Lesson 14 Saul, the First King
1 Samuel 8:1-9; 19-22

As we study the lesson today, watch for how Samuel, who was a prophet, priest, and judge of Israel, took his concerns to God. Samuel judged the children of Israel all his life. When he became an old man and knew that he could not be their judge much longer, he made his two sons judges. They were not like their father, for they loved money and took bribes, and they did not judge honestly. One day some of the leaders in the nation came to Samuel. They said, “You are old now and will not be with us much longer. Your sons are not like you and we do not want them to rule over us. We want a king like all the nations around us.” At first Samuel felt very sad about this. He thought the people were turning against him and did not love him any more. So he prayed and asked God what he should do. Samuel believed that God heard his prayer, that God would answer, and that God would work in his life.

The Lord said to him, “The people are not turning against you, Samuel, but they are turning against Me. They do not want Me to rule over them. Give them a king as they ask, but tell them first what it will mean for them to have a king,”: Samuel went back to the people and told them what God had said. He said to them, “When you have a king you may be sorry. He will take your sons and daughters to work for him. There will be heavy taxes to pay to keep up an army and a palace. He will take a part of your grain and your fruit and all that you have. It will cost you something to have a king.”

But the people said, “We want to be like the other nations around us, and they all have kings. We want one too.” Please read in the Bible at 1 Samuel 8:19, 20, and let’s see how many times the pronouns “we” and “us” are used. Raise your hand each time you hear the word “we” or the word “us.”

Although Samuel prayed to God for direction, there is nothing here to show that the children of Israel had committed their way to God. God had told them that they were not to be like the heathen nations around them. They were to be a holy people, obeying God’s Word and serving Him, so that the nations around them would come to know of the living God whom they worshipped. To be like other nations was contrary to God’s purposes, but God permitted them to have their way.

God often talked with Samuel as with a friend. Some time after this He spoke to Samuel and said, “Tomorrow about this time I will send you the man who is to be king over my people and deliver them from their enemies.”

The next afternoon Samuel was coming out of his house to go to the place of worship. Coming toward him were two men. One was young, handsome, head and shoulders taller than anyone else. The other man was his servant. When Samuel saw this tall, kingly-looking man, the Lord again spoke to Him in his heart and said, “This is the man who is to be king.” Samuel spoke to the young man, whose name was Saul. He said to him, “I would like you to go with me to worship and then come back to my house to supper and stay all night.” So they went to Samuel’s house to a feast. Other guests were present, and Saul was given the seat of honor beside Samuel and treated as the honored guest. Saul could not understand why Samuel should be treating him as if he were an important person when he was just a country boy. Saul and his servant stayed at Samuel’s home all night. The next morning they started home, and Samuel went with them to the edge of the city. Then he asked Saul to send his servant on ahead so that they could be alone. Then he did a very strange thing. He took a bottle of oil and poured it on Saul’s head. He kissed him and told him that God had chosen him to be king over the people.

Soon after this, Samuel called all the people together unto the Lord. Samuel was a prophet as well as a judge. A prophet is one who comes to the people with a message from God. The people listened to Samuel and knew that He brought to them God’s message. Samuel reminded them of all that God had done for them as a nation. He said, “You have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses, and you have said “No, set a king over us.” In insisting upon a king, the people had really turned against God. The people were insisting on their own way.
Is it important for you and me to seek God in prayer, to listen to the Word of God and to obey Him? Yes, it is. Are there consequences when you don’t? Yes. Choosing your own way is a sin. It is rebellion against God. God allows us to go our own way which is contrary to His will, but we experience the consequences. We will learn more about this next week.

We are told in God’s Word to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” To “trust” means “treat as reliable,” “commit to the care of.” Have you learned to talk with God? Does He answer your prayers? Do you spend time reading God’s Word to learn more about what pleases Him?

Maybe you have not yet put your trust in Jesus as your Saviour. That comes first. May God give you grace to call upon Jesus right now for the forgiveness of your sins. You will want to thank God the Father for sending Christ to die on the cross for sinners.

If you have received Jesus a Saviour, tell him what is on your heart. Today, let’s bow our heads in reverence. Close your eyes and pray silently. We will wait quietly for you to pray your own prayer.

Father, we thank you that we can come to you in prayer. May we honor you as Lord and King in our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.



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