1 Samuel 13:1-14:52 Comments by Stephen Ricker
one tidbit at a time read & study work the soil kind & courteous be serious about books the lion king stay connected to now dig in deep CLICK TO GO TO Bible Study HOME PAGE

You Have Not Kept the Lord's Command
Comments for Study 6

1 Samuel 13:1-14:52
Memory Verse: 14:6


Pre-study Considerations

"In relation to Samuel, it is obvious that Saul had a problem. On the one hand he owed his appointment to Samuel, but on the other hand he was taking over Samuel's position as Israel's leader. Samuel spoke frequently of the wickedness of the people in requesting a king, apparently implying that he, Saul, should not really be in office. Yet Saul had not sought to be king, and would have preferred, at least at first, to have been left in obscurity, but he had not been offered any option. Too many signs had been given that he was the person of God's appointment, and prayers for deliverance from the Ammonites had been marvellously answered. He was king by divine anointing, by God's overruling of the sacred lot, and by united popular demand. He had caught the imagination of the people, who wanted a hero, and against all odds he was expected to pass muster.

"Had he realized it, Saul could have gained much by the presence of a seasoned prophet like Samuel alongside him, ready to give guidance, instruction and, if necessary, rebuke. Above all, Samuel was an intercessor who knew the Lord's mind, and saw prayer answered. Samuel would indicate the right way, and all Saul had to do was follow. He could have leant hard on Samuel and he would have found reassurance. In the event, this was exactly what Saul could not bring himself to do." (from Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Joyce G. Baldvin)

I. Samuel Rebukes Saul (13:1-15a)

>1. How old was Saul when he began to reign?

* 1 Samuel 13:1 Saul was [thirty] years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel [forty-] two years."

* "thirty... forty" -Most original manuscripts do not have the words "thirty" and "forty" without explaining why the numbers are omitted. Thus, the original Hebrew in this verse is very difficult to interpret and has been interpreted in different ways. Forty is assumed because David and Solomon reigned that long.

* The KJV has, "Saul had reigned one year, and when two years were over Israel," even though the first "year" normally means a person's age. Commentators for the KJV states that interpreting it this way indicates that his first infant year as king contained no great event.

* Paul said to his fellow Jews on his first missionary journey, "...All this took about 450 years. After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years." (Acts 13:20-21)

* The fact that at seventy-two (30 + 42) he died fighting for Israel shows his consistency in fulfilling his office as king, fighting off Israel's enemies. Though a person be faithful to his office does not mean much if he is not faithful to the Lord.

* This is a general statement indicated that he was now official king of Israel. This starts a new subject in the text (in the style found in other Biblical historical records). This is the start a new age for Israel, a change from judges to kings.

>Where was Saul waiting for Samuel and what were his instructions? (10:8)

* 1 Samuel 10:8 "Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do."

* "Gilgal" -Perhaps Samuel had told Saul when this would happen. We are not told how Saul knew when Samuel was referring to. We do not know how long this is after the previous chapter. It is possible other events took place between this and the previous chapter, or nothing important happened for many years. The later is most likely because of the victory over the Philistines through Samuel to the west (chapter 7), and the Ammonites to the east (chapter 11). These two boarder nations were Israel's greatest enemies during Saul's and David's reigns. Also, it would have taken time for Saul to conscript an army and assembly them in two locations as noted in verse 2.

* "Gilgal" -Gilgal was on Samuel's ministry circuit. (7:16) Samuel had set up a place of worship there. As with the other two locations he set up, Gilgal was on the Benjamite and Ephraim boarder.

* "Gilgal" -Gilgal means "circle"” and probably referring to a circle of stones or a circular altar. Such a circle of stones could be found almost anywhere in Palestine and led easily to naming towns “Gilgal.” The many references to Gilgal in the Old Testament cannot thus be definitely connected to the same town, since several different Gilgals may well have existed. Samuel's circuit city could be near tell Jiljulieh or at Joshua's first landing place near the Jordan and thus the farthest from his home.

* "I will surely come down to you" -Samuel made it clear to Saul that he would come. (1 Sam. 13:8)

* "you must wait seven days" -Seven days, a whole week is seen as a complete cycle. Saul may or may not recognize that he would be tested. At this time the instructions seem clear.

* "to tell you what you are to do" -The kings of the nations around them could do what they wanted (though most were required to follow the laws of the land). Saul was required to listen to God's prophet for Samuel was given God's instructions. Saul was required to obey God as Samuel and all the judges before him, were required to do. Unlike the judges who received direct instructions from the Lord, the kings would receive instructions thru the prophets and sometime priests.

>How many men were with him in his palace guard?

* 1 Samuel 13:2 "Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Micmash 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."

* "Saul chose" -Samuel's prophecy in 8:10-18 is already being fulfilled.

