THE STORY OF KING SAUL
Great to have you
here once again to share more Daily Bread together. In our study of 1 Samuel, we
recently learned about Saul's first victory over Ammon, and then Samuel's
address to Israel. Let's pick up from there.
First, we must remember that way back when, things weren't like they are today.
In today's time, the leader of a nation is the commander in chief all right, but
they don't go out to battle with the rest of the military. Also, don't forget
that these soldiers of Israel have had no military training whatsoever ... And
those that are strong enough in faith to fight, are relying on the power of God
to be victorious.
THE STORY OF KING SAUL STUDY ON THE STORY OF KING SAUL STORY WITH THE STORY OF KING SAUL MESSAGE
Let's recall what's happened recently in the story of King Saul. Saul's military history
began with a battle against the Ammonites. The army that was united for Israel
consisted of 330,000 soldiers. They were victorious and a great celebration was
So ... What do you suppose the army of Israel did between battles? Since the
conquest of Canaan was over, do you think they had military bases where they had
boot camps and target practice and military strategy lessons? Well, perhaps
precious few of the soldiers were that enthusiastic to protect and defend their
new inheritance, but probably, except for a few bodyguards of the king, it's
likely that most went home to their families.
Now, let me remind you of something that the Lord warned Israel about way back
even before they crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land.
But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you;
then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall
be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the
land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do
unto you, as I thought to do unto them.
And there it was HUNDREDS of years later, and Israel was still troubled by all
those that weren't driven out during the occupation of their inheritance. In
fact, it's NOW THOUSANDS of years later, and Israel is YET troubled by them.
Now, back to our story ... Let's look at a few different things that are
directly affecting what happens for Saul. As you may remember from the Book of
Judges, as long as the children of Israel followed the commandments of the Lord,
things went smoothly in their conquest of Canaan, but whenever they went
backsliding, the disaster that they imposed on their enemies was turned back
upon them. In this story, it wasn't the children of Israel that erred, it was
THE STORY OF KING SAUL LESSON WITH THE STORY OF KING SAUL EXPLANATION
Let me give you the setting ... Saul has now reigned for two years over Israel,
with one victory over Ammon. Apparently there was some peace time after that,
and the only military that Saul kept at hand were three thousand soldiers. Two
thousand of these were with Saul in Michmash. Saul's son Jonathan was with the
other thousand in Gibeah, who successfully attacked a military post of the
Philistines in Geba. The proximities of these places is something like this,
with Gibeah and Gilgal being approximately 15 miles apart.
So Saul spread news of this victory to all of Israel, then combined all three
thousand troops together in Gilgal and declared war on the Philistines.
The Philistines then assembled a huge army of 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen
and more soldiers than one could count. Just counting the chariots and horsemen
alone, it was twelve times the manpower that Saul had. Seeing this, many of the
soldiers of Israel were frightened and hid themselves in caves and forests and
such, and others went to the land of Gad and Gilead, east of the Jordan for
refuge. The remaining soldiers stayed with Saul, but even those trembled in
Now, Samuel had told Saul to wait for him, seven days, and he would come to
Gilgal and make offerings to the Lord before they went to battle. But when
Samuel was late in arriving, Saul grew impatient and made the offerings himself.
Just as Saul had finished making the burnt offering, Samuel arrived.
What have you done? Samuel asked Saul, and Saul explained that a number of his
troops had abandoned and the Philistines were gathered together. With Samuel's
absence, he was afraid that they would attack before offerings were made to the
Lord, so he took it upon himself to do it.
this was a mistake. How so? you may ask. Think back to the situation with
Abraham and Sarah, and when Sarah was impatient waiting for the child that the
Lord promised, and they took it upon themselves to have a surrogate ... You remember
that whole thing? But we're not just talking about impatience here, as you might
imagine, an offering as important as this was probably supposed to be performed
by a Levite priest, which Saul was not. I don't recall reading anything about
Samuel telling Saul, "In case I get stuck in traffic, go on ahead and start the
fire without me." God's timing isn't always our timing. How many times in our
own lives do we find it necessary to go on ahead with our own plans because
we're too impatient to wait on the Lord's plan? At any rate, Saul was told by
God's Prophet to wait for Samuel, and no matter what the circumstance, he should
Samuel said to Saul, You did a foolish thing and didn't obey the commandment of
the Lord. Your kingdom would have been established forever in Israel, but now,
your kingdom won't continue. You see, the Lord wants a man after His own heart
to be captain over His people.
THE STORY OF KING SAUL INFORMATION WITH THE STORY OF KING SAUL MEANING
you think Samuel was feeling about all of this? Remember, Samuel was annoyed
that the children of Israel chose to have a king in the first place, so one
might wonder what his perspective was. Well, one thing is certain, Samuel was a
Prophet of God, and he loved the people he served for the Lord. Even though
Samuel may not have been tickled pink about the prospect of having a human king
over Israel, he also knew that Saul didn't choose to be king either ... The
people wanted a king, and he was God's anointed, so one might assume that
Samuel, in the interest of the welfare of Israel, wished Saul prosperity, so
quite naturally, Samuel was disappointed at Saul, and he left Gilgal and went
home to Gibeah. Saul and Jonathan followed with the mere 600 soldiers that were
kingdom won't continue."
does that mean? Well, had Saul proved himself to be trustworthy to follow God's
Word, the throne would have passed on to his son Jonathan, and then Jonathan's
son after him, and so on, continuing in Saul's bloodline forever ... BUT
... Since Saul displayed dishonor in carrying out the Lord's commandment, he
lost the privilege.
the Philistines also had a camp in Michmash, and while Saul and Jonathan and
their small amount of soldiers remained in Gibeah because they knew they
couldn't defend the land, the Philistines raided the area in three companies, in
three different directions around Michmash. Obviously controlling the area, they
then prohibited the Hebrews from making any swords or spears ... And any farming
tools that they needed to have sharpened, had to be taken to the Philistines to
do it. So, when there was warfare, the Hebrews were weaponless, however, Saul
and Jonathan were both found possessing weapons ... Isn't that curious?
One might come to a few different conclusions about that, but consider this ...
Perhaps the Lord wanted to make the ultimate point, that weapons would not win
any battles for the children of Israel ... Only the power of God would.
Anxious to find out what happens next? Well then hurry back for more Daily