A Man Who Played the Fool
"Behold, I have played the fool." -- 1 Sam. 26:21
This was Saul’s own judgment of himself. As he viewed his life the best he could say for himself was, "I have played the fool." When he began playing the fool he didn’t think he was doing it. He knew he was doing wrong but he didn’t think that was such a fool thing. It takes some people a long time to find out that the biggest fool thing in the world is to do wrong.
When Saul started out on his public career he had many advantages in his favour. For one thing, he had the enthusiastic loyalty of the people over whom he ruled as King. He was just the kind of man they wanted at the head of the nation. At first he had their full confidence. It is a great advantage to have the confidence of the people with whom you have to deal. Never do anything to destroy that confidence. Remember it is not an easy thing to regain a confidence once lost. Saul finally lost the confidence of the people and he never regained it. No wonder he said, "I have played the fool."
Another advantage Saul had, was the friendship and support of Samuel, the most influential man in the nation. It is worth a great deal to have such a friend. If you want friends that will be a help to you, cultivate them among the best people. And never betray or deceive those friends. The practice of treachery towards your friends will soon make your name despised in all decent society. Some day you will find yourself alone in the world without a friend. Then you will realise your folly. Saul proved false to his friend Samuel. At last he said; "What a fool I was to go back on my friend."
Saul’s supreme folly was committed when he went back on God. At first h yielded himself to God’s will and guidance, and so in the first year of his reign he was blessed with divine influence and favour and all went well. Then he became self-willed and self-reliant and chose to rule God out of his life. The result was failure, defeat and desolation. Such is always the result when God is ignored and His will set at naught. The man who leaves God out of his life and takes counsel of his own passions and arrogant self-sufficiency, will at last find himself saying with Saul, "Behold, I have played the fool."