The Ruin of a Choice Young Man
1 Samuel 9:9
(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spoke, Come, and let us go to the seer…

A life of bright promise may prove a life of disastrous failure.


1. His natural endowments were such as admirably to fit him for the position it was the will of God he was to occupy, so that he entered upon his office with advantages from which the best auguries might have been formed. "See ye him," said Samuel, "whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him?" I would here remark the advantages to us, as young men, of good health, and a strong, vigorous body.

2. Nor was Saul lacking in moral qualities. His occupation, his concern for his father, his obedience to the prophet, his respect for religious ordinances, clearly indicate him to have been a man of quiet, plodding, and God-fearing disposition. Yes, you may have all these, and be in the eyes of all "a choice young man, and goodly;" yet lacking one thing, as Saul did, when trial and temptation come, the fair promise of your youth may be blighted; and when you, and others interested in you, expected to be reaping a harvest of bliss, there will be nothing left but bitter disappointment and vain regret.

II. ABUSED PRIVILEGES. What God expected from the king of His people is clearly defined in Deuteronomy 17:14-20. Saul was no doubt made acquainted with these injunctions by Samuel, so that there was no excuse whatever for his failure. Indeed, it is clear that his failure came not as the result of ignorance, but of a stubborn, rebellious will, which set itself in opposition to the will of God; and also from want of obedient faith. The first indication of these signs of defection, we have in 1 Samuel ch. 13. This injunction was to be a test of Saul's faith, and it failed. Another test was given him. "Go," said Samuel, "and smite Amalek" In this test of obedience he again failed; for, contrary to his commission, he spares Agag, and also brings of the spoil of war to offer in sacrifice to God. In this his pride is manifest — he cares little for the approbation of God, but wants honour before the people. God requires of you heart allegiance. The only true safeguard you can have for this life is in giving yourselves up to Christ,. Without this you may, and some of you will, become moral wrecks like Saul.


1. The Divine purposes cannot be frustrated by our unfaithfulness. Without any interference with their moral liberty, God, no doubt, fulfils His own designs even by wicked men. The counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. God makes all events and all lives subservient, to His wise and holy will. Yet this is no excuse for our lack of fidelity to duty.

2. Saul's own purposes were broken off. His heart must have been big with hope when he received the Divine anointing, and in pursuing his course of disobedience, he, no doubt thought to win renown for himself and Israel Self-aggrandisement was the secret purpose in much of his disobedience; and then as to his son Jonathan, whom he made a general in his army; as a father, he must have cherished purposes concerning him. But all were doomed to disappointment, and that by his own folly. He who serves God takes the best way to serve himself. It is a solemn truth, too, that when a man has begun to go wrong, he finds it harder every step he takes to retrace his course. Another startling truth, which it may be wise to mention, is given us in the ruined prospects of this virtually discrowned monarch.

3. He sins beyond the possibility of repentance. Awful capabilities of self-torture lie folded within every human soul. Youthful sins lay a foundation for aged sorrows HEART allegiance to Christ will be the only insurance you can have against becoming the victims of clans of evil forces now lying in ambush within the mysterious recesses of your soul. But in addition to the blighted purpose of Saul, there were others who suffered by his sin. No man liveth unto himself. What a blight did Saul's sin bring upon the hopes of Samuel. Saul, too, blasted the purposes of his family. His sin involved his sons in his misfortune; for the sceptre passed away from his house, and his family became extinct.

(W. Williams.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)

WEB: (In earlier times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, "Come, and let us go to the seer;" for he who is now called a prophet was before called a Seer.)

The Choice Young Man
Top of Page
Top of Page