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Saul​—Israel’s First King

Saul​—Israel’s First King

SEE Samuel pouring oil on the man’s head. This is what they used to do to a person to show that he had been chosen as king. Jehovah tells Samuel to pour the oil on Saul’s head. It is a special sweet-smelling oil.

Saul did not think that he was good enough to be king. ‘I belong to the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest one in Israel,’ he tells Samuel. ‘Why do you say that I will be king?’ Jehovah likes Saul because he does not pretend to be big and important. That is why He chooses him to be king.

But Saul is not poor or a small man. He comes from a rich family, and he is a very handsome, tall man. He is about a foot taller than anyone else in Israel! Saul is also a very fast runner, and he is a very strong man. The people are glad that Jehovah has chosen Saul to be king. They all begin to shout: ‘Long live the king!’

The enemies of Israel are as strong as ever. They are still causing a lot of trouble for the Israelites. Soon after Saul is made king, the Amʹmon·ites come up to fight against them. But Saul gathers a big army, and he wins the victory over the Amʹmon·ites. This makes the people happy that Saul is king.

As the years go by, Saul leads the Israelites to many victories over their enemies. Saul also has a brave son named Jonʹa·than. And Jonʹa·than helps Israel to win many battles. The Phi·lisʹtines are still the Israelites’ worst enemy. One day thousands and thousands of Phi·lisʹtines come to fight against the Israelites.

Samuel tells Saul to wait until he comes and makes a sacrifice, or gift, to Jehovah. But Samuel is slow in coming. Saul is afraid that the Phi·lisʹtines will start the battle, so he goes ahead and makes the sacrifice himself. When Samuel finally comes, he tells Saul that he has been disobedient. ‘Jehovah will choose another person to be king over Israel,’ Samuel says.

Later Saul disobeys again. So Samuel tells him: ‘It is better to obey Jehovah than to make a gift to him of the best sheep. Because you have not obeyed Jehovah, Jehovah will not keep you as king of Israel.’

We can learn a good lesson from this. It shows us how important it is to obey Jehovah always. Also, it shows that a good person, as Saul had been, can change and become bad. We never want to become bad, do we?