* "Micmash" -This is the first time that Micmash is mentioned in the Bible. Micmash is the NIV spelling of Michmash. Micmash means hidden place and a city in Benjamin about seven miles north-east of Jerusalem, four and a half miles north-east of Gibeah, rising 1,980 feet above sea level overlooking a pass going from the Jordan River to Ephraim. It is four and a half miles south-east of Bethel, which rises 2,890 feet above sea level. It is modern Mukhmas. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Bethel" -Commentaries say this is Beth-Aven meaning "house of deception" or "of idolatry" and also went by the name of Bethel. This Bethel was a city near Ai east of the more commonly known Bethel (Josh. 7:2). The Bethel that Saul chose for his headquarters formed a border of Benjamin (Josh. 18:12) and was west of Michmash where Jonathan was. The exact location of this Bethel is not known. Suggestions include Burqa, south of Bethel; tell Maryam; and Ai. The commonly known Bethel means "house of God" and is an ancient place for the Israelites. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all spent time at Bethel. Jacob changed the name from Luz to El Bethel (later just called Bethel). Rachel and Deborah were buried near here. Today the village of Beitin rests on much of the ruins of Bethel. Bethel is located at the intersection of the main north-south road through the hill country and the main road from Jericho to the coastal plain.

* Saul placed the troupes in locations so they could see north and south, and east and west.

* "a thousand were with Jonathan" -This implies that Saul set his son Jonathan as commander of one thousand (one third the standing army). So how old was he? If Saul married before sixteen years old (standard in those days), then he would have been married around fourteen years when he became king. Add one or two years for Saul to get his army together and build outposts. Therefore, Jonathan would have been younger than twenty years old when Saul put him in charge. This is not surprising considering the time and the tendency for leaders to put there sons in offices at a young age. Also, consider David's young age when he was allowed to fight Goliath. Consider also the age of Alexander the Greek when he conquered every land he attacked.

* Saul had not only conscripted men into a permanent standing army, but selected and perhaps built two garrisons for them to house in. Their job was to watch for invading parties to stop what had happened throughout the times of judges. The question that comes to mind is, "Didn't Saul know that Israel's sin caused the invasions?" Yes, he must have for Samuel had just told Israel publicly. So then why did Saul see the need for a standing army? Perhaps because this is what the other nations had done (as Israel had said they wanted to be like), and/or because Samuel had mentioned as a warning to Israel that the kings they wanted would create a costly standing army (8:11-12), and/or perhaps Saul determined that this was the expected requirement of a king, and/or perhaps this was part of the discussions between him and Samuel. (9:25-10:8)

>2. What happened to precipitate a crisis? (3-4)

* 1 Samuel 13:3-4 "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 a stench to the Philistines." And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal."

* "Jonathan" -Jonathan means "gift of YHWH (Jehovah or Yahweh)". He is Saul's oldest son; heir apparent.

* "the Philistines" -The Lord many years before this lead a victory against the Philistines while Samuel had gathered Israel in a revival. (1 Samuel 7:7) Many historical documents state that the Philistines were superior in weapons, training, and size of standing army for a long time.

* "the Philistines" -Philistine refers to a group of non-Semitic people perhaps from first Asia Minor and then Crete who occupied and gave their name to the south-west part of Palestine. Ancient Egyptian records from the time of Merneptah and Ramses III referred to them as the “prst.” Ancient Assyrian records include references to the Philistines in the terms Philistia and Palastu. The origin and background of the Philistines had not been completely clarified. Ancient Egyptian records include the “prst” as part of a larger movement of people known as the Sea Peoples, who invaded Egypt about 1188 B.C. by land and by sea, battling the forces of Ramses III, who, according to Egyptian records, defeated them. The Sea Peoples, a massive group that originated in the Aegean area, included the Tjeker, the Skekelesh, the Denyen, the Sherden, and the Weshwesh as well as the “prst” or Pelesti, the biblical Philistines. As they moved eastward from the Aegean region, the Sea Peoples made war with people in their path including the Hittites in Anatolia and the inhabitants at sites in North Syria such as those at the site of Ugarit. According to biblical references, the homeland of the Philistines was Caphtor (Amos 9:7; Jer. 47:4). (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "outpost" -The Hebrew "nesib" here may mean "the resident" or "political officer" of the Philistines. The assassination of this representative of Philistine rule was the singal of revolt. Add that to that threat the fact that Israel had suddenly issued a king for the first time who created a standing army and located it in two places meant. These facts naturally meant war to the Philistines.

* "Geba" -Geba was located 4 miles (6.5km) from Gibeah, an already stated outpost (1 Sam. 10:5). Micmash (Jonathan's location) was 2 miles (3km) across a ravine and north of Geba. The terrain was rugged and excellent for guerilla warfare.

* "Jonathan attacked" -We are not told why Jonathan attacked. Perhaps it was due to inexperience. Perhaps it's just mentioned because it was a small incident that lead to bigger things. As such this act can see this as merely a side note for: 1) understanding why the war took place, and 2) to illustrate what kind of person was Jonathan.

* "and the Philistines heard about it" -The Philistines had five major cities, each having its own ruler and/or ruling parties. (6:4) The word of the small attack reached the rulers.

