Lesson Seven | Devotion #5: Saul
Richie Henson | Production Director
The story of King Saul is deeply tragic. Saul was a man called out by God to be the first king of Israel, and over time, Saul became more concerned with the people of Israel than he was with the God of Israel. As Saul began to focus his God given influence on the happiness of people instead of the will of God, things began to crumble quickly.
Saul makes several decisions that prove his fear of man to be more prevalent than his fear of God. An obvious example of this is Saul refusing to fight Goliath, but allowing a child to fight instead. Although David was obviously full of the faith needed to slay Goliath, I often feel that the ultimate responsibility to be God’s warrior rested with Saul.
Over time, Saul’s heart becomes hardened, and then, in 1 Samuel chapter 15, we see that Saul has exhausted the grace allotted to him as king. Saul disobeyed God by keeping the plunder of wars for himself instead of destroying it all as God commanded. Samuel, God’s prophet, approaches Saul on this issue and we see their final conversation before Saul’s death.
1 Samuel 15:24-26 says, “Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.’ And Samuel said to Saul, ‘I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.’”
This passage records a terrible realization and consequence. Saul realizes and admits that he feared people more than he feared God. That is a scary and truly sad feeling. The thoughts and opinions of God were out weighed by the demands of the people. The consequence of Saul’s actions is being rejected by the Lord.
Saul made many mistakes in life to which most of us will never relate. However, I think Saul’s life serves as a warning to all of us. God gifts and places each of us for a specific purpose. After salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit and in turn, spiritual gifting. How easy it has become for us to take our gifting for granted and use it selfishly. How easy is it to stop pursuing the growth of our gifts and allow them to become stagnant and stale?
We must look at Saul’s life with understanding that God desires for us to use the influence and gifts we are given to work for His purpose. If we are unwilling to obey the will of God, we must not be surprised when our gifts and influence are taken away.