GOD GAVE THE PEOPLE what they wanted. Saul is a perplexing character. Israel asks God for a king to rule over them so they could be like other nations. God speaks. He wanted to be their only King, but the people continue to ask to have their own way. God tells them what a king will do and how a king will take their money, livelihood, sons and daughters, and rule over them as he pleases. The people won’t relent, “Give us a king!” So God gives the people what they want.
He chooses Saul, a handsome man and a head taller than all the men. He looked the part. It was what the people wanted. In His mercy, God even gave Saul a new heart and put in him the Spirit of God. He gave the people what they wanted. Enter free will. Even after all God did for him, Saul continually disobeyed God and eventually the Spirit left him and the kingship was rent from him. Maybe he was on an ego trip and power went to his head. I can’t say.
Why did God choose Saul in the first place? An all-knowing God surely must have known where this was headed. God gave the people what they wanted. God tells us that man looks on the outside and Saul looked the part of a king. It was what the people wanted.
Repentance properly notes grief of heart, and change of counsels in man. But words that we apply to man do not have the same meaning when applied to an unchangeable God. “Repent” as is ascribed to God in the case of King Saul, ““I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.”I Samuel 15:11 NKJVmeans that God alters His course and method of dealing with man, and treats a person as if He did indeed “repent” of all the kindness He had showed to him.
God gave the people what they wanted in Saul. He did things their way, perhaps to show Israel that their desires were carnal and fleshly. I don’t always know why God does what He does; but being a merciful God, He intervened for His people by setting up the young shepherd boy David. Who, through his lineage, would one day again bring forth One who would intervene not just for Israel, but for all mankind.
The story of king Saul should minister a few things:What we want and what God wants are not always the same. Christ modeled a prayer for us in the garden, “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.””Matthew 26:39 Jesus exemplified an obedient life to the Father and His will. We are to walk as He walked. Be careful. God gives us over to our desires if we continue to push for them. This is revealed in Scripture time and time again.
God doesn’t control our actions. He sets bountiful blessings before us and tells us to choose life by choosing His path. It’s the narrow and afflicted path and there are few that find it. God intervenes. When I’m foolish enough to blaze my own path and seek my own way, God intervened. In the midst of my sorrows and troubles (from the consequences of my own actions), He makes a way out.
Repentance is that way out. Sorrow over your disobedience and sin brings deliverance. Take His way out. The people still wanted a king, but this time God would intervene and pick an uncommon and lowly king. Israel would never have made a young shepherd boy their king. Saul looked the part. David was the part. For man looks on the outside, but God searches the heart. Scripture does not record if Saul ever repented. Sure, he had some worldly sorrow when the kingdom was stripped from him, but it appears to me that he doubled-down in disobedience leading him further into deception. I’m guessing he did not truly repent. Pride is a powerful and very deceptive sin. Learn from his example. #runyourrace
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