Lesson 57 - Elementary
"We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
A King Wanted
We remember what a good leader of the people Moses had been. Then Joshua became the leader; later on we find Gideon leading the people on their journeys. God told these men how to be good leaders.
But the people were never satisfied. All their enemies had kings ruling over them; so the people of God decided they wanted a king, too. God did not want them to have a man for a king; He was their King.
Sometimes when we want something very, very much, God let us have it. However, later on we often find that it was not best for us to have it. God sometimes gives us the things we keep on begging for; but He knows what is really best for us, and we should be satisfied with what He gives us.
God showed the wise prophet, Samuel, the man He wanted to be the king. This young man's name was Saul. He was taller than the other men, and strong. When the day came to choose a king, and Saul was selected, he could not be found. So they finally asked the Lord where Saul was; and He said that Saul had hidden himself "among the stuff.” Saul did not think he was very great.
When Saul was brought out before all the people, they shouted, "God save the king.” They were very happy that they now had a king to rule over them, as the other nations had. But they had made a great mistake as we shall see later on.
King Saul had been over the people only a few years until he displeased the Lord. The prophet Samuel told him that he had done foolishly. But he was given another chance to prove himself before the Lord. He was sent to a city and was told that he should destroy everything in it.
Again King Saul disobeyed the voice of the Lord. He kept alive the king of the city, and also the best of the sheep, oxen, and lambs. After this act of disobedience, he also told a lie. He told Samuel that he had done just as he had been told.
By this time the Lord was very much displeased with Saul, and He said that He was sorry that Saul was king. Samuel told Saul that since he had not kept the Word of the Lord, the Lord could not let him be king any longer. They had to have another king to rule instead of Saul.
We see by this that when we are saved we must keep on praying in order to keep saved. When we displease the Lord and commit sin, we are no longer saved. Children going to school should pray every morning before leaving home, and gain at night, and even oftener than that. We are told in the Bible to "pray without ceasing.”
"Jesus can keep little children
Good all the day --- if they pray.”
A number of years ago in the city of Tacoma, Washington lived a little girl who was a real Christian. She always knew her lessons in school -– the teacher could always depend upon her. So one day she said to the girl, "Come up here to the front of the room, and tell us how you manage to always have your lessons.” The child answered, "I pray.” The teacher said, "But did you just pray once, in order to get your lessons every time?” "No,” replied the girl, "Always -– I always pray.” She asked God, and He helped her to learn her lessons. God is pleased when we ask Him to help us in everything we do. He is our loving Father.
1. Did King Saul destroy the best animals? [1SM:15:9].
2. How did Samuel find out what had happened? [1SM:15:10], [1SM:15:11], [1SM:15:14].
3. Do you think Saul lied to Samuel? [1SM:15:13].
4. How was Saul punished for his disobedience? [1SM:15:23].
5. Is it possible for us to backslide as King Saul did? [EZE:18:24].