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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 11

Verses 1-15

Now in the study last we came to the place where Saul was anointed king over Israel. We remember at the time of his anointing that he was hiding in the stuff. So as Samuel got ready to present, you know, the trumpet fanfare and all, "And now you're king," and the curtains opened kind of a thing, there's nobody there.

So Samuel said, "Lord what's going on? We got the right man? Is this the right day?"

The Lord said, "He's over hiding in the stuff." So they went over and got him, and brought Saul before the people, and all the people joined together in a cry, "God save the king." But there were some men who were objecting to Saul's reign, the children of Belial.

Now the children of Belial are usually the evil men, Belial being a term for Satan, the children of the Devil. They were saying that, "Shall Saul rule over us?" They were creating a little undercurrent against Saul's reign. Now Saul returned to his home and just went back to his work of farming.

When the king of the Ammonites came against the Israeli settlement of Jabeshgilead. So he demanded that they surrender, or when he came against them they volunteered some kind of a tribute. What must we do to be your servants? He said, Let all of the men pluck out their right eyes, and put them in a basket to be a reproach against all Israel. Then we'll be your servants. They said, Well give us seven days to think about that: So they sent to Saul and they told him the demands that this fellow was making, the king of the Ammonites was making against them. So Saul took the oxen that he was plowing with; and he cut them up into pieces, and sent them throughout Israel, and said, And so shall the man's oxen be cut up who doesn't come and follow me in battle. [In other words, it was a call to battle, "If you don't come, when we get back we're gonna cut your oxen all up."] So the men of Israel gathered together with Saul some three hundred thousand, plus another thirty thousand from the tribe of Judah. So they came down and they sent a message back to the men of Jabeshgilead, and said, Don't worry help is on the way. So the seventh day the men of Jabeshgilead sent a message out to the king of the Ammonites, and said, We're gonna fight instead of pluck out our right eyes. About this time Saul's first contingent arrives and he began to smite them, then the second contingent moved in, and the third contingent and they utterly wiped out all of this invading force that had come against them, they were thoroughly defeated until there weren't two men left together ( 1 Samuel 11:1-11 ).

Just really decimated the troops. And God gave unto Saul a great victory. It really was the thing that sort of catapulted him into the real position of king. This is what the people were looking for, a man who would go out and lead their armies into battle against their enemies and all. So when this great victory was given to Saul over their enemies, then

The people said, Where are those guys that said, Who is Saul that he should reign? bring them out, and we're gonna wipe them out. And Saul said, [Wait a minute no, no, no let's not have any recriminations] God has wrought salvation for Israel today. [And let's rejoice in the victory of God, and let's not have any recriminations] ( 1 Samuel 11:12-13 ).

Now this is Saul at the beginning of his reign, and at the beginning of his reign he does show many marvelous characteristics. Among those, that of humility. In reality when Samuel first met Saul and said, "Behold the man upon whom is all the eyes upon or, the desire of Israel."

Saul said, "Hey, you can't mean me. I'm from the tribe of Benjamin one of the little tribes. My dad's family is nothing. You surely can't mean me." There was a real humility manifested in this fellow Saul.

When Samuel laid out the fact that he was to be the king and all, when he got home and his uncle said, "What took you so long?"

He said, "Oh man we really got lost."

He said, "We finally ended up with Samuel."

And he said, "Oh, what did Samuel tell you?"

He said, "He told us that the donkeys had come home."

But he didn't bother, you know, he didn't say to his uncle, "He told me I was gonna be king" and this kind of stuff. I mean there was none of that. There seemed to be a true humility.

It is tragic that as the story progresses of the life of Saul, one of the bad characteristics of his later life is the lack of humility. This spiritual pride, this more than, just plain pride that took over in his life. Starting out a very humble man, but as time progressed he became a very proud man. But in this particular case here, the men were ready to go out and wipe out these guys who had spoken against him. He said, "Oh no. God has wrought salvation in Israel and thus there'll be no recrimination." So here is still right at the beginning, signs of real good qualities of humility.

So all of the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul the king before the Lord; and they sacrificed the sacrifices of peace offerings; and Saul and the men of Israel rejoiced greatly ( 1 Samuel 11:15 ).

So there was a reconfirmation. But this was really, "Hey, this is the fellow. This is the man." And now the general acknowledgment of Saul as king.


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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 11". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.