Key Passage: Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Big Picture Question: Who was Israel’s first king? Saul was Israel’s first king.
Christ Connection: The Israelites wanted a king. They did not trust God. God gave the Israelites a king, but He had a plan to send His Son, Jesus, to be king over the whole world. Jesus would be the perfect King. Jesus would bring peace and save people from sin.
After the death of Eli’s sons due to their sin, the nation of Israel lived under the rule of their last judge, Samuel. Samuel was the last of the judges because the people of the nation rebelled against God and demanded that a king like other nations. Samuel was upset, but at God’s insistence Samuel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel. God assured Samuel that the people had not rejected Samuel, but they had rejected God instead.
God’s desire and intention was that the people would be presided over by a heavenly king—Himself— and that no earthly king was needed. God gave them their earthly king but warned them of the laws this king could enact and the many rules the people would now have to follow. The Israelites didn’t trust God and so they willingly placed themselves under the rule of the earthly king.
Saul was not interested in leading God’s people and from the very beginning tried to hide during his public revealing. Saul’s attitude would change little, and by willfully ignoring God’s commands for leading His nation, Saul ultimately would be rejected by God. God’s intent was to rule the people as their heavenly King, but the Israelites didn’t trust that plan. God had a better plan waiting, a plan to send His Son, Jesus. Jesus would be the perfect King who would bring peace and salvation to the world.
Family Activity: Cut a crown out of construction paper. Encourage family members to put on the crown one at a time and name three things they would do if allowed to be king or queen for the day. Talk about Jesus as King, and what He did by giving His life for us and our sin.