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Life Application: Saul, David, and Soloman

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The nation of Israel, or God’s chosen people, had every opportunity to set themselves apart from other nations. Israel had a covenant relationship with God, which means Israelites only had to live holy lives to receive God’s blessings. The book of Judges describes the cycle of the Israelites forsaking God and then Him raising up judges to bring them to repentance. After this time of uprising, and sorrow, the cycle would begin again. Just like the situation of Israel, Christians have the opportunity to set themselves apart from others. In my opinion, it is of utmost importance to look to God for leadership, and to learn from the lives of others, like Saul, David, and Solomon. It is common, in the human experience, to look for leadership. This was the case of the Israelites during the time of the prophet Samuel, who lived during the time of the Judges. In the fifth verse of the book of 1 Samuel chapter eight, the people of Israel said to Samuel , “….Therefore, appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have” (Holman Christian Standard Bible). God’s chosen people, in this verse, made it known that they desired to be like everyone else. God gave the nation of Israel what they desired and told Samuel, “Appoint a king for them” (1 Sam 8:22). The reasoning behind why peoples may choose their leader is not infallible. For example, sometimes a leader may be chosen because his physical appearance is more appealing than his competitor. This was proven during the televised debates of Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. During the debates people found Nixon unattractive, and therefore unappealing, and this was just the opposite for John F. Kennedy, who was young and handsome [ (Greenburg, 2010) ]. The characteristics that United States of America found appealing in John F. Kennedy were also some of the same characteristics that the Israelites searched for in their new leader. The nation of Israel hoped for a strong, powerful king who would “…judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles” (1 Sam 8:20). Saul carried all of these characteristics. The author of 1 Samuel describes Saul as, “…an impressive young man. There was no one more impressive among the Israelites than he. He stood a head taller than anyone else” (1 Sam 9:2). Therefore, Saul became King of Israel. Saul, as the King of Israel, did not follow God’s commands. 1 Samuel chapter 15 gives an account of Saul going against God’s command, and Samuel tells Saul, “…the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel” (1 Sam 15:26). God’s rejection of Saul was inevitable, because God proclaimed that the Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:9). However, Saul was the “son of a Benjaminite” (1 Samuel 9:1). Saul was rejected as king of Israel because He wasn’t God’s choice, and did not fit in to God’s plan. During the reign of Saul, God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint David, the son of Jesse, as king (1 Sam 16:1). David was a young shepherd boy whom God had chosen to be the king of Israel. The Bible says, “…Samuel took the horn of oil, anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord took control of David from that day forward” (1 Sam 16:13). Unlike Saul, David walked with God, and His hand was on him. David, like Saul, was imperfect; however, David had true repentance in his heart for the sins he committed. After the prophet Nathan addressed his sins David acknowledged his sins and repented. (2 Sam 12:13). “Although David suffered the consequences of his sins, his genuine repentance (see Psalm 51) brought God’s forgiveness and restoration” [ (Hindson & Yates, 2012) ]. In contrast to Saul, David, for the better part, allowed God to be his ruler. Solomon, David’s son, began his rule of Israel as a godly king and lived under covenant obedience, which “…led to his successful consolidation of the nation…” [ (Hindson & Yates, 2012) ]. Because of his faithfulness “God said, ‘Ask. What should I give you?’ (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon asked for “…an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9). A person may learn by reading 1 Kings chapter 3 that God blesses Solomon with wisdom and, due to his faithfulness, blesses him with prosperity as the Bible says, “Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea; they were eating, drinking, and rejoicing. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, and as far as the border of Egypt. They offered tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life” (1 Kings 4:20-21). Solomon became rich, “The weight of gold that came to Solomon annually was 25 tons…” (1 Kings 10:14), and he had many wives from many different nations (1 Kings 11:1). According to Scripture, intermarrying was in disobedience to God (1 King 11:2). Solomon’s disobedience to God allowed his wives to seduce him to follow other gods (1 Kings 11:4). This began the downfall of the great empire in which God has blessed Solomon. By reading on, one will learn of the division of the kingdom of Israel and invasions by Assyria and Babylon. The stories of Saul, David, and Solomon, in my opinion, are full of life application. God used each leader to bless the nation of Israel as long as they were living in obedience to Him. Saul, even though he wasn’t God’s chosen king, won many battles for Israel. David was a man of God, and from him one can learn that God’s hand is with mankind as long as he lives by His commands, yet He will forgive a person even when he may lapse in righteousness. The story of Solomon again shows how God will be with man and will bless man when he is living for Him; however, when other things get in the way of our relationship with Him, He can and will pull away His blessings.…...

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