The Abiding Gift of Prophecy


Chapter 7—Prophetic Guidance to Kings

Although Israel turned away from the leadership of the Lord and His prophet Samuel, still God did not forsake His people. He continued to instruct, guide, and help them. Through the prophet Samuel He directed in the selection of Saul for their first king. “Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.” 1 Samuel 10:24. AGP 76.1

Saul entered upon his reign under the most favorable conditions possible. He was chosen by the Lord for the great responsibilities he was to bear. A special bestowal of the Holy Spirit was imparted to him. (See 1 Samuel 10:6-11.) He was given every assurance of God’s presence and guidance—if he would only be true and loyal to the divine requirements. Withal, he had the prophet Samuel, an experienced and able statesman, as his inspired counselor. AGP 76.2

But Saul’s reign was a tragic failure. He became independent, rash, and cruel. He openly disregarded the instruction the Lord gave him through the prophet Samuel. Soon after beginning his reign, when in a state of fear and perplexity, he rashly ventured to perform the sacred service that only the priests consecrated to that office were permitted to render. “Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.” 1 Samuel 13:9. AGP 76.3

Because of this open disregard of the divine plan, Samuel said, “Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which He commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue.” 1 Samuel 13:13, 14. AGP 76.4

Saul’s loyalty was again put to the test when Samuel was sent to him with a message of instruction regarding the punishment AGP 76.5

of the Amalekites for the great wrong they had done Israel on their way from Egypt. In the prosecution of this task, both the king and the people boldly disregarded some of the most important parts of the message. AGP 77.1