What If I Fail Lesson 04 – Saul

We have examined case studies of wasted potential, the far-reaching consequences of one sin, and depression.  In every one of those cases the individual repented and turned back to God. However, what happens if you decide not to come back to God after you fail?  Today we will study the life of King Saul.

Let’s read together 1 Samuel 8:22; 9:1-2; and 10:1-13.

Saul was chosen by God to be the first king of Israel.  He was given the gift of prophecy to affirm this decision.  What was Saul’s reaction?

Let’s read together 1 Samuel 10:17-27.

Saul did not feel he was worthy to become king of Israel.  When rebels despised him, he showed tact and did not try to punish them. In fact, when Saul won a great victory for the people of Israel, Saul prevented them from killing the rebels. Saul in his early days as king demonstrated a godly character.   He was humble and tactful in his speech.

Let’s read together 1 Samuel 12:13-25.

If Saul remained faithful to God, he would continually prosper as king.  However, history tells us Saul did not remain faithful.  What happened?

Let’s read together 1 Samuel 13:1-15.

God tested Saul to see what was in his heart (Psalm 139:23-24).  Unfortunately, in two years Saul seemed to let his position as king get to his head.  Saul decided to take action on his own rather than wait upon the Lord.  It was a foolish decision that revealed his lack of loyalty to God.

Let’s read together 1 Samuel 15:1-9.

God mercifully gave Saul one more chance.  God commanded Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites.  However, Saul spared King Agag and kept the best of the sheep and animals for himself and the people of Israel.

Let’s read together 1 Samuel 15:10-12.

It is clear from this verse, Saul’s heart was consumed with pride.  Only a self-centered person would dare build a monument to himself.

Let’s read together 1 Samuel 15:13-35.  

Saul disobeyed God, yet he claimed he had followed God’s commands.  Saul was essentially a Christian in name only (2 Timothy 3:5). Saul no longer had a personal relationship with God.  Saul even referred to God as Samuel’s God (1 Samuel 15:15, 21)!

Sadly, God had to reject Saul just as Saul had rejected Him.  Saul never repented of his sins.  Saul lost God’s blessing and the kingdom of Israel.  

Saul was so far gone and even resorted to witchcraft to try to contact Samuel from beyond the grave (1 Samuel 28:3-25).  He was looking for encouragement before an upcoming  battle with the Philistines.  However, Samuel was dead and the dead do not speak from beyond the grave (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).  Instead, Saul spoke to an evil spirit masquerading as Samuel.  He discouraged Saul greatly and Saul died in battle the next day.

Saul’s tragic legacy did not end there.  Generations later, the people of Israel were almost destroyed by Haman, a descendant of Agag (Esther 3:1-6).

If Saul had remained faithful to God, he could have had so much more for the kingdom of Israel.  God would have ensured his descendants would always sit on the throne of Israel.  Instead, God gave the kingdom to David, a man after His own heart.  Saul became a cautionary tale for those who disobey God.

Saul lost his way because He did not acknowledge God’s workings in his life.  Saul became full of pride and thought he accomplished everything with his own power.  He only obeyed God when it suited him.  Saul did not repent of his sins, but hardened his heart.

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