Saul and his depression
1 Samuel 8:10-17 These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to e his horsemen to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers.
1 Samuel 15:3-6 “Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions. Don’t have any pity. Kill their men, women, children, and even their babies. Slaughter their cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”
1 Samuel 15 :13-23 Samuel finally caught up with Saul, and Saul told him, “I hope the Lord will bless you! I have done what the Lord told me.” “Then why,” Samuel asked, “do I hear sheep and cattle?” “The Amy took them from the Amalekites, ” Saul explained. “They kept the best sheep and cattle, so they could sacrifice them to the Lord your God. But we destroyed everything else.” “Stop!” Samuel said. “Let me tell you what the Lord told me last night.” “All right.” Saul answered. Samuel continued, “You may not think you’re very important, but the Lord chose you to be king, and you are in charge of the tribes of Israel. When the Lord sent you on this mission, h 6ole you o 2ip3 out tho qorthless Amaleki3w. @hy esp vs 22didyn’t you listen to the Lord? Why did you keep the animals and make him angry.” “But I did listen to eh Lord!” Saul answered, “He sent me on a mission, and I went. I captured the King Agag and destroyed his nation. All the anmals were going to be destroyed anyway. That’s why the army brought the best sheep and cattle to Gilgal as sacrifices to the Lord your God.” “Tell me,” Samuel said, “Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him. Reelling against God or disobeying him because you are proud is just as bad as worshiping idols or asking them for advice. You refused to dowhat God told you, so God has decided that you can no longer be king.”
1 Samuel 16:14-16 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our Lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.” Distressing spirit from the Lord
Psalm 56:3,4 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understnading, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Saul was the first man God chose to be King of Israel at the peoples’ insistence. ‘We have to be like the other countries. We want a King.’ Samuel, the last judge of the Israelites, dedicated to God by his mother as a young child and raised by an old priest was warned by God that kings were not going to go well with the people. God warned the people that they would have high taxes; their sons and daughters would be sucked up and into the work areas to support the kingdom, and there would not be much left for them. But He loved them, so gave full warning about the dangers of having a king lead them. 1 Samuels 8:10-17.
But, since often people believe they are in charge, they make their own decisions without consulting, praying, seeking God, and often suffer consequences. They insisted they wanted a king, a human king to love and protect them and they could be like the other nations.
God chose Saul. I wonder if it was because Saul, although physically appeared strong, tall, competent, but was emotionally weak? Was he lazy? He was apparently very close to adulthood and needed his father’s direction to go looking for lost donkeys? He did not volunteer and go, and search for the animals without being told? Is this how a grown young man would act if he were responsible and able to look ahead and judge circumstances? Hmmm. Maybe God wanted them to see immediately that His warning of the demands of a king were true.
When he was told he had been chosen to be the king, and Samuel would come to his home and make the announcement, then he hid behind some barrels. Hmm, was that shyness, recognizing he had little spunk and perhaps much would be asked of him? Hard to say, but right away, he decides to do things in his way and on his own time, not as he was told. And, when confronted with all he did wrong, he denied it. “I saved the animals and just the king for sacrifices to ‘your’ god.’ What part of ‘have no pity; destroy all people, babies included, all animals and possessions’ did he not understand?
God gives direction and IF we follow, things will go smoother for us. The path, even when it looks convoluted, rocky and barren, we are able to get through. With Saul, God gave specific orders. Although God had chosen Saul–a shy, doubting, fairly unremarkable, yet tall and good-looking young man to be the nation’s first King. He recognized the people were really casting Him aside, and He clearly warned them the cost of having a King, making a royal family, having the king tax them to support the king’s every desire, and so forth. But they were insistent. It reminds actually me of my insistence to have bell bottoms and whatever the latest style might be.-That clothing gained me nothing, truly nothing changed my station in life or in school, and yet, it was the mentality of wanting what others had. Hmmm, too bad that insight came 50+ years after the fact.
But Saul, within less than a week was already disobeying God, through the direction Samuel had given him. He was told to wait for Samuel’s arrival then they would offer sacrifices. Saul was disobedient in several ways involving this incident, and because of it, he eventually lost the kingdom for his family. He did not destroy everything within the Amalek nation, he did not wait for Samuel to appear to offer sacrifices, and he was not considered clean, and not fit to offer sacrifices; he was no priest, no judge, not in personal contact with God.
Saul was prone to pity parties, and although made several errors, he was never responsible for a single one. . . of course not! How sad to go through life believing you are not at fault, you never mess up, and if you do it is not your fault, but ‘someone’ caused you to make the error. Definitely no growth of character there.
An evil spirit came upon Saul from God, tormenting him and making him full of anger, suspicion, and violence. He was unstable with those in his household and family. Evil spirits are fallen angels thrown from heaven at the time Lucifer was thrown out and have since spent time tormenting and causing all sorts of unrest, fear, anxiety, possession, and cause physical, emotional and bodily harm. I believe Saul was under that kind of a spirit at times, and certainly it is evident he wanted to kill David, God’s chosen one to replace him. Just as God allowed Satan to torment Job years before this, I believe he allowed Saul to be tormented by an evil spirit. Certainly, Saul was not a strong and God fearing man, he did not claim God as his Creator, Lord, so I think it unlikely that he would pray to have this anger, anxiety and tormenting removed so he could more closely follow God. He was weak, never at fault or responsible, so I can easily see he would not seek God for forgiveness and freedom from the spirit.
God tests us and verifies our thoughts will stay humble, our actions will be kind, gentle, not hurtful to Him or others, and certainly obedient to all He commands us to do/go. Saul failed, and lost, and the kingdom of God’s chosen people suffered.
But 2000+ years ago, God sent His Son to be the new covenant, to be the Way, the Truth, and the Light, and it was easier to see God’s love for us, His people. He still wants obedience, but now when we sin, we turn to His son, confess our sins, disobedience, and have no bloody animal sacrifice to suffer through. We have the peace and love and rest of a Savior that Saul did not have.
Thank You, God, I live in this time when I can learn about the constant love and persistence of You and Your Son and Holy Spirit to keep me on track. May I always follow the path You have chosen for me and ‘mybellaviews.’
ZINGER: Christ departed so the Holy Spirit could be imparted. The Christian’s heart is the Holy Spirit’s home. The human spirit fails unless the Holy Spirit fills