My Bible History - Old Testament #45 - Saul, First King of Israel

Samuel poured oil on the head of Saul as a sign that Saul would become king.The Israelites continued to ask Samuel to find them a king. Samuel prayed God in behalf of the people.

Telling Samuel that a man named Saul would arrive, God said, "You must anoint Saul king." That act would be a sign that God had chosen Saul king.

Soon after, Saul came. Samuel poured oil on his head, as God had commanded, for a sign that Saul would become king. Samuel said, "God has anointed you king of the Israelites. You shall rule over them and protect them from their enemies."

The Israelites were joyful when they saw Saul. He was strong and handsome, and taller than any other man in Israel.

In the beginning of Saul's rule, everything went well. God was always with the Israelites, and defended them against their enemies.

But when he won many victories, Saul became proud of himself and sinned against God. At last God ordered Samuel to tell Saul that he would no longer be king of Israel. God directed Samuel to anoint a young shepherd boy named David.

The proud man is always punished by God. Pride was the sin of Satan. We must be humble, remembering that we could be nothing without God.

Saul was full of sorrow when he learned that God no longer wanted him to be king of Israel. He spent long hours in unhappy and gloomy thought.

One day Saul's servants said, "Let us bring you a man who will play on the harp and cheer you up. Then your gloomy thoughts will be driven away." And they sent for David.

Saul did not know that Samuel had anointed David. He made David his armor-bearer and grew to love him as his own son. In the palace David led a happy life. He would play on his harp every time he saw the king sad. Then Saul would breathe more easily, and forget his troubles.

David and Jonathan, Saul's son, became the best of friends. All the people grew to love David so much that at last Saul felt jealous. He was angry that the people should praise David for his bravery, and finally sought to kill him.

- from My Bible History in Pictures, by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, D.D., 1934; it has the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael J O'Doherty of Manila, Philippines