King Saul

McDonald County Press - - CHURCH - By Dr. Don Kuehle DON KUEHLE IS A RE­TIRED UNITED METHODIST MIN­IS­TER WHO LIVES IN JACK­SON. OPIN­IONS EX­PRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.

The colonies worked to­gether at times and worked against each other at other times. That’s how it was with the 12 tribes of Is­rael. Each Tribe had its own ter­ri­tory, own lead­ers and laws, own cus­toms. God’s cho­sen peo­ple went for cen­turies un­der the lead­er­ship of “judges.” Through­out those years, Is­rael rec­og­nized only God as their King. There came a time, how­ever, when the peo­ple (through Sa­muel) pleaded with God for an earthly king. God granted their pleas — and that’s how Saul be­came the first king of Is­rael.

Be­fore we were a na­tion, we were 13 colonies. Each colony had its own lead­ers, own laws and own cus­toms. The colonies worked to­gether at times and worked against each other at other times. That’s how it was with the 12 tribes of Is­rael. Each tribe had its own ter­ri­tory, own lead­ers and laws, own cus­toms. God’s cho­sen peo­ple went for cen­turies un­der the lead­er­ship of “judges.” Through­out those years, Is­rael rec­og­nized only God as their King. There came a time, how­ever, when the peo­ple (through Sa­muel) pleaded with God for an earthly king. God granted their pleas — and that’s how Saul be­came the first king of Is­rael.

First of all — Is­rael wanted to live by “sight” rather than by “faith.” God was still their King, but God was a spirit and they could not phys­i­cally see Him. Also, God was not very ap­proach­able. God’s peo­ple could not even say His proper name, and they felt un­com­fort­able in his pres­ence. They wanted a king they could ac­tu­ally see, and to whom they could eas­ily re­late. Sounds a lot like us today.

Se­condly, God’s peo­ple wanted to be just like the na­tions around them. They yielded to peer pres­sure; they were tired of other peo­ples laugh­ing at them and ridi­cul­ing them — “Where is your God? Show us your King!” Then too, Is­rael didn’t like be­ing dif­fer­ent. Is­rael wor­shipped and served only one God; they were for­bid­den to wor­ship and serve other gods. Again, how like us! We, too, are be­ing pres­sured to be “po­lit­i­cally cor­rect,” to be more in line with mod­ern cul­ture. We do not like to be seen as “dif­fer­ent.”

Third, Saul re­minds us that all lead­ers, like all of us, are plagued by sin, are im­per­fect in what they say and do, are prone to make mis­takes and tend to make un­wise de­ci­sions. It was Saul’s dis­obe­di­ence to God, and his sin of jeal­ousy and pride, that caused his down­fall — just like today.

Fourth, Saul’s story is a re­minder to us that Almighty God is ac­tively in­volved in gov­ern­ment(s) and pol­i­tics. He al­ways has been and He still is today. God re­mains in full con­trol.

Fi­nally, Saul’s saga is a sym­bol to us that God is very pa­tient, and very mer­ci­ful and for­giv­ing. He put up with Saul’s sin­ful dis­obe­di­ence, al­low­ing Saul to re­main as king over Is­rael for 42 years. We should all re­joice that God is still a very pa­tient and mer­ci­ful God. Plus, it would be well for us to re­mem­ber that God is the Supreme Ruler over all na­tions, even ours. Praise be to God.

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