Thursday, February 11th, 2016
King Saul's... (Part 2)
The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
The people then said to Samuel, 'Who was it that asked, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.'
But Saul said, 'No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.'
1 Samuel 11:11-13 (NIV)
King Saul is remembered as one bad dude, based on his evil acts toward David, God's priests, and even his own son, Jonathan. None of them deserved the treatment they got. Saul was also a man of great valor, raising an army and winning hard wars.
As gripping delusions came upon him, his hatred respected no boundaries, harming both innocents and enemies. But unlike Israel's most corrupt kings, King Saul began his rise to royalty with honor, courage and good behavior.
Bible readers are introduced to Saul as a dutiful son on a mission. He decided to ask Samuel's help and discovered a much bigger mission: an appointment as Israel's first king. His reaction to Samuel's huge news was humility and self-denial.
'Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?' (1 Samuel 9:21).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: At the beginning of King Saul's rise, he looked and lived like a bright, new star. He respected his Lord and his kin. He was discreet in what he told whom, and God equipped him for this big role with a new heart and His Own Spirit.
After his surprising appointment, both lovers and haters stepped forward. But Saul showed wisdom and graciousness. He forgave those who opposed his reign. Like young David would some years later, Saul refused to harm his detractors. He started his reign most gloriously.
What happened to make the good king fall? How can the Lord's brightest rising stars avoid this outcome?
To Be Continued...
* Consider reading about Saul's good start, 1 Samuel 9-11: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+samuel+9-11&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the King Saul's... series.