Narrator: In the days of Samuel the Judge of Israel, prophets would give the people God’s message. The people were ruled by God, with God’s prophet telling the people what to do. Samuel was a Judge AND a prophet.
Samuel: I’m very much a renaissance man.
Narrator: The Jews did not want God to rule them. They wanted a king like other nations had. No one can see God. The Jews wanted a leader they could see. They wanted a king to lead them in battle. So the Jews came to Samuel and asked him to give them a king.
(Show an Israelite that speaks in the foreground. Other Israelites should nod emphatically and agree any time the main Israelite says something)
Israelite: We want a king!
Samuel: Aw, man!
Israelite: Yes, a man!
Samuel: I meant to express my disgust.
Israelite: Disgust? That the opposite of what we want! Don’t get an ugly king… he should look nice!
Samuel: Never mind.
Israelite: No, he should definitely have a mind.
Samuel: (long pause) I’ll look into it.
Israelite: Why? Is the king going to be hollow? That won’t do at all...
Samuel looks at audience and shakes head.
Narrator: This did not make Samuel happy. God told the people what to do. God helped the people win the battles. They did not need a king. Samuel asked God what he should do.
Samuel: God… what should I do?
God: “The people are not rejecting you as their leader. They are rejecting Me. Give the people a king. But first warn the people and tell them what a king will do to them.”
Samuel: “Okay, listen up! If you get a king, he will take lots of money from you. He will take your children to work as his servants. He will take your land and your animals. When that happens you will complain because of the trouble your king brings, but God will not listen to you.”
Israelite: We want a king like other nations.
Samuel: So, do you understand what I’ve just told you?
Israelite: We want a king!
God: “Listen to the people and give them a king. I will tell you which man to choose to be king.”
Narrator: “God told Samuel to choose a man named Saul to be Israel’s new king. Saul was a big man, taller than anyone else in Israel. When the Jews saw Saul, they were happy with their new king.”
Israelite: Look at our king! He’s a man, he looks nice, and I’m fairly sure he’s not hollow! Well done, Samuel!
Samuel smacks his face with his hand.
Narrator: Saul was strong. He knew how to fight battles. But Saul did not love God the way he should. When God told Saul how to rule the people or fight battles, Saul didn’t always obey God. God would tell him to do one thing, and Saul would sometimes do the exact opposite! One day, Samuel came to Saul with a message.
Samuel: “Because you have not obeyed God, God has found another king to lead His people. God wants a king who will love and obey Him.”
Saul: What? What can I do?
Samuel: You need to obey God, Saul, and if you mess up, you need to be humble and repent, not make excuses!
Narrator: Soon God told Saul to go fight another battle. God wanted to use the Jews to punish the enemy. God told Saul to go attack these people and destroy them and everything they owned.
Saul: Come on, guys… let’s get ‘em!
Israelite: Yeah! We’ve got a king!
Narrator: But Saul did not obey God. Saul let the enemy king live. Saul killed the animals that were weak and sick, but he did not kill the good animals. God sent Samuel to talk to Saul on last time.
Samuel: “Why didn’t you obey God? Why didn’t you kill all the animals? Why didn’t you kill their king?”
Narrator: Saul knew he had not obeyed God but he did not want to admit that he was wrong.
Saul: “Uhhhh… I saved the best animals so that I could sacrifice them to God! Aren’t I a good king?”
Israelite: We’ve got a king!
Samuel: “To obey is better than sacrifice. Because you have rejected God, He has rejected you as king.”
Saul: But I…
Saul (to Israelite): That seemed harsh.
Narrator: If we repent and ask God to forgive us, the Bible says that God is faithful and just to forgive our sins. But Saul was not sorry for disobeying God. He thought his way of fighting the battle was better than God’s way. But God wanted a king who would love and obey Him. Saul didn’t love God like he should. He did not want to listen to God. Samuel left Saul that day and never saw him again. Saul did not have God’s help in knowing what to do. He continued to rule Israel after that, but he was not a good king.