* "Then Saul" -Saul was confident and/or either worried for he made this small issue turn into an even bigger one. It is not clear that the Philistines would have attacked if Saul hadn't of blown the trumpet.

* "had the trumpet blown throughout the land" -Israel had constructed under the Lord's leading through Moses two silver trumpets that were blown to summon Israel. (Num. 10:1-10) Yet this is most likely the ram's horn. (Ex. 19:13; Ps. 81:3, 98:6) "The most frequently named musical instrument in the Bible is the “Shophar” (a ram's horn). Limited to two or three nores, (the “Shophar” often translated trumpet) served as a signalling instrument in times of peace and war (Judges 3:27; 6:34; Neh. 4:18-20). Having as its chief function the making of noise, the Shophar announced the new moons and Sabbaths, warned of approaching danger, and signalled the death of nobility. As the only ancient instrument still used in the synagogue today, the “Shophar” found a prominent place in the life of Israel, noted by its function in national celebration (1 Kings 1:34; 2 Kings 9:13). Similar in function to the shophar was the trumpet, a straight metal instrument flared on the end and thought to have had a high, shrill tone. Sounded in pairs, the trumpet was known as the instrument of the priests (compare Num. 10:2-10 for a description of usages; see also 2 Chron. 5:12-13 where some twenty trumpeters are mentioned. The sound of the trumpets introduced Temple ceremony and sacrifice, the trumpet itself being counted among the sacred Temple utensils (2 Kings 12:13; Num. 31:6)." (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Let the Hebrews hear" -Israel did not call themselves Hebrew for enemy nations used it as an insult and/or put-down. Some suggest that Saul was not the one that said this, even though the passage is translated that way. So why did Saul use this term? Perhaps because other descendants of Eber lived in cities like Jerusalem and would have been affected by a Philistine attack and Saul warning them too.

* Saul did not inquire of the Lord? One of two reasons could be for this. 1) Samuel had said this would happen, or 2) Saul was not a spiritual man. The latter is most likely because Saul's future would prove this was his normal mode of governing.

* "a stench" -As in waste product that must be buried.

* "the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal" -Saul assembled and perhaps retreated to Gilgal because he knew that Samuel had told him to do this. Now was the time of testing for Saul.

* Why does God test his people? He does not test us hoping that we stumble and fail. He test us because overcoming the test strengthens us, cause us to grow in faith. Passing a test brings us closer to God and increases our share of the inheritance to come. Passing a test helps us endure life in this world better. Passing a test helps us realize that we have been given the ability to overcome. Romans 8:37 states, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

* Some have stated that Saul ordered Jonathan to attack, but the verse does not support this interpretation.

* Saul takes credit for what his son did. A sign of a weak leader is pride that leads to claiming things that they did not do; in other words lies. Saul's pride begins to grow. I should never take credit for other's actions, and if I do I should repent and give credit where credit is due.

>Where did the Philistines assemble and what was the size of their force?

* 1 Samuel 13:5 "The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven."

* "chariots" -Israel had none.

* "with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers" -Chariots required two men during a battle, one to drive and one to shoot arrows. Both required skill, training, and money to support. We can consider them the ancient tanks.

* "as numerous as the sand on the seashore" -God had told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the sand on the seashore. (Gen. 22:17) The northern tribes that came to attack Israel and Joshua are described this way too. (Jos. 11:4) The camels of the armies of the eastern people who attacked Israel were called this too. (Judges 7:12)

* "Micmash, east of Beth Aven" -The Philistines took up the very locations that Saul had put his two thousand troupes and retreated from, thus showing Israel and Saul's fear.

>What was the situation of Israel?

* 1 Samuel 13:6-7 "When the men of Israel 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."

* "their situation was critical" -They were out numbered and out gunned.

* "hard pressed" -Literally this is true for Israel ran to the hills as far as the hills allowed them to retreat.

* "they hid in caves and thickets" -Israel was not use to battle, and the new army had little time to prepare their troupes. On the eve of battle their lack of training gave way to fear. However, the truth is that they did not have confidence in the Lord their God.

* "some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan" -These must have been the non-Israel descendants of Eber who also lived in the area and joined forces with Saul. They ran farther than the Philistines ever had reached in the past. In other words, they ran to a place the Philistines had never and would never go to.

* "Saul remained at Gilgal" -Saul started the campaign by doing what he had been told to do. He had not started the battle, but once it came he knew he was to wait at Gilgal. So there he waited in fear. How many times in our life of faith, when surrounded by the enemies of the cross do we wait upon the Lord in fear and anxiety? As for me I am like the disciples who woke Jesus who was sleeping in the front of the boat and said, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" (Mark 4:38)

* "quaking with fear" -Saul summoned quickly and then didn't know what to do to calm his troupes fears. He was not prepared to lead the army as he had let on.

* David wrote in Psalms 3:5-8, "I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people."

>3. When Samuel did not arrive on time, what did Saul do?

* 1 Samuel 13:8-9 "He waited seven days, 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."

* "but Samuel did not come" -The sun was getting close to setting, the end of the Hebrew day. Saul might have rationalized that Samuel was to old to come.

