The reigns of Kings’ Saul, David and Solomon in Israel had been quite dramatic and controversial. This paper will compare and contrast their personalities, behaviors, leadership styles and the remarkable sweep that occurred during their kingship, but this evolved on their relationship with God. Firstly, this paper will discuss the personality and family background of King Saul and David. Then How Saul was appointed by God, how he governed Israel and his relationship with God. Next is how David was appointed by God when Saul did not follow His commandments and how he reigned and earned God’s delight in him. Lastly, this paper will talk about how Solomon was appointed as King, his ruling in Israel and his relationship with God. This paper contends that the sovereignty of King David was the most upright and significant kingship that happened in Israel among the three kings as he treated people fairly and followed God’s commandments.
Kings Saul and David are both described as attractive. However, Saul is the tallest and a Benjaminite (Samuel 351) while David is identified as a man of courage, honor and a Bethlehemite (Samuel 363). When Saul was appointed by God as the King and when he began his visionary clamor, everyone in Israel was asking “Is Saul among the prophets?” ( Samuel 354). His wife Ahinoam who was the daughter of Ahimaaz and his children were Jonathan, Ishvi, Malchishua, Merab and Michal (Samuel 361). David was the son of Jesse (Samuel 363), his wives were Michal (Saul’s daughter), Abigail, and Bathsheba and he has a son namely Solomon who also became a King after his father’s appointment of him which was also according to the will of God (Kings 424).
Saul began his reign when God appointed him as King through Samuel (Samuel 350). He started his first war when King Nahash from Ammonites made a treaty with Jabesh-gilead that if no one saved them, he would extract the right eye of everybody and bring shame to Israel (Samuel 355). When Saul learned about this, he scared people to go out with him, gathered them and swore that Israel will have the liberation from the Ammonites. He had a good strategy in choosing people as when he learned that there was a brave and tough warrior, he got him to serve him (Samuel 361). However, he pushed his people arduously during the fights that people followed him quivering and some of them went into hiding in caverns, pits, rocks and graves (Samuel 357). From here, it can be observed that Saul was a traditional leader for he was commanding his people to follow him using their fear. This was further demonstrated when after they won the war over the Philistines, he told people not to eat before the night arrives as they would be cursed and his people followed as they were scared even if they were already becoming weak (Samuel 359). Moreover, he really wanted his people to know that he was a leader for when Jonathan conquered the Philistines’ garrison in Geba, he made the Hebrews aware of it through blowing the trumpet and summoning them to join him in Gilgal (Samuel 357).
Even if Saul was appointed by God, God was displeased with him because he did not obey his commandments. This was illustrated when Saul forced himself to be a king and presented to God the burnt offering which was supposed to be done by Samuel (Samuel 357). When Samuel came, he was disappointed at what Saul did because that was an act of disobedience to God so he told Saul that God will not continue his reign. Additionally, when the Lord commanded Saul to destroy everything about Amalekites to include spoils, men, women and children, Saul did not do all of this as he spared the King of Amalekites and acquired their spoils (Samuel 361-362). This made God turn away from Saul so whenever Saul called him, he didn’t answer in any way and because of this Saul consulted a female medium and Samuel appeared and said to him that since he disobeyed God, God would remove the kingdom from him and would give it to his neighbor which is David (Samuel 379). As stated here, Saul really was not a delight in the eyes of God.
Because of the above infractions of Saul on God’s commandments, God told Samuel to go to Jesse, the Bethlehemite, as He appointed Jesse’s son, David, to be the King in replacement of Saul (Samuel, 363). God departed Saul and when this happened, an evil spirit came to torment Saul which made him hire David to play the lyre to appease his spirit (Samuel 363). During this time, the Philistine Goliath came and was being feared upon by the Israelites and David asked Saul a permission to fight with Goliath (Samuel 365). When David defeated Goliath, the women have sung with this phrase ‘Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands’ (Samuel 366). He trusted God with all his heart and this was manifested when he told Goliath that he would be able to conquer him as he came in the name of the Lord and when he conveyed to Saul that he would defeat Goliath even if he was not a warrior as God has saved him from the teeth of the lions and the bears (Samuel 365). Every time David went to fight, he made a serious attack on the Philistines so they escaped before him. Further, he was described by Abigail, the wife of Nabal who became his wife later after Nabal’s death, because he was fighting the fights of the Lord, God would make him an undisputable dwelling and wickedness would not be established in him in his lifetime (p. 376). This was really true because he was successful in whatever he did and more successful than all Saul’s servants (Samuel 366). David went to fight with the Philistines always in the name of God and asked God always for what he would do and blessed God at all times. These were the reasons why God was really pleased with him and protected him from his enemies. This could be further illustrated in the succeeding paragraph.
