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Saul King

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During the time of Samuel, why did the people of Israel desire a king? Why was Saul chosen, and, ultimately, why was he rejected? What attribute did David display that made him a better king than Saul? What sin did Solomon commit that ultimately led to the division of Israel after his death?

The elders of the tribes come to Samuel and requested a king. They say that Samuel is too old and his sons are corrupt. They desired a king to “lead them” and to lead them and to go out before them and to fight their battles. There was certain things that they did not want to do for themselves, so they desired a king to do them. “The kingdom was established in First Samuel and consolidated in Second Samuel. First Kings records its division and decline, and Second Kings its destruction and deterioration” (Hindson, 2012. p.178). Samuel was a prophet and Israel’s religious leader but not a king. Israel was loosely ruled by judges but had no one equipped to rule in a time of war.

King Saul was chosen to demonstrate God’s power through his transformation. In Saul’s case it is not how you begin but how you finish. Saul was actually secretly anointed the first king of all of the tribes in Israel being he was chosen by the public population. Saul started off with a fresh start as king; he came from a well-to-do family, was tall, dark, handsome, and it was told there was no man taller than he. But, his peaceful start did not last long. During his reign he had a stand-off with the Philistines in the valley of Elah, unauthorized sacrificial offering, failed to eliminate all of the Amalekites and their livestock as commanded by God, and lied to God as well. The break between Saul and God is arguably one of the saddest occurrences in Scripture. Saul’s final act of disobedience included him falling on to his sword, and taking his own life.

While King Saul was making mistakes one on top of another God had sent Samuel to find His chosen shepherd, David. David was brought in to the king’s court after Saul was plagued with an evil spirit. One of the attributes that made David a better king than Saul is that he did not misuse the power that was given to him, he led the way God wanted him to lead, and he obeyed the Lord. David was truly a man after God’s own heart. David was a sinner just like so many but he set his heart and pointed it to follow God and had absolute faith.

Many years had transpired between the times that David was anointed king and when he actually ascended the throne; and they were not easy years. David had Saul’s life in his hands two different times, and could have killed him and even was even encouraged to do so by his comrades. David’s response was “Behold this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my Lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed’” (Got questions).

Solomon was a man of many wives; he loved many foreign women and disobeys God’s command not to intermarry them. “Solomon began on the right track as he followed David’s exhortation and purged the nation of those who posed a threat to Solomon’s power and covenant” (Hindson, 2012, p.180). Solomon’s wives also turned him away from God when he got old, and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, and his father David did.

Lust led Solomon to a place he never thought he would see, you can not serve the Lord and serve other gods. After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam ruled and he spoke very severely to the people. A large part of the Israelite kingdom then rose up again Solomon’s son Rehoboam. Ten of the Israelite then separated from Rehoboam, chose for themselves Jeroboam, from the tribe of Ephraim. The tribes were all split in to different wants and the way the kingdom was split was divided into two: Israel and Judah. The city of Samaria became the capital of Israel and the Jerusalem remained the capital of the Judean kingdom.

References:
Hindson, Ed. & Yates, Gary. The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey. 2012. B&H Publishing Group. Nashville, Tennessee.

What Should We Learn From the Life of David. 2013. Accessed February 8, 2013 from < http://www.gotquestions.org/life-David.html>

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