* "Samuel did not come to Gilgal" -Why didn't Saul find out where Samuel was? He had many man who could have been sent to find Samuel? Why didn't he worry for Samuel? Why didn't he pray? why didn't he encourage his troupes? The answer to all these questions is Saul's heart was not right before the Lord; he did not have not seek his relationship with the Lord. The Spirit was awaiting Saul's call, but Saul did not call upon the Lord, and so the Spirit did not come and fill him as he had done so before.

* "Saul offered up the burnt offering" -Saul was not a priest as Samuel was. He was not allowed to offer up these offerings. Saul acted like other nation's leaders.


* "Saul's men began to scatter" -Saul focused on the enemy and his melting army. He did not focus on God. He is like Peter who walked on the water to get to Jesus, but when he looked at the storm began to sink. (Matt. 14:28-30)

* He let fear control him. He did not obey and took an easy way out. Fear comes because of lack of faith. Romans 8:15-17 states, "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

* Saul failed to trust the Lord's love, the same sin of Adam and Eve, the same sin that poisons and killed all.

* When we do a good thing in the wrong way it will be unacceptable to God, such as Saul's sacrifice. Another example is when some preached the gospel to cause trouble for Apostle Paul who was in prison. (Phil. 1;17) We should always be sure that we do things God's ways, not our own ways. Even good things can be unacceptable to God.

* Ritual and/or habitual religion can never replace active faith and trust in God.

* God often uses delays to test us.

>How did Samuel rebuke him?

* 1 Samuel 13:10-13 "Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. "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 Micmash, 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." "You acted foolishly," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time."

* "just as he finished making the offering" -Samuel waited until the last moment, and Saul didn't.

* "Saul went out to great him" -Saul acted as if everything was going well. He seems to have no understanding of the evil he had just done. Some even suggest that he went out to greet him as a fellow priest.

* "What have you done" -Like the Lord, Samuel asked an obvious question for Saul would have had blood on his hands and the smell of the burnt offering on him. so why ask the obvious? To see how he would answer. If Saul admitted his sin and asked for forgiveness, then he would be forgiven. He would still suffer the consequences though. For examples like Saul see Adam's answer to, "Where are you?" (Gen. 3:9) and Cain's answer to, "Where is your brother Abel?" (Gen. 4:9) Then compare it to David when confronted with his sins with Uriah and Uriah's wife. (2 Sam. 12) Another comparison is between Judas and Peter when Jesus was on trial. (Matt. 27:5, Mark 14:72)

* "Saul replied" -Saul's reply was filled with excuses and blame. He showed no repentance, a common reation for Saul. Saul acted as though he did nothing wrong and was an innocent victim of uncontrollable circumstances. He sounds like a little boy who stole his families cookies.

* "I have not sought the Lord's favor" -Saul saw the sacrifice as his only way to seek the Lord's favor. His understanding of God had not improved since he was searching for his father's donkey. As the anointed one who is to lead Israel, Saul should have listened to Samuel's instruction about obeying the Lord and began deep Bible study. Instead, he went back to farming and then created a standing army of three thousand.

* "So I felt compelled" -Samuel had told him that before the former battle, "Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you." (10:7) Samuel made it clear that at that time God would guide him. Now Saul is saying, "God compelled me to offer the sacrifice." Saul had mistook fear for the leading of God.

* "You acted foolishly" -Psalms 14 defines the fool. (Psalms 53 is almost the same.) "The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Will evildoers never learn-- those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the Lord? There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!"

>What did this impatient act cost Saul?

* 1 Samuel 13:14 "But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command."

* "your kingdom will not endure" -Israel's kingdom will endure for the Lord was still their king even though they rejected the Lord's leadership and the kingdom of God is based on faith, not on human parentage. Yet, Saul's family will not be leaders after his death.

* "the Lord has sought out" -Past tense. The Lord already looked for Saul's replacement.

* "and appointed him" -Past tense. David was already chosen by the Lord.

* "you have not kept the Lord's command" -Israel's kings' limit in leading God's people was to obey the Lord. Leading God's people today is no difference.

>Why was this such a serious matter? (15a)

* 1 Samuel 13:15a "Then Samuel left Gilgal and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin"

* "Samuel left Gilgal" -Samuel did not give an offering for he could not bless Saul and the army for the battle to come.

* "Gibeah in Benjamin" -This was Saul's home, and an apparent place where a group of prophets lives. (10:10, 26) This is also the location that Jonathan had camped. (2)

* Saul disobeyed instructions given to him by the prophet and then acted as only the priests where allowed. Saul had not fear of the Lord. He lived by his feeling (compelled), not by the Spirit. King Uzziah was like Saul. (2 Chron. 26:11-23)

* Saul was attempting to approach God, but on his own terms, not on God's terms. Today there are many people just like saw. They are trying to enter the kingdom of God without going through Jesus, the gate. John 10:7-10 states, "Therefore Jesus said again, ,I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'"

* Saul shows no sign of remorse or regret. He has no repentance. He does not call after Samuel, he does not apologize. He does not ask Samuel what he should do. He keeps chugging along the tracks to ruin confident he has done the right thing. He is a sign of self righteousness.

