Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1 Samuel 11:9-15

9 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.

12 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.

Questions to consider:

  • Does Jabesh expect the Israelites to challenge him?
  • What plan does Saul enact?
  • Who is victorious?
  • What is the response of the people of Israel to the victory? What do you make of that response?
  • What Saul say about the plan the people mentioned to Samuel?
Possibilities for prayer:

Mercy. Humility. Leadership. All three of these things we see exemplified in this story of Saul. We've talked some about the gift of leadership that Saul has so clearly shown throughout this book. Here we see him putting humility to work.

After successfully executing a mission to eradicate the Ammonites, many people in Israel are incredulous about the idea that some may not have wanted Saul to be the king of the people. And what price should those people pay? Clearly, they should be put to death. But in this moment, Saul maintains a level head and rejects such a proposition. Saul rightly acknowledges that GOD was the one to grant the people victory, and tempting as it might be to claim that victory for himself, he humbly acknowledges that God was the one to rescue Israel.

Let's ask that God would make us more humble people, able to gracefully and truthfully give credit where credit is due in the successes of our lives--to God.