CHARACTER STUDY: KING SAUL. 4

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 14:52 ” And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him”

In 1st Samuel 14:47-48 we are told that king Saul won almost all the battles he engaged in He was able to deliver Israel from all her enemies. Saul was very successful even after God had said to him his kingdom will not last. God is always the God of the second chance.

1st Samuel 14:49-50 tells us about the family of Saul. Saul was very modest when it came to women. He was married to one wife, that is Ahinoam. Saul kept strengthening his military with any strong man he saw. Every leader needs valiant men to play various roles. You’re to continually look out for people with potential to be great leaders to be enlisted to play various roles.

The Lord instructed Saul in 1st Samuel 15 that he wanted him to go and destroy Amalek absolutely. Nothing should be spared. In verse 9 the Bible said “But Saul and the people spared Agag (king of Amalek) and the best of the sheep and the oxen and the fatling and the lambs, and all that was good and would not utterly destroy them, but everything that was vile and refuse that they destroyed utterly.”

Saul acted in direct disobedience to what the Lord said. They kept all the things that looked good and destroyed all those that was vile. Please in this life the good things are only those things which God calls good. If he says he has refused it that means that thing is accursed.

Saul was quick to tell Samuel that he had performed all the instructions of the Lord. When Samuel asked why the bleating of sheep and the lowing of the oxen. Saul answered, they have brought them from the Amalekites for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen. Saul was showing he was a rebel. Rebels never accept their fault. They always put the blame on others. Samuel rightly said “behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of Rams. Please note this everything on this Earth belongs to God; there is nothing you can give Him that is not his. Just do as he says.

Now look at Saul’s weakness. In verse 24 he admitted he had sinned because he feared the people and obeyed their voice, instead of the Lord. Many leaders fall into this error. No man called you. Your allegiance, terms of reference and ultimate reward and promotion comes from the Lord. People never come first. It is God and what he tells you, that should be your focus.

 Never place men ahead of God. King Saul lost his kingship from that moment. FEAR THE LORD AND NOT MEN.

 PRAYER

Father we pray for all leaders never to fear the faces of men, but to obey you first before all things.

FURTHER STUDIES.

1 Samuel 15:22 ” And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

1 Samuel 15:23 ” For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king”.

CHARACTER STUDY: KING SAUL 3

KEY SCRIPTURE:1 Samuel 13:13. And Samuel said to Saul, thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now, would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever.

When Samuel arrived after Saul had being disobedient to God, He said to Saul, you have acted foolishly, because you have not obeyed the Lord your God. What is foolishness? Foolishness according to our study is simply not to obey God. King Saul was desperate to make the sacrifice, although he was not supposed to do so. Desperation in life is always a lack of confidence in God. Don’t act when you feel desperate, you might definitely take the wrong step.

Samuel told king Saul that because of what he has done his kingdom would not continue. (1st Sam 13:14). Certain wrong steps or sins have far reaching effect on our lives. Don’t take such chances, it may even cause your death.

1st Samuel 13:19–20 reveals something very fascinating. All the men who accompanied Saul and Jonathan to fight the Philistines had not sharpened their weapons for war. They had to go to philistine’s land to get their weapons sharpened. It so happened that they had no weapons on the day of battle.1 Samuel 13:22 ” So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found”.

Why should this happen? Only King Saul and Jonathan had something to defend themselves. There are certain leaders who think very much about their families and would not be concern about the welfare of the larger majority. African politics is one area where favoritism and nepotism are so dominant.              Please note, a family is not just those who are related to you by blood, but all those with a common interest

In 1st Samuel 14:24, Saul made a rash vow purely based on impulse.” And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So, none of the people tasted any food”. How could men on a battlefield be made to fast.? This was very unthoughtful. Jonathan who had be used by God to destroy the enemies that day, became the victim of that vow. He found some honey and ate, not knowing his father has made a vow barring everyone from eating till the evening. King Saul made pronouncements that even if Jonathan was found to be the culprit he would die. King Saul’s actions was not in the best interest of the whole army. In the second part of verse 39 the bible said no one answered him when he said even if it is Jonathan he must die. Saul was gradually losing touch with his subjects. Leaders who are autocratic (that is it is only what they say that holds, a dictator) normally fail.