>What kind of leader was God seeking?

* "a man after his own heart" -The only requirement was for the candidate to love the Lord, seeking him as a bride loves a bridegroom. Such a person trusts and obeys.

* "Whenever David committed sin and was charged with it, he humbly confessed his guilt, repented, and asked for forgiveness. But when Saul committed sin and was charged with it, he excused himself and stubbornly refused to give it up. Also when God's will and god's plan about a thing were revealed to David (the temple), he would not interfere; but Saul paid no attention to God's revealed will and did everything in his power to promote his own plans. Because of this attitude, David was described as a man after God's own heart. Not that he was faultless but, as explained in Acts 13:22, he was willing to do God's will." (Irving L. Jensen, A Self-Study Guide)

* For a comparison of David and Saul read Prov. 10:8, 10, 14, 18, 23; 12:15-16; 13:16; 14:16; 15:2, 5, 14 and many more Proverbs.

* Just because we accept God's call and sacrifice does not make us right with God. We need to enter through Jesus and follow through with faith to the end. 1 Timothy 1:18-20 states, "Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme."

II. Jonathan, a Warrior of Faith (13:15b-14:14)

>4. How did the situation of Saul's army deteriorate? (13:2, 15b, 19-22)

* 1 Samuel 13:2 "Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Micmash 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."

* 1 Samuel 13:15b "Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred."

* 1 Samuel 13:19-22 "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!" So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened. The price was two thirds of a shekel for sharpening plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for pointing goads. 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."

* "Saul counted the men who were with him" -Again, Saul is trusting in his own power rather than the Lord's hand. Saul is acting like kings of other nations. "Israel's kings were to be different. In Israel the Lord is king, and obedience to him must be paramount. It follows that any sign of a desire for independence of action becomes a disqualification: it is the equivalent of rebellion against the Lord. (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

* "they numbered six hundred" -Out of all Israel Saul chose three thousand and sent the rest home. when the problem with the Philistines started he called all Hebrews to help him. He trusted in a big army. Now his big army was down to six hundred.

* "not a blacksmith could be found" -Blacksmiths worked with metals. Metals were used from farming equipment to swords, spear tips, shields, knifes, axes, etc. This left Israel to fight with rocks, slingshot, clubs, and sticks.

* "two thirds of a shekel" -This was way overpriced considering Saul's servant was going to pay Samuel a quarter of a shekel of silver to "see" for them, finding their lost donkeys. (9:8)

* "iron" -Iron in arms came into play around 1,200 B.C. Iron made bronze useless for protection. Iron was the latest and greatest weapon.

* "not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand" -The people of the world are equipped with all kinds of expensive tools to implement their selfish plans. God's people never have as much if they have any tools at all. Why? So that all will know that God exists, he does the work, and he doesn't need fancy tools and money to win the spiritual battle. God uses the simple and ordinary things of the world to shame the wise and the well funded. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 states, "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." This is true with me too. I am a wood sword in the hand of the master swordsman, Jesus. I am being used against the automatic machine gun of the rich and influential.

>What was Saul doing?

* 1 Samuel 13:16-18 "Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Micmash. Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboim facing the desert."

* 1 Samuel 14:2-3 "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."

* "Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments" -The Philistines were engaging in gorilla warfare tactics. They meant to hunt, flush out, and kill the Israelites hiding in rocks.

* "Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual" -Ophrah meaning "fawn" is a City in Benjamin (Josh. 18:23), likely north of Micmash (Michmash) and another in Manasseh. The Ophrah here is perhaps identical with Ephron (2 Chron. 13:19) and Ephraim (2 Sam. 13:23; John 11:54). Jerome located Ophrah five Roman miles east of Bethel. This site is likely et-Taiyibeh five miles north of Michmash and four miles north-east of Bethel. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Beth Horon" -Twin cities, one higher than the other, and so called Upper and Lower Beth Horon. An important road here dominates the path to the Shephelah, the plain between the Judean hills and the Mediterranean coast. The border between the tribes of Ephraim and Benjamin was at Beth-Horon (Josh. 16:3,5; 18:13-14). The city belonged to Ephraim but was set aside for the Levites (Josh. 21:22). (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "Valley of Zeboim facing the desert" -Zeboim means “hyenas” or “a wild place.” A valley in Benjamin between Michmash and the wilderness overlooking the Jordan River. It may be wadi el-Oelt or wadi Fara. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "staying on the outskirts of Gibeah... in Migron" -Gibeah means “a hill,” closely related to names of Geba and Gibeon. Gibeah or Gibeath was the name of four different places in the Old Testament. One was where the ark was lodged "on a hill" (Hebrew, Gibeah) during the period between its return by the Philistines and David's initial effort to move it to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:4 KJV). The ark's hill was probably near Kiriath-Jearim or Baalah. Another Gibeah, probably this one was the city in the tribal territory of Benjamin (Josh. 18:28). A bloody civil war between Benjamin and the other Israelite tribes broke out when the men of Gibeah raped a traveling Levites concubine (Judges 19:1-21:25). Saul had close family connections to the city (1 Chron. 8:29-33 also connects them with the nearby and similar-sounding Gibeon; see Gibeon) and made it his capital after he became king (1 Sam. 10:5,26; 15:34; 23:19). If the hill of God (1 Sam. 10:5 KJV, NAS, REB) or “Gibeath-Elohim (NRSV) should be translated “Gibeah of God (NIV) and equated with Gibeah of Saul, then the Philistines controlled the city prior to Saul gaining control. Apparently the Philistines built a fortress there which Saul took over, or Saul constructed his own royal complex, since archaeologists have uncovered a fortress from this period. After Saul's death, the city declined. Hosea and Isaiah referred to it during the eighth century B.C. (Isa. 10:29; Hos. 5:8; 9:9; 10:9).Holman Bible Dictionary.(Holman Bible Dictionary)

