Saul gets a bad rap sometimes.
I mean the guy who was king of Israel before David.
Of course, Saul did some fairly despicable things like trying on multiple occasions to kill David and having a multitude of priests massacred. It’s hard to overlook those, but David himself had some less than stellar moments when he was king.
What brought Saul’s reign to an end was impatience and insecurity. He got into trouble when he took matters into his own hands when he felt he had waited long enough, like offering the battle sacrifice himself instead of waiting for Samuel.
He also let insecurity get the best of him. His envy of David started when he listened to the people boast of how David’s conquests were so much bigger than his own. That envy spiraled into anger, hatred, and eventually murderous rage.
Most of us aren’t actively trying to murder our enemies, but I imagine more than a few of us can relate to Saul (not to be confused with another Saul who later became Paul and wrote a lot of the New Testament).
The issue is about who we trust and when we trust. Of course, we talk about putting our faith in God, but is that the automatic first response when things don’t go our way or when we have to wait longer than anticipated for something we want?
I confess that I am more like Saul sometimes in that I get overly impatient with God and envious of others who seem to have more than I do. I confess that I’m not alone in this.
While David had his numerous transgressions, he always made his way back to God. His repentance was genuine, as evidence by a changed lifestyle afterward. Saul said the words and felt bad, but nothing ever changed with his behavior.
I think I know who I want to emulate.