OLD TESTAMENT - LESSON 22
- Saul seeks guidance from Samuel and is anointed to be king.
- Saul offers a burnt offering without the proper authority.
- Saul disobeys the Lord in the battle with the Amalekites and is rejected
- The Lord chooses David as king.
- David slays Goliath in the strength of the Lord.
A study of this lesson should encourage us to trust in the Lord rather
than in our own understanding.
Saul Anointed To Be King
- As discussed in the previous lesson, Israel asked Samuel to appoint
Who Is Saul?
- Israel requested a king because they saw no worthy successor to Samuel
and because of their desire to be "like all the nations".
- Samuel prayed to the Lord and was told that the people were not rejecting
him, but were rejecting the Lord (1 Samuel 8:6-9).
- Samuel explained to the people reasons for not having a king:
- There would be compulsory service to the nation (army & otherwise).
- Taxes would be laden upon the people.
- The king would take of the lands and property of the people.
- "And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which
ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day"
(1 Samuel 8:18).
- "Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel;
and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us" (1 Samuel
Kish sent Saul out to find his lost asses (see 1 Samuel 9:3-14).
- He was the son of Kish, a Benjaminite.
- Saul was "a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not
among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he" (1 Samuel
READ 1 SAMUEL 9:15-17. The calling of Saul was
revealed to Samuel.
- Saul had taken a servant with him.
- After they had searched without success, Saul was ready to return home
to his father.
- At this time they were in the land of Zuph. His servant said that there
was a man of God in the city and that they should enquire of him at to
where to look.
- So they went in search of the "seer" or "prophet".
It was Samuel they found in the city.
Samuel gathered Israel together and presented Saul to them.
- When Saul came, Samuel invited him to eat with him (9:19).
- He assured Saul concerning his father's lost animals, "set
not thy mind on them; for they are found" (9:20).
- Before Saul left to return home, "Samuel took a vial of oil,
and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because
the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?"
- Samuel gave Saul instructions which included the finding of the lost
Ammonite army attacked the tribes east of Jordan.
- "And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD
hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all
the people shouted, and said, God save the king" (1 Samuel 10:24).
We see in Saul, a young man who had been prepared to assume leadership
- Although Saul had been appointed king the tribes remained independent
and self governed.
- Saul sent a message calling for unity to each of the tribes (11:6-7).
- Under Saul's leadership, Israel defeated the Ammonites. Saul gave the
credit for the victory to the Lord, "for to day the LORD hath wrought
salvation in Israel" (11:13).
- V15: "And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made
Saul king before the Lord" (11:15).
- As previously noted, he was "a choice young man, and a goodly:
and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he"
(1 Samuel 9:2).
- He was obedient to his father.
- He was willing to listen to wise counsel from his father's servant.
- He trusted the prophet Samuel.
- He displayed humility.
- He recognized the hand of the Lord in Israel's victory over the Ammonites.
Saul Offers A Burnt Offering
- The Israelites had attacked a garrison of the Philistines. When the
Philistines heard of this they gathered their armed might together to go
against Israel (1 Samuel 13:3-5).
Samuel was to come and make offerings to the Lord in behalf of the
- The Israelites were frightened by the armed might of the Philistines
and "the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets,
and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits" (13:6).
WHY WAS SAMUEL'S RESPONSE TO SAUL?
- Samuel was slow in coming and "Saul said, Bring hither a burnt
offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering"
- WHY DID SAUL MAKE THE OFFERINGS?
- Samuel did not show up at the appointed and Saul felt that the offerings
needed to be made before taking on the Philistines.
WHY DID THE LORD REJECT THIS OFFERING?
- He had done "foolishly" (13:13).
- He had "not kept the commandment of the LORD" (13:13).
- The Lord would have established Saul's kingship in Israel for the remainder
of his life, but now his position would be given to another (13:13-14).
Saul's unauthorized sacrifice showed a lack of trust in God.
