1 Samuel 30-31 & 1 Chronicles 10:1-14
The final chapter of 1 Samuel describes the sad end to the life of Israel’s first king. Israel’s leader, who we were first introduced to as being “a head taller than all the others” (9:2), is cut down to size – quite literally! 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 provides a very helpful summary of the life and trials of Saul, king of Israel:
Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord, and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not enquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
Why was Saul such a miserable failure as a king? Because he didn’t do the one thing that was required of Israel’s king…
When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)
The king’s job was to listen to God and do what he says – to “keep the word of the Lord”. It’s pretty simple really. How are you going at listening to God and doing what he says?