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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 29, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: I Samuel 9-12


I Samuel 9:2

And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.


The spotlight turns to Saul, the first King of Israel. Never was there a man who started out with such promise. Yet, his life ended in awful failure. His is a cautionary tale, of which there are many in the Bible. Pride, ego, a strong self-will, and fleshly passion all contributed to this king’s downfall.  But it began well.


He was obedient to his father, respectful to the man of God (Samuel), was filled with the Spirit of God, in fact it is said that God gave him another heart, he was turned into another man. The trouncing of the Ammonites in chapter 11 proved to Israel that God was with this new king. The Lord always has a way of elevating His leaders, often in crisis, to demonstrate His approval to all. Even the wicked men of Belial who at the first asked How shall this man save us? And they despised him… (10:27). They had to admit that Saul was God’s chosen leader for Israel. They saw firsthand how the king saved those innocent souls of Jabeshgilead. Yes, God was with him, this was clear to all Israel.


In I Samuel chapters 9-17 Saul is highlighted, then a change takes place. The spotlight moves again. The last 14 chapters of the book (18-31) focus on David. There is a great struggle between Saul and David. To this writer their struggle is an Old Testament telling of the invisible battle between Jesus and Lucifer. With David and Saul individuals had to choose sides. They seemed to co-reign for a while. Saul wanted to kill David. David would not so much as lift a hand against Saul. David ultimately won! Yes, the largely unseen war in the spiritual realm is between Jesus and Lucifer, very much like the battle between Saul and David.


In the middle of both battles (Saul and David, Jesus and Lucifer) individuals were caught in the middle. It was chaotic for a while in Israel, just like the world is chaotic today. But remember, it was Israel’s choice. They rejected God as their king and desired to be like the other nations and have a man lead, fight, and rule over them. Samuel said as much to the nation in 12:12. And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king. The Lord God in Heaven knew this would happen, nothing ever catches Him off-guard. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. I Samuel 8:7


All that happened then is also happening today. Individuals have, are, and will, reject the Lord God through Jesus Christ, they want another king over them. But the king that many desire is not a man or a woman in some distant place, but it is themselves. For it seems that more and more individuals believe the lie that they are their own god. Therein is the struggle in the soul. “Will I let God be my Lord and King, or am I my own lord and king?”  They may not even know this battle is raging, but for many it is. Before we judge Israel too harshly in this matter of who will be their king, let us take a long sobering and Biblical look at self.


Dr. William T. Howe


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