Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss

After the great victory over the Philistines, Saul led his men against the enemies of Israel on every side of the land. He drove back the Moabites to their country east of the Dead Sea, and the Ammonites to the desert regions across the Jordan. He fought the Edomites on the south and the kings of Zobah in the far north. For a time the land of Israel was free from its oppressors.

On the south of the land, in the desert where the Israelites had journeyed for forty years, were living the wild and wandering Amalekites, a people who had sought to harm the Israelites soon after they came out of Egypt, and had killed many of their people when they were helpless on their journey. (See Part First, Story Twenty-Five.) For this God had said that Israel should have war against the Amalekites until they were destroyed.

The time had now come for God's word against the Amalekites to be fulfilled, and Samuel said to Saul, "Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, go down and make war against the Amalekites, and destroy them utterly."

Then Saul called out the men of war in all the tribes, and they marched southward into the desert where many years before their fathers had lived for forty years. There Saul made war on the Amalekites, and took their city and destroyed it. But he did not do what God commanded him. He brought Agag, the king of the Amalekites, and many of his people as prisoners, and a great train of their sheep and oxen, intending to keep them.

Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, "It would have been better never to have chosen Saul as king, for he does not obey my commands."

All that night Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the next day he went to meet Saul. When Saul saw him, he said, "May the blessing of the Lord be upon you. I have done what the Lord commanded me to do."

Then said Samuel, "If you have obeyed God's commands and destroyed all the Amalekites and all that they possessed, what is the meaning of this bleating of the sheep and the bellowing of the oxen which I hear?"

"They have bought them from the Amalekites," answered Saul, "for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to offer in sacrifice to the Lord your God. All the rest we have utterly destroyed." This he said to excuse his wrong-doing and to put the blame for his disobedience to God's command on the people.

Then Samuel said, "I will tell you what God said to me last night. When you were humble in your own sight, God chose you to be king over Israel. He sent you on a long journey to the southward into the desert and said to you, 'Go and utterly destroy the Amalekites and leave nothing of them.' Why did you not obey God's word but did seize their oxen and sheep and save many of their people alive, disobeying God's voice?"

And Saul said, "I have done as God commanded, and have destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took some things that should have been destroyed, to offer in sacrifice to the Lord."

And Samuel said, "Is the Lord as well pleased with offerings as he is with obeying his words? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen to God's word is more precious than to place offerings on his altar. To disobey God's word is as evil as to worship idols. You have refused to obey the voice of the Lord, and the Lord will take away your kingdom from you."

Saul saw now how great was the harm that he had done, and he said, "I have sinned in not obeying God's word; but I was afraid of the people, and yielded to them. Now forgive my sin. Come with me, and I will worship the Lord."

"No," said Samuel, "I will not go with you, for God will refuse you as king."

As Samuel turned away, Saul took hold of his garment, and it tore in his hand. And Samuel said, "Even so has God torn the kingdom away from you; and he will give it to a man that is better than you are. And God is not like a man, to say one thing and do another. What God has said shall surely come to pass."

Saul begged Samuel so hard not to leave him, but to give him honor in presence of the people, that Samuel went with Saul, and Saul worshipped the Lord with Samuel.

After this Samuel went to his house at Ramah, and he never again met Saul as long as he lived; but he mourned and wept for Saul, because he had disobeyed the Lord, and the Lord had rejected him as king.

Saul and Samuel