1 Samuel part 6 11 Ė 13
Last week we me made our way to the end of chapter 10 where
we learned about the humble Saul who was pronounced to be King. Well, tonight
we will continue on and cover chapters 11 Ė 13. Now in chapter 11 we will see
that Saul is going to prove that he worthy leader of the children of
1 Samuel 11:1Then
Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men
of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a covenant with us, and we will serve
you."† 2 And Nahash the Ammonite
answered them, "On this condition I will make a covenant with
you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring reproach on all
First of all I want to
remind you about this place called Jabesh Ė
Now we have this new
event happening. As you can see on the map Jabesh-Gilead is located just east
1 Samuel 11: 4
So the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of
the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept.† 5 Now there was Saul, coming
behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, "What troubles the
people, that they weep?" And they told him the words of the men of
Jabesh.† 6 Then the Spirit of
God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly
aroused.† 7 So he took a yoke
of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the
†As you can see on the map these messengers
make there way to Gibeah where Saul was. When he heard the news it made him
angry and was filled with the spirit of God. Now this would be his first test
as the new appointed King of Israel. Now we need to remember the connection I
made earlier. King Saul was Benjamite so it is possible that he may have had
ancestors who had lived in Jabesh-Gilead which would make this even more of a
personal matter. He chooses an unusually way to get the children of
1 Samuel 11:9 And they said to the messengers who came, "Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: 'Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.' " Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad.† 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, "Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you."
This news makes the men of Jabesh very happy but did you notice how sneaky they were. When they went out to speak to Nahash they gave him the impression that they would surrender to him tomorrow and allow him to gouge out their eyes or whatever he wanted to do. This bought them the time they needed for the Saulís army to show up and it would put Ammonites in position of ease because they think they have won.
1 Samuel 11:11 So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
Saul uses a great battle
tactic here as he breaks his army into three groups. Most likely one group
attacked from left another from the right and the other down the middle and he
also attacked them early in the morning when most of them would have been
asleep. He plan works and proves that he will make a great commanded and king
for the children of
1 Samuel 11:12 Then
the people said to Samuel, "Who is he who said, 'Shall Saul reign
over us?' Bring the men, that we may put them to death."† 13 But Saul said, "Not a man
shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has accomplished salvation
You might remember in chapter 10 there were some that were not to keen on Saul being made King and now that he had proven himself his followers wanted to kill those who had spoken against him. However Saul did not allow this instead he wanted to the people to rejoice in the salvation that God had provided against the Ammonites. As you can see Saul was still being humble in his heart as he gives God the glory for their victory.
1 Samuel 11:14 Then
Samuel said to the people, "Come, let us go to Gilgal and renew the
kingdom there."† 15 So
all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in
Gilgal. There they made sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD, and
there Saul and all the men of
Now that Saul had proven himself Samuel wanted to make this official recognition of Saul being King. Now in chapter 12 Samuel has a lot to say about himself and about the decisions they made on having King and how they should proceed.
1 Samuel 12:1 Now
Samuel said to all
Here we see that Samuel
wanted it made clear before the children of
1 Samuel 12:6 Then
Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who raised up Moses and
Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the
Now that he has there attention and they have all admitted that Samuel is a just man he now wants to remind them of the past. He tell them about how God had delivered them from their enemies in the past and how they rebelled against God back then by turning to useless idols. Then they would themselves oppressed by their enemy and then they would put away their idols and a cry out to God for their salvation and he would deliver them. Then Samuels makes his point by saying,
1 Samuel 12:12"And when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,' when the LORD your God was your king.† 13 "Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the LORD has set a king over you.
Samuel is pointing out how they are being rebellious against God once again just like they did in the past because they wanted this earthly king to fight their battles for them and to be their savior when all along God was their King and their savior. However, because of love and mercy he has allowed them to have their King but there is something they must do from point forward as see in,
1 Samuel 12:14 "If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the LORD your God.† 15 "However, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
Now the children have messed up but God is willing to forgive them for this but from this point forward they must adhere to Godís commands and if they donít they will be punished just as fathers were punished in the past for their rebellion. Boy if there is one theme that you find out through the entire Bible its that God demands obedience to his commandments. This message has not changed because it applies to every Christian today. If you obedient to his will then you walk with God, however if you rebel against his commands then you will pay the price because you will find yourself separated from God. Now Samuel is about to give them a sign which will prove that the things he has just said are true and backed up by God.
