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Old Testament Figures: King Saul

Saul was the first King of Israel who was driven by fear most of his life. Is it that hard to relate to Saul? Discuss and provide examples of what lessons we can take from the life of Saul in the Old Testament. Can you provide me with some suggestions of topics to include and scripture examples for this paper. Thank you.

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We will address the questions in the order that you presented them, and at the same time, I will provide organizational suggestions for your paper.

1. "Saul was the first King of Israel who was driven by fear most of his life."

First, as with all papers, it is important to make a tentative outline of what you may want to include in the paper.

Beginning with the introduction, you may want to give a brief introduction to King Saul (who he was, when he reigned, and a brief description of his character). This statement ("Saul was the first King of Israel who was driven by fear most of his life") or some variation may act as your thesis statement that follows the introduction (about half a page).

The irony in Saul's story is that the Hebrews got the king they wanted (i.e. a handsome warrior) but he was just like them (i.e. fearful) (1 Samuel 16:7 God looks at the heart). He was afraid of his family, his nation, his enemies, Samuel, David and so on and so on. The problem, of course, wasn't that he was fearful, it's that he let his fear drive him to opt for the bag of tricks he'd used from childhood (e.g. hiding, controlling, manipulating, lying, falling apart, raging & destroying), INSTEAD of looking to God as the one he should trust with his fears.

Saul was the son of Kish of the tribe of Benjamin, the Lord sent the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as Israel's first king, reigning in the second half century of 11 B.C. Saul led Israel in victory through God's leading on numerous occasions against the Philistines. However, Saul eventually took matters into his own hands and lost the favor of the Lord. This led to God appointing another king to eventually replace Saul?David. Saul made several attempts on David's life, which all failed. Saul was eventually slain in battle with the Philistines along with his son Jonathan. Saul's story is found in 1 Samuel (http://www.xenos.org/teachings/ot/otfigures/teachings.htm).

FROM ANOTHER SOURCE:

Saul is insanely jealous of David, who becomes an intimate friend of Saul's son, Jonathan, and leads the Israelite troops to many more victories. After attempting to kill David with a spear, Saul sends David on a suicide mission to kill a hundred Philistine men and bring back their circumcised foreskins. David succeeds, and Saul grudgingly rewards David with his daughter Michal's hand in marriage. Saul orders his household to kill David, but, with the help of Michal and Jonathan, David flees from Saul. David builds an army of unhappy and impoverished Israelites, and he is joined by a priest who is also fleeing from Saul's destructive path. Saul pursues David into the desert where David spares the king's life twice. While Saul is urinating in a cave, David sneaks up behind him and cuts off a corner of Saul's robe, scorning the opportunity to kill God's "annointed" ruler (24:6). At night, David and his men sneak into the king's tent and steal Saul's spear while he is sleeping. On both occasions, David announces his deed to Saul, and Saul expresses remorse both times, begging for David's mercy.

Still, Saul continues his pursuit, and David takes refuge with the Philistines, who show mercy to the great warrior and adversary of Israel's king. Preparing to fight the Philistines, Saul is wracked with fear and consults a witch, bidding the spirit medium to conjure up the dead spirit of Samuel. Samuel's ghost angrily warns Saul that he and his sons will die fighting the Philistines, ensuring the demise of Saul's kingdom. David and his men head out to fight the Amalekites, and David succeeds in destroying the warring nation. In the meantime, Saul leads Israel into a losing battle with the Philistines, and Saul's sons, including Jonathan, are killed. Saul commands his armor-bearer to kill him, but the boy refuses, and Saul falls on his own sword and dies (excerpted from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/oldtestament/section8.rhtml).

2. "Is it that hard to relate to Saul?"

This question can act as a guide to the body of your paper. It also implies that it is a personal paper in that you have the freedom to add your own opinions and examples (and using "I" statements is okay). The following information may be pertinent to this topic (possible subheadings):

1) Fear (and provide vices that can trap and ensnare us into lives of fear)

LESSON: DON'T LET FEAR ENSLAVE YOU

I don't think it is hard to relate to Saul at all. We all experience fear. Some are afraid of failure, success, people, people's opinions, real dangers, imagined dangers ("I have been through some terrible times in my life, some of which actually happened." Mark ...

Solution Summary

Based on the historical life of King Saul in the Old Testament history, the first king of Israel, this solution discusses and provides scriptural examples of life lessons inherent in the life of Saul as recorded in the Old Testament. Supplemented with a link for further investigation and research.

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