PRAYER

Oh father, we pray that you give us selfless wise and very effective leaders who will lead us to possess our inheritance.

FURTHER STUDIES.

1 Samuel 14:24 ” And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So, none of the people tasted any food.”

1 Samuel 14: 45. “And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not”.

CHARACTER STUDY: KING SAUL.-2

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 10:6 ” And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.”

The Lord through Samuel had anointed Saul to be king. From 1st Samuel 10:3-13 the Lord led Saul through a number of supernatural experiences. He was told that he would first meet some three men who would give him certain items. Later on his way, he would meet a group of prophets and among whom the Spirit of the Lord will come upon him and he would prophecy. Why was God doing all these things? God always gives the people he has called certain encounters that become a point of reference for their trust in him. These encounters make those God call aware of His supernatural power.

From 1st Samuel 10:17-24 Samuel gathered the children of Israel at Mizpah and choose from the family of Benjamin, Saul. In verse 22 Saul hid himself in some bushes. What does this reveal about Saul? This act was a sign of fear, depicting self-centeredness. It is a dangerous sign. A selfless individual place the interest of God and the call of God ahead of his personal views and fears. Well this is very normal with most people and they soon overcome it as they yield themselves to the Lord’s call. Did Saul come out of his self-centeredness? We would see as his story progresses. In 1st Samuel 11, God allowed a challenge to prove to all that he had called Saul to be king of Israel. The Ammonites attacked Jabesh Gilead. Saul was informed about this and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. He rallied all Israel to him and totally defeated the enemies. It was after this victory that all came to acknowledge that indeed God had appointed Saul to be king of Israel. Challenges don’t come to the Christian to destroy him or her. They come to make a champion out of you. Meet every challenge in faith and rely on the Lord and your victory would spell your promotion.

In 1st Samuel 13, Saul had reigned for two years. Israel had an impending war with the Philistines. They divided themselves into two groups. One group were with Saul and the other was with Jonathan. Samuel was to come and make an offering unto the Lord before the battle could be executed. Saul was desperate for Samuel to come whiles his soldiers moved around aimlessly. Saul was moved to offer the sacrifice and instantly Samuel arrived. What went wrong? Saul was the captain of the host. He was not the priest. He had no business worrying about the sacrifice but to concentrate on his men, the soldiers. Instead of controlling the soldiers he was worried about the sacrifice which had not been done, allowing the men to be disorganized.

Every leader must know his or her real assignment and stay with it.

  PRAYER

O God, I pray for all leaders to always know their main task and stay with it. Grant that all  your children in leading roles will continually trust you at all times .

FURTHER STUDIES.

1 Samuel 13:10 ” And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him”.

1 Samuel 13:13 ” And Samuel said to Saul, thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now, would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever”.

CHARACTER STUDY: KING SAUL.

KEY SCRIPTURE:1 Samuel 9:2. And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.

“The name Saul means desired. He was the desire of the Israelites. Our key scripture says he was a choice young man and a goodly”). That is, he was handsome, acceptable and cherished young man. Saul was indeed the picture of the kind of King that the Israelites wanted. He was taller than every other Israelite. God may grant to us the desires of our hearts. The caution is, is that desire in line with the will or word of God.

In 1st Samuel 9:3 the asses of Kish Saul’s father were missing. Kish asked him to go with one of his servants to find the asses. They could not find these asses and therefore had to look for a seer who could show them where these asses were. God has men in our modern times who can be described as seers yet unfortunately most people tend to rely unduly on such men or women. They would always want to know what God is saying from such prophets. Please child of God, our Father also speaks to every one of us, mostly from his word. Let the word of God be your number one seer. Please note also that there are a number of these seers or prophets who are not genuine. Look out for the way they approach issues and judge if their actions and methods are scriptural. Are they projecting Christ or projecting themselves? This is an acid test to check whether a prophet is of God or not.

