Fields: Saul was the best looking guy around

Published 10:26 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017

In 1 Samuel 9:2, it says of Saul, “There was not a more handsome person that he among the children of Israel.”

Saul is described as a tall good-looking man. The significance of God giving Israel the best-looking guy in the country as their first king is that it emphasized the erroneous thinking of the people. They wanted a king to make them like the nations around them (1 Samuel 8:5, 20). They weren’t supposed to be like the nations around them. Because they wanted a king for the wrong reason, God gave them the wrong king. If the people had been more concerned about following God’s will then they would have recognized that Saul was from the wrong tribe. He was from the tribe of Benjamin, but the kings of Israel were supposed to be from Judah (Genesis 49:10; 1 Samuel 9:1). Israel’s problem was that they were thinking from a purely worldly perspective instead of one of faithfulness to God.

There is a lesson here for us. We have to be careful that we don’t view things and make decisions from a worldly point of view. The worldly-minded person looks at things from a fleshly perspective, but Christians are supposed to view things from a spiritual perspective (Galatians 5:16-26; Philippians 4:8-9). When we want things for the wrong reasons, we often end up with the wrong things.

The apostles Paul said that these things — these Old Testament examples — were written for our learning (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6-11). One of the things we can learn from this example of Old Testament Israel is that God does not look on the outward man, but on the heart of the man (1 Samuel 16:7). It isn’t how materially successful or physically beautiful we may be, what matters to God is the condition of our heart (James 4:8). We must focus on developing the inner character rather than the outward adornment (1 Peter 3:3, 4; Romans 12:1, 2).

There is a very interesting contrast between Saul — the wrong king for the wrong reason — and Jesus, the Son of David. Saul was followed because he was the biggest, best-looking guy around. Jesus was followed because of his character, not his looks (Isaiah 53:2; Acts 10:38). We follow Jesus because of the beauty of his teaching, not a physical beauty. 1 Peter 1:8, “whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”

Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. 

He may be reached at 706-812-9950.