I. Saul Saves Jabesh Gilead

A. The Amonites Attack Jabesh Gilead            Vs. 1-3

1. V. 1 Saul had not been completely ratified as king, and some didn’t want to follow him.

a. Nahash the Amonite surrounded Jabesh Gilead and prepared to attack them.

b. Jabesh Gilead– In the area of Manasseh, on the eastern side of the Jordan. (Jordan)

c. The men of Jabesh were fearful and unwilling to fight. They want to compromise.

d. We see nothing of them crying out to the Lord. They were quick to give up.

2. V. 2 Putting out their right eyes would disable them as soldiers.

a. The shield would cover the left side, and sometimes obscure vision.

b. The right side would be the side of the sword.

c. A soldier with no right eye would be vulnerable on both sides, making him ineffectual as a soldier. Also, he would lose his depth perception.

d. Nahash wanted to defeat but also humiliate the men of Jabesh Gilead, and to put fear in the hearts of the Israelites. He also wanted to use them as slaves.

3. V. 3 The men of Jabesh Gilead sent the message that they were in danger.

4. Why was Nahash willing to wait? He probably thought that no one would rescue them.

a. Why did he think that no one would help them?

b. Did he suspect that there was disunity in Israel?

c. By allowing messengers to spread the news, Nahash would gain a reputation

d. Judges 20, 21– Men of Jabesh Gilead were unwilling to fight against the Benjamites.

e. The tribe of Manasseh settled on the east side of the Jordan, not in the Promised Land

f. There was not great connection between them and the rest of the tribes in Israel.

B. Saul’s Holy Anger (Righteous Indignation) Vs. 4-7

1. Vs. 4, 5 The men of Jabesh came to Gibeah (Saul’s hometown) and shared the bad news.

a. The people were filled with fear, which is what Nahash wanted.

b. Saul heard the commotion and asked what was going on. The people informed him.

c. V. 5 Where do we find Saul? Working in the field. He had not received any direction from God about how to be king, or how to set up a government, etc.

d. Saul simply went back to life as normal. He wasn’t campaigning for himself as the king who had been anointed by Samuel.

e. NOTE-God is going to provoke Saul to action, not because of his title, but because he had been made into another man. (See 1 Samuel 10:6)

2. V. 6 The Holy Spirit came upon Saul and provoked him to action. Holy, righteous anger.

3. V. 7 Saul sends an extreme warning and challenged to all of Israel: Come and fight!

4. NOTE-God’s Spirit would come upon a man in those days. Not indwelt by the H.S.

a. The Holy Spirit moves God’s people towards acts of service, not entertainment.

b. Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

5. God did want to bring deliverance to His people and protect them.

a. He chose to use Saul, though He knew that Saul would be unfaithful in the future.

b. Saul was inspired and empowered by God’s Spirit, and he responded.

c. NOTE– When God’s spirit came upon Saul, he became angry.

d. The response that Saul had was a holy indignation.

e. Ephesians 4:26, 27 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27nor give place to the devil.

f. Usually, our anger is for selfish reasons. Holy anger is for the sake of God, for His people, and for justice in the world.

6. A holy indignation needs to be acted upon, but…

a. The danger with holy indignation is that we can respond in an unholy manner.

b. If we can respond immediately in the Spirit, then we do well.

c. If we cannot respond in the Spirit, then we need to pray and wait until we can respond in the Spirit.

7. Jesus dealt quickly with the moneychangers in the temple. (John 2:13-17)

a. He was under control. He took time to make a whip. But he took care of it quickly.

b. The best scenario is that we walk in the Spirit, feel appropriate holy indignation, and then respond in a godly manner. Godly emotion needs to bring godly motion.

C. Saul’s Holy Response Vs. 8-13

1. Vs. 8-11 Saul had no previous experience as a soldier.

a. The Spirit of God made Saul a military expert, even though he had no experience.

b. As Saul walked in the Spirit, he was victorious. Holy anger, godly response.

2. Vs. 12 We see the majority of the people excited about Saul’s leadership.

a. Previously, some had rejected Saul. Now others wanted those people killed.

b. 1 Samuel 10:27 But some rebels said, “How can this man save us?” So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

3. V. 13 Here we see a moment of godly leadership in Saul’s life.

a. The people responded in an ungodly manner, but Saul had the mind of God.

b. The people seem to want to give the credit to Saul.

c. Saul deflects any credit away from himself and gives the glory to the Lord.

d. Here, Saul is willing to show mercy to obvious opponents.

e. NOTE-Nahash (his name means serpent) tried to attack God’s people directly.

f. Satan attacks Christians directly, and then tries to get us to compromise.

g. If he cannot defeat us directly or through compromise, he will try to get us to attack each other, such as these men wanted to do.

4. Vs. 14, 15 Saul rallied the people to unity, and the people ratified him as king.

a. Godly leaders inspire and unify other godly people,

b. As the Spirit of God descended upon Saul, and Saul was moved with holy indignation, he responded in a way that moved the people to action.

c. The action was victorious, and the people could sense the hand of God upon Saul.

d. Saul won both an outward victory, and an inward victory.

e. He won the internal victory over pride and self-exaltation and revenge.

D. Modern Day Applications

1. God had made Saul King (reluctantly), but now the people recognize Saul’s calling.

2. This is how it ought to be in the church, and among all Christians

a. There is no place for self-promotion in the church.

b. God raises people up to serve Him, and then God’s people recognize those callings.

3. The early church needed to choose men to be deacons in the church.

a. Acts 6:3, 4 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

4. Paul wrote to Timothy about how to determine those who would lead in the church.

a. 1 Timothy 3:2, 7 2A bishop then must be blameless… 7Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside…. (A man’s life must be observable)

5. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.