Since we know what eventually happens to Saul, I think it’s important to look at his rule to see how it started to unravel. There is a lot we can learn from this Benjaminite who was a head taller than his comrades, but who hid among the baggage.
We see Samuel scold Saul early on in his rule. They were fighting with the Philistines and morale was low. The men were waiting for Samuel to come and give an offering to the Lord. Saul, apparently, thought that Samuel was taking too long so, he took matters into his own hands and he did the offering.
Now, you and I have been though the books of Moses together, so we know what happens when priests don’t do their job correctly, but here, a man who is not a priest takes over. It’s just wrong. Here’s what Samuel had to say:
1 Samuel 13: 13 “That was a fool thing to do,” Samuel said to Saul. “If you had kept the appointment that your God commanded, by now God would have set a firm and lasting foundation under your kingly rule over Israel.14 As it is, your kingly rule is already falling to pieces. God is out looking for your replacement right now. This time he’ll do the choosing. When he finds him, he’ll appoint him leader of his people. And all because you didn’t keep your appointment with God!”
Why would he do this? Was it ignorance? Was it pride? I would argue that it was quite the opposite. I think that Saul was very unsure of himself. It seems as though his whole reign was built on what he had to prove.
It’s easy to look at a figure like Saul and judge him, but seeing where he came from, makes me take a look at my own life.
He doubted that he should be king. He even tried to hide from it behind some bags. How many times have I used my past (my baggage) as an excuse?
In battle, he was under pressure and felt like he had to perform, so he took matters into his own hands. How many times have I refused to be patient and wait on the Lord because I was concerned about what others would think?
In trying to lead the men, he made destructive vows with no thought of their consequences. I can only imagine how many empty threats I make in a week!
Because of his restless and confused state, Saul never found rest:
1 Samuel 14: 52 All through Saul’s life there was war, bitter and relentless, with the Philistines.
In many was, I am Saul, but the difference in our destinys will be whether I chose to change. Will I rely on the Lord as my only audience? Will I listen to His Word and follow what He says? Will I believe that I am who He says I am? Will I put a guard over my mouth and speak life? YES! Yes, I will with he help of His Spirit.