Saul had refused to obey God. Samuel had told Saul that God had removed Saulís authority to be Israelís king. Saul argued, but Samuel was firm. So Samuel turned away from Saul in order to leave him.
Saul was desperate. He still did not want to obey God, but he very much needed Godís support. Because God did not still respect Saulís authority, Saul wanted Samuelís help. Samuel was a holy man with a right relationship with God; he could pray for Saul. So Saul would not allow Samuel to go.
Saul held Samuelís shirt firmly as Samuel tried to leave. The result was that it tore. When that happened, God gave another message to Samuel.
Even as the shirt had torn, so God would take away Saulís rule over Israel by force. As the shirt did not belong to Saul, so the nation did not still belong to him. As Saul had held on to the shirt, so he would hold on to the nation. However, God was giving the rule over Israel to another man, who would become Israelís next king.
God would soon show Samuel who that next king would be. We will start to read about King David in the next chapter, 1 Samuel chapter 16. God promised that he would be a better man than Saul. Although David made several serious mistakes, he genuinely loved God.
The news that God had chosen another king for Israel was a very serious message for Saul. From now on, he understood that his rule must end. He would fight fiercely to hold on to a country that was not his own. David, on the other hand, would wait patiently until God handed the country over to him.
Next part: Does God repent? (1 Samuel 15:29)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.