try to keep God from fulfilling His plans and purposes for David the son of Jessie whom God had chosen to replace him. In this Saul would go so far as to even order the killing of eighty five of the Lord's priest's, when he was wrongly informed that Ahimelech the priest of Nob, had assisted David escape him (1 Sam 21:1-9; 22:6-23). Even his own son Jonathan who would've succeeded him, Saul likewise turned murderous towards when he perceived that Jonathan's heart was with David, and not with him in trying to help him maintain his legacy (see 1 Sam 20:1-42, vs. 33).

Now Saul began as a most desirable candidate for the throne. From a wealthy family, and standing head and shoulders above all the people, Saul was (at least from all outward appearances) the perfect specimen, and most likely choice to be Israel's first king. Even Samuel the prophet of God was taken with his person and stature when shown him by the Lord. And so the Lord knowing the heart of His people gave them the king that they desired for themselves (1 Sam 9:20). Yet the true nature of a man is seldom, if ever revealed by outward appearances, as the Lord would later caution Samuel when seeking Saul's replacement (1 Samuel 16:7).  And so it would be just two years into his reign when Saul's true character and inner weaknesses would begin to be exposed. Beginning with his unlawful sacrifice, when Samuel the prophet did not arrive at the appointed time. And so Saul facing his first leadership crises as the people began to depart from him because of a 30,000 man strong Philistine imminent invasion, which he himself had precipitated by attacking a garrison of the Philistines without first consulting God (compare his actions with David's 1 Chr 14:8-17); would in desperation in trying to find out what to do next, offer a sacrifice to God, which only a priest could lawfully do (1 Sam 13:1-15). Now in contrast to Saul's all to frequent rashness, by which he would try to compensate for his lack of leadership abilities (consider 1 Sam 14:24-46), is his son Jonathan. A man (like David) of true faith and God centered courage whose heart and life was guided by an unshakable and undeniable faith and trust in God (1 Sam 13:16-14:1-23, vs 6) something that Saul never exemplifies during his reign; either during the Goliath incident, or anytime else.  

And so again when Saul received a direct commandment from God to make war with king Agag and the Amaleta's and destroy him and everyone and thing that was theirs. (This for what Amalek their ancestral father did to the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt), would upon the battles completion, disobey God's commandment and give in to both his own as well as the people's desire to keep back the best of the sheep, oxen and plunder for themselves; (though Saul later blames the people for this), and thus they only destroy what was utterly worthless and despised. Now Samuel the prophet upon coming upon the scene and seeing King Agag still alive and the people hoarding the best of the spoils will openly confront Saul about these things. Yet Saul will repeatedly deny having done anything wrong. Indeed he will even go so far as to claim to have kept the commandment of the Lord when he clearly had not. Only when Samuel sternly rebukes Saul for his rebellion and lying ways, telling him that the Lord has rejected him as king; does Saul show any remorse for his actions; and that only to save face before Samuel and the people whom he feared being rejected as king (1 Sam 15:10-35).
So God in his anger gave them the king whom they desired for themselves (1 Sam 8:7), and in His wrath He took him away (Hosea 13:11). Thus Saul ruled them for a season, and that only as one who was not only continually unfaithful towards God, and unjust towards men, and ultimately as one who would only serve his own interests, fears, and plans.

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982

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