Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 28, 1971

"I Have Played The Fool"

Bill Embree

The life of King Saul was summed up rather well by the prophet Samuel upon Saul's return from the slaughter of the Amalekites. Samuel said that rebellion and stubbornness were the two sins Saul had committed and these were the expressions of his having "rejected the word of Jehovah" (I Sam. 15:23).

Saul rejected the word of Jehovah through rebellion more than once in his life. While at Gilgal, for example, just prior to going into battle with the Philistines, he took it upon himself to offer the sacrifice unto Jehovah that only Samuel was to offer (I Sam. 13). Not only did he just disobey Samuel in not waiting, he offered a sacrifice that only a Levite could offer.

Saul's climaxing act of rebellion against Jehovah was in not utterly destroying the Amalekites (I Sam. 15). For this, he was dethroned from being king over Israel.

Stubbornness characterized the life of Saul. After being rejected by Jehovah from being king, he spent the remaining years trying to kill the one whom Jehovah had chosen to take Saul's place as the ruler of Israel. He relentlessly pursued David although David had done nothing worthy of death (I Sam. 19-31).

Saul's life might be compared to another Saul of Biblical fame: Saul of Tarsus, later called Paul.

1. Both were of the tribe of Benjamin (I Sam. 10, Acts 13:21, Rom. 11:1, Phil. 3:5).

2. Each was chosen by Jehovah for a special work — Saul to be king over Israel and Paul to be an apostle to the Gentiles (I Sam. 10:1, II Tim. 1:11, II Tim. 4:17).

3. King Saul's life was consumed by jealousy of David and rebellion against Jehovah. The Apostle Paul's life was spent in "pressing on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:14).

4. Toward the close of their lives, each evaluated his own work. King Saul said, "Behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly" (I Sam. 26:21). Saul of Tarsus, on the other hand, said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; hence forth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day" (II Tim. 4:7-8).

Rt. 1, Box 570 A, Yuma, Arizona 85364