King Saul

Before Saul came along the Jewish people were led by ‘judges’. They came to a point where they thought that they would prefer to be like other countries and have a king of their own. Samuel (the last ‘judge’) was told by God to find the right person to be king.

King Saul was chosen by Samuel. He was a tall, handsome man, who was a natural leader. He was humble enough to ask for advice, and strong enough to attract lots of people to follow his lead.

Saul was the first king of Israel. His reign started well but soon things began to go wrong. He was very jealous of a young man called David (who went on to become the next king!) and he forgot to obey God and his commands. His envy of David, his bad decisions, and the growing strength of his enemies, caused Saul to become depressed. His troubled mind made him ill and his ability to rule over Israel started to desert him. In 1 Samuel 15:11 we can read about how unhappy God was with Saul – this is what he said to Samuel about him, “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (New Living Translation)

Saul even went so far as to try and have David killed, but David ran away. When the tables were turned and David had a chance to kill Saul – he wouldn’t do it. David knew it would be wrong to kill the king.

Saul’s life ended in a sad way – he was defeated by the Philistines, the sworn enemies of Israel. Saul was a man who started very well but, sadly, ended very badly indeed!

King Saul