Summary: 2 men but 2 vastly different hearts and 2 very different destinations.
8 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.
9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
• 10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.
• 11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;
• 12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.
• 13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
• 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.
• 15 And Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about six hundred men.
• I would like to take a journey into a king’s heart. It’s really a tale of two kings and their 2 hearts. Of all the kings that ruled Israel in her storied history the first two kings stand apart. Together they represent the best and the worst. The greatest and the least. The successes and failures of a king are many and both men had their share of each. But these two kings are so interesting, today, because they provide an excellent study in contrasts.
• On the one hand you have the first king that Israel ever had.
On the other hand you have the greatest king that Israel ever had. Saul gets the honor of being Israel’s first king. God appointed him to that role.
But he also gets the distinction of being the first king to have his kingdom torn from him by God.
David was Saul’s successor. He was also chosen by God to serve as king, but his kingdom far eclipsed that of his predecessor, Saul. King David is mentioned more in scripture than any other biblical character except Jesus.
While Saul is the unparalleled example of the failure of a king, David is the classic image of the successes of a king.
• When you look at their lives to try to determine the root cause of the extreme differences between them, you might first start with their humanity.
• But you will quickly discover that both men were equally human.
• They both had their faults, character flaws, both sinned
and both failed God at different times and in different ways.
If you really want to explore the differences between the two you have to journey a little deeper.
It all rises and falls on the heart of the king!
First, lets look at Saul as king. Saul became king because Israel demanded a king. They wanted to be like other nations. They had, up to that time been a kingdom that was ruled by God.
God had been their king. And, while that should have been sufficient, they got to looking around them at other nations and they decided they wanted to have a king just like the other nations had a king.
this was a bad idea. The notion of needing a king rises from the notion that, somehow, God isn’t enough – that somehow the prestige of a kingly leader would be preferable to the leadership of God. It was indicative of a backslidden heart on the part of the nation of Israel. God knew this.
The prophet Samuel knew this. But the people could not be made to see this truth.
Could it have been that when God chose Saul, he intentionally selected a king whose heart mirrored the heart of the nation of Israel?
What we see unfold in the story of King Saul is God’s effort to change the heart of the man.
Follow with me. God chose Saul out of all the men of Israel.
When he did he chose a kingly king. He chose a man that was an excellent specimen of stature, strength, and ability.
He was taller than al of his peers, he was stronger than all of his brethren, he was more handsome, more bold, more kingly than all the men of Israel.