Lessons from King Saul: Saul’s downward spiral.

Lessons From King Saul: Saul’s Downward Spiral (1 Samuel 16-31)

In this final lesson for our study of King Saul we will look at the downward spiral of events that led his death. In our previous lesson we saw that as a result of Saul’s disobedience Samuel told Saul that God had rent the kingdom from him and would give it to his neighbor who was better than him. From this point on Saul became very irrational and untrusting and as we will see in this lesson these things led to his downfall.

The Evil Spirit from the Lord : (1 Samuel 16: 14-23)

After Saul’s disobedience in regards to Amalek the word of God says that the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. Remember that Saul is Old Testament and in the Old Testament a man could lose his salvation because it was based on the works to begin with. It is not till after the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ that a man is sealed by the Holy Ghost and eternally secure.

The remedy for the troubling spirit was to have someone play upon a harp. David was chosen for this task because he played the harp very well. He also became Saul’s armor bearer.

There is a great note here for us to pay attention to which is that music is connected with spirits. Therefore you need to have the right kind of music if you want the right spirit. And if you mess around with the wrong kind of music you might be giving place to the wrong spirit.

The Jealousy of Saul : (1 Samuel 18:7-30)

When Israel returned from the battle with the Philistines, the one where David killed Goliath, the women sang about Saul having killed his thousands and David his ten thousands (verses7-8). Saul immediately became jealous and suspicious of David. While David was playing the harp for Saul, Saul cast a javelin at David twice trying to kill him.

Next Saul told David he could marry his daughter but first he had to go and fight the Philistines. Saul was hoping that the Philistines would kill David in battle and his blood would not be on his hands. After David returned successful in battle Saul gave his daughter to another man.

The next plan Saul had was to use his daughter Michal that loved David to be a snare unto him. Saul told David that he could marry her but instead of a dowry he would have to provide 100 foreskins of the philistines. In this he also thought that David would get killed trying to provide what Saul required for the dowry. But once again David prevailed and delivered twice the amount of foreskins of the Philistines.

Saul once again tries to kill David in 1 Samuel 19 but this time David’s wife warns him and helps him escape. Note that Saul has gone from being impatient and disobedient to now being jealous and trying to commit murder.

Saul consults with a witch : (1 Samuel 28:7-19)

At the end of Saul’s reign we find that when he needs to get help from God he cannot. God will not answer him. Therefore Saul goes to a witch and gets her to raise up Samuel. In the Old Testament this was forbidden under the Law. But when you have gone astray as far as Saul has you will find yourself doing the unthinkable. Samuel tells Saul that he and his sons will be dead on the next day.

The Death of Saul : (1 Samuel 31:1-13)

After Saul’s visit to the witch he is wounded in the battle the very next day. Saul tries to get his armor bearer to kill him so that the Philistines will not come and abuse him but his armor bearer is to afraid to kill him. So Saul kills himself by falling on his sword. Then his armor bearer kills himself. When the Philistines find the body of Saul they cut off his head and take his armor. Then they fasten his body to the wall in Beth-shan.

This is interesting because Saul always had a problem with the fear of man as we see in the previous lessons. It was his fear of battling with Goliath that allowed David to become the hero. Saul ends up just like Goliath with his head cut off and his armor taken by his enemies.

Spiritual lesson for us :

Proverbs 23:17-18 is an excellent passage for this thought. It tells us to be always in the fear of the Lord and the reason is because there is always an end. In the case of Saul we saw it took 38 years to come to pass but there was an end.

If we are not careful being impatient and disobedience can lead us to the same place it led Saul. And we must remember there is an end. How will you end up.


Lesson From King Saul: Saul’s Downward Spiral (1 Samuel 16-31)


1)  Give an outline showing the downward steps that led to Saul’s death.


2)  Who did Saul end up like in his death? How does this connect to previous lessons?


3)  What can we learn from this spiritually?