Acts 8–9 introduces us to saul of tarsus, a pharisee. Saul was one of those who, just as the savior predicted, thought persecuting the followers of jesus of nazareth was doing service to god (see john 16:2). But saul's greatest desire was to do what was right.
The account of saul's life comes from the old testament book of i samuel. The son of kish, a well-to-do member of the tribe of benjamin, he was made king by the league of 12 israelite tribes in a desperate effort to strengthen hebrew resistance to the growing philistine threat.
Saul was similar to the charismatic judges who preceded him in the role of governing, his chief contribution, however, was to defend israel against its many enemies, especially the philistines.
Bible gateway 1 15 :: niv. Samuel said to saul, 'i am the one the lord sent to anoint you king over his people israel, so listen now to the message from the lord. This is what the lord almighty says: `i will punish the for what they did to israel when they waylaid them as they came up from egypt.
Said to , 'i am the one the lord sent to anoint you king over his people israel, so listen now to the message from the lord. This is what the lord almighty says: `i will punish the for what they did to israel when they waylaid them as they came up from egypt.
But there will always be people who don't like you for one reason or another. These people might even stand in the way of what god wants you to do. Chased david all over israel trying to kill him. He was david's enemy—getting in the way of what god intended for david to do.
|Saul depicted in a detail from an 1878 oil painting by Ernst Josephson|
|King of Israel|
|Reign||c. 1037–1010 BCE|
Bible gateway 2 samuel 22 :: niv. David sang to the lord the words of this song when the lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of saul. My god is my rock, in whom i take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.
Saul did not obey god's commands. Saul also set up a monument to honor himself for his victory in a war, raising himself above god.
As he neared damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, 'saul, saul, why do you persecute me?' 'who are you, lord?' saul asked. 'i am jesus, whom you are persecuting,' he replied.
Saul appointed david leader over his armies, but he became jealous and angry because of david's success and sought to kill him. David went to various places as he fled from saul, and he and men who joined him received help from several people.
He said to saul, 'why do you listen when men say, `david is bent on harming you'? This day you have seen with your own eyes how the lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but i spared you, i said, `i will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the lord's anointed.
When ananias found saul of tarsus and laid hands on him and prayed, the lord did his wonderful work in saul's life. He was miraculously healed (17, 18) and soon baptized, however, this was only the beginning of god's plan for saul's life.
Twice, david has the opportunity to kill saul. However, both times david chooses to use self-control, sparing saul's life and honoring him as king. We, too, have the opportunity to show self-control when dealing with others. By doing what is right instead of following our impulses, we honor god.
According to the book of samuel, an “evil spirit from the lord” plagued king saul, making him agitated and fearful of persecution. Because music was thought to have a therapeutic effect, the king summoned the hero and warrior david, who was renowned for his skill with the harp.
Right before 's battle against the philistines, saul does not wait for as he is instructed. Instead, saul disobeys and offers a sacrifice by himself (1 samuel 13:9). Because saul refuses to listen to god, samuel says he has forfeited the hope of an eternal dynasty in israel (1 samuel 13:13.
So reigned over all israel, and he administered justice and equity to all his people. According to the books of samuel and the subsequent books of kings, david then expanded his territory until israel had become the dominant state in the levant, absorbing the nations of ammon, moab, and edom.
Mason Wheeler, born in Seattle, Washington, has always been passionate about understanding people and society as a whole. His keen observations and empathetic nature have helped him connect with people from all walks of life and appreciate the diverse cultures that make up the world.
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