Faith - 1 Samuel 14:1-23 - Paul
1 Samuel 14:1-23 Then one day Jonathan son of Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the Philistine garrison that is opposite us.” But he did not let his father know. 2 Now Saul was sitting under a pomegranate tree in Migron, on the outskirts of Gibeah. The army that was with him numbered about 600 men. 3 Now Ahijah was carrying an ephod. He was the son of Ahitub, who was the brother of Ichabod and a son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh. The army was unaware that Jonathan had left. 4 Now there was a steep cliff on each side of the pass through which Jonathan intended to go to reach the Philistine garrison. One cliff was named Bozez, the other Seneh. 5 The cliff to the north was closer to Micmash, the one to the south closer to Geba. 6 Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will intervene for us. Nothing can prevent the Lord from delivering, whether by many or by a few.” 7 His armor-bearer said to him, “Do everything that is on your mind. Do as you’re inclined. I’m with you all the way!” 8 Jonathan replied, “All right. We’ll go over to these men and fight them. 9 If they say to us, ‘Stay put until we approach you,’ we will stay right there and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up against us,’ we will go up. For in that case the Lord has given them into our hand—it will be a sign to us.” 11 When they made themselves known to the Philistine garrison, the Philistines said, “Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes in which they hid themselves.” 12 Then the men of the garrison said to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come on up to us so we can teach you a thing or two!” Then Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up behind me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel!” 13 Jonathan crawled up on his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer following behind him. Jonathan struck down the Philistines, while his armor-bearer came along behind him and killed them. 14 In this initial skirmish Jonathan and his armor-bearer struck down about 20 men in an area that measured half an acre. 15 Then fear overwhelmed those who were in the camp, those who were in the field, all the army in the garrison, and the raiding bands. They trembled and the ground shook. This fear was caused by God. 16 Saul’s watchmen at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin looked on as the crowd of soldiers seemed to melt away first in one direction and then in another. 17 So Saul said to the army that was with him, “Muster the troops and see who is no longer with us.” When they mustered the troops, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. 18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring near the ephod,” for he was at that time wearing the ephod in front of the Israelites. 19 While Saul spoke to the priest, the panic in the Philistines’ camp was becoming greater and greater. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Saul and all the army assembled and marched into battle, where they found the Philistines in total panic killing one another with their swords. 21 The Hebrews who had earlier gone over to the Philistine side joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, they too pursued them in battle. 23 So the Lord delivered Israel that day, and the battle shifted over to Beth Aven.
Aladdin - 1 Samuel 13 - Paul
1 Samuel 13 Saul was [thirty] years old when he began to reign; he ruled over Israel for [forty] years. 2 Saul selected for himself 3,000 men from Israel. Of these 2,000 were with Saul at Micmash and in the hill country of Bethel; the remaining 1,000 were with Jonathan at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. He sent all the rest of the people back home. 3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost that was at Geba and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul alerted all the land saying, “Let the Hebrews pay attention!” 4 All Israel heard this message, “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel is repulsive to the Philistines!” So the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal. 5 Meanwhile the Philistines gathered to battle with Israel. Then they went up against Israel with 3,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 The men of Israel realized they had a problem because their army was hard pressed. So the army hid in caves, thickets, cliffs, strongholds, and cisterns. 7 Some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan River to the land of Gad and Gilead. But Saul stayed at Gilgal; the entire army that was with him was terrified. 8 He waited for seven days, the time period indicated by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the army began to abandon Saul. 9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” Then he offered a burnt offering. 10 Just when he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared on the scene. Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul replied, “When I saw that the army had started to abandon me, and that you didn’t come at the appointed time, and that the Philistines had assembled at Micmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me at Gilgal and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt obligated to offer the burnt offering.” 13 Then Samuel said to Saul, “You have made a foolish choice! You have not obeyed the commandment that the Lord your God gave you. Had you done that, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom will not continue. The Lord has sought out for himself a man who is loyal to him, and the Lord has appointed him to be leader over his people, for you have not obeyed what the Lord commanded you.” 15 Then Samuel set out and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. Saul mustered the army that remained with him; there were about 600 men. 16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the army that remained with them stayed in Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped in Micmash. 17 Raiding bands went out from the camp of the Philistines in three groups. One band turned toward the road leading to Ophrah by the land of Shual; 18 another band turned toward the road leading to Beth Horon; and yet another band turned toward the road leading to the border that overlooks the valley of Zeboyim in the direction of the desert. 19 A blacksmith could not be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines had said, “This will prevent the Hebrews from making swords and spears.” 20 So all Israel had to go down to the Philistines in order to get their plowshares, cutting instruments, axes, and sickles sharpened. 21 They charged two-thirds of a shekel to sharpen plowshares and cutting instruments, and one-third of a shekel to sharpen picks and axes, and to set ox goads. 22 So on the day of the battle no sword or spear was to be found in the hand of anyone in the army that was with Saul and Jonathan. No one but Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
1 Samuel 12:1-25 - Faithfulness, failure, fear and forgiveness - Paul
