Was Saul unjustly treated ?

The Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlemite, for I have provided myself a king among his sons' (1 Sam 16: 1).

Saul is rejected as king for taking spoil from the Amelekites to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord (1 Sam 15).

But David is forgiven for murdering Uriah the Hittite and committing adultery with his wife Bathsheba (2 Sam 11-12).

Was Saul unfairly treated?

Comments

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I don't think that's what happened. I think Saul and his army intended to keep the animals as plunder. I think the statement, 'Oh, but we were going to offer them as a sacrifice', was an excuse concocted on the spur of the moment in his embarrassment when Samuel had caught him out.
  • I agree with Enoch. Also, Saul's disobedience was one in a long line, and it was disobedience to a specific instruction. He failed to do the one thing he was specifically instructed to do.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Does the whole story of Saul and David really describe a dynastic coup which culminates in the 'House of Thrones' slaughter of the seven sons of Saul? (2 Sam 21: 1-14).
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    History is always written by the victors.

    A counter - history written by Mephibosheth the grandson of Saul might say:

    David was a successful general who became ambitious for the throne (1 Sam 18: 7).

    He legitimised his claim by marriage to Michal, the daughter of Saul (1 Sam 18: 27).

    The prophet Samuel was a conspirator who deposed Saul by setting up David as a rival candidate (1 Sam 16).

    David was the leader of a group of rebel bandits who planned a murderous raid upon the household of Nabal until he was appeased by Nabal's astute wife Abigail (1 Sam 25).

    He committed treason by serving as the commander of the Philistines (1 Sam 27 - 29).

    He slaughtered the seven sons of Saul in order to secure the succession of his own dynasty (2 Sam 21: 1-14).

    He murdered Uriah the Hittite - one of his own mighty men (1 Chron 11: 40) - in order to cover up his adultery with his wife Bathsheba (2 Sam 11-12).

    No wonder David was disbarred from building the Temple as a 'man of blood' (1 Chron 28: 3).
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited February 22
    Is the story of David merely propaganda to justify how the house of David overthrew the house of Saul? The narrative reveals that David was recognised as a usurper by the people.

    David is nearly overthrown in a rebellion by Sheba who protests: 'We have no portion in David, neither have we any inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to his tents, Israel. So all the men of Israel deserted David' (2 Sam 20: 1-2).

    The same protest is taken up in the days of David's grandson Rehoboam and this time the rebellion succeeds and the kingdom is divided into Israel and Judah (1 Kings 12: 16 / 2 Chron 10: 16).
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited February 22
    Even a questionable character like David could be greatly used by God to unite the kingdom of Israel, plan the Temple and compose Psalm 51, the famous Psalm of Repentance which is still used in worship today.

    St Paul says of himself that he is 'a man of violence' and 'the chief of sinners' (1 Tim 1: 15), but he becomes the greatest missionary and likely author of 13 books of the NT. Most of the disciples including St Peter are portrayed as being fallible followers.

    Our human flaws are not an obstacle to God's grace or God's purposes. Because God likes to glorify Himself by using 'the things that are not' (1 Cor 1: 28).
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    My Bible study once read all the passages dealing with David, and then considered the question of why God liked him. The answer appeared to be that although he did many bad things, he was very quick to repent.

    Here is 1 Samuel 32-34
    David said to Abigail, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! Blessed be your good sense, and blessed be you, who have kept me today from blood-guilt and from avenging myself by my own hand! For as surely as the Lord the God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there would not have been left to Nabal as much as one male.’

    Most people take quite a while to acknowledge their wrongdoing.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    God calls David 'a man after my own heart' (Sam 13: 13-14; 1 King's 14: 8). He was the king that God most loved and all subsequent kings are compared against him, whether good or bad.

    The good King Hezekiah 'did what was right in the sight of the Lord, just as his ancestor David had done' (2 Chron 29: 2).

    The wicked king Jehoram 'did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. Yet the Lord would not destroy the House of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David' (2 Chron 21: 7).

    The faithfulness of the Lord to David is very moving to read. In the aftermath of the Bathsheba debacle He sends Nathan to tell him the parable of the rich man and the poor man and declare: Thou art the man! 'Did I not give you everything? I anointed you king over Israel... and if that had been too little I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord?' (2 Sam 12: 7-9).

