Questioning God’s Wisdom and Leadership (2:246 – 2:247)

Saul*
[2:246] Have you noted the leaders of Israel after Moses? They said to their prophet, “If you appoint a king to lead us, we will fight in the cause of GOD.” He said, “Is it your intention that, if fighting is decreed for you, you will not fight?” They said, “Why should we not fight in the cause of GOD, when we have been deprived of our homes, and our children?” Yet, when fighting was decreed for them, they turned away, except a few. GOD is aware of the transgressors.
*2:246 This same history is narrated in the Bible’s Book of I Samuel, Ch. 9 and 10.

Questioning God’s Wisdom
[2:247] Their prophet said to them, “GOD has appointed Taloot (Saul) to be your king.” They said, “How can he have kingship over us when we are more worthy of kingship than he; he is not even rich?” He said, “GOD has chosen him over you, and has blessed him with an abundance in knowledge and in body.” GOD grants His kingship to whomever He wills. GOD is Bounteous, Omniscient.

Who was the prophet at this time?

Samuel 

Why didn’t they just have Samuel as their leader? 

According to the Bible, Samuel Chapter 8 verse 5, Samuel was old and they wanted a king to rule over them.

Samuel Chpater 8 verse 4 – 19.
4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.” 6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” 10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.

According to the Bible Samuel came and rid the corrupt judges and rulers of the people. Except when the people gained their freedom without tyranny they immediately asked for a ruler and then when God warned them about the consequences of gaining a ruler and losing their freedom they did not listen to God and still opted for a king.

This is similar to the incident with the Children of Israel how God saved them from Pharaoh yet they wanted to go back. Additionally, when they saw the people worshiping statutes they asked Moses for a similar god.

[2:261] Recall that you said, “O Moses, we can no longer tolerate one kind of food. Call upon your Lord to produce for us such earthly crops as beans, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions.” He said, “Do you wish to substitute that which is inferior for that which is good? Go down to Egypt, where you can find what you asked for.” They have incurred condemnation, humiliation, and disgrace, and brought upon themselves wrath from GOD. This is because they rejected GOD’s revelations, and killed the prophets unjustly. This is because they disobeyed and transgressed.

[7:138] We delivered the Children of Israel across the sea. When they passed by people who were worshiping statues, they said, “O Moses, make a god for us, like the gods they have.” He said, “Indeed, you are ignorant people.

Why wasn’t David appointed as their leader?

At the time David was only a youth, but according to 38:26 David was a ruler on earth.

[38:26] O David, we have made you a ruler on earth. Therefore, you shall judge among the people equitably, and do not follow your personal opinion, lest it diverts you from the way of GOD. Surely, those who stray off the way of GOD incur severe retribution for forgetting the Day of Reckoning.

It is interesting that at the time God appointed Saul to be their king there were two prophets of God living there, Samuel who was too old, and David who was too young. This is interesting that God selected someone who wasn’t a prophet to be their king when both Samuel and David were present.

They judged Saul just by his appearance and his wealth. Shows the lack of confidence in God’s judgment, first for asking for a king and then for disagreeing with God’s selection of Saul. Kingship is not just about wealth. The emphasis of body and knowledge is what was needed for that time for their leader. God knows who is best qualified to be a leader and knows what is needed for the job. Just like He knows who is best qualified to deliver His message.

[6:124] When a powerful proof comes to them, they say, “We will not believe, unless we are given what is given to GOD’s messengers!” GOD knows exactly who is best qualified to deliver His message. Such criminals will suffer debasement at GOD, and terrible retribution as a consequence of their evil scheming. 

When America elected George Washington some wanted to make him king or have him as a monarch, but he refused. Even the title of “president” was considered lowly. President was typically associated with clubs and small groups not nations.

Mark Forsyth: What’s a Snollygoster? A Short Lesson in Political Speak
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf8zep5BADs

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=250990126

The comparison between Saul, David and Solomon who were all king at some time.

[38:35] He said, “My Lord, forgive me, and grant me a kingship never attained by anyone else. You are the Grantor.”

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