Saul was the king the people of Israel demanded. They feared the other kingdoms around them because they had stopped trusting in the Lord. Saul was tall, strong, impressive and looked the part, from a worldly perspective, but spiritually, he was fatally flawed. He didn’t know God for himself. This resulted in his going his own way and messing up big time.
“So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the LORD, because of the word of the LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, 14 and did not inquire of the LORD. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.” (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)
It has been said, and I believe it’s true, that there are only two kinds of people in this world: those who obey God and those who don’t; those who trust the Lord and those who trust themselves; those whose heart is for God and those whose isn’t; those in-Christ and those who are not. We are, in fact, either under one kingdom or another (Colossians 1:13). This truth is universal. It affects every human being on the planet.
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13)
In the ultimate sense we are either under one domain or the other. In the immediate sense we get to choose who is upon the throne of our day to day lives. As Christians this should not be difficult for us to determine. Those outside of Christ, however, are duped into thinking they have control of their own fate and of the running of their own lives. In a way, by ‘opting out’ of the benevolent Kingship of Christ, they have instead ‘opted in’ under the yoke of slavery to another king; Eve rejected the Kingship of the Heavenly Father and placed herself upon the throne of her own life, thereby placing herself under new kingship.
God rejected Saul because he was disobedient. Saul had taken matters into his own hands instead of looking to God (1 Samuel 13).
“But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:14)
The Lord seeks people whose hearts are like King David’s. David wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination (which should be an encouragement to us all), but his heart was pure; he knew God, he knew Him as his shepherd-king (See Psalm 23) and therefore trusted and followed Him. Who is the Lord of your heart? Who sits on the throne of your life? Do you trust in the shepherd-king or do you seek help elsewhere? Resolve to put Him on the throne of your life, do not sit there yourself. Who do you trust to run your life: God or yourself?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes.” (Proverbs 3:5-7)
Sometimes, I think we can switch between being like Saul, or being like David, as we navigate our walk through the Christian life. Sometimes we are faithful, a person after God’s own heart; other times we are like Saul and think we know best. It’s the same, age old problem that besets humanity: we forget that we need God. The desire to run our own lives is one we have to constantly battle. Lord help us, imperfect though we are, to have a heart like David’s, a heart after Your own. Amen.
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.”