"He fought against his enemies in every direction … Wherever he turned, he was victorious. He performed great deeds and conquered the Amalekites, saving Israel from all those who had plundered them." – 1 Samuel 14:47-48 NLT
Saul often is pictured as a weak king. He was rejected by God, self-centered, and insecure. But we also must remember the great success he enjoyed in his early years on the throne. He led Israel to victory “wherever he turned” and “performed great deeds.” What happened to change this pattern of success?
We know that eventually Saul turned away from God. He became jealous and obsessive. Driven by anger and fear, he seemed to forget that he only was strong as long as he depended on God. He owed everything to Him. In his own strength, he was a failure. When God withdrew His blessings, Saul discovered that his personal abilities were not enough.
Describing Saul’s death, David declared, “How the mighty heroes have fallen” (2 Samuel 1:27). David, too, knew what it was like to fail. He, too, experienced great triumphs. He recognized that God was his light and salvation and the strength of his life (Psalm 27:1). God was his rock, fortress, and deliverer (Psalm 18:2). Yet David, too, made serious mistakes, particularly after committing adultery with Bathsheba.
Learn from the mistakes of Israel’s first two kings. Don’t take God’s blessings for granted, and never forget that you owe everything to Him. Make Him the strength of your life. Humble yourself before Him and remember to depend on Him. Honor Him. Worship Him. And give Him all the glory!
PrayerFather, thank You for Your wisdom and blessings. I owe everything to You. Others may fail me, but I know I can trust You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended Reading1 Samuel 14