Does this chapter prove the saying 'once saved, always saved' is wrong?
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1 Samuel 10 (ESV)
1 Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said,
“Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel?
you shall reign over the people of the Lord
and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies.
And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.
2 When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah,
and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?” ’
3 Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. 4 And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand.
5 After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
7 Now when these signs meet you,
do what your hand finds to do,
for God is with you.
8 Then go down before me to Gilgal.
And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings.
Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”
9 When he turned his back to leave Samuel,
God gave him another heart.
And all these signs came to pass that day.
10 When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.
11 And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
12 And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
14 Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, “Where did you go?”
And he said, “To seek the donkeys. And when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”
15 And Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me what Samuel said to you.” 16
And Saul said to his uncle,
“He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.”
But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything.
17 Now Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah.
18 And he said to the people of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel,
‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you
from the hand of the Egyptians
and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’
19 But today you have rejected your God,
who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses,
and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us.’
Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your thousands.”
20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot.
21 He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans,
and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot;
and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot.
But when they sought him, he could not be found.
22 So they inquired again of the Lord, “Is there a man still to come?”
and the Lord said, “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.”
23 Then they ran and took him from there.
And when he stood among the people,
he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.
24 And Samuel said to all the people,
“Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen?
There is none like him among all the people.”
And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
25 Then Samuel told the people
the rights and duties of the kingship,
and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord.
Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home.
26 Saul also went to his home at Gibeah,
and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched.
27 But some worthless fellows said,
“How can this man save us?”
And they despised him and brought him no present.
But he held his peace.
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1 Samuel 10 Summary
RECAP: The Israelite's had rejected God by demanding a king so that they could be like the nations. Yesterday we met Saul, the man God chose to give the Israelites exactly what they wanted. Ironically, the man who was to shepherd Israel couldn't even find his own lost donkeys and seems to be a bumbling fool. But at least he look really good, because that's what the people really cared about.
As Samuel prepares Saul to be crowned as the first king of Israel, it seems like God is going to transform the wayward fool into a godly leader:
v9 - God gave him another heart;
v10 - the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them;
But it doesn't take long to see that the change Saul experienced was fleeting. His uncle, who had heard about what happened since everyone was talking about it (v12), is eager to hear about what Samuel told him, but Saul says nothing about his changed heart or becoming king. All Saul mentions is that Samuel told him the donkeys had been found.
Then when the big moment comes for King Saul to be introduced to his subjects, the man who's outward appearance conveys bravery and leadership shows his true colors, cowering behind a pile of baggage.
This chapter presents some troubling theology for those of us who correctly understand the Bible to teach that God's elect can never lose their salvation. So how can it be that God chose Saul to be king, gave him a new heart, and set His Spirit upon him, only to later abandon him?
Commentator Richard Phillips helps explain:
The Lord enabled Saul to experience the spiritual high of prophetic utterance, yet Saul did not show the signs of a true rebirth, which comes with a new life of obedience to God’s Word... The evidence of salvation is not given by dramatic experiences or even great deeds, especially when there are no signs of repentance from a life of sin. Instead, the people who have been savingly known by Christ are those whose faith trusts in his Word and whose lives are marked by turning from iniquity in obedience to God’s will. The reality is that Saul’s experience perfectly fits with worldly attitudes toward God and salvation. Saul typified the kind of person who seeks spiritual experiences but has little interest in cultivating a true and living faith that obeys the Lord. In religion, as in other affairs, Saul was truly “a king … like all the nations,” one who gives lip service but not heart obedience to the Word of the Lord.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father calls us to put our full trust in Him, and not our political leaders;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that your life will give daily evidence of a Spirit filled, regenerated heart.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: