In the time of Samuel the prophet, the people clamored for a king so that they could be like the other nations. God described to them the curses that would fall upon them and the countless generations that would follow, if they rejected Him and insisted on having a king. But the people were persistent, so God gave them the desires of their heart, “a choice” and “a goodly” young man. Saul, however, was not seeking a kingdom, he was seeking his father’s donkeys. He was ready to abandon his search when his servant encouraged him to go up to the prophet for direction. In so doing, he met his high calling.
At his best, Israel’s first king, Saul, represented some of the attributes of Christ, the King of kings. But later, Saul represented Satan and the basest attributes of humanity. In contrast, David represents those who submit to God and seek His virtues. Revelation 7, which describes the sealing of God’s people, gives further insight. Here, Judah (whose lineage included David and Christ) is first, while Benjamin (Saul’s tribe) is last.
As God warned, many woes throughout the ages have been the sad result of the people’s cry for a king. But God permits turmoil on the earth to awaken a longing in our hearts for something better. What can Israel’s first two kings teach us about ourselves and Jesus Christ, the King of kings? And what have we to do with the kings of this world? Are we willing to play the part of a servant and encourage them to seek God’s counsel?
This lecture contrasts Saul and David and examines the types and shadows of the King of kings as illustrated by the first two kings of Israel.