- James E. Talmage: "Saul prepared the burnt offering himself,
forgetting that though he occupied the throne, wore the crown, and bore
the scepter, [he had] no right to officiate...in the Priesthood of God;
and for this and other instances of unrighteous presumption he was rejected
of God and another was made king in his place." (Articles of Faith,
HOW DID SAUL REACT WHEN SAMUEL QUESTIONED HIM ABOUT MAKING AN OFFERING
- HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IMPATIENT WITH THE LORD OR HIS SERVANTS? IF SO,
WHAT WERE THE CONSEQUENCES?
- In Lesson
16 we discussed the story of William Godbe and his impatience with
President Young in improving the economic situation in early Utah. As a
consequence he eventually fell into the teaching of false doctrine and
was excommunicated from the Church.
- A personal story: Impatience with a former bishop, my discontent, and
- Abraham O. Woodruff: "The man who stands at the head of this
people enjoys the revelations of the mind and will of God, and it is our
duty to heed his counsel. The past history of our people proves to every
reasonable man that God has been with us; and although at times perhaps
the people have been unable to see the wisdom of God manifested through
His mouthpiece, yet by patience and obedience they have finally seen the
course taken by the leader of the Church vindicated by our Eternal Father."
(CR, Oct. 1901)
- READ 1 SAMUEL 13:11-12. Saul rationalizes his
- HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO HOW MOST PEOPLE REACT WHEN THEY ARE CONFRONTED
WITH THEIR SINS?
- WHAT RATIONALIZATIONS MIGHT WE MAKE THAT LEAD US TO DISOBEY?
- Tithing: We need the money.
- Home/visiting teaching: I was too busy.
- Anger: The kids drove me to it.
- HOW CAN WE OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO RATIONALIZE SIN?
- We must have faith and trust in the Lord.
- N. Eldon Tanner: "We all know that there are many, many things
in science which we do not understand, but which we must and do accept.
Where would we be if the laws of nature and the laws of God were limited
to man's understanding? We have been admonished: 'Trust in the Lord with
all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding'."
(CR, Apr. 1969)
- The comparison by President Tanner between the laws of God and the
laws of nature is a good one. On a daily basis, we utilize modern technology
basis on scientific principles. Most of us don't understand the principles
but have sufficient faith to apply them. If I put a raw potato in the microwave
oven and turn it on for a few minutes, I will find a potato that is now
ready for salt and pepper and butter. How did it happen? I don't understand
the principle behind the cooking of the potato in the microwave. But I
do have enough faith in the technology, that I can depend upon it for a
- So it is with the principles and commandments of God. We need to learn
to trust in the Lord and his commandments. Many of us have had experiences
with tithing that are just as graphic as the potato in the microwave. All
we have to do is follow the Lord's instructions. Saul did not, attempted
to rationalize his actions, and the inevitable consequences followed.
- Accept personal responsibility for our actions.
- We all make mistakes. The sooner we accept responsibility for that
mistake, the sooner we can go through the process of repentance and continue
- Spencer W. Kimball: "Man is responsible for his own sins. It
is possible that he may rationalize and excuse himself until the groove
is so deep he cannot get out without great difficulty, but this he can
do. Temptations come to all people. The difference between the reprobate
and the worthy person is generally that one yielded and the other resisted.
It is true that one's background may make the decision and accomplishment
easier or more difficult, but if one is mentally alert, he can still control
his future. That is the gospel message—personal responsibility."
(BYU Speeches, January 5 1965, p27)
Saul Disobeys The Lord In The Battle With The Amalekites
- Saul was commanded by the Lord, through Samuel, to go up against the
Amalekites and to "destroy all that they have, and spare them not;
but slay both man and women, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and
READ 1 SAMUEL 15:22-23. Samuel's response to Saul.
- WHAT DID SAUL DO INSTEAD? (see 15:7-9)
- Took Agag the king alive.
- Spared the best of the livestock.
- WHY DID SAUL DO THIS?
