1 Samuel 15 Part 2–Enough, You are Done!

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Not since the time of Noah, had God regretted something so much as he regretted making Saul king of Israel.  Samuel knew that Saul had destroyed his opportunity to be the leader of the people.  He prayed all night to try to intercede, but God said enough! It was so much more than simply not carrying out God’s command.  The command to completely wipe out a group was extreme–but, to understand the wickedness and abuse that the Amalekites caused; well, it was a horrible abomination of murder, perversion, and evil. God wanted all traces of them gone.
 
The bigger issue, however, was that Saul had decided that his name and reputation was more important than serving God and leading God’s people.  Even after this event, Samuel had to track Saul down to where he was building a monument to himself.  Saul was obsessed with being in charge–just like every other king.  God simply had had enough.  So, God sent Samuel to give Saul his notice–“You are Done!” No more excuses and no more chances–Now, God will pick his kind of king.  The irony has always been and is–those that serve God humbly and gratefully are exalted well beyond their wildest dreams. Those that try to usurp God’s authority crumble in shame, obscurity, and futility.
 
In our lives, we need to listen to the Lord and follow His lead.  It will mean a life of purpose, peace, and joy.  There will be trials, temptation, and difficulty–THAT IS LIFE! But God will provide us with an amazing journey here, and an eternity of blessing for our allegiance and faith.  We need to seek Him, as we do, the Lord will provide for us. He loves us and wants to grant us a life of blessing. God will, however, step back and allow us to destroy our lives if we feel compelled to compete for control.  We need to pray that we do not live a life that causes Him to regret His choosing us as His own!
 
God Bless You

Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”

13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”

14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

“Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”…

22 But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”

Agag came to him in chains.[c] And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33 But Samuel said,

I Samuel 15 Part 1–Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve!

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When God anointed Saul to be king of Israel, He did so with the understanding that Saul would follow God’s lead.  God knew that anointing a King would be difficult, but anointing a King that was self-absorbed, would doom Israel. Saul had not shown any desire to honor God in his leadership of Israel.  So, God sent Samuel to give Saul one last chance to obey God’s leadership and remain Israel’s anointed King. Here was the test–Wipe out the Amalekites–totally and completely.  Do not allow anyone or anything to live!  Not a hard test, really.  Easily measured and easily followed…at least, that is what one would think.
 
Saul gathered the troops, went to the Amalekites’ lands and began the annihilation.  Well, except, he did not kill their king, and he did not kill the good livestock–that would be such a waste after all.  In short, Saul did what Saul wanted to do–not what God commanded him to do.  There could be no misunderstanding–kill off everything.  Saul simply chose not to.  Needless to say–Saul chose His own way rather than God’s way.  God was not pleased.  
 
Sadly, in our lives, we spend a great deal of time doing most of what God tells us.  Still, there are various times when God asks us to trust and follow Him and we choose to either help God out or simply do our own plan. In those times, it is not that we do not understand God’s direction, we simply would rather not obey.  Our way seems so much better…Sorry, God does not rule by committee! We have to trust Him and follow His direction. If we will, the Lord will bless us mightily, and direct our path to a purpose-filled and meaningful life.  If we try to co-lead, God will simply step back and allow the chaos to ensue.  There is a great old hymn, I Surrender All, it is the embodiment of the right choice, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him; in His presence daily live.  I surrender all, I surrender all. All to thee my blessed Savior, I surrender ALL!” 
 
Help me, Lord to surrender all!
 
God Bless You

Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

I Samuel 14 Part 3–Man Made Rules

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Things were going so well.  Jonathan had listened to the Lord and as he followed God, He routed the Philistine army.  His faith inspired the army and Israel enjoyed a great victory.  Saul decided to call a fast for all the men.  He imposed the fast until the evening.  Sadly, Jonathan did not hear about the fast and ate some honey.  Immediately God withdrew his blessing.  The king imposed a rule on God’s behalf, and now his son violated it.  So, as a result the Israelites had to stop the route and go home.
 
I am sure Saul meant well, but, He forgot to seek God before imposing a fast in the middle of a battle.  Had he sought the Lord, God would have said–this is not the best time, your men are expending a great amount of energy fighting–they need food.  None the less, Saul’s rule caused his son to sin and ended Israel’s victory.  Jonathan was mad, Saul was grieved and God was silenced on that day.  
 
In our lives, we have to be careful about imposing self-made rules to show God how religious we really are.  God looks at our hearts.  If we submit to Him and He molds is into His image–the Lord will lead us to actions that are necessary to become more like Him.  God does not need our help to make ourselves more religious.  We simply need to trust God to lead and follow that lead each day.  In Colossians 2:20-23 Paul says it best,”Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”
 
God Bless You

Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food.

25 The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.[c] 28 Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.”

29 Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”

1Samuel 14 Part 2–Leading God’s Way

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Israel seemed defeated and scattered. Men had defected, others simply ran away and hid. Then Jonathan sought the Lord’s help and direction and routed an outpost with no one but the Lord and Jonathan’s armor bearer. When the remaining troops saw what Jonathan had done, they revived, reorganized, returned and attacked.  In addition, the mighty Philistine army panicked and melted like a group of children. Israel attacked and routed the Philistine army, that day.  The entire face of the battle and the army turned because one leader trusted God and did what God led him to do.
 
