"Snippets" from David
Begin by noting that Israel rejected God’s leadership in their choice to have a king (1 Samuel 8:7). Yet, God heeded their request for a king. Though Israel did not address their real problem (the real problem was evil, not leadership), God yielded to their request. God’s love for people and expressions of grace are incredible!
Secondly, note God directed the transfer of leadership to a king arrangement in spite of the fact that Israel was rejecting His leadership. In the past the line of communication was this: God—human spokesman (often, a prophet or a priest)—Israel as a nation/people. The leadership problem did not lie in God, but in his spokes person (1 Samuel 8:1-3). The breakdown was in the human link which failed to represent God. God would continue His guidance; just another human link was added. God’s intentions seemed to have become this: God—prophet—king—Israel. If the king (a) knew the Law and (b) yielded to God’s values as he judged the people, as he supported God’s instructions, and as he urged Israel to follow God’s ways, then God could work through a godly king to achieve His purposes in Israel.
Thirdly, note God was directly involved in selecting Israel’s first king. Saul was a unique man in Israel—a father who was “a man of valor” [a descendant of a warrior]; a handsome man [he had the physical stature of a kingly man]; a tall man [he had the physical image of a king] (1 Samuel 9:1, 2). In our words, he had the look of a king—he was just what the people were looking for!
God revealed to the prophet Samuel that he was to anoint Saul to become Israel’s king (1 Samuel 9:15, 16). Samuel clearly understood that the anointing was from God (1 Samuel 10:1). God even changed Saul’s heart (1 Samuel 9:9), and God’s Spirit came on him (1 Samuel 10).
If you remember the events of Saul’s reign, your first response might be, “Wait a minute! Saul was a horrible, ungodly king!” That reaction would be quite correct! In fact, Saul was such a bad king from God’s perspective that God took the kingship away from him (1 Samuel 15:26-28).
That entire situation produces some interesting questions and insights. Did God deliberately select a man to be king of Israel knowing that he would be a miserable failure? Was Saul’s moral failure God’s fault? Was Saul’s horrible performance as king a matter of him being a victim of God’s foresight?
The answer to all of those questions is NO!!! God did not pick Saul to fail. Saul was not a victim. God was not to blame for what happened to Saul. In fact, Saul is a great lesson to us all.
Saul had the potential to be a remarkable leader. He had the right family background and the right physical stature. He had the right spiritual credentials. When he first became king, he was a humble man who was not presumptuous nor vindictive (1 Samuel 10:17-27; 11:12, 13).
However, the humble man chose to become a proud man. The proud man became an insecure man. The insecure man chose to be a vindictive man in the foolish personal confidence that the combination of hate and vindictiveness is the road to security.
God provides each of us with incredible potential to be a godly person. We each chose how we will use His potential. If we act presumptuously by substituting human ways for divine guidance, we become insecure. In our insecurity, we are deceived into believing that the road to security is exercising hate and vindictiveness.
God grants us potential. We chose how we will use it.
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