Monday, October 14, 2013

King Saul's Good Start

1 Samuel 11:13-15- King Saul's Good Start

13 And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel. 
Saul shows real promise. He shows mercy for those who at first resisted him. He gives God the glory and does not take the glory for himself. It seems that Israel might be ready to rise in the power and glory of God.

14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there. 
The Kingdom is to be renewed at Gilgal. In chapter 10:8, Samuel told Saul to go to Gilgal and wait for him for seven days. Saul does so on this occasion. Thus, he is all the more guilty for failing to do so in Chapter 13:8 when he fails to wait the full seven days for Samuel, sacrifices as a priest and has the kingdom rent from him and given to another more worthy of the honor, the shepherd boy, David. He did it right, once, but failed to remember the lesson and remain steadfast.

15 And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

         Saul begins well. He shows a righteous anger kindled by God’s Holy Spirit. He reveals wisdom in summoning Israel to fight on behalf of Jabesh. He shows restraint in his threats against those who do not heed his call. The threatened punishment is the loss of an oxen or two, not the forfeit of life. He shows mercy towards his enemies after God grants victory. He gives the honor and glory to Yahweh for the victory that he has gained. In every way, Saul’s beginning is good. There is great promise that God’s blessing will be upon both him and Israel that Saul leads. Although Israel had done wrong in asking for a king, God treated them better than they deserved and gave them a wise, humble, gracious and merciful man to lead the nation. For this, Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

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