David’s popularity made King Saul so jealous and upset, so he made David fight with the Philistines more often, but his son Jonathan and some of his people protected David and made him safe (Samuel 371). Saul even killed Ahimelech, the priest, as he gave David Goliath’s sword and let him flee without revealing it to him (p. 372). However, even if David had all the chances to kill Saul, he did know that this was forbidden by God, as God appointed Saul and due to this, he was described by Saul as more upright than him, as he did not kill him (Samuel 374). Even with that, Saul kept on catching David after that, so David decided to go to the Philistines, with the kingship of Achish, so that Saul would not come after him (Samuel 378). He could have killed then, but the protection of God was with him. Even when David was there with the Philistines, the King Achish did not see any mistakes on him and David was even able to conquer some Philistines’ territories when he was out of the sight of the king, killing everyone and leaving no one, so that no one could tell what he had done (Samuel 378). These circumstances showed that God really protected David and He was delighted in him. Moreover, David really protected his men and gave equal rights to everyone. When Abiathar told David that Ahimelech had been killed, David asked him to be with him to stay safe (Samuel 372). Further, when David came to his two hundred men who had been tired and were not able to join him for more fights which he won, he greeted them (Samuel 381). More so, even if those who were with him in these fights said that those men, who were not with them, would not be provided any of the spoils, but he did not do so (Samuel 382). He equally divided the spoils between those who came and those who did not due to the weariness which became a decree in Israel until now.
When King David got old, he appointed Solomon to be the next King instead of his son Adonijah, who announced himself as the King (Kings 424-425). When God appeared to him in the dream, he asked for wisdom instead of wealth and long life, and this delighted God so He gave him a wise and discerning mind and that no one would be similar to him (Kings 429). This was further proved when he judged the two women who were fighting over on keeping a young child, the Israelites were amazed and they understood that God’s intelligence was with him and his popularity went through all the neighboring countries (Kings 431). Because of his wisdom, there was peace in Judah and Israel in his time and there was no war (Kings 430-431).
He also followed God, when his brother Adonijah asked Solomon through his mother Bathsheba for Abishag to be his wife, King Solomon got angry and than he killed Adonijah for he knew that God knew that Adonijah made this plan to get his kingdom (Kings 427). Further, he did not kill the priest Abiathar to his death as he carried the ark of the Lord and because he shared the difficulties his father David underwent. God was even more delighted with him when he built the house for Him (Kings 432) through a forced labor (Kings 431) and committed the silver, gold and the vessels and kept them in the coffers of the house of God (Kings 436). When it was finished, he gathered all the people and prayed to the Lord for the people in Israel (p. 437). Because of this, God showed to Solomon and said that He heard his pleas and He would stay in that house so long Solomon would obey and walk with him but if he did not keep his commandments, God would remove Israel from the land He gave them and He would no longer stay in the house Solomon consecrated for him (p. 439). This was realized when King Solomon made a sin of loving a foreign women in which he disobeyed one of God’s commandment of not entering marriage to those who did not believe in Him, for these people would entice them to follow their Gods in which Solomon did ( Kings 442). So God brought up enemies to Solomon: Hadad the Edomite, Rezon of Zobah, and an Ephramite Jeroboam.
From these stories of Kings’ Saul, David and Solomon, it can be manifested why God was so pleased with David. David was really upright as he walked in God’s ways and he kept His commandments and his kingship was so crucial for he treated people equally, and he consulted and blessed God always in his encounters, thus God made his kingdom great and He protected him from those who wanted to do him harm including King Saul who was so envious and jealous of him. What happened with King David was the opposite of what happened with King Saul and King Solomon. They had not kept God’s commandment and so they experienced the wrath of God. God gave Saul’s kingdom to David while King Solomon, after his greatness and his wisdom who made him popular, God brought his enemies after King Solomon married foreign wife who made him worship other Gods.