- READ 1 SAMUEL 15:15.
- Once again Saul makes excuses for his actions. In this instance he
places the blame on the people.
READ 1 SAMUEL 15:24-25. Saul's plea for forgiveness.
- HOW DOES THE PRINCIPLE IN VERSE 22 APPLY TO US?
- Are we doing the will of the Lord or the will of ourselves?
- Why do we keep the commandments and perform church service? To glorify
ourselves or because of our love for the Lord.
- Neal A. Maxwell: "At issue is our obedience to the Lord. Has
he not said, 'To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the
fat of rams'? (1 Samuel 15:22.) Obedience is what is needed, because through
obedience we can grow and become more like Him." (Meek and Lowly,
- When telling Saul that the Lord had rejected him as king, Samuel said,
"Stubborness is as...idolatry".
- IF WE ARE STUBBORN OR DISOBEDIENT, WHAT FALSE GODS MIGHT WE WORSHIPING?
- Personal pleasure.
- Neal A. Maxwell: "A prominent feature of the natural man is
selfishness—the inordinate and excessive concern with self. Prophets frequently
warn about the dangers of this sin. The distance between constant self-pleasing
and self-worship is shorter than we think. Stubborn selfishness is actually
rebellion against God, because, warned Samuel, 'stubbornness is as. . .
idolatry' (1 Samuel 15:23)." (Men and Women of Christ, pP8-9)
- DO YOU THINK SAUL SINCERELY INTENDED TO REPENT?
- WHAT DO YOU THINK MOTIVATED SAUL TO REGRET HIS DISOBEDIENCE?
- In verse 23 Samuel said to Saul, "Because thou hast rejected
the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
Maybe Saul was concerned about losing his position.
- THE BIG QUESTION: WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO REPENT?
The Lord Chooses David As King
- Since the Lord had rejected Saul as king, he commanded Samuel to go
to the house of Jesse and anoint one of his sons, whom the Lord had chosen,
as king (16:1).
- Samuel went down to Bethlehem and called Jesse and his sons to the
- READ 1 SAMUEL 16:6-7. Eliab brought before Samuel
READ 1 SAMUEL 16:10-13. David chosen and anointed.
- WHAT HAPPENED HERE?
- Samuel looked at Jesse's son Eliab and thought that this was surely
the man who the Lord wanted as king.
- The Lord told Samuel otherwise. He said that he was more concerned
with the inner man than physical appearance.
- WHAT LESSONS MIGHT WE TAKE FROM THIS COUNSEL OF THE LORD TO HIS PROPHET
- The Lord chooses his prophets, and his other servants, by what he sees
in their heart. He chooses his servants because they are humble and willing
to what the Lord asks them to do.
- We, too, need to be careful how we judge others. Marvin J. Ashton said:
"We...tend to evaluate others on the basis of physical, outward
appearance: their 'good looks,' their social status, their family pedigrees,
their degrees, or their economic situations.
"The Lord, however, has a different standard by which he measures
a person.... He does not take a tape measure around the person's head to
determine his mental capacity, nor his chest to determine his manliness,
but He measures the heart as an indicator of the person's capacity and
potential to bless others." (Ensign, Nov. 1988, p15)
David Slays Goliath In The Strenght Of The Lord
The Philistines had among them "a champion...named Goliath,
of Gath" (17:4).
- Israel & the Philistines had gathered to do battle (see 1 Samuel
- Height = 6 cubits/1 span = 9ft 9in.
- Coat = 5000 shekels of brass = 121 lbs.
- Head of spear = 600 shekels of iron = 14.6 lbs.
Three of the sons of Jesse followed Saul to battle the Philistines,
but David returned to Bethlehem where he cared for his father's sheep (17:13-15).
As instructed by his father, David took some food to his brothers who
had joined Saul in the battle against the Philistines (17:17-20).
- Goliath cries out to Israel: "...choose you a man for you,
and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill
me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill
him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us" (17:8-9).
