The book of 1 Samuel, a part of the Old Testament, sparks the dawn of the United Kingdom of Israel by telling of its first king, Saul. Samuel is one of the first talked about pre-literary prophets in the bible perhaps because he anointed the first king of the United Kingdom. He is a prophet by definition because he possessed the ability to converse with the almighty Yahweh. Samuel and Saul are key players to the rise of the kingdom but Saul runs into trouble and disobeys God, which leads him to his own inevitable demise.
In 1 Samuel 28: 1-25 Yahweh guides Saul to his death because he has outright deceived and disobeyed God. This passage sets an example to obey Yahweh; otherwise he will inflict punishment upon the disobedient. It portrays that Yahweh's love, power, and covenant should never be taken for granted. Saul is, in essence, a pawn in an overall lesson and story by God. It is quite possible that the disobedience of God and punishment inflicted upon him was his very fate that only God could control.
A brief overview: During the time of 1 Samuel 28, there is a major conflict between the Philistines and the Israelites. The two respective armies meet up for confrontation near Jerzeel between Shunem (Philistine encampment) and Gilboa (Israelite encampment) (this is anomalous because in 1 Samuel 29:1 it says that they are still at Apheq and reach Jerzeel later on stated in verse 29:11). When Saul observed the Philistine army he became tremendously afraid, assumingly because of their size and superiority in weaponry (Mc Carter comments on the passage that the Philistines possessed such warring implements as bronze and iron, which were advanced metals of that time.) So, he tried to co...
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...hard to understand fully because of its comprehensive metaphoric language and the difference in culture from present day. It is also sometimes hard for us to understand God's actions because we think of him simply loving and caring rather than ruthless and violent. We need to understand that the creation of mankind is taking place in the recordings of these scriptures and so things may not be as customary as we would like to think. I believe that God has a plan for everyone. And, in the case of Saul, he had a plan to take away his kingdom in order to pass it on to David so the formation of history could continue. I also think this passage, like many other passages from the Bible, has a message linked to it, a lesson to the story if you will. The lesson is to prove that God's unlimited power must never be taken for granted or there surely will be hell to pay.
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