Term 1 – Week 3

Big Idea – Saul disobeyed (rejected) the word of the Lord and God rejected him as king.

1 Samuel 13 & 15




Saul’s failure as the king involved repeated disobedience to God and foolish leadership decisions. His disobedience had two sides. He arrogantly set out to do things his own way, ignoring God’s instructions given through Samuel i.e. he rejected God’s authority. He also showed that he did not trust God to look after his people; instead, he seemed to think that it was his own strength that counted i.e. he rejected God’s loving care.

In ch. 13, Saul gathered an army to fight the Philistines. The Israelites were outnumbered and afraid, so much so some went into hiding. Saul wanted to ask God for help, but instead waiting for Samuel, he decided to make an offering to God himself. In this way he disobeyed the word of the Lord and so God promised to take away his kingdom and appoint ‘a man after God’s own heart’, a man of God’s choosing, not the people’s, as king. (1 Sam 13:13-14).

In ch. 15, Samuel came to Saul with a message from God. God wanted Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything. But after Saul defeated the Amalekites, he spared Agag king of the Amalekites and the livestock (v.8) and then he set up a monument in own honour. When confronted with his sin by Samuel, Saul then turned around and blamed the soldiers. Thus, Saul rejected the word of the Lord and as a result the Lord rejected Saul as king over Israel, tore the kingdom away from him and gave it to another (David), one who is better than Saul (1 Sam 15:26-29)! Though next week we will see that it is not because David was godlier than Saul, but that he was a man after God’s own heart, that is, God’s own choosing. 

Saul’s ongoing disobedience resulted in God rejecting him as the king of the Israelites and while Saul remained in the role of king, for the remainder of the book of 1 Samuel, the story of the remainder of his life was a sad and sorry one. At the close of the book, when faced with defeat by the Philistines, Saul decided to end his life in suicide (1 Sam 31). The main point emphasised in today’s lesson is that Saul disobeyed God and rejected the word of the Lord, thus, God rejected him as king. Samuel said to Saul, ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?’ No!! To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams’ (1 Sam 15:22). To reject the word of the Lord is serious business! But behind the scenes we learn that God had chosen a new king ‘after his own heart’ (1 Sam 13:14) and given his kingdom to another, one better than Saul (1 Sam 15:28). This new king we will see next week is the shepherd boy, David, a man of God’s own choosing. But ultimately it was King Jesus, the king of Kings, a man of God’s own choosing, a king better than even the great king David himself, the glory of Israel because he is not a human being that he should change his mind (1 Sam 15:29).

Memory Verse

1 Samuel 8:19

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.” 


God’s People in God’s Place (Awesome Cutlery)YouTube

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Dundonald Kids

Dundonald Kids is the team led by our Children's Minister Natasha Small that aims to partner with parents in growing young disciples of Christ.

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