1 Samuel 14
1 Now one day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man that carried his armor, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side. But he did not tell his father. 2 And Saul sat in the farthest part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree that is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men; 3 Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD’s priest in Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. The people did not know that Jonathan was gone. 4 And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. 5 The forefront of the one was situated toward the north opposite Michmash, and the other toward the south opposite Gibeah.
God can save by many or a few
6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armor, Come, and let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few. 7 And his armor bearer said to him, Do all that is in your heart: go down, I am with you according to your heart. 8 Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will cross over to these men, and we will reveal ourselves to them. 9 If they say to us, Wait until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up to them. 10 But if they say this, Come up to us; then we will go up: for the LORD has delivered them into our hand: and this will be a sign to us.
- Jonathan set a sign to know God’s will.
11 And both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hid themselves. 12 The men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armor bearer and said, Come up to us, we will show you something. And Jonathan said to his armor bearer, Come up after me: the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel. 13 So Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet, and his armor bearer after him: and Philistines fell before Jonathan; and his armor bearer killed behind him. 14 That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within half a furrow of half an acre of land which a yoke of oxen might plow. 15 And there was trembling in the army, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison and the plunderers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: it was a trembling of God.
- Our enemies today are worry, fear, disobedience, anger, lust etc.
- Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us? 37 we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
- 1Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly will know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.
16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and behold, the multitude melted away; they went on beating down one another. 17 Then Saul said to the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armorbearer were not there. 18 And Saul said to Ahiah, Bring the ark of God here. For at that time the ark of God was with the children of Israel. 19 And while Saul talked to the priest, the noise that was in the camp of the Philistines grew louder and louder: and Saul said to the priest, Withdraw your hand.
- Saul started to ask God and then stopped.
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
20 And Saul and all the people that were with him shrieked, and came to the battle: and behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great destruction. 21 Moreover the Hebrews that were previously with the Philistines that went up with the Philistines to the camp from the surrounding country, they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise all the men of Israel that had hidden themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle.
The LORD saved Israel
23 So the LORD saved Israel that day: and the battle crossed over to Beth-aven. 24 And the men of Israel were driven hard that day: for Saul had put the people under an oath saying, Cursed is the man that eats any food until evening, that I may be avenged on my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
- Notice Saul’s self-centeredness. These are God’s enemies.
- God is the issue. God is life. David didn’t make it all about himself.
- 1Samuel 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the LORD will deliver you into my hand; and I will strike you down and take your head from you; and today I will give the carcasses of the army of the Philistines to the birds of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
25 And when all those of the land came into the forest there was honey on the ground. 26 When the people came into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father charged the people with the oath: so, he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were lightened. 28 Then one of the people answered and said, Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed is the man that eats any food this day. And the people were faint. 29 Then said Jonathan, My father has troubled the land: see now how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much more (could have been done), if the people had eaten freely today of the plunder that they found of their enemies? Would there not have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
- The honey gave Jonathan mental alertness and physical energy.
31 And they struck the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint. 32 The people flew on the plunder, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and killed them on the ground: and the people ate them with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, You have transgressed: roll a great stone to me this day. 34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say to them, Every man bring here to me his ox, and every man his sheep, and kill them here, and eat; and do not sin against the LORD in eating with the blood. And all the people, every man brought his ox with him that night, and killed them there. 35 And Saul built an altar to the LORD: that was the first altar that he built to the LORD.
- Blood was to be poured out on the ground and covered with earth.
- Blood was the sign of the everlasting covenant.
- The altar was the way to approach God. Only through the promised Savior could sinful man approach his holy God.
- Genesis 9:4 But flesh, with its life, which is its blood, will you not eat.
- 1Peter 1:18 For you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
- John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
36 And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatever seems good to you. Then the priest said, Let us draw near to God here. 37 And Saul asked counsel of God, Am I to go down after the Philistines? Will you deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he did not answer him that day.
- God did not answer Saul. The oath in God’s name had been broken.
- Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
- 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
38 And Saul said, Draw near here, all the chiefs of the people: know and see where this sin has been this day. 39 For, as the LORD lives, who saves Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he will surely die. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, You be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side. And the people said to Saul, Do what seems good to you. 41 Therefore Saul said to the LORD God of Israel, give a perfect lot (show the innocent). And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped. 42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan, my son. And Jonathan was taken. 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what you have done. And Jonathan told him saying, I tasted a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand and behold, I must die. 44 And Saul answered, God do this and more also: for you will surely die, Jonathan. 45 And the people said to Saul, Is Jonathan to die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD lives, not one hair of his head will fall to the ground; for he has worked with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan so that he did not die.
- Saul’s pride and its blindness show here.
- Saul was fervent to the vow he had made even to the point of killing his own son.
