I Samuel 11

Unless the Christian has forsaken his covenant with God,
there is no occasion for his courting a covenant with the world by compromise.
Through our King,
we may have the victory.

1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh-gilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.

2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel.

3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee.

4 ¶ Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.

5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh.

6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.

7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.

8 And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

9 And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.

10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you.

11 And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.

12 ¶ And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.

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.

14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.

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.

1 Samuel 11:1-15 – The New King’s Good Beginning

   A hundred years before, the Ammonites had been defeated by Jephthah; now they were beleaguering Jabesh-gilead. Help seemed impossible. But when the Spirit of God comes upon a man, what cannot that man do! That was Saul’s blessed experience. He aroused the country, after the manner of the Scottish chieftains with their fiery cross; then he sent a message of hope to the agonized city; and finally, as morning broke over the quiet pasture-lands, with his army of deliverance he burst upon the Ammonite camp.
   Was there not a connection between Saul’s previous self-control and his present victory? And must not that connection always be realized? Each of us must fight our fight against heredity, environment and habit; against self within and Satan without. The measure of our success will be the measure of our ability to help others. The mountain of temptation in the life of our Lord was followed in due course by His freeing the bodies and souls of men. In the hour of victory, Saul was borne to the throne. His success was the stairway to his coronation. We remember that when our Lord had destroyed and broken our foes, He took His seat, amid the acclaim of heaven, at the right hand of power.

I Samuel 11:14—Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the Kingdom there.

   It is good to have days and occasions for renewing the kingdom. Already Saul had been anointed king. It was a recognized matter that he should inaugurate the days of the kings, as distinguished from those of the judges. But his great victory at Jabesh Gilead seems to have wrought the enthusiasm of the people to the highest pitch, and to have presented a great opportunity for renewing the kingdom. They went to Gilgal to do this, because there, on the first entrance into Canaan, Israel had rolled away the reproach of un-circumcision, which symbolized their lack of separation.
   Jesus is our King. The Father hath anointed Him, and set Him on his holy hill; and we have gladly assented to the appointment, and made Him King. But sometimes our sense of loyalty and devotion wanes. Insensibly we drift from our strenuous endeavor to act always as his devoted subjects. Therefore we need, from time to time, to renew the kingdom, and reverently make Him King before the Lord.
   Go over the old solemn form of dedication; turn to the yellow leaves of the diary; bring under his scepter any new provinces of influence that have been acquired; tell Him how glad and thankful you are to live only for Him. Let this be done at Gilgal, the place of circumcision and separation, with the Jordan of death flowing behind, and the Land of Promise beckoning in front. There is a sense in which we can consecrate ourselves only once; but we can renew our vows often.

       “Blessings abound where’er He reigns; 
       The prisoner leaps to burst his chains; 
       The weary find eternal rest, 
       And all the sons of want are blest”