The Fall Of Saul

23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
1 Samuel 15:23 (NLT)

We have come back to the story of Saul. In the previous chapters, we have read on his rise. God chose Saul to be the King of Israel. When Saul was first chosen and anointed, nothing physically had changed about him. He was still a farmer. He did not move into a palace and sit on a throne because there wasn’t any of them at that time. In other words, Saul was a king in name only.

However, a series of wars changed all those. In those wars, Saul had taken leadership in mobilizing the Israelites to fight against their enemies. After he won his first two battles, his enemies began to see him as a serious threat. The ganged up and joined forces to attack Israel from every direction. Saul had not only successfully overcame such odds, he had established Israel’s first permanent army. Saul was no longer a king at war only. With his army in place, he was able to exert his authority throughout Israel. Saul became a real king.

That was a great success no matter what standard we use. Many will see that as the peak God’s plan for Saul. However, God did not stop there. Even after God had helped Saul to defend Israel and secure its borders, he wanted to promote Saul to be his execution arm.

1 One day Samuel said to Saul, “It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord!
2 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt.
3 Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”
1 Samuel 15:1-3 (NLT)

It looked like Saul’s power would no longer be confined within the borders of Israel. The above assignment means that God wanted to use Saul as his agent of execution. Saul was about to be promoted from a king of a nation to a regional overlord. He was moving up again. Unfortunately, he messed up such a great opportunity through his disobedience.

He did not obey God fully. He left the Amalekite king and the animals live. Why would he sacrifice such a great potential? Let us read his reasons when he was confronted by Samuel.

24 Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded.
1 Samuel 15:24 (NLT)

What had happened? It wasn’t that Saul did not understand nor remember God’s instructions to him. He knew about them. He disobeyed God because he was afraid of his soldiers. His soldiers must have demanded their share on the animals. Saul gave in because he was afraid they might rebel and kill him. Did he not remember that it was God and not his soldiers who made him great? Did he not remember that when he made an oath that no one must eat until evening, none of his soldiers dared to disobey him? He was so powerful back then. He seemed to have forgotten all those and sinned against the Lord.

What do you think will happen when the king is afraid of his soldiers? He will not be able to enforce strict discipline on them. His soldiers will be a menace to his kingdom. Will he be able to ensure that they will not kill, plunder and rape his own people? This time, Saul failed as a king even by the world’s standard.

At last, the Lord had decided that enough is enough. He rejected Saul as king.

23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
1 Samuel 15:23 (NLT)

This means God would no longer want to associate himself with Saul again. Please note that Saul was still physically a king. The difference was, he was on his own. God would no longer help him. This was the opposite of the situation when Saul was first anointed. At that time, Saul was nothing on the outside but a king in the inside. When God rejected him, Saul became nothing in the inside although he was still a king on the outside.

Let us see how Saul responded to his rejection.

30 Then Saul pleaded again, “I know I have sinned. But please, at least honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel by coming back with me so that I may worship the Lord your God.”
1 Samuel 15:30 (NLT)

He was more interested on his honor than the fact that he lost favor from the Lord. This event marked the fall of Saul. He had a great potential but lost it because he was more afraid of men than God.

Let us stop here and find out what we can learn from this story. All of us have the desire to be great. God had put this desire into our hearts. As Christians, we are blessed in every spiritual blessing in Christ. This means we have all the blessings to be great. Like Saul, the blessings are in spiritual form. We need to bring them out into the physical realm through faith. The fastest way to do that is to overcome trials.

Saul became great during the wars. If the neighboring nations did not attack Israel, Saul would remain a king in name only. This scenario is also applicable for us. If you are facing trials or any form of attacks right now, do not be despair. This is the opportunity to turn your spiritual blessings into physical blessings. This is the time for your prosperity.

However, if you find yourself free from any form of trials or attacks from the devil, then it means the devil does not consider you to be a threat. You are not worthy of his time and effort. It is time for you to take the Word of Faith (Bible) seriously.

After we have achieved success and moved to a higher level, God wants us to go even higher. In God’s mind, there is no such thing as “peak of success”. No matter how successful you think you are right now, God wants you to move higher. If you are a millionaire now, God wants you to be a billionaire. If you are a billionaire right now, God wants you to be a trillionaire. God does not know the word “enough”.

However, as we move to a higher level, God expects our obedience to increase because the impact of our mistakes will be greater. If a worker makes a mistake, the company may lose a few thousand dollars. If a midlevel manager makes a mistake, the company may lose a few million dollars. If a CEO is to make a mistake, the entire company may go bankrupt. Look at the world’s financial institutions and you will know what I mean.

This is what happened to Saul. If Saul was still a farmer and he could not control his servants, his farm’s production might drop. However, when he was a king and could not control his soldiers, the entire country would be doomed.

In conclusion, obedience to God is vital if you want to move to a higher level of prosperity.

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