1 Samuel 12:13 describes Saul as the king that the people chose. That description may surprise us when we read 1 Samuel chapters 9 and 10. Those chapters show clearly that God, and not the people, appointed Saul to be their king.
On the other hand, Psalm 78:70 refers to David as the king whom God chose. This contrast between Saul and David is very important as we study the Books of 1 and 2 Samuel.
The Bible refers to Saul as the peopleís choice because the people demanded a king. They wanted God to give them a powerful king who would lead their army. God did not approve. However, God gave them the kind of king that they wanted. Saul had all the qualities that they desired for their king.
Saul had the opportunity to serve God and, for a short time, he did that. However, Saul would not obey Godís command to him (13:13) and, in the end, he became very wicked. That is very sad, but it does not surprise us. When people follow their own desires, wicked behaviour is the usual result. What happens in a personís life can also happen in the history of a nation.
Although Saul was the peopleís choice, God selected him. Although David was Godís choice, the people wanted him to be their king (2 Samuel 2:4; 2 Samuel 5:1-3). God does not force his people to act in a certain manner. He allows them to make their own decisions. However, he always encourages them to do the things that please him. When they do, the result is always good. David was a good king who had a genuine desire to serve God and to look after his people well.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.