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Crazy Saul? This looks at the biblical character Saul from 1 Samu...

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Crazy Saul? This looks at the biblical character Saul from 1 Samuel and questions his sanity throughout the text.

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In 1 Samuel, Saul truly is one of the most complex characters. Chapter 8 seems to hint at the ultimate fate of the king that the people of Israel were so insistent upon getting. Faith in God's provision for Israel should have kept the people's mind at ease. Unfortunately this wasn't the case, and Israel demanded to organize itself in a manner similar to its neighboring nations. "Give us a king to govern ourselves!" the people demanded in chapter 8. This was displeasing to Samuel, and more importantly God. In chapter 8 verse 7, the Lord told Samuel that the people had rejected Him from being king over them. This was a sinful act comparable to idolatry.

Despite Israel's evil request, God was willing to grant Israel her wish. He did so with specific demands and warnings communicated by Samuel to the people. In reading these instructions, it almost seems inevitable to the reader that the chosen king, whose position would be derived from an evil act by Israel, would be predestined to fail to comply with God's laws. Israel's sinful act of insisting upon a king other than their creator resulted out of lack of faith and extreme insecurity. In a similar light, it was lack of faith that would lead Saul to first sin against God and thus lose his throne.

It can be clearly seen contrasting Saul's disposition at the beginning of his story to that of the time of his death that he had undergone a major transformation of character. When first meeting with Samuel, Saul seemed overwhelmed in learning that he was the one chosen by God. He commented in chapter 9 on being from the humblest family from the tribe of Benjamin. This was a far cry from the person he was later in his kingship. In chapter 15 he would directly disobey God in bringing home the king of the Amalekites as a trophy when implicitly told by God not to spare any Amalekite.

When the time had come for Samuel to present Israel her king, Saul was hiding. The same person that later would defy God so that the...