1 Samuel 12:16 " Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes:† 17 "Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the LORD, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking a king for yourselves."† 18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.† 19 And all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves."
The children of
1 Samuel 12:20 Then Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.† 21 "And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.† 22 "For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people.† 23 "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.† 24 "Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.† 25 "But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king."
Isnít that a beautiful yet powerful section of scripture? This was great advice for them in the OT and it great advice for us today. Verse 20 makes it clear we are all sinners we have all been evolved in wickedness. Sometimes in our Christian lives we have weak moments and we sin against God willingly. Samuel is teaching us to recognize that we are sinners and at the same time he is encouraging us to continue to serve God. We should never allow the sins in our life to cause us to give up on God. We should always keep in the back of our mind that no matter how hard we fall in sin we must try our best to get back on track and serve God with all of our heart because he wants us to succeed.
Verse 21 shows the consequences of giving up on God. If you give up on him and yourself then you will find yourself clinging to things which cannot save you.
Verse 22 makes its clear that God will not forsake us and he will always be there for us because we are his people.
Verse 23 point out the importance of us praying for one another and for teaching one another the word of God. I really like verse 24
.† 24 "Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.† This should be the motivating force in our Christian live. We should take time out of our busy lives to sit still and to start contemplating what God had done for us and how much he loves us and what he has promised us. If we can keep this in perspective we will have all the encouragement we need to fear the lord and to serve him in truth with all of our hearts.
Finally verse 25 lets us know that if we choose to forsake God and his ways then we will swept away and forever be separated from him. Samuel makes this awesome speech about the important of remaining faithful to Godís Word and you would think that Saul and the children of Israel were taken this all in but we are about to find out that Saul apparently wasnít listening all that well as find our in chapter 13.
After Saul had reigned
for 2 years he gathered together 3000 men. 2000 were with him at Michmash and
1000 were with his son at Gibeah. Jonathan attacks the Philistines at Geba.
This makes the Philistines mad so they gather together 30,000 chariots, 6000
horseman and a multitude of men and they set up camp at Michmash. This scared
the children of
1 Samuel 13:8 Then he
waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come
to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.† 9 So Saul said, "Bring a
burnt offering and peace offerings here to me." And he offered the burnt
offering.† 10 Now it happened,
as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and
Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him.† 11 And Samuel said, "What
have you done?" And Saul said, "When I saw that the people were
scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed,
and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash,† 12 "then I said, 'The
Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made
supplication to the LORD.' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt
offering."† 13 And Samuel
said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment
of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have
established your kingdom over
This is† great lesson on situation ethics. You see Saul thought in own mind that it would be ok in this situation to break Godís command since Samuel wasnít their to make the burnt offering. In his own mind he thought this would be acceptable to God. However Saul find out real quick that God was not pleased with this and now Saul kingdom would be taken from him and given to another. This gives a great example that there isnít a situation that can arise that makes it acceptable to sin. Some would say if you starving then its ok steal from another. However that is not true. Even if you are starving stealing is steal stealing. Must be careful today not to talk ourselves into thinking that a particular situation will justify any given sin because it didnít work for Saul and it certainly wonít work for us today. Now let continue on to the end of the chapter.
1 Samuel 13:15 Then
Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered
the people present with him, about six hundred men.† 16 Saul, Jonathan his son, and the
people present with them remained in Gibeah of Benjamin. But the Philistines
encamped in Michmash.† 17 Then
raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company
turned to the road to Ophrah, to the
As we come to the close
of this chapter we see the Philistines appear to have the upper hand. They
spread out North, East and West and they kill all the blacksmiths so that the