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Israel's Desire for a King (1 Samuel 11,12)

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CHAPTER 11 Jun. 30 
Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh
Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, Make a treaty with us and we will serve you. 2Nahash the Ammonite said to them, On this condition I will make it with you, that each of you has his right eye put out, bringing disgrace on all Israel. 3The elders of Jabesh said to him, Give us seven days so that we can send messengers to all the borders of Israel, and then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you. 4Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these words to the people, and they all wept aloud. 5Just then Saul came, following the oxen out of the field, and he said, What is wrong with the people that they weep? They told him what the men of Jabesh had said. 6The Spirit of God came mightily on Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7He took a yoke of oxen, cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, Whoever doesn’t come forth after Saul and after Samuel, this is what shall be done to his oxen. The dread of Yahweh fell on the people, and they came out as one man. 8Saul numbered them in Bezek and there were three hundred thousand men of Israel and thirty thousand of Judah. 9They said to the messengers who came, Thus you shall tell the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance’. The messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. 10Therefore the men of Jabesh said to the Ammonites, Tomorrow we will come out to you and you can do to us what seems good to you. 11The next day Saul put the people into three companies, and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and slaughtered the Ammonites until the heat of the day. Those who remained were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

Saul’s Kingship Confirmed
12The people said to Samuel, Who was it who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’. Bring those men out so that we can put them to death! 13But Saul said, No-one is to be put to death today, for today Yahweh has worked deliverance in Israel. 14Then Samuel said to the people, Come, let us go to Gilgal and reaffirm the kingship there. 15All the people went to Gilgal and there they made Saul king before Yahweh in Gilgal, and there they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Yahweh, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.


11:5 The call of God comes to us right in the midst of ordinary, mundane life. Gideon was called whilst in the middle of threshing wheat in a time of famine (Jud. 6:1), Saul whilst he was out looking for lost cattle (1 Sam. 9:10) and again whilst he was coming home from work one evening (1 Sam. 11:5); David whilst he was looking after the sheep; Samuel whilst he was asleep; Amos whilst he was leading the flocks to water (Am. 7:14); and see too 1 Kings 11:29; 19:16; 2 Kings 9:1-13,18. Christ likewise called men, arresting them with His radical call in the very midst of daily life, at the most utterly inconvenient moment, even the most humanly inappropriate moment- such as being on the way to your father’s funeral, or in the very act of casting a net into the sea. 
11:11 Saul attacked in three groups because he was trying to imitate Gideon, whom he had as his spiritual hero: 1 Sam.11:11 = Jud.7:16; 13:2 = Jud. 7:8; 13:5 = Jud.7:12; 13:6 = Gideon offering before fighting Midian; 14:5,20 = Jud.7:22; 14:24 = imitating Gideon and his men going without food; 14:28,31 = Jud.8:4,5; 11:7 = Gideon killing his father's oxen. But merely replicating the outward actions of a faithful person doesn’t of itself mean we are spiritually minded nor finally acceptable to God.