1 Samuel 12:1-25 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have done everything you requested. I have given you a king. 2 Now look! This king walks before you. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have walked before you from the time of my youth till the present day. 3 Here I am. Bring a charge against me before the Lord and before his chosen king. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I taken a bribe so that I would overlook something? Tell me, and I will return it to you!” 4 They replied, “You have not wronged us or oppressed us. You have not taken anything from the hand of anyone.” 5 He said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and his chosen king is witness this day, that you have not found any reason to accuse me.” They said, “He is witness!” 6 Samuel said to the people, “The Lord is the one who chose Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors up from the land of Egypt. 7 Now take your positions, so I may confront you before the Lord regarding all the Lord’s just actions toward you and your ancestors. 8 When Jacob entered Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the Lord. The Lord sent Moses and Aaron, and they led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 9 “But they forgot the Lord their God, so he gave them into the hand of Sisera, the general in command of Hazor’s army, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 Then they cried out to the Lord and admitted, ‘We have sinned, for we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the images of Ashtoreth. Now deliver us from the hands of our enemies so that we may serve you.’ 11 So the Lord sent Jerub Baal, Barak, Jephthah, and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of the enemies all around you, and you were able to live securely. 12 “When you saw that King Nahash of the Ammonites was advancing against you, you said to me, ‘No! A king will rule over us’—even though the Lord your God is your king. 13 Now look! Here is the king you have chosen—the one that you asked for! Look, the Lord has given you a king. 14 If you fear the Lord, serving him and obeying him and not rebelling against what he says, and if both you and the king who rules over you follow the Lord your God, all will be well. 15 But if you don’t obey the Lord and rebel against what the Lord says, the hand of the Lord will be against both you and your king. 16 “So now, take your positions and watch this great thing that the Lord is about to do in your sight. 17 Is this not the time of the wheat harvest? I will call on the Lord so that he makes it thunder and rain. Realize and see what a great sin you have committed before the Lord by asking for a king for yourselves.” 18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord made it thunder and rain that day. All the people were very afraid of both the Lord and Samuel. 19 All the people said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God on behalf of us—your servants—so we won’t die, for we have added to all our sins by asking for a king.” 20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have indeed sinned. However, don’t turn aside from the Lord. Serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 You should not turn aside after empty things that can’t profit and can’t deliver, since they are empty. 22 The Lord will not abandon his people because he wants to uphold his great reputation. The Lord was pleased to make you his own people. 23 As far as I am concerned, far be it from me to sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you! I will instruct you in the way that is good and upright. 24 However, fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Just look at the great things he has done for you! 25 But if you continue to do evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”
1 Samuel 10:1-27 - The New King - Paul
1 Samuel 10:1-27 Then Samuel took a small container of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head. Samuel kissed him and said, “The Lord has chosen you to lead his people Israel! You will rule over the Lord’s people and you will deliver them from the power of the enemies who surround them. This will be your sign that the Lord has chosen you as leader over his inheritance. 2 When you leave me today, you will find two men near Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah on Benjamin’s border. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you have gone looking for have been found. Your father is no longer concerned about the donkeys but has become anxious about you two! He is asking, “What should I do about my son?”’ 3 “As you continue on from there, you will come to the tall tree of Tabor. At that point three men who are going up to God at Bethel will meet you. One of them will be carrying three young goats, one of them will be carrying three round loaves of bread, and one of them will be carrying a container of wine. 4 They will ask you how you’re doing and will give you two loaves of bread. You will accept them. 5 Afterward you will go to Gibeah of God, where there are Philistine officials. When you enter the town, you will meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place. They will have harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres, and they will be prophesying. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. 7 “When these signs have taken place, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God will be with you. 8 You will go down to Gilgal before me. I am going to join you there to offer burnt offerings and to make peace offerings. You should wait for seven days until I arrive and tell you what to do.” Saul Becomes King 9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed his inmost person. All these signs happened on that very day. 10 When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a company of prophets was coming out to meet him. Then the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul and he prophesied among them. 11 When everyone who had known him previously saw him prophesying with the prophets, the people asked one another, “What on earth has happened to the son of Kish? Does even Saul belong with the prophets?” 12 A man who was from there replied, “And who is their father?” Therefore this became a proverb: “Is even Saul among the prophets?” 13 When Saul had finished prophesying, he went to the high place. 14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where did you go?” Saul replied, “To look for the donkeys. But when we realized they were lost, we went to Samuel.” 15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.” 16 Saul said to his uncle, “He assured us that the donkeys had been found.” But Saul did not tell him what Samuel had said about the matter of kingship. 17 Then Samuel called the people together before the Lord at Mizpah. 18 He said to the Israelites, “This is what the Lord God of Israel has said, ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt and I delivered you from the power of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that oppressed you. 19 But today you have rejected your God who saves you from all your trouble and distress. You have said, “No! Appoint a king over us.” Now take your positions before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.’” 20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of Matri was chosen by lot. At last Saul son of Kish was chosen by lot. But when they looked for him, he was nowhere to be found. 22 So they inquired again of the Lord, “Has the man arrived here yet?” The Lord said, “He has hidden himself among the equipment.” 23 So they ran and brought him from there. When he took his position among the people, he stood head and shoulders above them all. 24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one whom the Lord has chosen? Indeed, there is no one like him among all the people.” All the people shouted out, “Long live the king!” 25 Then Samuel talked to the people about how the kingship would work. He wrote it all down on a scroll and set it before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away to their homes. 26 Even Saul went to his home in Gibeah. With him went some brave men whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some wicked men said, “How can this man save us?” They despised him and did not even bring him a gift. But Saul said nothing about it.