- But Jonathan had stepped out trusting God and bought a great victory for the nation.
- Saul followed the letter of the law not the heart of it.
7:24 Do not judge
according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place. 47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the children of Ammon, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: wherever he turned himself, he troubled them. 48 And he gathered an army, and struck the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that plundered them. 49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishui, and Melchi-shua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal: 50 And the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the captain of his army was Abner, the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. 51 Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner, the father of Abner, was the son of Abiel. 52 Now the war against the Philistines was severe all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him into his service.
- A nation that worships the one true God will be a nation at peace.
- Except for times of testing, God will preserve them.
- Nations that put anything else first will see much war.
- God uses war to bring man back to Himself.
- He is life.
- Our biggest false god is ourselves.
- We often put our own opinions and thoughts above what God says.
- This began in the Garden of Eden when man turned from what God had said and followed the lie of evil.
- Judges 5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates…
- Psalm96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.
1 Samuel 15
God sent Saul to destroy Amalek
1 Samuel also said to Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore listen to the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 This is what the LORD of hosts says, I remember what Amalek did to Israel, how he lay in wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have. Do not spare them; kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
- The title ‘LORD of hosts’ means that God rules all the armies of the universe.
- God destroys people when their iniquity is full (Genesis 15:16).
- God saves all who will listen to Him.
- God is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish.
- 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand infantry, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid in wait in the valley. 6 And Saul said to the Kenites, Go, depart, get away from among the Amalekites so that I not destroy you with them: for you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
- Just like Rahab the harlot in Jericho, the Kenites were spared.
- This fulfills God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12.
- Genesis 12:3 I will bless those that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you all families of the earth will be blessed.
7 So Saul struck the Amalekites from Havilah until you come to Shur, opposite Egypt. 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, the best of the sheep, of the oxen, of the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they utterly destroyed. 10 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel saying, 11 I regret that I have set up Saul to be king because he has turned back from following me, and has not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried to the LORD all night.
- This was Saul’s third disobedience to God.
- Joshua 14:8 Nevertheless my brothers that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
- 1Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, and Samuel was told, Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument to himself, and turned and proceeded down to Gilgal. 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said to him, You are blessed of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
14 And Samuel said, What then is the meaning of this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
- This shows us what partial obedience is.
- God gave His best, He gave His all to save us.
16 Then Samuel said to Saul, Stay, and I will tell you what the LORD said to me last night. And he said to him, Speak! 17 And Samuel said, When you were little in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel, the LORD anointed you king over Israel?18 And the LORD sent you on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but flew on the plunder, and did evil in the sight of the LORD?
- God destroys sinners--He is going to wholly consume evil from the world.
- This is the reason movies about aliens are everywhere today.
- The evil forces are recruiting human troops to fight against Christ when he returns to do this!
- Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he will destroy the sinners out of it.
- 1Peter 5:6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
20 And Saul said to Samuel, Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way that the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took from the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things that should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.
God delights in obeying His voice more than offerings
22 And Samuel said, Does the LORD have as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft/divination, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.
- God rejects leaders that do not obey His word.
- Both stubbornness and rebellion look to a source other than god….self or another person refusing to defer to God’s superior knowledge and desired good.
- If we reject His word, we won’t overcome by faith because faith
comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).
- If we do not overcome, we will not sit with Him on His throne.
- God’s children who do not learn His word are not allowing His Holy Spirit to transform them by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2)
- Without God’s truth as a part of our daily lives, our old nature remains unchallenged and unchanged; we do not learn His will or do it.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
24 And Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned: I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and your words because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, I beg you, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. 26 And Samuel said to Saul, I will not return with you: for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his mantle, and it ripped. 28 And Samuel said to him, The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and given it to a neighbor of yours that is better than you.
- Saul always put peoples opinions above God’s opinion.
- Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the LORD will be safe.
29 And also the Glory/perpetual Victory of Israel will not lie or change His mind: for he is not a man, that he should change His mind. 30 Then he said, I have sinned: but please honor me now before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and go back with me, that I may worship the LORD your God. 31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD. 32 Then Samuel said, Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came to him cheerfully for Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 33 And Samuel said, As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women. And Samuel chopped Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.
- Samuel knew the horrors that Agag had done to Israel’s children.
- God always tells us the reason. ‘As your sword has made women childless.’
- He killed children with his sword. . God does not lie or go back on His word.
- Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
35 And Samuel did not see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
- The Hebrew word nacham means to sigh, breathe strongly, The reflexive form means to regret. God strongly regretted it.
- Daniel 2:21 And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
SUMMARY: 1 Samuel 14-15
- The LORD can save by many or by few
- He saved Israel from their enemies
- He sent Israel to destroy Amalek
- He delights in those who obey His voice more than offerings