Watch what happens next.
The enemy was prepared and arrayed against Saul and Israel.
What were they to do?
Remember how Samuel had told Saul to meet him in seven days?
Give close attention to these phrases:
- the people hid
- Bring to me
- What have you done
- Because I saw
- I forced myself
- You have acted foolishly
- The Lord would have
- The Lord has appointed
Now the Philistines assembled to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and people like the sand which is on the seashore in abundance; and they came up and camped in Michmash, east of Beth-aven.
When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait (for the people were hard-pressed), then the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in cliffs, in cellars, and in pits.
Also some of the Hebrews crossed the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead.
But as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel,
but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him.
So Saul said, “Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.”
And he offered the burnt offering.
As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came;
and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him.
But Samuel said, “What have you done?”
And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash,
therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the LORD.’ So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.”
Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.
“But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
Sounds so much like us.
…to be continued…
Saul begins to rule.
Watch what he does…
Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty two years over Israel.
Now Saul chose for himself 3,000 men of Israel, of which 2,000 were with Saul in Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel, while 1,000 were with Jonathan at Gibeah of Benjamin.
But he sent away the rest of the people, each to his tent.
Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.”
All Israel heard the news that Saul had smitten the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become odious to the Philistines.
The people were then summoned to Saul at Gilgal.
Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign.
He reigned over Israel forty two years.
Important numbers to keep in mind later.
Saul did what the Lord had warned the people about.
He took their sons as soldiers.
That is what kings do.
The people wanted a king to “fight our battles”.
They got one.
One who “fought their battles” with their sons as fodder.
He chose 3,000.
I assume the best.
Jonathan, Saul’s son, smote the Philistines in Geba.
The “hornet’s nest” had been whacked.
Saul now calls for the people to gather at Gilgal.
The Word of the Lord being fulfilled.
Why would we think otherwise?
“Pray For Us…”
The people were terrified.
The Word of the Lord had come through Samuel.
The people had chosen/demanded a king.
They had rejected God.
God was letting them know that He was displeased.
He brought forth rain and thunder (during the dry season) as a sign of His displeasure.
What were they to do now?
Were they to recant?
Could they return to a “kingless” status?
Then all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king.”
Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
“You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile.
“For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.
“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.
“Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart;
for consider what great things He has done for you.
“But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king will be swept away.”
The people asked Samuel to pray for them.
They did not want to die.
They acknowledged that they had added to their sins by the evil they had done in demanding a king.
- Do not fear.
- Do not turn aside from following the Lord
- Serve the Lord with all your heart.
- Do not turn aside to futile things.
- The Lord will not abandon you.
- Because of His great name.
- The Lord was pleased to make them HIs people.
- Samuel would continue to pray for them.
- Samuel would instruct them in the good and right way.
- Fear the Lord.
- Serve the Lord in truth with all your heart.
- Consider the great things the Lord has done for you.
- He warned: if you still do wickedly, the Lord would sweep away them and the king.
Truth for us.
If we sin…repent, confess…press on.
Sin no more.
“Your Wickedness Is Great”
The people had demanded a king.
They received a king from the Lord.
They rejected the Lord as Sovereign over them.
The Lord gave them the desire of their heart.
Yet, there was hope.
The grace of God on display.
The mercy of God in abundance.
Read what the Lord told them…
“If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God.
“If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
“Even now, take your stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes.
“Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call to the LORD, that He may send thunder and rain. Then you will know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the LORD by asking for yourselves a king.”
So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day;
and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
Even in rebellion the Lord provided a place to begin again.
If they would fear the Lord…
If they would serve the Lord…
If they would listen to the voice of the Lord…
If they would not rebel against the command of the Lord..
Then, the people and the king reigning over them would follow the Lord.
If they did not listen to the voice of the Lord…
If they rebelled against the command of the Lord…
Then, the hand of the Lord would be against the people and the king, as it was against their fathers.
The Lord provided a sign.
He told them to take their stand and see the great thing He would do before their eyes.
It was the dry season in the natural.
Samuel called for rain and thunder.
To verify the Word of the Lord.
To affirm the Word of the Lord.
So that they would see and know that their wickedness was great.
The wickedness of rejecting the Lord and asking for a king.
The Lord sent.
The people feared Samuel and the Lord.
Too many professing believers do the same today.
They look to “the king” rather than to the Lord.
They trust in “the king” of the Body.
They depend upon “the king” of the land…politically speaking.
We do well to trust only upon the Most High God.
“They Cried Out…”
Samuel called the people to “take your stand”…be still…and listen.
He then gave a succinct review of what the Lord had done for them…and their reaction.
Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt.
“So now, take your stand, that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous acts of the LORD which He did for you and your fathers.
“When Jacob went into Egypt and your fathers cried out to the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron who brought your fathers 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, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
“They cried out to the LORD and said, ‘We have sinned because we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You.’
“Then the LORD sent Jerubbaal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel, and delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around, so that you lived in security.
“When you saw that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ although the LORD your God was your king.
The Lord had:
- Appointed Moses and Aaron to bring them up…rescue…them from Egypt
- Done righteous acts
- Settled them in the land
- Sold them into the hand of Sisera, Philistines, Moab (due to their rebellion)
- Delivered them via judges…so that they lived securely
- Been their King.
What had the people done?:
- Cried out to the Lord
- Forgot the Lord their God
- Cried out to the Lord
- Acknowledged their sin
- Demanded a king to reign over them
- Rejected the Lord their God as King
It is the pattern of many who profess to be of the faith.
Live like they want…
Cry out to God…
Live like they want…
True repentance/confession will bring forth a change in life.
Do not be as Israel was…is…