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1 Samuel xvi. 14.
"But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil
spirit from the Lord troubled him."

1 Samuel xvi. 14.
"But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil
spirit from the Lord troubled him."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 02, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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SAULBY THE REV. ISAAC WILLIAMS, B.D,1 Samuel xvi. 14."But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evilspirit from the Lord troubled him."The striking characters of Holy Scripture are setbefore us in conjunction with others, with whom theyare most strongly seen by comparison or by contrast.Thus with Samuel the man of prayer, with David theman after God's own heart, with his son Jonathan, solovely yet so truly great, comes to us the unhappySaul. Thus we see in those that fall away, what theymight have been if they had so willed ; and how thegrace of God hath moulded others to be as the starsthat shine for ever. Saul might have prayed likeSamuel, might have waited upon God as David did,might have loved with largenessof heart like Jonathan.We see, especially in the history of Saul, the awfulprogress of the soul, from the gradual changes thattake place in him, while in his successive trials evilprevails over the Spirit of grace and opportunities of good. There is also a sort of natural goodness aboutSAUL. 185him that rivets our interest ; so that from the veryfeeling of a common nature, we are partly inclined toforget his crimes in his miseries.Saul had every thing which the natural man coulddesire. Gifted in mind and body, — " See ye him," saidSamuel, " whom the Lord hath chosen, that there isnone like him.*' He was " a choice young man, and agoodly: and there was* not among the children of 
Israel a goodlier person than he ; from his shouldersand upward he was higher than any of the people ^"The Spirit of God moreover was given him to fithim for his kingdom at that anointing. And theanointing was to him " the oil of gladness ;" for theProphet himself delighted in him ; and God turned thehearts of the people towards him, so that, on the dayof his institution, "Saul,*' it is said, "and all thepeople rejoiced greatly." The pride of the people — the chosen of God— and having in him qualities thateven endeared him throughout to the wisest andbest of men ; but more than this, for even in thosethings in which he afterwards fell — disobedience andpride of heart, — he has at first the testimony of Godfor good ; for the Lord says to Samuel, " Saul is turnedback from following Me;" he had therefore oncefollowed obediently the guidance of God. And Samuelsays to him, " When thou wast little in thine ownsight*;" so that he once was humble of mind. Butnow he rejoices in himself, not in God; and therearises in him that self-elation which goes before a fall ;" the beginning of pride is when one departeth fromGod;" "for pride is the beginning of sin'." The1 1 Sam. X. 23 ; ix. 2. » 1 Sam. xv. 11. 17.» Ecelus. x. 12, 13.186 SAUL.trial whicH comes does not occasion this self-confidenceand rising of the heart against God, but brings outand proves that which was in the soul.At .the time of anointing him king, Samuel gavehim the injunction to go down before him to Gilgal,and there to wait seven days till he himself should come to offer the sacrifices and burnt ofter-
ings. This, though he knew it not, was to be theproof of Saul's faith; this would show whether hetrusted in himself or in God, whether he could waitfor God and upon God. What appeared an accidentalurgency of circumstances was wisely calculated forthis probation. The case seemed pressing; the ap-pointed time just transpiring ; the people were scat-tered; the Philistines were coming on; what couldbe more religious than Saul's anxiety at such a timefor supplication and for sacrifice ? Thus, as the Jewsafterwards, he deceived himself with religion ; but theheart and life of religion, faith, was wanting ; for whatwas the use of supplication and sacrifice ? were theynot to obtain God's assistance ? but could not Godassist without them ? '' Stand still and see the salva-tion of the Lord*," was the very pledge of deliverancegiven by Moses at the Eed Sea. Thus Saul becomesa sign of the taking away of the kingdom from Israel.It is the opposite to the obedience of the Son of God." Sacrifice and meat-offering Thou wouldest not ; butMine ears hast Thou opened." " Lo, I come to doThy will, O God!" "Tea, Thy law is within Myheart." "Thou hast done foolishly," said Samuel," thou hast not kept the commanduient of the Lordthy God. Thy kingdom shall not continue ; the Lord* Exod. xiv. 13.BAn. 187hath sought Him a man after His own heart/' evenhim whose saying is, " I waited patiently for the Lord.""My soul, wait thou still," i.e. calm and patient," upon God.""Woe unto them that have lost patience*."" Patient abiding," " possessing the soul in patience,""patient waiting for the Lord," are ever spoken of as

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