Fired up when God’s people are threatened

1 Samuel Bible Background

Old Testament: 1Sa 11.4–7

To read the Bible in a year, read First Samuel 10–12 on April 12, In the year of our Lord Christ 2020

By Don Ruhl

The Ammonites went to Jabesh Gilead and encamped against it, intending to take it. The inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead said that they would serve the Ammonites if the rest of Israel did not come to their rescue. So Jabesh Gilead sent a message to the tribes of Israel and let’s see what happened:

So the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept. Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, “What troubles the people, that they weep?” And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh. Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused. So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen.” And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.

– 1 Samuel 11.4–7

So began the reign of Saul. He had a zeal for Israel and he would do what it would take to keep the nation safe, even if it was just one little place in the country. However, keep reading the story in the Bible and you will discover that Saul’s zeal for Israel soon became his zeal for himself.

Questions:

  • What came upon Saul?
  • What did Saul threaten to do to the one who did not join the battle?

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