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 King Saul – A Man Who Started Well -poonen


[b]King Saul – A Man Who Started Well[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]

We read in 1 Sam 9:15-17, the Lord told Samuel : "Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be king over My people Israel" When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, "Behold, this is the man." Samuel spoke to Saul and. "took a flask of oil, poured it on his head and said, 'The Lord has anointed you a ruler over His inheritance'" (1Sam.10:1). Saul was absolutely surprised, for he did not expect this at all. He was after all, just an ordinary man But for God to pick him out would indicate that God had seen many good qualities in him. And so Samuel told him, "The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, you will prophesy, and you will be changed into another man" (10:6). This is indeed a wonderful word that describes what happens to a man when he is filled with the Holy Spirit: He is changed into another man. This is what all of us need to experience continually.

But Saul had to be recognised by the people also as the man whom God had chosen to be their king. So Samuel called all the people together and told them that a king would be selected by God from their midst. Samuel did not name Saul. Instead he cast lots – by tribes first, then by families and then by individual names – believing that the Lord would sovereignly control the lot. The lot finally fell on Saul. When they looked for Saul and they couldn’t find him because he had disappeared. He had hidden himself, because he did not want to become the king Notice ten good qualities that Saul had.

1. He was faithful and thorough in his work - In Chapter 9:3, we read that his father Kish had lost his donkeys. Kish told Saul to go and search for them. Saul conducted a thorough search in all the hill country of Ephraim and the land of Shalishah. His father had given him a job to do, and he did it thoroughly. He didn't just go looking for the donkeys for a few minutes and come back saying, "I can’t find them." God picks up people who are faithful in small matters like looking for lost donkeys!

2. He was wise - When a long time had elapsed and he still hadn't found any of the donkeys, he told his servant, "Let’s go back because my father will now be more concerned about us than the donkeys." (10:5).

3. He knew how to respect God's servants - When his servant suggested that they go and meet a servant of God in the city, Saul said, "Let's take a present for him" (10:.7).

4. He had a humble opinion about himself - When Samuel told Saul about God having chosen him, he replied, "Who am I? Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin?" (9:21).

5. He did not boast - When his uncle asked him what Samuel had said, Saul told his uncle that Samuel said his donkeys had been found, but he did not tell his uncle about Samuel anointing him as king (10:15,16).

6. He stayed in the background - When they selected him to be the king he hid himself in the baggage. He was a man who wanted to be hidden (10:22).

7. He was longsuffering - When Saul went to his house, certain worthless men said, "How can this man deliver us?" They despised him and did not bring any present. But he kept silent even though he was publicly anointed as king (10:27).

8. He was zealous to help those in need - When certain people of Israel were attacked by their enemies, they sent messengers to Saul, who immediately gathered people to go and help them (11:1-7).

9. He was courageous - Saul went and fought the Ammonite enemies courageously and saved the Israelites (11:11).

10. He forgave his enemies - When Saul came back victorious from the battle, some people wanted to kill those who had earlier rejected Saul as king. But he would not allow anyone to be killed (11:12,13).

This was the man God chose, who had all these wonderful qualities. Yet in a few years he had lost his contact with God, lost the anointing of the Spirit, lost his humility, lost his character, lost his kingdom and lost everything. This is the sad story of many servants of God today too, who started out well.


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/12/24 16:45Profile









 Re: King Saul – A Man Who Started Well -poonen

Yes..Saul had all those qualities, moral qualities, but I can't ever see that Saul had a real genuine heart for God - from the beginning.

 2007/12/24 16:58
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Yes..Saul had all those qualities, moral qualities, but I can't ever see that Saul had a real genuine heart for God - from the beginning.



Brother, this is a sad thing to say publically, only because it is impossible for you to have looked into Saul's heart from the beginning. Such things belong only to God, and if we must judge, why not judge admirably and righteously and give the disgraced man the benfit of the doubt? Remember that the same measure you exact on others shall be measured back against you. Brother, how can anyone discern the [i]genuineness[/i] of the heart of a man they've never met face to face?

I am easily of the opinion that Saul started off genuine - for I have no reason or substantiating proof to suspect otherwise - and that God obviously saw something unique in his character and heart. Samuel obviously saw something also, for he wept when the kingdom was taken from Saul. And we also ought to weep when a man falls from grace.

Leave such speculation of his genuineness to God, and continue on with a pure conscience, being merciful in your judgment and taking heed lest you fall also. God has many painful ways of altering believers' hearts who cast unjustified criticisms upon the fallen. Trust me on this.

;-)


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/24 18:04Profile









 Re:

Hi Paul,

Quote:
and that God obviously saw something unique in his character and heart.



Nothing in scripture suggest that. (You're actually doing what you accuse me of doing - except your judging what you [i]think[/i] God saw.) Just because God uses someone in no way endorses that person. Take Balaam for example -

Israel lusted after a king and God gave them one after the flesh. There is no God given testimony from scripture regarding Saul's Godliness nor ANYTHING recorded about his life that would suggest it. Saul and David are direct opposites...like Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, Hagar and Sarah, Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion, the old man and new man, flesh and spirit.

If you can show me scripture that suggest that Saul was Godly...I'll believe the scriptures.

And Brother Zac, who I respect and learn from, does the same thing you accuse me of doing as well. He [i]assumes[/i] that Saul started well. And for some reason all those qualities are made known about Saul but [i]nothing is recorded[/i] about his heart, zeal, or love for God. In fact, what is recorded about David and Saul shows us who really started out well and why. Maybe that's the real lesson (at least one of many).

 2007/12/24 19:31
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
You're actually doing what [b]you accuse me[/b] of doing

Quote:
And Brother Zac, who I respect and learn from, does the same thing [b]you accuse me[/b] of doing as well.



Please, brother, no one is accusing you. Satan is the accuser. You made a public statement of opinion, a judgment, and I offered my own as well. You're asking me to show you from scripture where I have reason to believe Saul was genuine from the beginning, and Zac has already shown a good case from the article. In fact, he has shown ten reasons. Can you provide even [i]one[/i] to argue your case? I would ask you now to show from scripture how you have come to believe Saul was never genuine.

But, please, let's leave all the allusions of personal "accusations" out of the discussion; all I've done here is challenge you. Can you defend your view and show justification from scripture that Saul was never genuine?

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/24 19:47Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Take Balaam for example



Yes, we can take Balaam for an example. I also have reason to believe Balaam may have started his carreer as a good prophet, right with God. You cannot prove otherwise, though one can argue a strong case that because God already had a history of legitimately speaking though him (and indeed, it was Israel's God and not a devil) this fact alone demonstrates that Balaam may have begun his ministry with a good heart, and thus was chosen by God on account of virtue in younger days.


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/24 20:07Profile









 Re:

Brother Paul,

Please, let's not play word games.

Quote:

Please, brother, no one is accusing you



You accused me of judging..and I did... based on scripture (just as you did). I could have easily worded it different but it would have meant the same thing. Instead of saying "your accusing me of" I could have said "you think I'm judging"...it's all the same.

If the attributes that Zac Poonen listed equate to being Godly then this world is filled with a lot of Godly unconverted people.

I know of nothing in scripture that says or suggest that Saul was Godly (genuine heart for God). I can find that with David though. (David was zealous for the Glory of God and trusted in Him.) Zac suggest that Saul started out right. If you don't start out with God you don't start out right....regardless if your good qualities are without number.

sscott

also brother, I'm not mad or anything. hope it doesn't come across that way! :)

 2007/12/24 20:15
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
I could have easily worded it different but it would have meant the same thing. Instead of saying "your accusing me of" I could have said "you think I'm judging"...it's all the same.



Sorry, brother, it's just that the word "accuse", to me, has ugly connotations; it's inextricably linked to blameworthiness and crime. I just think you chose a harsh word (I guess you just need to read on my side of discussion:)), it sort of makes it look like I am trying to publically condemn you here, or prosecute you ...at least that's how I'm taking it. Brother, I know this isn't how you feel.

The whole reason I challenged you is, again, why you have automatically assumed Saul was never genuine when Zac gave ten good reasons why he was, without the Bible having to state implicitly that "Saul was a righteous king". At least we can agree that David regarded Saul as "God's anointed" - as did Samuel who anointed him, and God doesn't anoint the ungodly. God fully intended to give Saul the kingdom, God hand-picked him and directed Samuel to him. To assume Saul was ungodly in these early days contradicts what we know about God's principle of honoring men who honor Him. Can you give one hint that would compell us to chalk off Saul's [i]entire life as ingenuine[/i] in terms of godly affection (other than the Bible not deliberately mentioning it per se).

I'm not mad, either, I promise. :) This may sound bogus, but my point isn't to win this; I am just curious as to how you came to this deduction despite Poonen's fair (as I see it) article.

God bless you, and Merry Christmas!


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/24 20:34Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Hi brothers,



One thing that may be different is how the Scripture says of David, that God [i]was with[/i] him.


David said God's gentleness had made him great.




Merry Christmas to you all :-)


And God's love to you.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2007/12/24 21:22Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

"And Samuel said to all the people, See him (Saul) whom the Lord hath chosen, [i]that there is none like him among all the people[/i]" (I Sam. 10:24)

Compare this to:

"And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, [i]that there is none like him in the earth..[/i]"

Did God say this regarding Saul because of his physical features? God looks upon the heart, the same standard he used later to pick out David among his tall, handsome brethren.


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2007/12/24 21:23Profile





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