The High Priest wearing an ephod.

>Besides the army who was with him and why?

* "Ahijah... the son of Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh" -Eli was the past high priest. His sons did evil in they eyes of the Lord and he was able to change them. The Lord pronounced judgement against him and his family twice. (2:12-36; 3:11-18) The judgement was carried out when the ark fell into Philistine hands. (4:18-22) Samuel became the new high priest. Though of Levi, Ahijah was not the high priest, yet he still technically was a priest by God.

* "who was wearing an ephod" -Priest's wore linen ephods. (2:18, See study 2.) A very special ephod with a special breastplate was worn by the high priest. It was used to determine the will of God. Eli's family retained this ephod. Samuel didn't seem to use it and still knew the will of God, for God spoke to him directly and as he studied the Bible. (3:21) The ephod in the sketch to the right is yellow.

* Saul was rejected by God because he offered up the sacrifice. He called for a priest since Samuel left, not because he saw the error of his ways and wanted to repent. Ahjiah might have been with Saul all along and seeing how Samuel rebuked Saul, Ahjiah took the opportunity to get a place of importance in Saul's cabinet. However it happened, Saul is like many who though rejected by God keep up an image of religion rather then repent and ask for forgiveness. There are always false prophets, teacher, and spiritual leaders ready to snatch up an opportunity when they see it and give sweet words of encouragement that kill in the end.

* "No one was aware that Jonathan had left" -Jonathan, perhaps frustrated that his father was doing nothing, took actions into his own hands. A man of God sometimes has to act in secret, especially when ungodly men are over them.

>5. In the meantime, what did Jonathan decide to do? (13:23-14:1)

* 1 Samuel 13:23-14:1 "Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the pass at Micmash. One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, "Come, let's go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side." But he did not tell his father."

* "the pass at Micmash" -Jonathan went right up to the Philistine main camp.

* "the young man bearing his armor" -One man could not carry all the weapons needed in battle. So young men were given the job of carrying weapons.

* "Come, let's go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side" -Jonathan trusted the young arm bearer.

* "he did not tell his father" -Jonathan did not trust his father. He knew that his father's pride was growing. Such pride would tell his son, "No," because it was not his idea. When an unrepentant proud leader is over us, rebuked by God, then we should not confide in him.

* Saul, Jonathan's father, had claimed his son's previous actions as his own. Jonathan, though a young man, did not let his father's actions depress him, or stop him from further actions of faith in the Lord God.

* The Lord had told Samuel that he had heard the cries of Israel and would save them from the hands of the Philistines. (9:16) Samuel told Saul and Saul must have told others. Jonathan his son surely heard this and accepted it by faith.

>What did he believe about God?

* 1 Samuel 14:4-6 "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 Micmash, 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 fellows. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few."

* "Bozez... Seneh" -Bozez means "shinny" because the sun was on it. Seneh means "thorny" in the terms of black-berry covered. Great climbing skills were needed to be undetected. The Philistines believed that no one in their right mind would come at them in this direction. Jonathan was not only in his right mind, but also the mind of God. No wonder the Philistines were so surprised.

* "uncircumcised fellows" -A term meaning "not under the covenant of God made to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (Gen. 17:1-8)

* "Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf" -When we act in faith we do not know what God will do. If we knew for sure, then we would not be acting in faith. Faith is trusting in the outcome will be blessed by God, and no matter what the outcome it is God's will. Abraham offered his son with such faith. Hebrews 11:17-19 states, "By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death."

* "Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving -Jonathan expressed faith in action and words.

* "whether by many or by few" -He believed whether one man or many, the Lord fights for his people. He had active faith and so had no fear of men.

* Romans 8:31-39 "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

>What did his arm bearer say?

* 1 Samuel 14:7 "Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."

* If those over us expresses and acts in faith in the Lord Jesus and they ask us to join them in an endeavor for the advance of the gospel that seem a suicide mission, we should support them in any way they ask. If we do not support them and they are acting in God's will, Jesus will find someone else to take our place and we will lose the eternal reward that was set prepared for us. (1 Cor. 3:15)

>What was his power source? (8-11)

* 1 Samuel 14:8-11 Jonathan said, "Come, then; we will cross over toward the men 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. 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." 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."