Please consider what was said about Samuel in verse 6. The Bible said Samuel is a man of God, an honourable man and all he says comes to pass. Honour is a function of uprightness and discipline. May such a description be said of every prophet we deal with. They also considered giving something to the man of God. I believe no man of God should charge for divine services yet, it is always good of all to carry a present for the man of God. This act stirs up your faith to receive from the Spirit of God.

In 1st Samuel 9:19 God had told Samuel that Saul would be coming to him. He should anoint him as the captain or King of Israel. Saul was looking for his lost asses but God had found in him a king for Israel. Romans 8:28 “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord, to them who are called according to his purpose”. God has your life marked out. That supposed loss is a gateway to something big.

Trust God always to do something big and great with your life.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father I pray for all children of God to trust you in all times, especially when things seem to go bad, for your purposes are always the best.

FURTHER STUDIES.

1 Samuel 9:17 ” And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.

1 Samuel 10:1 ” Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?”

CHARACTER STUDY- ABIGAIL.

KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 25:18 Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.

Abigail a name which means my father is joy or the father’s joy. She was the wife of Nabal. To appreciate the special role of Abigail we have to take a good look at her husband. The name Nabal means a fool. Please by very mindful of how you give names to people, especially your children.

Nabal was a very rich man yet the Bible described him as hard, cruel severe, fierce and difficult. The simple description of this man is that, he is a very selfish man. Selfishness always makes a man mistreat others and therefore others cannot genuinely love him, no matter how rich he may be. The Bible also said he was evil in his doings. This is the kind of man Abigail was married to. The Bible described Abigail in 1st Samuel 3:25 as follows “and she was a woman of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance. To be described as having good understanding meant she behaved very acceptably. She was not carried away by her husband riches to misbehave. She was a selfless woman. Great women are mothers. A mother is one whose heart is opened to all that are in need. Abigail was a mother. Nabal was not a father.

 A father is the one who is ready to lead and support all those who are within his sphere of influence. David and his men have been on the field with Nabal’s shepherds and flocks. They protected them from every intruder. He heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. He sent His men for some of the wool but Nabal rather insulted David and his men. David got furious and set off with his men to destroy Nabal and his household.

Abigail was informed of what David did for their shepherds and the husband’s reactions to David’s request. She was informed about an impending danger from David and his men. She quickly organised two hundred loaves, two bottles of wine and other lots of food to be given to David and his men. She did not tell her husband. Wives and husbands are supposed to tell whatever they do to each other but it is not everything that must be told. What would have happened if Abigail had told Nabal?

When Abigail saw David, she fell at David’s feet and requested that David must rather punish or slaughter her instead of Nabal and his household, Abigail spoke humbly and wisely. She then presented all that she brought to be given to David and his men. She even spoke words of prophecy into David’s life. 1st Samuel 25;28. David thanked her and said to her “Blessed be thou advice and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood. As a wife, be wise in your judgements to save yourself and your family.

 PRAYER

Father open the eyes of all women to be people of great wisdom and humility. Make husbands sensitive to their roles.

FURTHER STUDIES.

1 Samuel 25:23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,

1 Samuel 25:24 And fell at his feet, and said, upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.

CHARACTER STUDY: SAMUEL II

KEY SCRIPTURE:1 Samuel 15:22 ” And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams”.

We continue with our discussion on the bible character Samuel. In 1st Samuel 12:14-23, Samuel rehearsed the actions of the Israelites in preferring a king to the judge God gave them.  He reprimanded them and said the following “moreover as for me God forbid that I should sin against God in ceasing to pray for you; but I would teach you the good and right way.” Samuel revealed that it was a sin on his part not to be praying for the children of Israel. In this instant he was acting as a pastor or a shepherd.  Samuel says it is a sin if you as a shepherd does not intercede for the sheep.

  Samuel was never afraid to say the truth even if it was not pleasant to his hearers. He was a man of God. A man of God is not a man for himself or for men, he is a man who solely seeks God’s interest amongst men.