In our lives, we need to follow the same pattern for life.  We need to trust God, wait on him, and step according to His lead–and not our own.  There are times when the battle seems hopeless, but with God’s leadership and assistance, the victory can be ours.  We need not fear life–we need to trust God. Paul said it best, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control..” 2 Timothy 1:7.  If we will lead like Jonathan, God can and will deliver the battle into our hands!
 
God Bless You

Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.[a]

16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions. 17 Then Saul said to the men who were with him, “Muster the forces and see who has left us.” When they did, it was Jonathan and his armor-bearer who were not there.

18 Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God.” (At that time it was with the Israelites.)[b]19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.”

20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords. 21 Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit.23 So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.

I Samuel 14 Part 1–Perhaps The Lord Will Act On Our Behalf

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In Israel, things looked pretty hopeless.  Saul and his men were gathered and did not know how to proceed.  Saul’s son, Jonathan decided to seek the Lord and do battle.  Jonathan proceeded with one thing on his mind–“Perhaps God will act on our behalf.”  Jonathan moved forward, seeking the Lord each step; and God blessed his efforts.  Jonathan destroyed an outpost with only his armor bearer and the Lord.  Jonathan and his armor bearer killed 20 men and changed the course of the battle.
 
God does his best work when we have no way of helping.  He takes our most dire circumstances and turns them into our greatest victories.  What’s more, when we recognize that it is God, not us, that is doing the work–we can relax and allow Him to complete what He has started.  It always comes back to our willingness to trust the Lord, follow Him and submit to His plan.  When we do, God takes the impossible and turns it into what is possible and glorious. Today, focus on God and ask Him to act upon your behalf.  Watch what happens and follow His lead.  As you do, He will rock your world.
 
God Bless You

One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh.No one was aware that Jonathan had left.

On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba.

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them.10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.”

11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”

So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.”

13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack, Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.

I Samuel 13 Part 2–Saul’s Day Just Got Worse!

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Saul tore out on a mission to make a name for himself and Israel.  In his battles, he kept getting ahead of God. He was greatly outnumbered and tried to get the battle going by presenting offerings.  It became pretty clear that he was he was not interested inn waiting upon God.  Samuel confronted him. ” Saul, God was ready to establish you as King and have your lineage rule–BUT, since you failed to listen to God, wait on him or heed his command–He is going to find another king that will and is after God’s Heart!”
 
If that was not bad enough, Saul’s 30000 men had dwindled to 600 and Philistine raiding parties took all the Israelite weapons.  Saul was left out numbered, out armed and pretty much on his own.  It was not a place any king wants to be.  Still, in the midst of that God had not abandoned Israel.  God had already planned for a lineage that would follow him. But, until that time, Israel was still God’s chosen nation and would not be left without his care and concern.
 
In our lives, it is critical that we wait upon the Lord.  His ways are not our ways.  If we will trust Him and wait upon Him–He will lead us, bless us and transform us into his image.  If we choose to try to get ahead of God or live independent of him–then the result is a life of struggle and feeling all alone.  That was not where Saul wanted to be–nor is it a place we want to be.  Help me Lord to listen to the words of Isaiah, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
 
God Bless You

What have you done?” asked Samuel.

Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lordyour God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

15 Then Samuel left Gilgal[d] and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.

Israel Without Weapons

16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah[e] in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. 17 Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, 18 another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim facing the wilderness.

19 Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles[f] sharpened. 21 The price was two-thirds of a shekel[g] for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel[h] for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

22 So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

I Samuel 13 Part 1–Saul, Off to a Rough Start…

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Saul was confirmed by the people, as well as anointed by God.  As the new King, he and his son began to make a name for themselves and for Israel. Jonathan attacked an outpost and Saul made sure everyone knew Israel on the attack.  In the reading, however, there is nothing that indicates that God told Saul to attack, to put his troops together, or to trumpet his victory.  Those all seem to be Saul’s ideas.  The result was Saul angered the Philistines.  Philistia put together its army, and the army looked like an ocean compared to a pond of Israel’s troops.
 
SO, Saul called for everyone to come back and prepare for battle. Instead, when the troops saw what they were facing, they ran and hid and some even deserted the army.  Saul saw things getting away from him, so he took matters into his own hands and did the pre-battle sacrifices and prayers–the priest’s job.  When Samuel appeared, he was not pleased.  Saul started and continued the entire scenario without once seeking God, His leadership or His prophet.  Make no mistake–Saul meant well.  He was trying to be a great king and establish his name as leader. The problem was God would never honor a king that operated on his own, and without God’s direction.
 
In our lives, so many times, we start off on a journey of our own making–never seeking God’s direction. As we progress, we look for ways to make a name for ourselves–without God’s direction.  Then when things grow tense, we wait for God to jump in.  When God  does not swoop in and save us, we forge ahead, on our own and without God’s direction. We mean well, but in the end, we make a mess of things and rob ourselves of God’s blessing.  Our first step should be to seek God’s direction.  We must allow God to lead, and allow him to have the glory.We need not make a name for ourselves, we need to glorify the name for God. He promises that if we will seek Him and trust Him–then He will lead and bless us. It is a daily choice.  Help me, Lord to seek You first and allow You to call the shots!
 
