The David Saga
the Story of
Saul ben Kish, the first king of Israel, is one of the most complex, complicated, puzzling, and ultimately tragic figures in all of Scripture. He seems to start so well, bringing a great light of hope to the nation. At the end, the best that can be said of him is David's head-shaking lament, "How have the mighty fallen!" In this series of talks we will explore this intriguing character and try to give him his due.
The Unlikely Anointed One
1 Samuel 9:1 - 10:16
No one was more surprised that Saul was brought forward to be the first king of Israel than Saul himself.
Saul Takes the Sword and the Crown
1 Samuel 10:17 - 11:15
Saul's anointing as king seems to have meant little either to Saul or to the nation--until Israelites east of the Jordan were attacked. Then Saul rose to the moment and showed that he could lead, he could fight, and he could deliver.
Samuel's Farewell Address
1 Samuel 12
After Saul's decisive victory, Samuel addresses the nation one last time. In a powerful sermon that reflects Moses' last words in Deuteronomy, he rebukes their unbelief. But he closes movingly with words of encouragment and the promise to continue to pray for them.
Saul's First Stumble
1 Samuel 13
In the first significant test of his faith, Saul reveals a fatal flaw and it costs him.
Saul's Rash Vow
1 Samuel 14
While Jonathan demonstrates a brash faith, Saul can rise no higher than rash presumption.
What Shall We Say about Saul?
1 Samuel 9 - 14
Before we move forward, we pause to try to understand who Saul is, what has brought him to this point, and why the next moment will be decisive.
Saul Rejected as King, Part One
1 Samuel 15:1-10
Israel's most ancient enemy is vulnerable and God orders Saul to destroy it. Saul's obedience only goes so far as it benefits him, and God "fires" him. Why the strong reaction to his partial obedience? And how could God's command to kill be considered righteous?
Saul Rejected as King, Part Two
1 Samuel 15:11-35
Samuel announces God's judgment to Saul and makes it very clear what are the reasons for it. He utters one of the most profound statements of biblical religion and spirituality: "To obey is better than sacrifice."