March 22, 2016: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for 1 Samuel 11-15
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Commentary: Chapter 11 parallels Judge 19-21. How? Following his victory, Saul was reaffirmed as king and Samuel gives a farewell speech, although prophets would continue to speak for the Lord. The Israelites finally realized the error of their request for a king, but Samuel reassures them that if they continue to seek the Lord, they will be fine, however if they should turn away, having a king would not help them. In chapter 13, Saul displeases the Lord by offering the sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel. As punishment, Saul's descendants were not going to inherit his throne, rather a new line of kings would be chosen. In the war against the Philistines, the Philistines had the advantage of numbers and weapons. Only Saul and his son Jonathan had swords. In chapter 14, we see what kind of king Jonathan could have been, if not for his father's mistakes. Additionally, we see that Saul has fallen farther from God. Accompanying the army is a priest from the house of Eli, whom the Lord is no longer with. Later during the war, Saul is shown as indecisive and failing to seek God's direction. Saul is rejected as king when he fails to do as the Lord instructs. Obedience is worth more to the Lord than any sacrifice. Saul's confession in verse 24 is a self-serving confession. He is not sincere, which is evident in verse 30. Saul no longer considers the Lord "his" God and is more concerned with what the people think than God. At the end of the chapter, everyone is grieved, except Saul.
Focus Verses: 15:24-31 How can you tell that Saul is not sincere in his confession? Have you ever given a similar confession (insincere)? Is there something about which you need to humble yourself before the Lord?