For the past three thousand years, Saul has been held up as the “bad king” next to David, the “good king.” Those who think of Saul as being bad, however, should read the biblical account, for Saul was actually rather good. Yes, he tried to hunt down and kill David, but when he was anointed, he had a very good start: he was given a new heart, the Spirit came upon him, and he valiantly fought against the enemies of Israel. He was not a terrible person, but he had a sad end. How was it that he failed to satisfy God’s heart?
Saul was not initially yearning after power. Though he wanted no part in being king, it was thrust upon him. When Samuel told Saul he would be king, Saul responded very humbly, saying that he was not worthy of such an honor. He probably knew that being king would cause a lot of headaches, so he wasn’t interested. Samuel, however, anointed him king anyway, and the Lord gave him a new heart (1 Sam. 10:9).
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, page 29.
Tomorrow: “Saul’s Humble Start” (2)