King Saul was humble and filled by the Spirit of God at the beginning of his reign. And the Lord gave him many victories over Israel’s enemies. But slowly the spirit of pride started to grow in his heart which led him to rebellion and disobedience to God’s commands.
In one incident, he offered a sacrifice which only the priests were authorized to perform (1 Samuel 13:9-12). This disobedience to God continued over the years and God was displeased with him because he could no longer a faithful leader that could lead the nation of Israel spiritually.
His final major fall took place when he failed to eliminate all of the Amalekites and their livestock as commanded by God (1 Samuel 15:3). He fell from God’s grace by disobeying Him, and saving the life of King Agag, saving some of the stock, and lying to Samuel that the people are the ones that saved the animals (1 Samuel 15).
Samuel mourned God’s rejection to Saul but the Lord told him that He has found a substitute to King Saul, a man in the house of Jesse. And Samuel went secretly to anoint David to be king (1 Samuel 16:1-13). Finally, God’s spirit left Saul and an evil spirit took over him (1 Samuel 16:14). Saul became more depressed and discouraged with time and could no longer lead the Israelites to battle the enemies.
When the Philistines challenged Israel in the valley of Elah to fight Goliath the giant, Saul could not take their challenge for 40 days. But the Lord sent David who was filled by the Holy Spirit and courage. David fought Goliath and overcame him by the power of God (1 Samuel 17).
From that point on, Saul feared David and knew that God was with him. The Israelites loved David and cheered his victories saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7). King Saul was very jealous of David and was determined to kill him. And, instead of focusing his power on destroying the Philistines, he set on chasing after David for many years.
The Philistines took advantage of Saul’s weakness and warred against Israel causing them defeat. King Saul who was utterly discouraged fell on his sword and killed himself and his sons died in the battle also (1 Samuel 31:6). Pride and disobedience led to the fall of King Saul. In contrast, king David prospered in his reign for he walked humbly before God and was obedient to His commandment “Happy are those who obey the Lord, who live by his commands” (Psalm 128:1).
In His service,
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