* "our sign that the Lord had" -Jonathan did not know if the Lord would bless his actions, so he made a test to see if God was with them. As we act in faith we should always be open to the fact that we may not be in God's will. If we are not, then we need to change strategy.

* "the Lord has given them into our hands" -Jonathan knew that God was his source of power, of victory. He expressed his faith in God.

* "The Hebrews are crawling" -Such hate is expressed for the people of God to this very day. Hate should not keep us from acting in faith in God.

>How did he glorify God's name?

* 1 Samuel 14:12-14 "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." 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. In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre."

* "teach you a lesson" -Threats did not stop Jonathan.

* "the Lord has" -Always give God the benefit of the honor for it is he that works through us.

* "fell before Jonathan" -God gave him the skills needed to stick them down.

* "his armor-bearer followed" -Men of faith sometimes needs people to finish the job started.

* "twenty" Twenty to one odds turned into twenty victories of faith.

* "about half an acre" -An acre is a piece of land that yoked oxen can plow in a day.

* A few small steps of faith will go a long way if the Lord is with us.

III. The Lord Rescues Israel (14:15-52)

>6. What did God do for Israel? (15)

* 1 Samuel 14:15 "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."

* "panic struck the whole army" -The whole Philistine army, spread out all over the area could not have known the skirmish in one small area. Even if they did, it would not cause panic; it might even cause anger. This panic was clearly God's hand. God controls the hearts of men.

* "and the ground shook" -Another sign that God was fighting for his people. God had rejected Saul, but not his people. Men of faith like that of Jonathan and his armor-bearer still had faith, though they were few, they were enough for God to act.

* Sometimes we can look around and see corruption and a lack of faith and obedience to Jesus. We should instead look to ourselves. Do we have faith? Do we act in faith? Do we live by faith? What is our faith in; Jesus or ourselves and others?

>When Saul learned the Philistines were melting away what did Saul do? (16)

* 1 Samuel 14:16-17 "Saul's lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions. 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."

* "the army melting away in all directions" -God's work was more than enough to win the battle.

* "Muster the forces" -Saul decided to take a head count, a foolish and pointless act. He should have inquired of God right away.

* Saul had arranged the army according to Samuel's words in groups. (8:12) So finding out who was missing would have been relatively easy.


* Saul was a busy body, not knowing what to do and yet doing something.

* Saul didn't have control over the battle. He didn't have a battle plan. He didn't have control over the army. He didn't even have control over his son. He just went with the flow, doing foolish things. Samuel was right, Saul acted like a fool, one who has not faith in God and so did not seek his heart and plan.

* Just because were doing something in our God given mission doesn't mean we are doing something worthwhile.

>Why did Saul tell the priest, "Withdraw your hand"?

* 1 Samuel 14:18-19 "Saul said to Ahijah, "Bring the ark of God." (At that time it was with the Israelites.) 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."

* "bring the ark of God" -What Saul wanted to do with the ark of God is unclear. Since the ark was not nearby it would take time and planning. Surely he did not want to make the mistake that was made in Eli's time. Some have incorrectly suggested he meant to bring the ephod, the Urim and Thummim, two plates or flat stones carried by the high priest mentioned above. (It gave only yes or no answers.)

* "While Saul was talking" -Why couldn't Saul see the hand of God? For the same reason he disobeyed. He did not have faith. So all he does is now foolishness.

* "Withdraw your hand" -The high priest was indeed using the ephod to inquire the Lord's will. Jonathan already knew the Lord's will because he was living by faith. Samuel knew the Lord's will because he obeyed. Saul did neither. Rather, Saul saw the opportunity growing in the Philistine camp and decided that using the ephod was taking to much time. So he told the priest to hurry or even possibly to stop. (It is believed that the priest prayed (asking a question) then withdrew his hand to see if the Lord's answer was yes or no.) Saul clearly has fallen from grace; unable to determine God's will, then rejecting it when he knew it, and seeing God as a hindrance to his success. He was chosen by God and now made himself disqualified. Just because God called us to a mission doesn't mean we will be always useful in that calling. We need to live by faith to the end. At the end of this life Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith." (2 Tim. 4:7) We are saved by grace through faith, we are also rewarded when he act in faith, hope, and love. (1 Cor. 13:13)

>How did the battle continue? (20-22)

* 1 Samuel 14:20-22 "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. 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. 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."

* "the Philistines in confusion" -Some have stated that the Philistines had pressed into service, hired, or perhaps feely acting non-Israelite Hebrews (descendants of Eber) were brought into their camp. They were now striking against the Philistines who had called them humiliating names, associating them with the Israelites.

* The hiding Israelites were the last to join the battle.

>7. What poor direction did Saul give? (24-30)

* 1 Samuel 14:24-30 "Now the men of Israel were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, "Cursed be any man who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!" So none of the troops tasted food. The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. 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. 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. Then one of the soldiers told him, "Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, 'Cursed be any man who eats food today!' That is why the men are faint." Jonathan said, "My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey. 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?"

