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If only I could to do it over again….. If only, if only ….. My name is Saul, and I wish I could tell you a different story, one with a happy ending. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. If I could live my life over, knowing what I know now, that certainly would be the case. But we only get one chance at life

So lets start with the good. I was the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 9:2-31:12; 1 Chronicles 5:10-26:28). I lived in turbulent times. For many years, Israel had consisted of a loose organization of tribes without a single leader. In times of crisis, leaders had arisen; but there was no formal government. Samuel was the leader before me, but he was a spiritual leader, not a king. When the people insisted on having a king, even though God warned them through Samuel that they would regret it, thy insisted.

Why was I chosen? Sometimes I wonder that myself. I was exactly what the people wanted, and I suppose that’s why God chose me – to show them what would happen when they insisted on their own way. For one thing, I was a large man of attractive appearance, which led to his quick acceptance by the people. In addition, I was from the tribe of Benjamin, situated on the border between Ephraim and Judah. Because of this I appealed to both the northern and southern sections of Israel. Furthermore, I was a capable military leader, as shown by my victories early in my career. One of the most important episodes of my career was his first encounter with the Philistines. It seemed we would be defeated, but Jonathan saved the day and opened the door to our victory.

My first sin was my failure to wait for Samuel at Gilgal (1 Samuel 13:8-9). There I assumed the role of a priest by making a sacrifice to ask for God’s blessing. My second sin followed soon afterward. After defeating Moab, Ammon, and Edom, I was told by Samuel to go to war against the Amalekites and to “kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Sam 15:3). I carried out his instructions well except that I spared the life of Agag, the king, and saved the best of the animals. Then I lied and told Samuel that I had followed instructions exactly.

God allowed me to remain king, but His Spirit departed from me because I wanted to follow my own will and not God’s will. From then on I was bothered by an evil spirit, a demon, that badly tormented me. It was during this time that Samuel anointed David as the next king.

Saul’s disobedience in this case showed that he could not be trusted as an instrument of God’s will. He desired to assert his own will instead. Although he was allowed to remain king for the rest of his life, the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul. He was troubled by an evil spirit that brought bouts of madness. Meanwhile, Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint DAVID as the new king.

At first I was friendly to David, but when he started being popular because of his success against goliath and the Philistines I became jealous and tried to kill him. As time went on I got further and further from God. Finally, after a 40 year reign, I and my sons were killed in battle.

It seemed I had so much promise at the start of my reign, but because I didn’t obey god but thought I knew best I lost everything, eventually even my life. I could have done great things for God and for Israel, instead I left the nation in a shambles politically and spiritually. If only I could do it over again I would do it SO differently. Regrets are terrible to live with. Make wise, godly decisions now so you won’t have regrets. You only get one chance at life, use it to follow God.

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