March 30, 2021
1 SAMUEL 11-15
DAY 87: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Today’s journey through 1 Samuel 11-15 tells the struggles the young King Saul faced. Being from the smallest tribe, Benjamin, Saul struggled with pride, being made king over all the tribes of Israel. Saul’s personal insecurity, impetuous nature, and failure to develop a personal relationship with God exposed Saul as a weak personality, poor decision maker, and lacking a mature relationship with God.
Take a few minutes to ask for God’s guidance and understanding as we journey through 1 Samuel 11-15. Read 1 Samuel 11-15. Let the journey begin!
The books of First and Second Samuel were originally one book, that was later split in two due to its length. Before the start of this book, Israel had resided in the Promised Land for some time, and we saw their continued moral decline under the rule of judges. The books of Samuel are books of transition. In these books, the 12 Tribes of Israel are united into one nation under one king. First and Second Samuel are a character driven story, with the three main characters of Samuel, Saul, and David. These men, especially Saul and David, have their own character strengths and weaknesses. We are going to study these as we journey through their lives.
1 Samuel 11-15: Saul unifies Israel and Judah under his leadership by decisively defeating the Ammonites who prepared to destroy Jabesh Gilead. Saul is confirmed as King a second time. Samuel surrenders his position of ruler of Israel to Saul. Samuel reminds the people that they had sinned by rejecting God as their King and choosing Saul to lead them as king. Samuel cautioned them that they and their king needed to be obedient to God if they wanted God’s providence. It was a warning soon forgotten, as Saul offers up burnt offerings to God seeking support against the Philistines in battle. Only a priest could offer a burnt offering to the Lord. Saul was not a priest and earned Samuel’s rebuke. Saul’s heirs would not take his position as king was God’s punishment for Saul offering a burnt offering. As King Saul cowered in fear, bewildered as to what should be done to defeat the Philistines, his son, Jonathan, sought God’s guidance and attacked the Philistines leading to their defeat. Jonathan knew it was not he, nor his father’s forces, that defeated the Philistines; Jonathan knew that God defeated the Philistines. Saul made an oath that no one could eat until the Philistines are defeated. Samuel tells Saul that God has rejected him as King of Israel. Saul’s response is to blame others: his men wouldn’t listen to him, he disobeyed God to get a perfect sacrifice to make to God, eventually claiming that he obeyed God by going on the mission on which God had directed him to go. Saul asked for forgiveness from Samuel. Samuel refused to forgive Saul. (1 Samuel 11:1-15:35)
After reading chapters 11 through 15, consider the following: What strengths and weakness did you observe in the people in today’s reading? Did you see yourself in any of the characters you read about today? How so? What can you learn about your character from today’s reading? Reflect on your own character, is it all pleasing to the Lord?
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