of the United Kingdom of Israel.
- Saul was physically tall and impressive. 1 Samuel 9:2 – ‘Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.’
- Samuel anointed Saul as ‘ruler over my people Israel’ (1 Sam 9:16). As 1 Samuel 10:1 notes, ‘Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?” ‘
- The Spirit of God came upon Saul following his anointing. ‘The Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.’ (1 Sam 10:6).
- Saul was 30 years old when he became King of Israel. He then reigned over Israel for 42 years! (1 Sam 13:1).
- At times Saul failed to follow God’s commands.
- 1 Samuel 13:11-14: “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”
- Is it true to say that Saul was proud and arrogant? 1 Samuel 15:12 reads that Saul went and set up a monument in his own honour. Something all great humble leaders do (sarcasm).
- Interestingly he told Samuel he was afraid of the people (1 Sam 15:24). Was the monument more of a insecure way of attempting to continue to have the support of the people?
- Now when Saul disobeyed God as mentioned above, the Spirit of God left him, and thus he became inflicted by the demonic (1 Sam 16:14). Saul tried to pin David to the wall a number of times with his spear (1 Sam 19:9). Anger, resentment, jealousy, etc. Saul’s anger flared up at his son Jonathan too (1 Sam 20:30).
- Saul gradually lost the respect of the people of Israel – ‘Is that why you have all conspired against me?’ (1 Sam 22:8).
- Saul killed himself in battle (1 Sam 31:4).
- David was, according to a servant who knew of him, a brave man and a warrior. He was a good communicator and a fine-looking man (1 Sam 16:18).
- Samuel anoints David (1 Sam 16:13), and the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him in power.
- The story of David and Goliath, you have this sense that David is eager and tenacious. His trust in God is greater than his fear of the giant.
- Whatever Saul sent David to do, he did it so successfully, that Saul gave David a high rank in the army (1 Sam 18:5). ‘In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him’ (1 Sam 18:14)
- David built loyalty amongst some. He developed a strong bond of mateship with Jonathan (1 Sam 20: 4).
- David inquired of the Lord regularly (1 Sam 23:4).
- Humility was a key characteristic of David’s life. Even with Saul chasing him down wanting to kill him, David still called Saul, King, and continued to call himself a servant (1 Sam 26:18). David had an opportunity to kill Saul (1 Sam 24), but he cuts off a small portion of Saul’s robe and becomes, ‘conscience-stricken‘.
- Even David questioned Yahweh’s plan for him at times – ‘One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul’ (1 Sam 27:1). Though remember God had anointed him a long time ago by Samuel to become King. (David experiencing Doubt)
- David was greatly stressed at one point, because people wanted to stone him (1 Sam 30:6), ‘But David found strength in the Lord his God.’
- David loved to worship God (undignified). The predominant writer of the Psalms.
- Bathsheba gave birth to David’s son – Solomon.
- Solomon was God’s appointed King of Israel (not his brother Adonijah) (1 Kings 1:11-14).
- David said to Solomon, ‘So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires. Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and where ever you go…’ (1 Kings 2:2-4).
- Solomon was known as a man of wisdom (1 Kings 2:9).
- Solomon was young, when given the reigns of kingship. He prayed, ‘So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong’ (1 Kings 3:9).
- ‘God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore’ (1 Kings 4:29).
- Men (and women like the Queen of Sheba) would come from all around to hear Solomon’s wisdom.
- David had a vision, through the prophet Nathan to build a temple for Yahweh. Solomon built the temple.
- David was the visionary
- Solomon was the organiser/administrator
- We see these differences in many people, take for instance William Booth (the founder of The Salvation Army) was then replaced by his son Bramwell Booth (William Booth was a visionary leader, and Bramwell Booth was a adminsitrative leader). Both are needed at various times.
- After Solomon built the temple, the Lord said to him, ‘As for you if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever…’ (1 Kings 9:4-5).
- Solomon failed to ‘finish strong.’ ‘The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice (1 Kings 11:9-11). The Lord tears away the Kingdom from his successors, and so we begin the topsy-turvy period of the Kings in the Bible.
A Tale of Three Kings. Gene Edwards. 1980.
This modern classic will bring light, clarity, and comfort to the brokenhearted. Many Christians have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers. To those believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing and hope. Christian leaders and directors of religious movements throughout the world have recommended this simple, powerful, and beautiful story to their members and staff. You will want to join these other people who have been profoundly touched by this incomparable story. This tale by Gene Edwards is based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom.
King David: the Real Life of the Man who Ruled Israel. Jonathan Kitsch. 2001.
David, King of the Jews, possessed every flaw and failing of which a mortal is capable, yet men and women adored him, and God showered him with many blessings. A charismatic leader, exalted as “a man after God’s own heart,” he was also capable of deep cunning and bloodthirsty violence. Weaving together biblical texts with centuries of interpretation and commentary, as well as the startling discoveries of modern biblical archaeology and scholarship, bestselling author Jonathan Kirsch brings King David to life with extraordinary freshness, intimacy, and vividness of detail, revealing him in all his glory and fallibility. At the center of this taut, dramatic narrative stands a hero of flesh and blood–a man as vibrant and compelling today as he has been for millennia.
David: A Man of Passion and Destiny. Charles R. Swindoll. 2000.
David was a man after God’s own heart . . .
What does it mean to be someone “after God’s own heart?” David, Old Testament Shepherd, king, and psalmist, offers an answer in the shape of his own life.
In many ways he was a most extraordinary man–intelligent, handsome, abundantly gifted as a poet, musician, warrior, and administrator. Yet in other ways he was a most ordinary man–often gripped by destructive passion, rocked by family chaos and personal tragedy, and motivated by political expediency. How did David become the national hero of God’s chosen people? Why is he the one character in the Bible described as “a man after God’s own heart?”
David’s life offers hope to all of us. It shows that God can do extraordinary things through ordinary men and women. And David offers an insightful perspective on what it means to be truly spiritual, to become like David–men and women after God’s own heart.
We have reviewed three flawed kings. Let’s look now at our glorious and perfect king!
HERE is “O Worship the King,” performed by The Carnival Band, an English early music group, and soloist Maddy Prior, in the spirit of the Renaissance. The text of this hymn was written by Sir Robert Grant, 1785-1838, who was a Director of the East India Company.