As shared on our previous post, we will be looking at the following characters

1. King Saul (1 Sam 15, 1618)
2. Judas Iscariot (Jn 12,13, Matt 26,27)
3. Ananias And Sapphira (Acts 5)

The Background of Saul

Saul started out as the first king of Israel, God chose Saul because he is handsome in apparence and at the same time he is very humble, it could be seen in his conversation between himself and Samuel

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?” – Saul (1 Sam 9:21)

On the day of his coronation, he was so embarrassed that he was hiding among the equipment, it was God who told Samuel where to find him, this was what happened as narrated by Samuel

“Therefore they inquired of the LORD further, “Has the man come here yet?”
And the LORD answered, “There he is, hidden among the equipment.”  – Samuel (1 Sam 10:22)

It is very interesting to see someone taller than all Israelites, yet can go hiding unnoticed (1 Sam 10:23-24)

Saul was famous for his battle at Jabesh Gilead where he lead the Israelite armies to save Jabesh Gilead.

In the beginning of his reign, Saul was on the right track, he also did things that are right in the eyes of God , he put chase out mediums and spiritist(1 Sam 28:3 ).

Yet at the last part of his life, the bible painted a very sad picture of him

“But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him” – Samuel (1 Sam 16:14)

Before we proceed, let us not go off with an impression that God sends a evil spirit to trouble Saul. In fact, the evil spirit is not send by God, but rather when Gods spirit departed from Saul, the evil spirit now has free hold over him.

How did Saul allow the devil to work within him? Let us take a look at a few incidents

Battle Against The Amalekites  (1 Sam 15)

Initially God sent King Saul on a mission, to punish the Amalekites, for the sins they have committed against Israel during the time of Moses,  they set up ambushes and killed the weak and staggering Israelites lagging behind (1 Sam 15:1-3 )

God gave a specific instruction to Saul to not spare anything from the Amalekites, they are to spare no woman and children and they must utterly destroy all that they have, every animal and every thing that breaths.

Saul went out with an army of 210 000 soldiers and God granted him victory, He did most of his command but he decided to do the following  (1 Sam 15:7-9)

1. He killed everybody except for Agag the king of the Amalekites
2. He destroyed everything that are worthless, but kept the best of the animals

Understanding Saul’s Sins 

It is noted that the decision to do so is a consensus between the armies and him (1 Sam 15:9 )

While many people will claimed that to love riches and to conserve resources is a virtue of thriftiness, but our virtues should not supersede the command of God.  Especially when Saul is suppose to execute the judgement of God in this battle. Therefore to disobey the order of God is despising the words of God in his face.

Though its a matter of debate to see whether Saul was keeping the good things for himself or if he indeed wanted to sacrifice to God in Gilgal (1 Sam 15:15) If he indeed wanted to offer these animals before God , he is committing a greater evil before God.

Can you imagine taking something which God tells you specifically to destroy, and yet offer them up as a burnt offering to God. Wouldn’t that notion be mockery to the command of God? Gods command was specific, to kill and destroy every thing that is alive but yet Saul decides to disobey and still wanted to take the things God hates t and sacrifice them to God.

It is no wonder that God is grieved badly over the actions of Saul and it especially grieved Samuel, who was the one who anointed him over Israel

God told Samuel

“I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.”  -YHWH (1 Sam 15:11)

Therefore he sent Samuel to counsel him, in his last attempt to bring Saul back to him.

The Defence Of Saul

When Samuel first visited Saul, he first enquired about the bleating of the sheep he heard . When Samuel told Saul that he had committed a great evil for stooping down for the plunder, this is Sauls response

“ But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.  But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.” – Saul (1 Sam 15:20-21)

Then Samuel gave Saul his charges which are namely

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” – Samuel (1 Sam 15:23)

Saul defended himself once again

“I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.  Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD.”  – Saul (1 Sam 15:24-25)

Saul started to hold on to Samuel so tight that it torn his robe, it is at that point of time when God judged Saul once and for all

“The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.” – Samuel (1 Sam 15:27)

It is only at this point of time did God decided to give up on him

Yet he made one desperate plea

“I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.” – Saul (1 Sam 15:30)

He was still concern about his honour more than the fact that he had sin against God.

It is only after the incident, the devil started to distress him (1 Sam 16:14)

The Failure of Saul

From here we can see a very insightful lesson on why the devils can have a chance to bring harm to a the Christians.

Saul repeatedly pushes the blames to someone else for his own disobedience to others  and was unwilling to repent before God. Only when he did that, the devil started to gain a foothold into his life.

The devil will only have a chance to hit us when

1. We are unwilling to follow the commands of God (the Sin of Rebellion)
2. We are unwilling to repent despite Gods repeated attempts to counsel and advice. (the Sin of Stubbornness)

Later on his situation got worse as the chapters process

“And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house” – Samuel (1 Sam 18:10)

At this point of time, he started to be speaking uncontrollably and is no longer making sense. Let us look at what happened that clause this to happen

Saul’s Anger Against David

The bible recorded that Saul started to target David after his victory over goliath .  When the Woman sang

“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.” (1 Sam 18:7 )

Saul was angry and did not control his anger , he was mindful that his glory is taken, it was at that opportunity, the devil managed to gain a greater foothold into his life. This is the time the devil was able to control his action and clause him to hurl his javelin at David

It is at this point of time the words of Paul continue sound out loud ““Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” – Paul ( Eph 4:26)

This is a very practical example of that.

The final act that killed Saul

Saul’s last actions, led him to the point of no return, he started to consult Mediums. which is written in 1 Sam 28.

While we are looking at this end, let us be mindful that the fall of Saul is not a sudden affair. It started with Saul allowing Satan to find the foothold in his life. As the result, when the sin is fully conceived. Death was brought forth.

Sometimes we are surrounded with many temptations, where we run into trouble and we were hoping that we can resolve our issues based on the occult. The New age religions now turns Ouija board to be something that is cool, and Geomancy tells us how we can change our fate by rearranging the house, we can even change our fortune by buy special stones that had magnetic properties.

There are times in my life when i met with severe issue and I almost wanted to adopt a wait and see attitude by trying out numerology and palmistry. While i will not be surprised that the devil will work very mightily through this to deceive us, but what is scary is the idea that we may be opening up a huge hole for the devil to attack us.

Therefore we should be mindful not to allow the devil opportunity to mislead us. and by so doing slowly disqualifying us from salvation.

 

As A Conclusion

As you can see the points of failure on Saul how he

1. Started out being disobedience to God
2. Being stubborn and unrepentant of his sins
3. Allowing anger to go unchecked into his life
4. Relied on the occult when all fails

You can see the devil like a lion, slowly going close to his prey, and slowly entrapping him until he reach the point of no return.

Let the story of Saul serves as a reminder that we should always be diligent not to give a foothold to the devil.

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