* "who eats food" -Saul had ordered a fast in the hopes of seeking God favor yet another way.

* "before I have avenged myself on my enemies" -Saul's pride is full blown now. He had done nothing in the battle and yet was claiming he did it all.

* "cursed be the man" -Saul's curse meant nothing for even though he was the anointed king. Saul would be cursed, not Jonathan.

* Saul ignored the most important need for a battle, trusting God and following his instructions. Now he ignored the second most important thing in a battle, the soldiers need to eat. Napoleon once said, "An army travels on its stomach." Worse of all, God had provided the honey and Saul kept God's people from the benefit of it.

* Saul didn't want the men to stop the pursuit and in doing so he led the risk of a change in the battle, for if the Philistines noticed that the men became exhausted they could have eaten and then turned against Israel.

* Jonathan had active faith and so had God's wisdom.

* What must it have been like to be the son of Saul? To many young men have had father's like Saul. Each man must make a decision to follow God. If God put us in a family that do not believe and yet say they do, we must still live by faith and do what is right. Jonathan never lost his faith in God and recognized and supported God's will even though his father didn't.

>What pattern do you see in his leadership style?

* No faith in God. No trust in God. No study of God's word. No prayer. No need for God.

* Indecision or poor decision.

* Impulse actions.

* No understanding of military affairs.

* No heart for his men's needs.

>How is God's word being fulfilled?

* 1 Samuel 8:11-18 "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day."

* 1 Samuel 13:13-14 "You acted foolishly," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command."

>8. How did Saul try to show that he was a man after God's heart? (14:31-35)

* 1 Samuel 14:31-35 "That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon, they were exhausted. They pounced on the plunder and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood. Then someone said to Saul, "Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has blood in it." "You have broken faith," he said. "Roll a large stone over here at once." Then he said, "Go out among the men and tell them, 'Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep, and slaughter them here and eat them. Do not sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood still in it.'" So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there. Then Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first time he had done this."

* "Micmash to Aijalon" -Around twenty miles (30km).

* "eating meat that has blood in it" -The oldest and most enduring command in Israel. Noah (Gen. 9:4), Moses (Lev. 7:26-27), and the apostles (Acts 15:27-29) forbid it. The army was so hungry they didn't take the time to start a fire and cook it.

* "you have broken faith" -Do you know what it is like to have a man who has himself broken faith to state you are doing this? Romans 2:1 states, "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." Look in the mirror and you will see one who is unqualified to pass judgement.

* "Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first time" -Someone who was not a priest and to build an altar seems unusual for this time in Israel's history. Yet, it was apparently not forbidden yet. However, if Saul offered the sacrifice it would have been wrong, especially since a Levite was with him.

>What did Saul do when he discovered what Jonathan did?

* 1 Samuel 14:36-48 "Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive." "Do whatever seems best to you," they replied. But the priest said, "Let us inquire of God here." So Saul asked God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel's hand?" But God did not answer him that day. Saul therefore said, "Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed today. As surely as the Lord who rescues Israel lives, even if it lies with my son Jonathan, he must die." But not one of the men said a word. Saul then said to all the Israelites, "You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here." "Do what seems best to you," the men replied. Then Saul prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, "Give me the right answer." And Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared. Saul said, "Cast the lot between me and Jonathan my son." And Jonathan was taken. Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done." So Jonathan told him, "I merely tasted a little honey with the end of my staff. And now must I die?" Saul said, "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan." But the men said to Saul, "Should Jonathan die--he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the Lord lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God's help." So the men rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death. Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land. After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them. He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them."

* Saul did nothing when he learned his son was guilty of breaking his word. How could he since all knew it was Jonathan whose faith lead them to victory. He was willing to kill another man's son, but not his own. Saul gives another example of poor leadership, privilege and immunity given to family. Add to that, he did not admit that he had made a foolish decision. I have been guilty of this to many times myself. Forgive my hard heart Lord.

>What does verses 49-52 further reveal about his leadership style?

* 1 Samuel 14:49-52 "Saul's sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal. His wife's name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul's army was Abner son of Ner, and Ner was Saul's uncle. Saul's father Kish and Abner's father Ner were sons of Abiel. All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service."

* "Ner was Saul's uncle" -Saul gave family preference. He did not appoint by examples of faith in God and ability.

* "bitter war with the Philistines" -Saul did not find rest for victory was not his to be given. A faithless man will not find rest.

* "he took him into his service" -Outward appearance was important to Saul, not inward. Men often look at the outside to judge. God does not as David's life will show.

>9. How did God help Israel? (23)

* 1 Samuel 14:23 "So the Lord rescued Israel that day, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven."

* In spite of Saul and Israel's lack of faith, God rescued them.

>Who acknowledged the Lord's hand in the victory?

* Nowhere does it say that Saul gave God the honor. Neither did Abijah.


Click the house to go to the Bible Study HOME Page