Summary: Looking at Saul in the OT to teach us about the right confidence to have
“Saul: Do I trust in God?” - 1 Samuel
If you have your bibles with you this morning, I invite you to turn with me to the book of 1 Samuel. If you’re using one of the Bibles in the seat racks, it will be on page ___. Hopefully you have had the chance to read through this book the last two weeks. We have been going through the OT together, and seeing that the issues the Jews faced 4000 years ago are the same issues we face today.
We have seen a few key stages of the Jews’ history, and today we begin looking at a new stage. In Genesis, we saw the age of the Patriarchs, the famous forefathers of the Jews. In Exodus we saw the years of Slavery. In Numbers, we saw the period of Wandering. In Joshua, we saw the period of Conquest. And today, in Samuel, we see the beginning of the period of the Kingdom.
We saw last week that Samuel’s sons were evil, and in 1 Samuel 8:3 we see, “But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.” As a result, the Jews take that opportunity to ask for what they really had been wanting all along, to be just like the enemy nations surrounding them - they wanted a king.
And for the next thousand years, the Jews will have a Jewish king over them. But the kingdom rises or falls on the type of King they have. God chooses their first king, Saul. In 1 Samuel 10:20 we see the process God uses to appoint this king. When Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was chosen. Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. So they enquired further of the LORD, “Has the man come here yet?” And the LORD said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the LORD has chosen? There is no-one like him among all the people.” Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
We want to look today at the question of where our confidence lies. And when we look at Saul, we see an example of looking at all the wrong places. This morning, where is your confidence? It’s easy to say it is in God, but there are so many other places we turn to find our confidence. Let’s pray that the example of Saul will teach each of us. --PRAYER--
Part of the consequence of living in this sinful world of ours in that we face problems. It’s something that none of us are immune to. But how do we face our problems? The source of our confidence says a lot about our faith. Often we look at our own strength and ability, we look at our intelligence to figure out solutions, we try to use might to keep us safe, we hope luck and chance is on our side, and the stars are in our favor, and when they aren’t, we seek to dull our pain through amusement and entertainment. And we do all of this instead of running to the one, the only one, who can help us.
That, in a nutshell, is the story of King Saul. King Saul, as we saw in chap. 10, is a head taller than any of the other Jews. Of course he would be the ideal king, at least in the thinking of all the people. Because they are looking at having
1. Confidence in Human Ability - It was important for a king to be strong, because he was the one who led his troops in battle. Often a nation would choose one of their best fighters to be the king. The king was always out in front in the battle. So the fact that God chose this giant of a man caused the people to be elated.
Saul was from the right family. He had blue blood. It says in 1 Samuel 9:1 - There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites--a head taller than any of the others. Not only was Saul, tall, he was also good-looking, the meaning of “impressive” here. So he is tall, young, handsome, and from a wealthy family. It sounds like John Kennedy. If there is anyone from an earthly perspective who would make a good candidate for king, it is Saul.