A Holy Nation Essay Research Paper A — страница 2

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king”(12:14-15). Here, Samuel is effectually warning against the inherent human problem, telling the people not ever to substitute God’s judgement for one’s own judgement. Although this is only a warning, it comes at a very unexpected time and foreshadows Saul’s perpetual fall form God’s good favor. Saul’s mistakes and sins toward God begin in his very next campaign against the Philistines. “The Philistines mustered to attack Israel; they had thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horse, with infantry as countless as the sand on the seashore. The Israelites found themselves in sore straits, for the army was hard pressed, so they hid themselves in caves and holes and among the rocks, in pits and cisterns”(13:5-6). Upon this pathetic image of his countrymen Saul

begins to doubt God’s promise to save His people, therein lies Saul’s fatal mistake, and man’s basis for sin. As a result Saul chooses to acting in the manner of pagans, make whole-sacrifices in order to “ensure the Lord’s favor”. Although sacrificing to God may seem slight and excusable, the reason for which Saul chooses to act in this manner is not. Saul has shown that he has lost his confidence in God, and that his actions no longer correspond to God’s wishes because he can some how judge between right and wrong for himself. At this point Saul’s downfall is not fully apparent to the reader, but Samuel is able to see through to Saul’s deadly sin. Samuel states, “You have acted foolishly! You have not kept the command laid on you by the Lord your God; if you

had he would have established your dynasty over Israel for all time. But now your line will not endure; the Lord will seek out a man after his own heart, appoint him prince over his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command”(13:13-14). Samuel’s words at this point seem far too drastic, but Samuel makes this statement because he is able to recognize that Saul’s broken reasoning can only lead to more extreme sins against God. During Saul’s next campaign against the Amalekites, Samuel’s warning comes to fruition, and now not only is God and Samuel able to see Saul’s apparent flaws, but so can the reader. God directly commands Saul during a time in which “the word of the Lord was rarely heard, and there was no outpouring of vision”(3:1), stating, “Go

now, fall upon the Amalekites, destroy them, and put their property under ban. Spare no one, put them to death, men and women, children and babies in arms, herds and flocks, camels and donkey”(15:3). Fully understanding the commands that God gave him, Saul goes directly into battle with the Amalekites, yet he chooses not to obey God’s word, in spite of the strong emphasis that was put on the correct course of acts he should have taken due to God’s rare direct instruction. “Saul inflicted defeat on the Amalekites…but Agag king of the Amalekites he took alive …and his army spared the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat beasts and the lambs, and everything worth keeping; these they were unwilling to destroy, but anything that was useless and of no value they

destroyed”(15:7). Therefore Saul as acted out in total defiance of God. He no longer follows the word of God, but instead has acted out of his own volition. His rejection of the word of the Lord results in his loss of the Kingdom of Israel as prophesized by Samuel who took Agag and “hewed [him] in pieces”. Saul’s actions at Amalek become a pivotal point in Saul’s life because God does not support him any longer; he has loss his anointment as King of Israel. The argument that ensues between Saul and Samuel is a most powerful piece of symbolism. “As [Samuel] turned to go, Saul caught the corner of his cloak and it tore.”(15:27). At this point Saul is standing like a guilty child, pathetically holding onto a shred of cloth. This image marks the start of Saul’s

drastic downfall. A new king is revealed to Samuel, by God, as being David. God also anoints David as King of Israel, presenting a major conflict since there are now two kings of Israel. David is also appointed commander of Israel’s army and succeeds in battle, routing his enemies a number of times. As a result Israelites begin saying, “Saul struck down Thousands, but David tens of thousands”(18:7). This causes Saul to become thick with jealousy of David, and soon Saul is seen hurling spears trying to murder David, yet David amazingly is able to dodge certain death. “After this Saul was afraid of David because he saw that God had forsaken him and was with David, [who] led his men into action and succeeded in everything that he undertook”(18:12). Yet Saul continues to