1 Samuel 11 & 12: The Fear Of The LORD
Verse of the Day: (11:7) And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts 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.
1. Fear (11:1-15)
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. (11:15)
The heart of man is indeed desperately wicked, and only God can change it to the heart of righteousness. Israel’s enemies, the Ammonites, invaded them, and would only make a peace covenant with them, namely, the men of Jabesh, if they would blind their right eyes to shame Israel. The leaders of Jabesh then went to Saul who being led by God’s Spirit killed a yoke of oxen, and sent the cut pieces to all the land of Israel challenging them to follow him and Prophet Samuel. The fear of the LORD came upon all Israel, and they agreed to follow Saul and Samuel and fight against the Ammonites. This was the historic moment that Israel made Saul their first king at Gilgal to lead them to battles, after Samuel had earlier anointed him. (1 Samuel 10:1) Let us repent of our wickedness, and turn to God, and fear and serve Him, as He is our LORD and King. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
2. Forget (12:1-12)
And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. (12:9)
The choice of the people may not be the voice of God. Though Israel chose Saul as their king, yet God only allowed it because they stubbornly refused to obey and submit to Him. Throughout the history of Israel, almost all their kings were evil and wicked, as they led their people in worshipping false gods and idols, and committing immorality and corruption. As Saul was made the first king of Israel, Samuel handed his leadership to him reminding Israel to submit to Saul, and most importantly to their only God and King. Indeed, God is longsuffering, as He desires all to come to His saving grace. (2 Peter 3:9)
3. Forsake (12:13-25)
For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. (12:22)
The reason why God never forsakes us, and keeps on loving and forgiving us, even though time and again we sin against Him, is because He has made us His chosen people to fear, praise and serve Him when we truly believe and trust in Him. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to fear and serve You as You are my LORD and King.