  In 1st Samuel 15, God told Samuel to ask Saul to go to Amalek and thoroughly destroy them without leaving anything or anybody. Saul did not obey this instruction. In verse 11 the Lord told Samuel it repented him for getting Saul as king because he did not obey him fully. The bible said it grieved Samuel and he cried unto the Lord for the whole night. Samuel was a great mentor. He totally sought for the success of Saul. He prayed all night for Saul. We must be concerned about all. When a brother or sister commits an act against God, we should not be happy for his or her fall. We must rather stand with him or her in intercession before God and the Lord may intervene because of our persistence in prayer.

   From 1st Samuel 15:17-26 Samuel took pains to explain to Saul why he was wrong. In verse 35 the scripture reads “And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death, nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul. Samuel did not come to see Saul again because God had rejected him. When God tells us, this thing is wrong and he dislikes it. We must likewise forsake it outright. Samuel loved Saul because he was his prodigy yet God had rejected him.  We must break from some people if God says so. We live for God not for ourselves or for anybody.

  In 1st Samuel 16, the Lord asked Samuel to go and anoint David.  Samuel said Saul will kill him if he hears it. The Lord asked him to take an heifer to go and sacrifice. Why didn’t he just go, as God could have protected him? God is almighty, yet in some occasions he expects us to act in wisdom. we must always be very sensitive to the leading of the spirit in all life issues. God is not a one-way God.

PRAYER

Father, I pray for all men of God, to live solely for you and act always to bring glory to your name

FURTHER STUDIES.

1 Samuel 15:11″but It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night”.

1 Samuel 15:22. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

CHARACTER STUDY.

KEY SCRIPTURE:1 Samuel 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

We continue with our discussions on bible study as we major on character study. This time we would consider prophet Samuel.

Samuel was born out of aggressive, travailing prayer from His mother Hannah who was barren. (1st Samuel 1:9-11). His mother also vowed unto the Lord that if God was to give her a male child, she would intend give the child back to God. (1st Samuel 1:11). Samuel’s mother honoured her vow the moment the child was weaned (1st Samuel 1:26-28). God also gave Samuel ‘s mother five children, that is three boys, two girls.

Samuel started serving in the house of God at an early age. The Lord audibly called Samuel, although for the first two times he ran to Eli because he taught Eli was calling him.  Eli asked him to say the next time God called that, speak Lord for the servant heareth (1st Samuel 3:10). The. Lord called again and He spoke audibly to Him. God still speaks.

Samuel became a judge of Israel after Eli died. Samuel was a very diligent leader. He did not sit in Ramah to judge the whole of Israel. In Samuel 7:16 it says ” And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places.”

 The Bible did not state whether he had men in the various town representing him and gave him a feedback of what was going on there. I believe he had such men and places he resided in those towns to judge or speak God’s mind to them.

In 1st Samuel 8 we realized Samuel made his sons judged Israel yet they did not walk in the fear of God as their Father did. This misconduct of his sons caused the Israelites to demand a King to reign over them. It seems the problem Eli had with his sons was the same that Samuel also had with his sons . Parents must be careful, your children learn from the way you lead the family and they would do (Samuel saw these mistakes in Eli, but repeated them. ) likewise. God said Eli did not restrain his sons (1st Samuel 3:13), that is he should have employed the Elders to forcefully driven them from the priestly duties.

Samuel was a man of prayer and would always commune with the Father when there was any case for him to consider. 1st Samuel 8:6. When the Israelites were demanding a King although he felt rejected, he took time to explain to them the implications of having a king. A lesson to leadership: when your members are agitating for a change, do not brush them off, explain the consequences of their desire. Samuel was led to choose Saul to be the first King of Israel.

In 1st Samuel 12:3 he asked the Israelites to point out any defrauding he might have done, or anyway he has acted wrongly? Yet they found none. Samuel was a very upright man. Leadership must always be without blemish. Even at old age he kept teaching them the ways of God.

  PRAYER

O Lord God I pray for all leaders, that they will be men and women of distinguish character, men and women without blemish.

FURHTER STUDIES.

1 Samuel 12:3 ” Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.”

1 Samuel 12:4 ” And they said, thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand”.

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