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Four Lessons from King Saul

Audio Transcripts

Radio transcript for May 11, 2008

Harold Bigham preaches on "Four Lessons from King Saul" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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Good evening and welcome to tonightâ??s broadcast. We are delighted to be able to study the Bible together so that we might understand Godâ??s Will for us today. We must be like the noble Bereans who searched the Scriptures daily to investigate whether or not the things that they were taught were true (Acts 17:11).

Our lesson tonight centers around a prominent Old Testament historical figure. His name was King Saul. King Saul was a historical biblical character of the Old Testament. Paul wrote that we can benefit from studying the examples of those men and women who lived under the Old Testament. Romans 15:4 states, â??For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hopeâ?.

The Bible speaks of his demise in I Samuel 15:1-26. Letâ??s read the account.

â??Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.â?

What are four lessons that we can learn from King Saul?

First, we learn from King Saul that there is no such thing as partial obedience. King Saul did not do as God had directed. He brought back the best of the flock. Again the account states, â??But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterlyâ? (I Samuel 15:9). Perhaps, he reasoned that it would be wasteful to destroy the good things! In his reasoning, he forgot that God wanted to see the faith of King Saul. God said â??destroy everythingâ?; King Saul said, â??Destroy only the things that I canâ??t useâ?. King Saulâ??s actions illustrate to us that we cannot pick and choose what we want to obey. God has commanded us to be baptized for the remission of our sins. Acts 2:38 states, â??Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghostâ?. In Acts 22:16, Ananias said to Paul â??And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.â? We might reason as King Saul did and select only the verses that we want to obey. In doing so, we have disobeyed God.

Secondly, we learn from King Saul that we must accept responsibility for our actions. King Saul blamed others for what he did. As King, he had the authority to command the people to carry out his orders. When asked about his disobedience, he quickly tried to minimize it by saying that the people did it. In I Samuel 15:15 â??And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyedâ?. Samuel replied, â??Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being kingâ? (I Samuel 15: 22-23). Adam and Eve did the same thing in failing to accept responsibility for their actions. In Genesis 3:12-13, the Bible states, â??And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eatâ?.

Today, man often will blame someone else or society for what they themselves are guilty of. We must learn to take responsibility for the things that we do.

Thirdly, we learn from King Saul that God wants total obedience above all else. King Saul was instructed by Samuel of this great need. â??And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of ramsâ?. (I Samuel 15:22). The Lord desires above all else that we obey Him. Jesus spoke of those who on the Judgment Day will say, â??Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquityâ? (Matthew 7:21-23).

Finally, we learn from King Saul that pride will lead to destruction. King Saul allowed pride to control his live. At another time in his life, he became envious of David because more people accepted him. â??And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forwardâ? (I Samuel 18:7-9). Uncontrolled pride will destroy our lives. We are not to think of ourselves above that which we are.

May we learn these lessons from the life of King Saul. Thank you so much for listening to us tonight.



And now let's listen to what the Bible says about how to become a Christian

Is there something that I must do to become a Christian? Has this thought ever cross your mind? You are not alone in your search for the Truthâ?¦many others have asked the same question today and even in Bible times. After hearing the gospel in Acts chapter two, a group of people asked â??Men and brethren what shall we doâ?? (Acts 2:37). So it is likely that you today are asking the same question! The answers are given in the Bible. We are taught by the gospel of Christ that we must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17-â??So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of Godâ?); We must also believe in Christ (Mark 16:16 â??He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damnedâ?. We must repent of our sins (Turning away from sin and turning to God) Luke 13:3,5. We must confess the good name of Christ as the only begotten Son of God (Matthew 10:32, 33; Acts 8:37) and we are to be baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). When we obey God through obedience to the gospel, we have obeyed that form of doctrine (Romans 6) and Jesus adds us to His church, the church of Christ. We have become a â??Christianâ?. We become a Christian the same way that others did so in the book of Acts. The same process that makes us a Christian makes us a member of the body of Christ, the church of Christ. We must live a faithful Christian life even if we must die for Christ (Rev. 2:10). What a great life it is when we become a Christian! We become a new person with new goals. Paul described it as a â??new creationâ? (II Cor. 5:10). We would like to study with you more in your search for Truth and desire to become a Christian. We would like to mail you our free Bible Study lessons so that we can study the Bible together. Please write down our contact information that will be given in a few seconds.

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