(1)    The sons of Samuel failed

Samuel had ruled Israel long and well.  As he came to old age deep shadows were falling over the pathway of Israel.  In contrast with the splendid integrity of his own life, and the dignity of his own reign, his sons, to whom he had entrusted some responsibliity of government, and who naturally would have succeeded him, were by their corruptions proving themselves unworthy to succeed their great father.  The elders of Israel clearly perceived that the nation was approaching a serious crisis.

(2)    The people desired a king

Assembling the nation in Ramah, the home of Samuel, the elders of the people made demand for a king to rule over them.  They reminded the aged judge that his sons walked not in his ways, and they asked him to make for them a king to rule them "like the nations round about."  Bringing the request of the people before the Lord, Samuel was bidden to yield to the demand and was consoled by the assurance that "they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them."  He was directed to protest solemnly and to show the people the manner of king who should rule over them.

(3)    Saul was chosen to be king

As Israel's first king, and by reason of his strange personality, Saul commands peculiar interest.  Chosen possibly because he was the type of man whom Israel desired, he failed utterly to measure up to the high demand of the place to which he was called.

(4)    Samuel's farewell to Israel

Having called the people togher in Gilgal, and made Saul king, Samuel availed himself of the opportunity thus presented to say his word of farewell to the people whom he had so long judged and whom he so deeply loved.  With the utmost of dignity and with the noblest words he challenged Israel to witness against him.