After a lifetime in church, there are Bible stories that fascinate me and make me ponder how the events unfolded. I truly believe there will be some type of virtual reality room in Heaven where you will be able to see certain moments that took place in the Bible and come away with an “Oh, that’s how that happened!” Other stories make me shake my head and wonder what people were thinking. Israelites, God just parted the waters of the Red Sea, and you are worried whether or not He can get you water? Gehazi, you really think you can lie and then hide the loot, and no one would know?
Probably the character that causes me to shake my head the most is King Saul. So humbled that at his coronation that he hid himself, yet his life ends in suicide, and he takes his family with him. How did it go so wrong? How did you fall so far?
Recently while reading I Samuel 13-15 again, something jumped out at me. I reread the text and then began to take notes on what I thought was the downward spiral of King Saul. As a Christian, my goal is to finish the race. I don’t want to be cast away. I want my children to choose the faith of their fathers. But we’ve all seen it repeated multiple times how that someone who once was on fire for the things of God becomes a cautionary tale.
King Saul was chosen by God as the very first king of Israel. He started off so well, but then little steps and little decisions led to his total ruin.
- He took credit for someone else’s victory (I Samuel 13:4) Jonathan had taken a step of faith to try and make the situation better, and when it turned out well, all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines.
- He did the man of God’s job (I Samuel 13:9) Samuel did not come at the appointed time, so King Saul took it on himself to do the man of God’s job.
- He did not prepare those under him (I Samuel 13:22) King Saul and his son had swords ready for the battle, but the people under them had nothing.
- He tried to appear spiritual (I Samuel 14:18) King Saul asked for the Ark of God to be brought, but when he heard the noise of the battle, he stopped asking and didn’t wait for an answer.
- It was all about him (I Samuel 14: 24) King Saul made the proclamation that anyone who ate that day would be cursed and punished because he wanted his enemies avenged.
- He got dramatic (I Samuel 14:33) When King Saul was told that some of the people had eaten something after the battle that was unclean, he stated, “Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day.”
- He decided how much he would obey (1 Samuel 15:8-9) When given the command to destroy the Amalekites, King Saul decided that partial obedience was the same as obedience.
It does not seem that Saul woke up one day and decided to go against the Lord and His leading. It was little, everyday decisions that led to his downfall, which ended in his suicide and the death of his sons. The prayer of my heart is that I am diligent in the little things, that I listen to the “still small voice,” and that I finish my course with joy.
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Mrs. Chung grew up around the work of the ministry and now has the privilege of teaching at the North Valley Baptist Schools. She and her husband faithfully teach young people and are a vital asset to the ministry of NVBC.