Golden Boy

Most likely you know one, a golden boy that has  popularity, admired and preferentially treated. Success seemed to come easily and early in life for him. His upward climb was expected and anticipated. Faults that should have raised  a caution flag were generally overlooked.   Charisma and talent can take you somewhere but it requires character to keep you there. After 350 years of judges ruling Israel, the people cried out for a king to go before them so they would be like other nations. 1 Samuel 9:17 says “ When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, this is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.” Saul’s ancestry and qualifications are recorded in 1 Samuel 9: 1-2:” There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites-a head taller than any of the others.” A Golden Boy. At age 30 ,Saul received signs of  affirmation from God himself before becoming the first ever king  over the 12 tribes of Israel.  For two years Saul’s reign prospered because he was obedient to God, was respectful of Samuel the prophet and he remained humble. Then disobedience and rebellion  against God led to moral  decline. In chapter 13 of 1 Samuel, Saul became impatient while waiting for Samuel to arrive and made the sacrifice himself. The prophet told him that because of his foolishness his kingdom would not endure. A flagrant act of disobedience is detailed in chapter 15. Saul spared the Amalekite king and took livestock as plunder when God had clearly said kill every person and animal. God rejected him as king over Israel. 1 Samuel 16:14 says “ Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.” He spent the balance of his 42 year reign consumed with paranoia and rage. Saul started as a golden boy but ended as a suicide statistic.