Archive for March 12th, 2012

1 Samuel 11

1 Samuel 11 has the first action taken by Saul.  The Ammonites came and were ready to take over Jabesh-gilead.  The folks couldn’t resist long term, so they want to make a treaty and become slaves.  But the condition set forth by the Ammonites was to “gouge out all your right eyes”.  They wanted to mark these people and disgrace them.  So the elders of the city ask for seven days to determine a response, and they sent messengers throughout the territory to see if there was anyone who was willing to come save them amongst the tribes of Israel.

That is when Saul got involved.  He heard as “all the people wept aloud”.  He was “coming in from the field behind the oxen” where he had been out farming and hears the plight and “his anger was greatly kindled”.  Saul gets his dander up as God’s Spirit rushes upon him and the words become a battle cry.  He “took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory”.  Saul knows how to get the attention of those around him.  He leads them to a response, and causes them to wake up and get out of the comfort of their little world to take action.

So people got the message.  Saul’s leadership causes them to come “out as one man” and he unifies the people to a common cause.  In fact, there were “three hundred thousand” that show up along with 30,000 from Judah.  Not bad for a response to his leadership.  Saul divides them into three companies and leads them into battle with the Ammonites and destroys the enemy, to the point that “no two of them were left together”.  He destroys and separates them from each other.  His leadership is established and he has solidified his place.

Saul and Samuel call the people together.  They wanted to put to death those who had challenged Saul as king.  But they don’t do that, instead they celebrate because “today the Lord has worked salvation in Israel”.  They focused on God and His hand at work in their midst.  They have come back to life, and God is active and so Samuel leads the people to “renew the kingdom”.  Sometimes we allow our relationship to stagnate or just die down.  But God wants us to be renewed.  He wants to have an active part in our life each day.  As the people of Israel renew their relationship with God they “made Saul king….sacrificed peace offerings….all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly”.  His time has come and it is now!

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