Summary: In this study, we will learn three important things in the life of King Saul that revealed his initial flaws that ultimately brought him down. God wants us to be faithful unto the very end.
Today, we will continue our study on the life of King Saul.
So far, we have learned from chapter 12 that Samuel gave his farewell speech to Israel.
He had lived with exemplary good moral integrity all his life and left words that encouraged Israel.
He said in 1 Samuel 12:14-15 "If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! 15 But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors."
Now, we will focus our study in the life of Saul.
His life was the complete opposite of the life of Samuel.
Saul's life could be summed up in one sentence: "It is not how you start that is important, but how you finish the race of life."
Saul started out very well as a king only to see his subsequent actions derail his life and pulling down his own people as well.
He started out honoring God but ended up disobeying His commands.
It seems that he did not make a good finish.
And is not leaving behind a good legacy.
How could that be possible?
How could someone so close to God at the start of his life, then after many years in power began to spiral out of control and out of favor with men and God?
What could have gone wrong along the way?
This chapter will teach us a glimpse on how his spiritual and moral decline as a leader came into being and eventually destroyed himself and his kingdom.
Let me start with this story:.
There’s a little anecdote of Leonardo da Vinci, the great painter, sculptor, and inventor, about his painting The Last Supper, one
of the most copied and sold works of art in all of history.
It took da Vinci twenty years to finish, since it was so difficult at that time to find people who could pose as models.
In fact, he had problems in starting the painting because he couldn’t find a model who could represent Jesus,
someone who could reflect in his face purity, nobility, and the loveliest feelings.
Also, the model needed to possess extraordinary manly beauty.
Finally, he found a young man with these characteristics, and it was the first figure of the picture he painted.
Later, he went looking for the twelve apostles, whom he painted together, leaving Judas Iscariot’s spot open, since he couldn’t find a suitable model.
It had to be a person of mature age who had a face with the traces of betrayal and greed.
That is why the painting remained unfinished for a long time, until they told him of a terrible criminal who had been taken prisoner.
Da Vinci went to see him, and he was exactly the Judas he wanted to finish his work.
So he asked the mayor to allow the prisoner to pose for him.
The mayor, knowing the master’s fame, gladly accepted and ordered that the prisoner be taken to the painter’s studio, chained
and accompanied by two guards.
During all that time, the prisoner showed no signs of emotion for having been chosen as a model, but remained completely quiet and distant.
Finally, when da Vinci was satisfied with the result, he called the prisoner over and showed him the painting.
When the prisoner saw it, he was greatly impressed and fell to his knees, crying.
Surprised, da Vinci asked why he was crying, to which the prisoner responded:
“Master da Vinci, don’t you remember me?”
After looking at him carefully, Da Vinci answered him, “No, I have never seen you before.”
Crying and asking for forgiveness from God, the prisoner said to him, “Master, I am the young man you chose nineteen
years ago to represent Jesus in this same painting.”
Brothers and sisters, people change over time.
There are those who change for the better.
But still others change for the worst.
But it is not how you start in life but how you finish that is more important.
God wants us to remain faithful and committed to him until the very end.
We must examine whatever sin that hinders us from serving Him and learn to deal with them.
We must avoid the mistakes that King Saul encountered.
In this chapter, there are three important things in the life of King Saul that revealed his initial flaws that ultimately brought him down.
1. His Distorted Counsel
2. His Disordered Spirit
3. His Demoralized Army
HOW THE GLORY DEPARTED FROM SAUL.
1. HIS DISTORTED COUNSEL. 1 Samuel 13:1-7 (NIV) "Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty- two years. 2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes. 3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear."