Better Not Call Saul or Trump: A Cautionary Tale of Kings and Presidents

Better Not Call Saul or Trump: A Cautionary Tale of Kings and Presidents August 16, 2023

Image: Upsplash

History has a way of repeating itself, and the parallels between ancient Israel’s King Saul and modern America’s President Trump are a testament to that.

The Israelites and Their King

In ancient Israel, the people were ruled by judges, but then, one day, they looked around and saw other nations with kings and thought, “We want one of those!” Samuel, the prophet, warned them, saying, “You don’t need a king; God’s got this.” But the people were stubborn, and they insisted.

So, they got Saul, the first king of Israel, a charismatic leader who defended Israel against its enemies. But Saul’s reign was marked by mistakes, failures in religious duties, and a descent into madness. The people got what they wanted, but it wasn’t what they needed.

Trump and the Conservative Evangelicals

Fast forward to modern America, where Conservative Evangelicals have found their pseudo-messiah in Donald Trump. They predicted a second term, they prayed for it, and they rallied behind their chosen one.

But what did they get? Insurrections, indictments, and a political circus. They got the chaos they wanted, but like the Israelites, it wasn’t what they needed. And yet, Trump’s grift continues, and his popularity among evangelicals remains overwhelmingly strong.

A Tale of Two Leaders

Saul and Trump, two leaders chosen by the people, both charismatic in their ways, both promising to defend their land. But both stories end in tragedy.

Saul’s tumultuous reign was marked by a lack of internal structure, no court bureaucracy, and failures that led him down a dark path. Trump’s reign, on the other hand, was marked by chaos, tweets, and a reality TV approach to governance.

Saul’s downfall came from his break with Samuel and his failure to follow religious duties. Trump’s downfall? Perhaps it was his break with reality and his failure to follow political decorum.


The story of the Israelites demanding a king and the Conservative Evangelicals rallying behind Trump is more than a cautionary tale; it’s a reflection of a deeper human flaw. The Israelites’ mistake was not just in choosing Saul; it was in believing they needed someone other than God to lead them. They sought earthly power and lost their divine connection.

Fast forward to today, and perhaps the Evangelicals have done exactly the same thing. In their fervor to find a political savior, they’ve rallied behind a man, forgetting the teachings they claim to hold dear. They’ve traded spiritual guidance for political gain, and the result is a landscape as chaotic as Saul’s reign.

Both stories serve as a stark reminder: Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it. And sometimes, the thing you think you need is the very thing that leads you astray.

And as for the rest of us? We’re left to shake our heads, appreciate the irony, and hope that history doesn’t repeat itself too often.

Sometimes, the grass isn’t greener on the other side; it’s just spray-painted that way. But the wise know to look beyond the surface, to seek guidance not in earthly leaders but in timeless wisdom, and to recognize that the answers we seek are often found not in kings or presidents but in principles that transcend them.

As we navigate our own political landscape, may we learn from the mistakes of the Israelites and the Evangelicals, choosing wisdom over folly, principles over personalities.

About Stuart Delony
My hope with Snarky Faith is to incite change no matter how big or small. I want to cultivate conversations that help people to look for new ways to live out their faith. I'm also one of the weird ones that think that God still moves today - we're just looking in the wrong places. You can read more about the author here.

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