When I read the story of David again in the book of 1st Samuel, one character stood out to me this time, and that was King Saul. O my goodness! I don’t think his story has been explored enough. He makes for one of the best villains ever (In my “expert” opinion)! I mean his character would make for a great film.
Here are a few of the coolest quotes from King Saul:
“Is that your voice, David my son?” -1 Samuel 24:16
This he said (dramatically) right after he and his men camped in a cave in the desert of En Gedi to kill David. He calls him son like nothing happened -like they were chatting over dinner or something.
“Is that your voice, David my son?” -1 Samuel 26: 17
This he said AGAIN when he and his troops were camped in the desert of Ziph to get David killed.
Honestly, I don’t know why I’ve never given that much thought to King Saul’s story.
When we first meet Saul, he is a shy, unconfident thing.
When Samuel the prophet does the exercise to crown the new King of Israel, Saul is chosen. But when they search for him, he is found hiding among the supplies. Now Saul was a head taller than everyone else by the way.
The next thing you know, he seems to be getting into the vibe of kingship. He’s enjoying it more and he’s making decisions of his own. The only thing is, God’s pleasure isn’t his priority and he ends up making poor decisions.
Poor decisions with ‘you will no longer be king over Israel’ type of consequences.
The Spirit of God who comes as he is installed as Israel’s king now leaves him, and the Bible records that an evil spirit takes the Spirit’s place. 1 Samuel 16:14
Saul is advised to start music therapy for his mental illness, and this is when he first recruits David to play the harp for him. Every time David plays, King Saul’s foul mood is lifted. His situation is manageable until he realises that David is about to take over his throne.
The attacks started with trying to pin David with a javelin as David played the harp. Turns out music wasn’t a permanent solution to his problems. They proceeded to King Saul trying to use his daughters as bait for David. He also becomes really antagonistic towards his own son, Jonathan, David’s best friend.
Saul then begins a ‘rest of his lifetime’ pursuit of David (anointed to be king in his place) so he can rule FOREVER, haha.
I think Saul suffered from an inferiority complex and some type of mental illness. These were accompanied by a host of other behavioural issues. Maybe he never did feel qualified to be a leader. Maybe he always felt inadequate. He was a head taller than everybody, but not even his height felt like an advantage to him.
And then comes David the perfect candidate. Loved and kept by God. What would be left for Saul?
I don’t think Saul ever looked up from his reflection to see God. I think he was stuck in self too long. Self-pity. Self-doubt. Self-consciousness.
I think Saul’s salvation would have come the day he looked up, and cried his heart out to God.