Saul’s Big Mistake

In I Samuel Chapter 31 we read the sad account of King Saul’s end.  He died, along with three of his sons, in a single day.  The children of Israel had engaged in battle with the Philistines and things had turned badly for the Israelites.

But it didn’t have to end this way.  Saul made some poor decisions that led to this point.

Bible scholars tend to focus on the fact that Saul was disobedient to God, and this is true.  Saul followed his own path, and ignored God’s commands which was not helpful and started him on the downward path.  But, I’d like to focus on a different decision Saul made that might have made the difference in that fateful last battle.

Saul had turned on David.  Saul hunted David as a hunter would track down an animal.  He wanted David dead.  There were several reasons why Saul hated David.  For one, David represented a threat to the succession to the throne.  As long as David was alive there was a question whether Jonathan (Saul’s son) would reign after Saul.  For another, David was popular with the soldiers and with the people.  For yet another, David was successful.  He had never lost a battle.

For these reasons, and, perhaps, more, Saul hated David and David was forced to leave Saul’s domain and live as an exile.  But, I think this was Saul’s big mistake.

In order to see the mistake, you have to understand what motivated David.  David wanted nothing more than to work in Saul’s army and be a protection for the King.  David held no hatred towards Saul and was constantly attempting to mend the relationship, but Saul wouldn’t have it.  Saul rejected David, and it cost him his life.

Let’s figure this out.  Number one – David understood that his role as an officer in the army was to protect the King and to win victories against the enemy.  Number two – David had never lost a battle.  Never.  So, let’s put this together — had Saul swallowed his pride and foolish hatred of David he might have gained the victory over the Philistines on the battle field that fateful day.  Instead, not only did he lose his life, but the lives of three of his sons, and countless other Israelites.  David would have never permitted a Philistine victory, and no one would have gotten through to the King, as long as David was alive.  This is how David operated.  He was loyal.

How sad —

This incident occurred about 3,000 years ago, but human nature has not changed much in that time.  People are still envious, jealous, and feel threatened by those whose sole purpose is to please God.  Instead of being grateful that they work for us, or with us, instead we consider them a threat and push them away from us.  But, only to our own hurt.  May God cause us to be more aware of the David’s in our midst and to honor them and elevate them to their proper position.  For their purpose is none other than to serve and protect us from harm.

From my study it seems clear David had very clear motives and purpose in his heart, which can be expressed simply as this:

  1. Please God
  2. Please the King
  3. Protect the King
  4. Bring about victory on the battlefield


Why do we feel threatened when someone does these things?  Should we reevaluate our own thoughts and motives, so we don’t make the same mistakes Saul did?  Saul could have had David at his side protecting him and his sons, but instead he pushed David away, and it cost him dearly.

One Response to “Saul’s Big Mistake”

  1. Bea McGuire Says:

    David is my very favorite character int he Bible and I love this blog. It’s so sad but it can be certainly compared with the world today and especially in the church. This was food for thought. As always, thank you for the inspiration that you are. Blessings….

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