    Why, O, why could you not just get it right?

    Enter Jesus.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    Rublev wrote: »
    The Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlemite, for I have provided myself a king among his sons' (1 Sam 16: 1).

    Saul is rejected as king for taking spoil from the Amelekites to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord (1 Sam 15).

    But David is forgiven for murdering Uriah the Hittite and committing adultery with his wife Bathsheba (2 Sam 11-12).

    Was Saul unfairly treated?

    I don't think God withdrew favor from Saul because he took spoil from the Amelekites; I think it was because he made a sacrifice which he was not authorized to make, since he was not a Levite.

    Here is 1 Samuel 13:8-14
    He waited for seven days, the time appointed by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people began to slip away from Saul. So Saul said, ‘Bring the burnt-offering here to me, and the offerings of well-being.’ And he offered the burnt-offering. As soon as he had finished offering the burnt-offering, Samuel arrived; and Saul went out to meet him and salute him. Samuel said, ‘What have you done?’ Saul replied, ‘When I saw that the people were slipping away from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were mustering at Michmash, I said, “Now the Philistines will come down upon me at Gilgal, and I have not entreated the favour of the Lord”; so I forced myself, and offered the burnt-offering.’ Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you. The Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel for ever, but now your kingdom will not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart; and the Lord has appointed him to be ruler over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.

    The bad things that David did were not violations of the laws of sacrifice.

  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited February 23
    I think this may well be the explanation of why Saul forfeited the kingship even though the crimes of David were actually much worse.

    When the Ark of the Covenant was being transported to Jerusalem, a Levite named Uzzah took hold of the Ark to steady it. God's anger burned against Uzzah and He struck him down and he died (2 Sam 6: 1-7; 1 Chron 13: 9-12).

    So crossing the sacred boundary was a serious matter in the eyes of God.


  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    For all his many failings, David greatly loved God and worshipped Him. He brought the Ark to Jerusalem, he wanted to build a temple and he composed numerous psalms including Psalm 23, the famous meditation on God.

    His son Solomon did not love God in the same way and in the end he turned away from the worship of God. When he is offered a gift by God he chooses wisdom - but because it is not combined with the love of God it turns sterile and becomes a source of frustration. In Ecclesiastes he writes that he has tried everything to find meaning in life but finally concludes that it is meaningless. Solomon would have done better to have requested the same loving heart for God that his father David had.

    In the OT the leaders who are raised through adversity are the ones who handle their responsibilities wisely: Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Samuel, David, Daniel, Mordecai and Nehemiah.

    But the leaders who have power handed to them on a plate become corrupted by it because they have not developed mature and resilient characters including the sons of Samuel, Solomon and Rehoboam.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited March 9
    Moo wrote: »
    My Bible study once read all the passages dealing with David, and then considered the question of why God liked him. The answer appeared to be that although he did many bad things, he was very quick to repent.

    Here is 1 Samuel 32-34
    David said to Abigail, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! Blessed be your good sense, and blessed be you, who have kept me today from blood-guilt and from avenging myself by my own hand! For as surely as the Lord the God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there would not have been left to Nabal as much as one male.’

    Most people take quite a while to acknowledge their wrongdoing.

    Agreed. "Thou art the man!".
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Rublev wrote: »
    The Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlemite, for I have provided myself a king among his sons' (1 Sam 16: 1).

    Saul is rejected as king for taking spoil from the Amelekites to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord (1 Sam 15).

    But David is forgiven for murdering Uriah the Hittite and committing adultery with his wife Bathsheba (2 Sam 11-12).

    Was Saul unfairly treated?

    Not quite . Saul’s principal task was to fight the Philistines, the coastal people who sought to conquer the territory of Israel in the 11th and 10th centuries B.C.E. Samuel ordered Saul to wait for him at Gilgal , so Samuel could offer a sacrifice before the war began (I Samuel 13:8-9). Saul waited seven days, but, watching the Israelites melt away day after day, he resolved to take matters into his own hands and offered the sacrifice himself. For this act of insubordination, Samuel says to Saul: “Your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has appointed him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you” (13:14).

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    And David repented (and that's something he had a bit of experience at). Did Saul?
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