Was the prophet Samuel or God wrong in choosing Saul?

It has been awhile since I wrote on anything spiritual. Something crossed my mind and I would like to share it here.

It concerns the appointment of Israel’s first kings, Saul and David. In I Samuel 9 God points out to Samuel, the prophet, the man — Saul — whom He has chosen to govern His people. God is with Samuel and he becomes king.

In I Samuel 15, however, Samuel tells Saul that God has rejected his kingship because he disobeyed God. God had told him through the prophet, Samuel, to wipe out all the Amalekites and their cattle and sheep. Saul wins the war against the Amalekites, but he spares their king, Agag, who he holds in captivity, and some cattle and sheep.

Samuel tells him that God has rejected his kingship because he disobeyed God. Saul admits he disobeyed both Samuel and God, but justifies his actions by saying that he did what he did because he was afraid of the army and had listened to them, instead. Whatever Saul’s reasons, Samuel says, because he disobeyed God, he can’t be king.

In 1 Samuel 16, God points out to Samuel the man he has chosen as king to replace Saul — David, a son of Jesse.

A question that comes to mind when reading the account of Saul and David, is this: How could God — the Perfect — make a mistake about choosing the first king of Israel, whom he later disqualifies for not being fit to be king, and then appoints David?

My question is “Did God really make a mistake here?” It would seem as if He did make a mistake — if we look at it from the human point of view. He changed His choice of king.

But, from an eternal, divine perspective, I don’t think He made a mistake, at all. Do you think God didn’t know that Saul would disobey Him and would disqualify himself as king?

Of course, He did. He was fully aware but, nevertheless, made Saul king. The reason, I believe, was to show the kind of king he didn’t want — those who didn’t put their whole trust in God and believed and obeyed Him without exception. Saul failed but David succeeded; even though he sinned and stumbled, David was always reaching out to God, striving to obey Him, taking hold of God’s promises, and going for it wholeheartedly, and, he grew to become the king to model after.

My next question is: Did the prophet make a mistake in choosing Saul to be king and then changing his mind and installing David as king?

Not knowing what God tells Samuel, the people would only see that the prophet made a mistake.

The prophet, being a man of God who is always in commune with Him, saw clearly that Saul disobeyed God and, therefore, was not fit to be king. Samuel felt sad about Saul but God tells him not to be because He has found another man to be king (I Samuel 16: 1: “Samuel, I’ve rejected Saul, and I refuse to let him be king any longer. Stop feeling sad about him. Put some olive oil in a small container and go visit a man named Jesse, who lives in Bethlehem. I’ve chosen one of his sons to be my king.”)

God did not make a mistake about Saul. Through his choices of Saul and David, He revealed clearly, the type of king he wanted — one like David.

So, was the prophet, Samuel, wrong? No, he wasn’t. Was Saul, the king, wrong? Yes, he was.

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