During the time of the judges, the land was full of corruption and sin. There was no king or legal authority in Israel and the people acted on what they thought was right and wrong. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Samuel was Israel’s spiritual leader (priest), a prophet, and the last and most effective of the judges. God used Samuel to assist in the change of Israel’s government from a system of judges to kings.
Although Saul met all qualifications of what the ideal king should resemble, he lacked the most important trait, obedience to God. Saul was identical to the rest of the people of Israel and wanted to reign his way. Saul’s disobedience caused his fall, “For example, his usurpation of priestly functions while awaiting Samuel to offer the sacrifices at Gilgal before the battle with the Philistines caused God to vow that he would remove the kingdom from Saul (Hindson 165).” God rejected Saul as king because of his blatant disobedience of God’s commands, and God chose David as the forthcoming king.
After many centuries of being under the rule of judges, the Israelites finally ask Samuel to appoint a king, making Israel like most other nations being ruled as monarchies. This request leads to the appointing of the first king of Israel, Saul, followed by centuries of kings (1 Samuel 8-9). A large majority of these kings have been deemed to be “bad” kings, leaving only a small handful to be considered “good.” In general, these kings are given such labels for their actions and policies throughout their time of power. This paper will discuss the reigns of David, Hezekiah and Josiah and what makes them considered good kings, as well as Ahab and Manasseh and the actions that deemed them to be bad kings.
In the book of 1 Samuel, we learn about the life of King Saul, who even though he started off very well, he didn’t finish very well. There is a cliche that sums up the life of King Saul, which says, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” However, Saul’s disobedient actions, unfortunately, derailed what possibly could have been a God honoring rule over Israel. In order to understand Saul, we need to take a look into his life and how he lived before he became king.
The nation of Israel was set apart as holy to the LORD. But they When the children of Israel demanded a king, they did so to be like the other nations. The first three kings were Saul, (outwardly tall, handsome and strong—a seemingly good choice for a king, but inwardly arrogant, proud and unrepentant—not God’s choice), David (a man after God’s own heart who repented of his sins and as such was God’s choice), and Solomon (the wisest man who ever lived, but because of covenant disobedience became the catalyst for the division and ultimate exile of Israel.
As Samuel grew in age he intended to appoint one of his sons as the king of Israel. His sons however did not follow the ways of their father or God. “They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice” (I Samuel 8:3). The people of Israel desired a king, “a king like all the other nations” (Hindson and Yates, 2012. P.164). The people had grown tired of oppression and felt that “the lack of a strong human leader as the cause and did not realize that the reason for the oppression was a spiritual on-their failure to serve God” (Harbin, 2005, p.219). Saul was not God’s choice for the throne but “he was the people’s choice” (Hindson and Yates, 2012. P.164). Saul’s appointment as king was against the “old
The surrounding nations had an influence on the people of Israel and this was not pleasing to God. They wanted a king. They wanted to be like other nations and have a leaded. A king they could see.
The Israelites want to set a monarchy like all nations, but Samuel, the judge of Israel, does not want to establish the monarchy. Why is Samuel unpleasant to the request of the Israelites to set a King?
The book of 1 Samuel, a part of the Old Testament, sparks the dawn of the United Kingdom of Israel by telling of its first king, Saul. Samuel is one of the first talked about pre-literary prophets in the bible perhaps because he anointed the first king of the United Kingdom. He is a prophet by definition because he possessed the ability to converse with the almighty Yahweh. Samuel and Saul are key players to the rise of the kingdom but Saul runs into trouble and disobeys God, which leads him to his own inevitable demise.
1 Samuel presents Israel transformation from theocracy to monarchy as theological and sociopolitical. Knut Heim mentions, “Such transformation could not take place without stresses and conflicts. The book of Samuel in general, and chaps. 8-15 in particular, reflect the tensions and ambiguities of these transitional time.” The Israel’s request of a king is seen desperate and insistence to become like other nations, due to internal and external crises. Of course, it was an evil thing to ask for because they were the God’s chosen people and God was their divine king. They are supposed to be different than other nations. Nevertheless, God graciously gives them a king, Saul, who eventually fails but God’s eternal plan of kingship unfolds as he choses a king for himself in David.
King David was annointed by God at a young age, when he was still a shepherd boy tending to his family's flocks. He was charged to go forth and kill the giant Goliath, despite the fact that he was a boy that had never faced battle, and had no weapon aside from his slingshot and rocks. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, David was
This specific passage focuses in on introducing the main character, Samuel. Samuel is a prophet of the Lord, and these initial chapters describe the story of how he was led to become a prophet. Samuel’s parents were faithful believers. Hannah, Samuel’s mother, was barren for a long period of time, which inflicted a tremendous amount of distress on her. One day Hannah decided to visit the temple to pray to the Lord. Eli, the temple priest prophesied to Hannah that her desires to bear a child will be answered. It came to pass where Hannah bore Samuel, and joyfully offered him as a “nazirite for all time” to remain in the “presence of the Lord forever” (**). After Samuel was
Secondly, Saul’s home was most likely Gibea or some place close to it. Therefore, some have concluded that the possibility of mixed marriages with new comers, since Gibeonites, who were from Edomite territories, settled in the land of Benjamin. This is the possible reason why the genealogy of Saul does not indicate where his father’s home is; it was not known or it was deleted.
Bonnie and sherry both good post. Solomon shows us that even if you’re the wisest person in the world if you are not abiding in the Lord then the vines of the world are going to choke you out. God allowed Solomon to make this choice to disobey as he does with us. “So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.’” (1 Kings 11:11 NASB). God displayed mercy to Solomon for David’s sake “Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.” (1 Kings 11:12 NASB). How faithful and patients God is with us is just amazing.
Solomon may have introduced foreign trade and increased the nation income, but he increased an oppressive policy and grew heavy of the people. Many of the issues that Solomon had were economic such as, building projects, military fortifications, ship construction, and foreign trade which needed men. Different foreigners were used for labor as well as Israelites as military service. Solomon’s pride and selfishness contributed to his issues. He added tax to supply for his “wasteful court.” He wanted to be a king that was admired by all the other kings. Samuel prophecy concerning kingship and was fulfilled in Solomon. Now this wasn’t necessarily a good thing, He put burdensome taxes on the people, he took over the basic sources of wealth and more. The people of the northern tribes wanted to