6 Lessons from the Life of King Saul

Lessons from the Life of King Saul by Akinjobi Oluwagbemisola

One special thing about Bible stories is the many lessons you get to learn while studying them. King Saul, the first king in Israel is one popular character in the Bible and for true, many people condemn  his actions while trying to comment on his life's record. This is because of the way he lived his later years. However, there are still many positive lessons to learn from his life and this article shares a few.

1. Saul was Responsible

One necessary quality in every (potential) king is responsibility and Saul was a very responsible man. The Bible records in 1st Samuel 9:2 Saul was a choice young man, and a goodly, and that there was no one among the children of Israel a better (in physique, looks and character), than him. In 1st Samuel 9:3, we also read how that the asses of Kish, Saul's father were lost. Kish asked Saul his son to take a servant with him in search of the asses. Being "a goodly man", Saul wasn't playing around because of his looks, he was at home, ready to be sent. This is a call to you as a believer to be productive in your society and to never fold arms while doing nothing

2. Saul understood Honour

It is a great deal to honour God's anointed man. In 1st Samuel 9:7 , Saul asked his servant, But, behold, [if] we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and [there is] not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?

Saul's heart towards Samuel showed that he placed the annointed one in the place of someone who is needed and not the needy. He could as well give Samuel some mouldy bread but he knew enough to not do that,he wanted the best for God's prophet!

So many believers today see God's annointed one as one they could treat anyhow,that's not right and should never be!

3. Saul was discrete

In 1st Samuel 10:15, Saul's uncle asked him to report all that the prophet Samuel had told him. Reading further in 1st Samuel 10:16, we see Saul's response, plainly telling only that the asses were found. However, he did not disclose anything related to the kingdom which prophet Samuel prophesied about. Here, we see that the prophecy aboutt Saul's kingship was not shared by Saul with anyone - not even his uncle. This helps us realise that when God has done something big for you or has promised mighty things to happen to you, you don't just share them with small minds. Not necessarily because it's bad but because, they might rub their unbelief on you and you lose all faith in what God has promised you. Learn to be discrete!

Read: I was born into a Pastor's family but didn't get a lot of things right about the Bible

4. Fight Opposition with Wisdom

As king, Saul fought the tiniest of oppositions. According to 1st Samuel 11:5-6, Saul came after the herd out of the field and asked why the people were crying. They told him the acts done by the men of Jabesh and the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, kindling his anger greatly. Saul never saw opposition as a norm. He took it up and fought hard against it. As a believer today,never take oppositions easily as a norm, it is not. God has not placed you in a high position for people to rise against you. However, you must learn to tackle opposition with the wisdom of God. Our article on how to handle criticisms as a believer might be helpful here.

5. Learn to please God instead of people

Saul was a people-pleaser. In 1st Samuel 13:11-15, we read of how prophet Samuel had asked what abomination Saul committed by his disobedience (taking the spoil from Amalek and making a burnt offering from it) and he gave a defence on behalf of the people. Saul tried all his life to please the people he was leading to the point of disobeying God and he paid dearly for it. As believers, you cannot afford to please men to the detriment of your stand with God. Do not attempt it.

6. Know God Completely

Saul wanted to know God but never went through the right way. The Bible records in 1 Samuel 28:6 that Saul enquired of the Lord and the Lord did not answer him - not even by dreams or prophets. Then he took the extra mile with the devil in 1st Samuel 28:7 where he asked his servants to search for a woman with a familiar spirit so he could visit her and enquire. His servants directed him to a woman who was a medium at Endor. By this, we see that Saul had a yearning to hear from God but he was wrong in his approach. In the same way, many believers are yearning to know more about God but they keep going to dark and fetish places. You must know that it is only in Christ that the fullness of God can be revealed. To secular humanism, Saul's thoughts were right but to God, and as far as spirituality is concerned, he was completely wrong. 

Read: I was born into a Pastor's family but didn't get a lot of things right about the Bible

In conclusion, it is very possible to live a life with positive values and have people pick one or two great lessons from you. However, it is more than enough to be consistent in character and lifestyle. As believers, we have the advantage of Christ in us through the Holy Spirit and while we can learn these lessons from Bible Characters like Saul, it is necessary that we continually yield to the leading of God's Spirit. It is only then that we can live the true life of God on earth and shine as light all through the world.

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