I was listening to a podcast today, and I heard a minister say about King Saul, “The reason he failed as king was that he was put into the position too early. He wasn’t ready. He hadn’t learned the lessons in the shepherd’s field before his kingship to help him succeed like David did.”
This grabbed my attention and got me to thinking. I have to disagree and want to know what you think.
In saying he wasn’t ready, isn’t that like saying God made a mistake?
Wouldn’t God have known Saul needed more training? Did God look at him and say, “Well, even though you’re not ready, you’re the best this nation has, so I’m going to make you king now anyway. Good luck.”
What’s missing in this line of reasoning is the fact that we can be completely ready for our assignment and mess it up anyhow.
Our decisions determine our destiny.
The Lord said of Abraham after he laid his son Isaac on the altar and started to slay him in strict obedience to God, “Now I know that you truly fear God.” (Genesis 22:1-19)
Isn’t God all-knowing? Didn’t He already know from the beginning of time what Abraham would do?
We’ll just leave that there for now.
Back to Saul. I believe Saul had everything he needed to succeed as king at the very moment he was chosen to be king. He had the training. He had the wisdom. He had the Word of God with His direction and instructions. He had the anointing.
But he messed up. He got into pride and his choices led to his downfall.
God didn’t make a mistake. Saul’s decision to disobey and his lack of repentance are what caused him to go down in the history books as a failure. (I Samuel 13:1-15:33)
And Abraham’s decision to obey is what caused him to go down in history as the Father of faith!
Did God make a mistake? I believe He had full confidence in Saul’s ability and Saul messed it up. Do I feel God would have forgiven him and continued to use him if he truly repented? Yes. Yes I do. But that’s for another day.
What we do actually matters in regards to God’s plan for our lives. We can advance it. We can slow it down. We can mess it up.
Oh yes, there’s grace. He forgives us. But there are still natural consequences to our choices. In Saul’s case – he lost the kingship. Lost the anointing. God gave it to David.
The consequences of Abraham’s obedience were blessings and more descendants than the number of stars in the sky.
(Side Note: As a teacher, I try to walk humbly and feel the need to say that even though in this podcast he said something I disagreed with, the message as a whole was inspiring. There’s a lesson to be learned here:
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some would write him off and stop listening altogether. We need to remember nobody’s perfect. Not you. Not me. Not the minister I was listening to. We’re all still growing. Grace, grace, grace.
An old Bible School teacher of mine would say, “Be as smart as an old cow. Eat the hay and spit out the sticks.” We need to listen. Think for ourselves. Study things out. Let go of what we don’t agree with and hold fast to that which is good. They might be wrong. We might be wrong. We may all be missing it.)
What’s your opinion? Did God make a mistake? Was Saul made king before he was ready or did his decision change it all? Or was it something else? I’d love to hear what you think on this.