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Saul becomes king

Samuel anoints Saul as King and warns about disobedience.
Contributed by Jack Foster
When Samuel was old, the people of Israel complained they did not want either of his two sons, Joel and Abijah, to lead them as a judge. Instead they demanded they had a king. God told Samuel a king would exploit and mistreat them but when Samuel reported this to the people they said, ‘We don’t care! We still want a king like all the other countries around us!’ So God decided to give them what they wanted and told Samuel to pick a king for them. – Slide 1
God told Samuel to prepare a feast and invite the top 30 officials in Israel. He also told Samuel to save the best piece of meat for the king. A few miles away there was a rich man named Kish who had a very tall and handsome son called Saul. Kish asked Saul to go and search the hill country to find some donkeys that had gone missing. Saul and his servant searched everywhere but could not find the donkeys. – Slide 2
The servant then suggested they headed for a nearby town where Samuel lived as maybe he could direct them to the donkeys. When they arrived at the gate, Samuel was waiting. ‘Come with me and don’t worry about the donkeys. They have been found.<br/>’Samuel led Saul to the head of the table at the banquet and brought out the best piece of meat for him. Saul was very confused. He just wanted to find his donkeys and now he was the guest of honour at some feast! – Slide 3
The next morning, Samuel sent the servant on his way and brought Saul to the edge of town. Then Samuel took out a flask of oil and poured it over Saul’s head. ‘I have received a special message for you from God. He has appointed you as leader over the people of Israel! Return in a week’s time for the big announcement.’ – Slide 4
When the time came to announce Saul as the new king, he was nowhere to be found. God told Samuel where to find Saul and he brought him out and said. ‘This is Saul! Son of Kish! God has chosen him as your King!’<br/>The people shouted. ‘Long live the king!’ Samuel stood next to Saul and read all the duties of the king from a long scroll. Saul went home. He was still not too sure about leading the nation and went back to working in his fields. – Slide 5
About a month later, the king of Ammon led his army against the Israelite city of Jabesh-gilead. He threatened to take them as his servants and gouge out their right eyes! When the news reached Saul’s hometown, Saul asked ‘Why is everyone crying?’ When the messenger from Jabesh-gilead filled Saul in on all the details, the Holy Spirit came upon the new king and at once he knew what to do. Saul went around Israel and gathered 330,000 men. They launched a surprise attack on the Ammonites and defeated them. – Slide 6
Everyone hailed Saul as their king and they held a ceremony to crown him. Samuel then made his final speech as judge over Israel. ‘My work as judge is done, but I will never stop praying for you, teaching you or giving you Godly advice. I will continue as God’s prophet. Even though you rejected God as your king, Remember to look to the Lord for your help and remember all the wonderful things He has done for you.’ – Slide 7
Saul was 30 years old when he became the first king of Israel. Some time later the Philistines got mad and mounted a great attack with chariots and horsemen. Saul and his men got scared and camped at Micmash. Samuel sent a message that he would get there within seven days to pray and make a sacrifice to God. Saul waited seven days and his frightened men started deserting. Impatiently he decided to go ahead and offer the sacrifice himself and not wait for Samuel. When the sacrifice was over Samuel arrived to say, ‘This disobedience will result in you losing the crown. God has already chosen another King - someone after His own heart in mind.’ – Slide 8
Saul won battles against Moab, Ammon, Edom and Zobah but then God sent Samuel with news of His judgement on one of the enemies. ‘You are to attack the the country of Amelekites because of the evil they have done. You must destroy everything and everyone. Do not loot anything.’  Saul gathered his army and destroyed most of Amelekites. But Saul took the king as prisoner and looted the best sheep, donkeys and cattle. – Slide 9
God told, ‘Samuel. ‘I am sorry that I ever made Saul king. He has been disloyal and disobedient,’ The prophet went to find Saul. ‘What is all the bleating of sheep and lowing of cattle that I hear?’ Samuel asked.<br/>‘Oh, I was going to sacrifice them to God later.’ Saul lied.<br/>‘Obedience is much more important to God than sacrifices!’ Samuel retorted.<br/>Saul knew he had done wrong. He confessed, but Samuel told him that the since he had rejected the Lord's command... the Lord would now reject him as king. – Slide 10
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