Hebrew History Part 12

Contact: David Parham 940-322-4343



This week we continue our studies this week as we study "Israel Demands a King"


Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen how Judges came to rule in the nation of Israel and watched the children of Israel repeat the error of falling away from God, In our last study, we saw one of the last judges who was Eli. He was both a priest and a Judge. We then studied about the last judge of Israel, Samuel. This week we see Israel demanding to Samuel that they be like other nations and have a King to rule over them.

1 Sam 8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

1 Sam 8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.

1 Sam 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

1 Sam 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,

1 Sam 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

1 Sam 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.

1 Sam 8:7 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. The condition which made the Kingship Necessary

We see in the first 3 verses of I Samuel Chapter 8 that Samuel’s sons did not walk in their fathers ways but sought to go the way of the word by chasing after money, taking bribes, and perverting judgment. A nation is reproached when its leaders do not judge righteously and live according to God’s rules.

Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

Psa 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

We see in verse 8 that the people saw that all the other nations had a king, and only they were different. It is a sad day when God’s people want to be like the world. But there seem to be many more carnal Christians in the world today than those that want to live separated and consecrated lives for God. To live a consecrated life means that we will be different. We will desire different things than those that do not know the Lord. We are in the world, but we are not to be of the world.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Jesus prayed a special prayer for us to the Father.

John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

John 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Later, we see the people realizing their error after receiving a king.

1 Sam 12:19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.

Samuel had been told by God that they were rejecting God in seeking an earthly king. We are to have

No other Gods before us than God, and we need only one king, and that is King Jesus.

1 Sam 8:7 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.

We see that when the Philistines came up against Israel, that had iron which Israel did not have. When it comes to God’s people, we should be the ones that have strength and confidence, because we have a heavenly Father who is coming back to rule one day with Iron. And he is the one that gives us the ability to go forward. Without Him, we could do nothing.

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Rev 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.

II. Saul is Chosen as King

1 Sam 9:16 To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.

1 Sam 9:17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.

Why was Saul chosen from the tribe of Benjamin? Because the tribe of Benjamin was in the center of all the others. Benjamin was in effect centrally located. This tribe was one of the threatened tribes. We see wisdom in this choice. If one of the large tribes had been chosen to give Israel its first king, they might have rose up and took over all the others. But Benjamin was one of the smallest tribes.

Saul was a man that certainly looked the part of a king. We see in 1 Samuel 9:2 that he was tall and handsome. Also, he had a great record of slaying many Philistines in his life time.

1 Sam 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.

I have read that being a tall person is a good attribute for a leader to have. And Saul also had another great gift that helps to lead, and that was charisma. Some people just have a way that is pleasing to others, and God had given Saul this gift.

1 Sam 10:6 And the spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

1 Sam 10:7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.

1 Sam 10:8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and show thee what thou shalt do.

1 Sam 10:9 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.

We see the main reason that Saul was qualified was due to the fact that Spirit of the Lord was to come upon him. Any man or woman who is a true Godly leader must have God’s Spirit directing them.

Some have questioned whether Saul was saved due to the many of the negative things he did in his life, particularly in his pursuit of David. But I believe Saul was saved due to verse 9. Jesus told Nicodemus that for a person to be saved and to enter into heaven, that they must be born again. And we get a new heart when we are born again. Verse 9 clearly states that God gave him another heart. David many times mentioned that he would not raise up his hand to hurt one of God’s anointed.

III Samuel Anoints Saul King

1 Sam 10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

Samuel anointed Saul King because God had chosen him to be captain over Israel.

We see in verses 20-27 of chapter 10 that Saul was revealed as Israel’s first King.

1 Sam 10:20 And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken.

1 Sam 10:21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found.

1 Sam 10:22 Therefore they inquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.

1 Sam 10:23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.

1 Sam 10:24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.

1 Sam 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

1 Sam 10:26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.

1 Sam 10:27 But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

You see that Samuel sent every man back home to their own homes in verse 25. In verse 26, a band of men go with Saul "whose hearts God had touched." I’m sure these are the men Saul wanted around him, and I know those are the kind we need in the church. Satan would like to put his people in the church, but we are to be careful that all that are members of the church show fruits of repentance and walk according to God’s commandments and statutes. When a man’s heart has been touched, he is different and walks differently than the world. All we have to do is watch, because a person lives out the desires of their heart.

Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Mat 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Mark 7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

Mark 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Prov 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

IV. Saul’s First Victory in War

1 Sam 11:1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.

1 Sam 11:11 And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.

So the first battle that Saul won as King was against the Ammonites. It was after this battle that the people really accepted Saul as King. A leader should do more than talk, but by his example and walk make the people respect him. I read this last week that the late D. L. Moody commented that he thought every Christian’s Bible should be covered by "shoe leather" rather than plan leather. I think our getting out and doing the things God would have us to do is very, very important. Spreading the Gospel, visiting the poor and the fatherless, going to the hospitals and visiting the sick. These are important things in God’s eyes.

1 Sam 11:15 And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

V. Saul’s Failure

We see in Chapter 3 of II Samuel that the house of Saul began to wax weaker and weaker. Why do you suppose this began to happen?

2 Sam 3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.

The reason was due to Saul beginning to do things his way rather than God’s way. We always fail when we go our route rather than God’s route.

1 Sam 13:8 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.

1 Sam 13:9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.

1 Sam 13:10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.

1 Sam 13:11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

1 Sam 13:12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.

1 Sam 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.

Saul decide that he will become priest and go in and offer the burnt offering. No one but the priests were to do this, but Saul decided since he was King, he could perform the function. Each of us must be careful to not step over boundaries that God has set up. There are plenty of things for each of us to do, but certain things must be done by certain individuals. Baptism is very important, and I think every man, woman, boy, and girl who accepts Christ should be baptized. But if I took it upon myself to administer baptism, I would be wrong. The church is the only one that can authorize baptism, and that should be by an ordained pastor, not just a lay person within the church. There are many examples of overstepping authority in the Bible, and they all are given to teach us to follow the rules exactly as laid out. See our position and live under the authority of those set over us in meekness and humility.

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

1 Sam 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.

1 Sam 13:14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.

We see that due to his disobedience, God told him that his kingdom would not continue. If we want God’s blessings on our life, we must follow His Commandments.

1 Sam 15:19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

We see instead of repenting and seeking God, Saul continues in his evil ways and did more evil in the sight of God. God is longsuffering, but sin has a price that will bring consequences. He did what he wanted and refused to listen to the Man of God.

1 Sam 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Any time a leader or a pastor starts fearing the people rather than God, his reign will soon be over. We see that Saul begins to become jealous and eventually the spirit of the Lord departs from him.

1 Sam 18:7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

1 Sam 18:8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?

1 Sam 18:9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

1 Sam 16:14 But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

Even a child of God can have the close fellowship of the spirit leave their life if they refuse to hearken from God. As David said in the Psalms after he had committed sin, forgive my iniquity and restore again the joy of my salvation. We can lose all of our joy by walking as men rather than living a Godly life. Pray that our lives will count, and that we will not have to be brought down low by the Heavenly Father. We are bought with a price, and we must follow the Lord or pay a price.

Of all the Old Testament saints, only David could claim that the Spirit of the Lord never departed from him. However, he lost his joy upon occasion. David was a man after God’s own heart we are told. I am thankful that the Spirit does not leave us like it did in the Old Testament times. We may lose our joy, but it says that our hearts are sealed until the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit. He comes into our heart and lives within us every day. We may be out of fellowship with God, but the Spirit is always there in our hearts pricking us when we do wrong against a Holy and Righteous God.

Ultimately, we see Saul turning back from following the Lord. That is a pattern that a backslider follows. Start doing a few things less, then quite worrying about the things of God, and pretty soon you are so miserable that only the Grace of God can pull you out of that horrible ditch you find yourself in.

1 Sam 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

We see the agony in Samuel when Saul turned from serving God.

VI. The Death of Saul

We see that Saul died in battle. David could have taken his life many times, but did not.

1 Sam 31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.

1 Sam 31:2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul's sons.

1 Sam 31:3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.

1 Sam 31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

1 Sam 31:5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.

1 Sam 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

1 Sam 31:7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

1 Sam 31:8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.

1 Sam 31:9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people.

1 Sam 31:10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

1 Sam 31:11 And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul;

1 Sam 31:12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.

1 Sam 31:13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.


We need to make it clear that verse 12 did not mean that Saul was cremated. It was common for their to be a great burning in honor of men when they died . See the example of the burial of Asa in II Chronicles 16:14

2 Chr 16:14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a very great burning for him.

We are given 2 reasons for Saul's death and both are found in one verse.

1 Chr 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;

Because of #1 his transgression, and #2 for seeking counsel of a familiar spirit, which was a witch. God wants us to seek him when we need help and guidance, and he certainly does not want us to transgress his laws.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge. The lessons may not be sold without consent. If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.

E-mail to:

Return to: Home Page