The rise of Saul
Notes on I Samuel by Ivan Ho 29 May 2016
Saul was one of the saddest stories in the Bible. A man who had been anointed by God, called by God as commander of His people, touched by God, empowered by the Spirit of God, used by God to prophesy publicly….. then lost his God given position due to his carelessness and disobedience.
Let’s recall how God had special grace for Saul who had a great start to his ministry before his fall.
- He was a tall and most handsome man in all of Israel and son of a mighty man of power. (1 Sam 9:1-2)
- God changed his destiny. While Saul was looking for his father’s donkey, he was reminded about a man of God, Samuel, who changed his destiny entirely by delivering to him the word of God. (1 Sam 9:3-27)
- God had a special grace and plan for him and spoke to him his destiny through the prophet Samuel. (1 Sam 9:25-27)
- Saul was anointed by God to be the commander over His people. He was made the first king of Israel. (1Sam 10:1)
- He had a special God encounter. Three men, who symbolised God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, came to meet with Saul and gave him the word of God (bread) and a new vessel to carry the Spirit of God (skin of wine). (1 Sam 10:3-4).
- He was given the Spirit of prophecy and prophesied publicly with a company of prophets. (1 Sam10:5-6, 10:10)
- Saul was touched by the Spirit of God who turned him into another man which symbolised him being born again. (1 Sam 10:6)
- God was with Saul and signs and wonder followed him. (1 Sam 10:7)
- God gave Saul specific instructions and guidance. (1 Sam10:8)
- God gave him another heart, a new nature. Saul was a new creation in God. (1 Sam 10:9)
- The people recognised the anointing and grace over Saul’s life and praised him publicly. From relative obscurity, Saul was taken to a high place of honour and public recognition. (1 Sam 10:11-12)
- Saul was publicly inaugurated into his office as the king of Israel with the people’s support who shouted “long live the king!” (1 Sam 17-24)
- Saul delivered the Constitution to the people to tell them how they should behave as subjects in the kingdom which symbolised the word of God given to us to govern our lives in the kingdom of God. (1 Sam 10:25)
- God touched the heart of other valiant men to follow Saul. Saul not only had the support of people, he also had the support of other mighty men of God. (1 Sam 10:26)
- There were rebels amongst the people who despised Saul but he held his peace. (1 Sam 10:27)
- When confronted by the attack of the enemy, the Spirit of God came upon Saul and stirred his heart to call upon the people to fight against the enemy. (1 Sam 11:1-7)
- God gave Saul strategy to completely defeat the enemy and gave him his first major victory and breakthrough. (1 Sam 11:8-11)
- Saul recognised the salvation of God and extended His grace over the people. (1 Sam 11:12-13)
- With total victory over the enemy, Saul was confirmed that he was the right man for the office and was made king in Gilgal by the people. (1 Sam 11:14-15)
Wow, what an anointed, mighty man of God Saul was! What a great leader with the hand of God and grace of God over his life! Saul was what everyone would aspire to become, a man not only with good looks, but also anointed and empowered by God to be the ruler and commander of a nation, with great success over the enemies with signs and wonder to follow, and supported and loved by the people!
But his rulership and greatness sadly did not last. He would fall from grace and his kingship position being replaced by David, and died a tragic death. A great beginning but a sad end, all because of one thing: disobedience to the word of God!
To be continued…