Vol.X No.II Pg.1
April 1973

Sauls Weakness

Robert F. Turner

When God made Saul, son of Kish, to be king over His people there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he. (1 Sam. 9:2) He was concerned for his father (v.5) wanted to pay the preacher (v.7) (now theres a man for you), was a humble man (v. 21) shy (10:22) and God had given him another heart (vv. 6,9). He was not a vindictive man (11:12-13), and he gave God the glory for victory.

But Saul had a weakness. He seemed to covet a priestly status and pursued this goal in high-handed defiance of Gods will. (Both of the errors associated with his rejection as king have to do with unlawful offerings. (1 Sam. 13:8-14; 15:1-23) put another way, Saul was willing to worship God— provided he could be top banana and do it the way he wished. Of course, genuine worship is impossible when such an attitude prevails.

And Saul had another weakness— of character— perhaps more destructive in the final analysis than his yen to play priest. Unlike David, who would acknowledge his sins and ask forgiveness, Saul made excuses, and blamed others for his failings. He assigned himself noble reasons (?) for doing that which was contrary to Gods will. The people were scattered— Samuel was late— the enemy was upon us— it was needful that we pray to God— so, I forced myself, and offered the burnt-offering. All so reasonable, right-seeming— and wrong. Samuel said, Thou hast done foolishly; thou hast not kept the commandment of Jehovah thy God. (1 Sam. 13:11-13)

When Saul was sent to destroy the Amalekites he saved King Agag and the best of the stock. He claimed I have performed the commandment of Jehovah but about that time an old cow bawled (as F.E.W, jr. once said,) and gave him away. The people spared the flocks, to sacrifice unto Jehovah. A noble motive, and the blame is put on that indefinite mass that is supposed to relieve the individual of the need for conviction and action. (15:13-f.) To obey is better than sacrifice.

Sauls weakness cost him a kingdom. How many of us will miss heaven because we seek to do Gods work in our way, and blame others for our sins?