Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?” 1 Samuel 9:21
Israel has asked for a king, and God lets them have their way. But this king will be selected by God, not by man.
The first king of Israel is Saul and he is not at all what people expected. He wasn’t from a powerful tribe or bold clan, but he was God’s choice. Saul started off humble and strong; a good king. He won battles, and he won the hearts of the people.
However, as often comes with power and success, Saul became impatient and prideful. Though ordained by God, he started to believe the victories and success were all from him.
Commentator George Whitfield summarizes that Saul “followed God just so far as suited his convenience; when it interfered in any way with his own interests, he cast him off.” As a result of Saul’s unrepentant disobedience, Samuel (the last judge, also a priest and the first prophet after Moses) informed Saul his kingdom would be no more.
Sometimes when we are weak and vulnerable, we easily cling to God, but when things start to go our way, we begin to think we can handle things on our own and don’t seek God as quickly, or at all if it is inconvenient. This is a recipe for disaster. God wants us to seek Him in all things. He is for us and wants us to succeed, but He wants us to do it with full knowledge that all things are FROM Him and FOR Him.
Saul learned his lesson the hard way. This first king, who started off strong, goes down in disgrace.
Questions: When do you seek God most passionately (good times, hard times, scary times, etc.)? Do you tend to forget to go to God when things are going well? What can you do to always remember to put your hope and trust in God?