God Bless You

Saul was thirty[a] years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-[b] two years.

Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.

Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.

The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand[c] chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited sevendays, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

I Samuel 12–Samuel’s Farewell Address

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God gave Israel what they asked for. He gave them a king.  But He was not about to do so without making clear that Israel’s choice, (to be like everyone else), was the ultimate rejection of God.  He called them to be holy–separate from everyone else. But throughout the history of Israel, they turned aside from God time after time.  When they did so, they fell into captivity and were treated horribly.  They would then return to God and He would deliver them. Sadly, once free, they would return to their wicked ways and God would once again pull back.

God saw that giving Israel a king put power into the hands of a leader that could easily lead them away from Him.  The king would also take their freedom and make them subject to his will not God’s. The people began to grasp how they had destroyed a great gift–true freedom, by taking a king.  Samuel encouraged them–he let them know that God would not abandon them despite their rejection of Him. He was clear, however, that If the king or the people walked away from God, then the nation would be on its own.

The same holds true for us. God wants to lead us and keep us free. Daily pressures are constantly drawing us away from the very One that can free us.  We are often looking for a quick fix to make things easier rather than looking for God’s lead to make things better.  Like Israel, we are constantly looking around at what others have; rather than looking to God to see what he has planned for us.  God will not share the throne. Either we choose to follow Him, or we choose to abandon Him–He allows either. Simply put, if we choose to follow the Lord–our lives will be full, meaningful and purposeful. If we abandon Him, we will have what the rest of the world has–chaos and madness!

God Bless You

Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right.”

“You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.”

Samuel said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.”

“He is witness,” they said.

Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors up out of Egypt. Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the Lord as to all the righteous acts performed by the Lord for you and your ancestors.

“After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the Lord for help, and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.

“But they forgot the Lord their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. 10 They cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned; we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal,[a] Barak,[b] Jephthah and Samuel,[c] and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety…“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! 17 Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king.”18 Then Samuel called on the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel.

19 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.

I Samuel 11 Part 2–Look at the King WE Picked

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People are funny.  Here, Israel was so concerned about Samuel’s sons’ corruption, that they demanded to have a king.  God provided them the coolest king–tall, dark and handsome. Then, as Samuel anointed Saul, several leaders said in effect–“He ain’t my king!” Then the Ammonites started terrorizing the people and Saul, with God’s power, led Israel to a great victory! Now everybody was on board. It was time to throw a party.  The people were so proud of themselves–“Look at this great King WE picked!” In the land, there was great celebration. 

Israel had no idea what they were choosing.  As they submitted to God’s leadership, He blessed them, protected them, provided for them and made them a nation to be reckoned with. Now, they had a king. If they submitted to the king, he would lead them but, he would also make pretty difficult demands upon them, their families and their possessions. If they failed to submit–well that would be treason and they would die. Kings did not possess the grace and mercy that God possessed. God loved them like His kids. A King treated them like his subjects. 

The saddest part of living independent from the Lord is that God is the only leader that longs for us to be free. God has no personal agenda, separate from seeing us have a great life.  He needs nothing from us, and He only  wants what is best FOR us. Both then and now–God simply wants to be in relationship with His own.  That is why Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of GOD and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be added to you!” Matthew 6:33. The Lord still offers to be our King, and by following the Lord, we can truly experience freedom as it is meant to be!

God Bless You

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.”

13 But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.”

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.”15 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.

I Samuel 11–Saul Musters an Army

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Israel was in need of leadership.  While it was still God that truly protected them, and it had been Samuel that led them, they were not following. So at their request, God gave them a king.  The Ammonites did not much care, however, and their leader was disgracing Israel a tribe at a time.  They were now threatening Saul’s tribe–big mistake! Saul, when he heard the threat, felt the spirit of the Lord come over him–He was angry, not just ticked, but–Saul literally was feeling the anger of the Lord. He made clear by God’s power that it was time for Israel to comer together.  And when they did–there were 330,000 troops.  They entered the Ammonite camp and slaughtered them from night until mid day. There were few survivors and those who escaped, left alone.  There was no opportunity to regroup. and there was no more Ammonite threat.
 
Under God’s leadership, His chosen will be protected and provided for.  If we are willing to trust and follow the Lord, He will bless us and lead us through life’s challenges. He will even use the challenges of our lives to draw us closer to Him.  We must, however, seek God and allow His spirit to guide us. When we do that, amazing things begin to happen.  Saul was just a farmer. He had no formal training as king–yet, as he relied upon God to lead him; King Saul saw great success.  Joshua said it best–“Choose this day whom you will serve…As for me and my house, we will Serve the Lord!” Joshua 24:15
 
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But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.”

The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.”

When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud. Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, “What is wrong with everyone? Why are they weeping?” Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.

When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one. When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand.

They told the messengers who had come, “Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.’” When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated. 10 They said to the Ammonites, “Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.”

11 The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.