Yet Saul himself was responsible for his own defeat and for the defeat of Israel by the Philistines. He was jealous of David, the Lord’s anointed and tried to kill him. Saul was rebellious and arrogant, and the Lord had rejected him as king (1 Sam 15:23). The Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit tormented him (1 Sam 16:14). He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord no longer answered him (1 Sam 28:6). God had turned away from him (1 Sam 28:15), so he consulted a medium (a witch), which was an abomination to God (1 Sam 28:7-8; Lev 19:31). And when he saw that the enemy was defeating him, he took his own life (1 Sam 31:4). So while David was very gracious in his lament, the fact is that when Saul had fallen, he was the one who had brought it all upon himself and upon the nation through his own sin.
Saul was a type that represented the religious leader who operates in the flesh, seeking to control people, rather than love them, and David represented the one who walks meekly and humbly by the Spirit. As a man after God’s own heart, David also represents Christ, the Son of David. The story of Saul and David is a great lesson for all pastors today to follow David’s example and not Saul’s.
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Saul and David painting by Rembrandt 1665-60. Saul Attacking David by Guercino (1646).
Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the Home page, such as The Servant of the Lord, The Shepherding Role of Elders, Success in God's Eyes, Accountable, correctable, and teachable, A Personality Profile of the Apostle Paul, Persecuted or Popular?, and Having a Servant's Heart. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.