I Samuel 11:1-15

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Text: I Samuel 11



The Bible teaches in many passages that we should bring our cares and concerns to the Lord in prayer.

Psalms 81:10 - I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Jeremiah 33:3 - Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I Peter 5:6-7 - (6) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (7) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Philippians 4:6-7 - (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 - But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.


I Samuel 11:1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against [i.e. besieged] Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant [i.e. a treaty or agreement] with us, and we will serve thee [i.e. serve you as your subjects].

The Ammonites were descendants of Lot.

The Ammonites and Jabeshgilead were located east of the Jordan River. Jabeshgilead was east of the Jordan and about 25 miles south of the Sea of Galilee.

I Samuel 11:2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant [i.e. a treaty or agreement] with you, that I may thrust out [i.e. put out or gouge out] all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach [i.e. thus I will make it a disgrace or I will make it a cause of shame] upon all Israel.

Take note of the cruelty here. It was common. They had wanted to be like all the nations; so God gave them a taste of what it would be like. The idea behind this would seem to be that because the shield was held in the left hand, the shield would have a tendency to obscure the vision of the left eye. This means that if a man were blinded in his right eye, it would make it very difficult for him to be a warrior from then on. Thus, the men of Jabesh-Gilead would never again be able to make war.

Now, if you found yourself in this situation, what would you do; or what should you do?

1. The first thing you should do is pray for wisdom.

James 1:2-8 - 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

2. The second thing you should do is consider your options, while desiring God's will in the matter.

3. Select the best option and go with it, allowing the Lord to alter your plan as needed in His will.

Let's assume they got together and prayed. Let's also assume they discussed the matter among themselves, and let's assume that they decided to buy a little time to allow God to intervene. So they made a proposal.

I Samuel 11:3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days' respite [i.e. Give us seven days or hold off for seven days], that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel [i.e. to all the territory of Israel or throughout all the territory of Israel]: and then, if there be no man to save us [i.e. deliver us or rescue us], we will come out to thee.

Amazingly, their proposal was accepted, but why would Nahash agree to the proposal? Because he was apparently not prepared to take the city by force and did not expect any help to come to the inhabitants of Jabesh.

I Samuel 11:4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings [i.e. words, news] in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.

Why did the people come to Saul? He was the king. The people wanted a king like all the other nations.

I Samuel 8:19-22 - 19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

I Samuel 11:5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings [i.e. words] of the men of Jabesh.

Somewhere along the line we can all expect that Satan is going to attack us in some way. It may be our health or the health of one of your family members. It may be your finances, your employment, your business, your vehicle, your home. It may be a storm or flood, but remember what the Scriptures say.

II Timothy 3:12 - Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

I Peter 5:8-9 - (8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Do you have a problem? Are you seeking the Lord's help?

Do you have a problem with sin in your own life over which you desire victory but have not yet experienced victory?

Do you have a problem with sin in the life of a family member or close acquaintance?

Do you have a problem with somebody?

Do you have a physical problem?

Does one of your loved ones have a physical problem?

Take your problems to the Lord. Remember the words of the song Leave It There,

If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,

And you have to get along with meager fare,

Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird

- Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

If your body suffers pain and your health you can't regain,

And your soul is almost sinking in despair,

Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal

- Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,

Don't forget that God in heaven answers prayer;

He will make a way for you and will lead you safely thru

- Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on,

And your body bends beneath the weight of care,

He will never leave you then, He'll go with you to the end

- Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.


I Samuel 11:6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings [i.e. those words, this news], and his anger was kindled greatly [i.e. he became very angry].

I Samuel 11:7 And he took a yoke of oxen [i.e. two oxen], and hewed [i.e. cut] them in pieces, and sent them [i.e. the pieces of the two oxen] throughout all the coasts [i.e. territory] of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent [i.e. as one man, which means that they were united (or agreed)].

I Samuel 11:8 And when he numbered them in Bezek [Bezek was located 17 miles north of Shechem and 12 miles west of Jabeshgilead], the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

Isn't this a strange way to give the numbers of the soldiers? Why were the men of Judah not included in the number of the children of Israel? The distinction of the number of soldiers from Israel and the number of soldiers from Judah suggests that this portion of I Samuel was written after the division of the kingdom following Solomon's reign.

I Samuel 11:9 And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye [i.e. you messengers] say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye [i.e. you men of Jabeshgilead] shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they [i.e. the men of Jabeshgilead] were glad.

I Samuel 11:10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said [i.e. to the Ammonites], To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you.

I Samuel 11:11 And it was so on the morrow [i.e. in the morning], that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host [i.e. in the midst of the camp] in the morning watch [The last of three night watches in the early morning hours between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Saul employed a surprise tactic.], and slew [i.e. killed] the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained [i.e. those who survived] were scattered, so that two of them were not left together [i.e. no two of them were left together].

The Lord raised up a force to defeat the enemy.

Is the Lord capable of meeting your need in any situation you encounter? Well, of course He is. Remember, however, that God will act in accordance with His will, and we must earnestly desire His will in every situation rather than our own. He knows what He is doing, and His will is always best.


I Samuel 11:12 And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.

Another problem arose because of the victory, but Saul handled it well.

I Samuel 11:13 And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the Lord hath wrought salvation [i.e. accomplished deliverance] in Israel.

Romans 12:19-21 - (19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (20) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. (21) Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Saul gave credit to the Lord for delivering the people in Jabeshgilead.

I Samuel 11:14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew [i.e. reaffirm] the kingdom there.

The ceremonies at Gilgal involved a confirmation of the kingdom in the hands of Saul and an affirmation of commitment to the king.

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

Peace offerings were fellowship offerings. They were an expression of gratitude and desire for fellowship with God.


The next time you have a problem, what are you going to do with it?

Take it to the Lord first. Don't take it somewhere else first. If He leads you to someone else, this is fine; but be sure you take it to Him first, before you go anywhere else.