32 King Saul

Start the challenge by finding and reading a Bible verse from 1 Samuel 8:22a.

Who is the leader of your country?

What rights and duties do you think they have?

If you were in charge, what would be important to you? Why?


Read more…

The story so far…

Samuel continued as judge of Israel for many years. They had to fight their enemies many times and, because they had not obeyed God’s will, they were defeated. Their enemies took the Covenant Box with the stones showing God’s rules. They soon realised that the box was a symbol of God’s presence and returned it to Israel!

When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges, but they were dishonest and greedy, and not suitable as leaders. The people wanted a king instead.

Now read 1 Samuel 9:15 – 10:1 together.


What happened next…

Samuel anointed Saul as king because God had said so. Now the people had got what they wanted: a king! All the tribes of Israel joined Saul and he won many battles.

Not long after Saul became king, Samuel made his farewell speech. He wanted the people to listen to and obey the word of God. Now they had a king, but they should always remember that their real king was God. If the human king and the people did not act according to God’s will, God would stop helping them.


Explore the Bible

Answer the questions from Big Bible Challenge page 48 together.


Did you know…?

Olive oil When kings were appointed in those days, it was usual for an important person like a priest to pour oil over their heads as a sign that they had been chosen by God.

Why have a king? The people of Israel wanted to have a king to lead them in battles, like other counties had. Samuel did not agree because God was their king – but God told him to do as the people asked.

Saul He was not from a large or powerful family but he was tall, good-looking and a great fighter. The people thought that he would be a good king and, as long as he trusted God, he was a successful leader.


Try it out

Do you know who the leader of your country is? How were they chosen?

Kings and queens (like the Queen of the UK) become the monarch because their father or mother was king or queen before them. Presidents and prime ministers are usually chosen by the people, who “vote” to choose their leader.

How did Saul (and, later, David) become king? The Bible story makes it clear that it is God who raises up leaders and that we must respect them, just as David respected Saul.

Find a picture of the leaders of your country. Pray for them, asking that they will love God and follow his laws. Ask God to give them the wisdom to know what is right and the strength to carry it out.


Talk to God

Ask God to give wisdom to parents, teachers, friends, lawyers, politicians and all those who have to make laws, resolve arguments, break up fights and restore peace.

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