Saul was victorious in his first military excursion.
He defeated the Ammonites.
What was the response of the people?
The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’
Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.”
Remember how there were people who were questioning whether Saul could rule?
Now, people were wanting to bring the doubters to death.
Saul had proven himself.
Now, they wanted to eradicate the doubters.
But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the LORD has rescued Israel.”
Saul refused the adulation.
Saul refused the vindication of man.
He knew that it was the Lord that had rescued Israel.
No one would are put to death today…that day.
The doubters were on notice.
Read what Samuel led the people to do…
Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.”
So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the LORD.
There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the LORD,
and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.
The people renewed the kingship.
Note “all” the people.
All went to Gilgal.
All made Saul king in the presence of the Lord.
All sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord.
All and Saul held a great celebration.
They were one.
This would soon pass.
We as the Body of Christ, by definition, are One.
Those that are truly saved.
Those that have truly repented, confessed and called upon the name of the Lord.
There are many of the organizational church that are not saved.
They are not a part of the true organism of the Body of Christ.
Sadly, they are a major portion.
Where do you fall?
Are you ready?
This is a gory account.
Two major things to see.
- The Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily. Saul became mightily/righteously angry
- The dread of the Lord came upon the people. They responded as one.
Now, read the account…
Now Nahash the Ammonite came up and besieged Jabesh-gilead;
and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us and we will serve you.”
But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “I will make it with you on this condition, that I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you, thus I will make it a reproach on all Israel.”
The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Let us alone for seven days, that we may send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to deliver us, we will come out to you.”
Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and spoke these words in the hearing of the people, and all the people lifted up their voices and wept.
Now behold, Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen, and he said,
“What is the matter with the people that they weep?”
So they related to him the words of the men of Jabesh.
Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily when he heard these words,
and he became very angry.
He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen.” Then the dread of the LORD fell on the people,
and they came out as one man.
He numbered them in Bezek; and the sons of Israel were 300,000,
and the men of Judah 30,000.
They said to the messengers who had come, “Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh-gilead, ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have deliverance.’” So the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.
Then the men of Jabesh said “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.”
The next morning Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp at the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
May we respond in like manner to the Word of the Lord…
“Valiant or Worthless?”
Samuel presented Saul as king to Israel.
The people responded “long live the king.”
They had what they wanted.
They had a king.
They had rejected God to attain the king.
They did not care.
Now, we continue the narrative…
Then Samuel told the people the ordinances of the kingdom, and wrote them in the book and placed it before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his house.
Saul also went to his house at Gibeah;
and the valiant men whose hearts God had touched went with him.
But certain worthless men said, “How can this one deliver us?”
And they despised him and did not bring him any present. But he kept silent.
Samuel told the people the ordinances of the kingdom.
He told them and wrote them down in a book.
He then placed the book before the Lord.
Samuel had done what the Lord told him to do.
Saul went home. Yet, trouble was already brewing.
Sides were being taken.
Certain worthless men (we see that phrase in several places in Scripture) questioned how Saul, “this one”, could deliver them.
They despised Saul.
They did not present themselves before him.
Saul knew this, and kept silent.
The other side were valiant men.
Men that went home with Saul.
Men whose hearts had been touched by God.
Which are you?
“You Have Today Rejected Your God”
Saul had prophesied.
He now went to the high place, as Samuel had said.
Read what happens next…
Now Saul’s uncle said to him and his servant, “Where did you go?”
And he said, “To look for the donkeys.
When we saw that they could not be found, we went to Samuel.”
Saul’s uncle said, “Please tell me what Samuel said to you.”
So Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.”
But he did not tell him about the matter of the kingdom which Samuel had mentioned.
Thereafter Samuel called the people together to the LORD at Mizpah;
and he said to the sons of Israel, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
‘I brought Israel up from Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’
“But you have today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses; yet you have said, ‘No, but set a king over us!’
Now therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your clans.”
Thus Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot.
Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the Matrite family was taken. And Saul the son of Kish was taken; but when they looked for him, he could not be found.
Therefore they inquired further of the LORD, “Has the man come here yet?”
So the LORD said, “Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage.”
So they ran and took him from there, and when he stood among the people,
he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.
Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? Surely there is no one like him among all the people.” So all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!”
Saul’s uncle wanted to know what happened.
Saul told him.
Perhaps Saul was being judicious by not making mention of the Kingdom matter.
Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah.
Note what the Lord said…
- I brought Israel up from Egypt
- I delivered you from the Egyptians
- I delivered you from the power of the kingdoms that oppressed you
- I delivered you from calamities and distresses
- But, you today have rejected me by wanting a king
- You have said “no” to Me
- So, present yourselves by tribes and clans
They chose by lot.
Saul was chosen by lot.
A confirmation to Saul.
Where was Saul?
They had to seek the Lord to find him.
“He is hiding himself by the baggage”.
An auspicious start for a king.
Of course when the people saw him…
When they saw he was a head taller than all…
When Samuel said “there is no one like him”…
They shouted “long live the king”.
An “in-your-face” rejection of the Most High.
Many are the ways to reject the Lord.
Let us be careful to not do so.
“Changed! That Day!”
We saw yesterday where the Lord spoke through the prophet Samuel and told Saul all that was about to occur.
A major point was that he would be changed into a new man.
The next verse says…
Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart;
and all those signs came about on that day.
The Lord changed Saul’s heart.
This is the only way for a heart to be changed, the Lord doing it.
Why did God do so?
Because He chose to.
God was giving His people a king.
A king they requested.
The king would have the heart of God.
Now, would the king appropriate that heart?
We are also told that all the signs that we saw yesterday came about on that day.
So all that Samuel said to him occurred that day.
When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him;
and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them.
It came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What has happened to the son of Kish?
Is Saul also among the prophets?”
A man there said, “Now, who is their father?”
Therefore it became a proverb: “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
A group of prophets met Saul.
The Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily.
He spoke forth the Word of the Lord.
The Lord can change our hearts.
The Lord can do whatever He wants with man.
May we seek and desire to receive what He has for us.
Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy;
and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets,
so that the church may receive edifying.