Saul has pretty much lost God’s favor. We don’t know exactly what’s gone on for the last 42 years, and this chapter is a bit vague in telling us, but we can kind of look at Saul’s actions, the time that seems to have passed and Samuel’s response. The first verse tells us that Saul was on the throne a long while. Read that how you want. It says he ruled for 42 years. It doesn’t say, however, that this battle occurred in his 42nd year of rulership, but for the sake of easy math, I’m going to assume Saul is somewhere around 72 years old. I’m also going to assume that while he has reigned according to God’s commands, he maybe didn’t set as good as example as God wanted him to. In verse 7, at Gilgal, Saul’s men were trembling. They had lost faith in the battle and that God was on their side. (It doesn’t say that. That’s just me reading into that verse.) When Samuel arrives, he also makes it clear that Saul had lost God’s favor. He gives us some foreshadowing that Saul’s time as king is about to come to an end, and God is seeing to it that the next ruler will reign in the way He intended.
Writing prompt: Saul
What do you think of Saul so far? Why do you think God chose him as Israel’s first king? Write out your thoughts about Saul today.