ABC Bible Character Faith Series

Staying in the High Place

Lessons from King Saul

If you will fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.” – 1 Samuel 12:14.

For the letter ‘K’, I have decided to focus this study on the first King of Israel, Saul. Saul became King due to Israel’s public demand for a king so that they could be like other nations. The pressure to fit was real and it hit them really bad.

Their demand for a king displeased the Lord and His heart was grieved. “And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” – 1 Samuel 8:7. God, however, granted Israel’s request and also gave them a warning through the prophet Samuel. Samuel delivered the message that the king the Israelites were demanding would be an exacting one but Israel was still fixed on what they wanted. “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” – 1 Samuel 8:19-20.

What exactly did the Israelites want? Hadn’t God fought their battles? Wasn’t He still fighting for them? Clearly, they had lost sight of who God was to them. Israel lost sight of a Heavenly King with a focus on an earthly one, just to be like other nations.

Anyway, the case was closed and, God granted the Israelites, King Saul. Saul was to be anointed by Samuel. Soul’s story is an interesting one. He had gone out to find his father’s donkeys that were missing but He returned an anointed King.  Prior to his anointing, we get a glimpse of his character. Saul was a humble man. “And Saul answered and said, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?”–1 Samuel 9:21

I believe this enabled him to have access to the high place but Saul wasn’t able to stay in the High place for long. What happened to him? Wasn’t he anointed to be King forever?

Samuel instructed Saul on what he was to do for the upcoming battle. He didn’t reveal all the details but he asked Saul, “You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.” – 1 Samuel 10:8

What did Saul do? – “Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. And Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering. “And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13: 8-14

Saul’s actions reveal that he didn’t believe Samuel was going to come as he had promised. Remember Samuel was God’s prophet and therefore, in disregarding his word, he disregarded God’s word just as the Israelites rejected God when they “thought” they were rejecting Samuel.

Our Faith journey calls for us to believe every word from God and to live in Obedience to it to the letter. I feel that in this sinful world, sometimes worry or fear is inevitable but taking matters into our own hands certainly worsens the situation. The blessing/promise of victory is always attached to obedience and therefore in disobedience, we are choosing whomever, we choose to follow as our guide. Instead of waiting on God, Saul chose himself. This could’ve possibly been caused by the people who came to him in fear as well. The added pressure didn’t help but that’s when recounting God’s word and standing firm on it helps. You need to know the word yourself so that when you experience intense external pressures, you can still stand firm on the unchangeable and powerful word.

In the Israelites’ case, God had proven Himself faithful. Even when they rejected Him for Saul, His heart still longed for his children. “For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people.” – 1 Samuel 12:22

This is a call for us to self-introspect. Remember, in your faith journey, your character is being developed. For Saul, it could’ve been patience leading to trust in God. For you, it could be something else, but at the end of the day, when we are placed in higher places, God gives us all the tools to stay there.

The higher place is not about being rich or getting all the worldly good things. It is about an evolutionary character. Are you ready to stay in the higher place? Let the high place be the change in your character so that people around you see your character and see God’s character.

Be blessed!

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Babirye Irene Nassamula

March 10, 2023

Be blessed too, thanks for sharing

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Lauretta

March 11, 2023

Amen!!!

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