Jan. 11. Saul’s Reign Continues

I Sam. 13:1-14:46

Saul began his reign as king of Israel in humility, but as time passed, pride began to overshadow his humility. His son, Jonathan seemed to be his “right hand man” or at least a close officer. Jonathan and a thousand poorly equipped men, by the power of God defeated a garrison of the seemingly ever-present Philistines. After that, the Philistines gathered an immense force against Saul’s meager army. Seeing their dangerous position, the men of Israel scattered and hid from their enemy.

The first of a series of mistakes that Saul committed occurred when Samuel failed to meet him at the time he had expected. Saul took it upon himself to offer a burnt offering to God. That seemed to him to be an appropriate action under the circumstances, BUT Saul was not a priest or even of the Levitical tribe which was to offer sacrifices. Samuel informed him of his foolish deed and said, “But now your kingdom shall not continue.”

Sometime later, Jonathan took his armorbearer and approached another garrison of the Philistines. Thinking that they were Israelites coming out of hiding, the Philistines called for them to, “Come up to us, and we will show you something.” That was their sign that God was with them. Again, by the power of God they attacked and defeated those Philistines.

During Jonathan’s absence, Saul had mistakenly placed a curse on anyone who ate that day before he had taken vengeance on his enemies. Jonathan being unaware of the curse had eaten some honey that he had found. Saul was ready to kill his own son because of the curse but the people rescued him.