How Saul Lost the Kingship

Now when Saul first became king, he was humble. But after he led the people in many battles and won them, he became proud. One day God sent Samuel to tell him, "I am going to punish the people of Amalek for their sins. Go attack the Amalekite people and completely destroy them and all that they have. "So Saul called together an army and went to fight the Amalekites. God gave the Israelites the victory. But Saul did not completely obey God's command. He kept the kings of the Amalekites alive and also saved the best sheep and cattle.

As Saul started home with his army, God told Samuel, "I am sorry I made Saul King; he has disobeyed my command." So Samuel went to meet Saul. When Saul saw Samuel, he told him, "I have obeyed the Lord's command." Samuel answered, "Then why do I hear the sound of cattle and sheep?" Saul said, "The people saved the best to bring home and offer as sacrifices to God. We destroyed all the rest." "Stop," said Samuel, "I will tell you what God told me last night." "Tell me," said Saul. Samuel said, "God made you king of the Israelites and sent you to destroy the Amalekites. Why have you not obeyed him? Why have you taken these things for yourself?" "I did obey God, "Saul answered. "I went out like He told me; I captured the king. I killed the other people. It was only the best sheep and cattle that we did not destroy. And we brought them here to offer sacrifice to God." Samuel said, "Does God like offerings as much as obedience? It is better to obey than to sacrifice. It is better to listen than to offer the fat of rams. To God, rebelling against Him is just as bad as asking spirits about the future, and being stubborn is as bad as being wicked and worshiping false gods. Because you have rejected God's word He has rejected you as king."

Then Saul said, "I have sinned. I disobeyed God. I was afraid of my men and did what they wanted. Forgive my sin and go with me so that I can worship God." But Samuel said, "I will not go with you. God has rejected you as king of Israel." Then Samuel turned to leave, but Saul caught hold of his cloak, and it tore. Samuel said, "God has torn the Kingdom away from you and given it to someone who is better than you." Then Saul said, "I have sinned. But show me respect in front of the people. Go with me to worship God." So Samuel went with Saul. He called for them to bring the king of the Amalekites and killed him as God had said to. Then Samuel went home and never went to Saul again as long as he lived.

Samuel was sad because God had rejected Saul. But then God spoke to him and said, "How long will you be sad about Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. Get some olive oil and go to Bethlehem, to a man named Jesse, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king." But Samuel said, "If Saul hears about it, he will kill me." God said, "Take a calf to offer a sacrifice there, and invite Jesse and his sons." So Samuel did what God said and invited Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice.

When Samuel saw the oldest son of Jesse he said to himself, "This is the man that God has chosen." But God told him, "Do not look at how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him. People look at the outside of man, but I look at his heart." When Samuel had looked at seven of Jesse's sons, he said, "God has not chosen any of these. Do you have any other sons?" "There is still the youngest son," said Jesse, "who is taking care of the sheep." "Send for him to come," said Samuel. "We won't offer the sacrifice until he gets here." So Jesse sent for David, his youngest son. When he came, God told Samuel, "This is the one-anoint him! So Samuel took the olive oil and poured it on David's head here in front of his brothers. Then he went back home. It was several years before David actually became king, but from that time, God was with him instead of with Saul.

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