- HOW DID ISRAEL REACT?
- "When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine,
they were dismayed, and greatly afraid" (17:11).
- Goliath presented himself before Israel 40 days, both morning &
READ 17:32-33,37. David volunteers to battle Goliath.
- While David was greeting his brothers "behold, there came up
the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies
of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard
them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him,
and were sore afraid" (17:23-24).
Saul attempted to arm David with his armor and a sword, "And
David put them off him. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him
five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which
he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near
to the Philistine" (17:39-40).
- WHERE DID DAVID GET THE COURAGE TO FIGHT THIS MIGHTY MAN?
- David had at one time defended his father's sheep from a bear and a
lion. As David said, "The LORD that delivered me out of the paw
of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of
the hand of this Philistine." David's faith in the Lord was so
strong, that he knew that he could defeat this man for the cause of Israel.
READ 17:48-49. David meets the challenge &
- When David came before this mighty Philistine, Goliath said, "Am
I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed
David by his gods.... Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls
of the air, and to the beasts of the field" (17:43-44).
- David responded, "This day will the LORD deliver thee into
mine hand" (17:46).
WHAT GOLIATHS DO WE ENCOUNTER TODAY?
- "And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they
- WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM DAVID ABOUT HOW TO OVERCOME THEM?
- David trusted in the Lord and not the tools of man. Said, "David
to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and
with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the
God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied" (17:45).
- HOW HAS THE LORD HELPED YOU OVERCOME GOLIATHS YOU HAVE ENCOUNTERED?
- President Gordon B. Hinckley, "There are Goliaths all around
you, hulking giants with evil intent to destroy you. These are not nine-foot-tall
men, but they are men and institutions that control attractive but evil
things that may challenge and weaken and destroy you. Included in these
are beer and other liquors and tobacco. Those who market these products
would like to enslave you into their use. There are drugs of various kinds
which, I am told, are relatively easy to obtain in many high schools. For
those who peddle them, this is a multimillion-dollar industry, a giant
web of evil. there is pornography, seductive and interesting and inviting.
It has become a giant industry, producing magazines, films, and other materials
designed to take your money and lead you toward activities that would destroy
"The giants who are behind these efforts are formidable and
skillful. They have gained vast experience in the war they are carrying
on. They would like to ensnare you.
"It is almost impossible to entirely avoid exposure to their
products. You see these materials on all sides. But you need not fear if
you have the slingshot of truth in your hands. You have been counseled
and taught and advised. You have the stones of virtue and honor and integrity
to use against these enemies who would like to conquer you. Insofar as
you are concerned, you can hit them 'between the eye,' to use a figurative
expression. You can triumph over them by disciplining yourselves to avoid
them. You can say to the whole lot of them as David said to Goliath, 'Thou
comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come
to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel,
who thou hast defied.'
"Victory will be yours.... You have His power within you to
sustain you. You have the right to ministering angels about you to protect
you. Do not let Goliath frighten you. Stand your ground and hold your place,
and you will be triumphant." (Ensign, May 1983, p46&51)
The stories in this lesson, of Saul and David, are great examples of
what happens when we are obedient to the Lord and trust in him or disobey
the Lord's commandments by our lack of faith. Saul lost his position by
his lack of trust and obedience. Young David was able to conquer the foe
of Israel by his faith in the Lord. The same is true for us today. We must
have faith in the Lord and obey his commandments if we expect to be supported
by him in times of difficulty. Sometimes patience is required. The Lord
will perform his will in his own due time. We face many Goliaths today
that seek to tear us down and steal our eternal reward. We must have the
courage and faith to stand up to these Goliaths, but we can only be successful
as we depend on the Lord.
Lesson 23: 1 Samuel 18-20; 23-24
Additional Reading: 1 Samuel 14:1-16; 2 Samuel 1
Page created by: email@example.com.
Please E-Mail comments.
Changes last made on: Fri Jun 5 1998