Summary: Saul, discouraged after the sonsos of Belial reject his kingship, returns to life as a farmer, until the people of Jabesh Gilead need him. Then he demonstrates leadership Qualitites we can apply.
Grant Avenue Baptist Church
2215 Grant Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
LESSONS FROM A SERPENT’s SIEGE
TEXT: I Samuel 11
The name, Nahash means Serpent. It is related to the Hebrew Word which refers to the serpent in Genesis 3 which means something along the line of “The Shining one” which the Hebrews knew to be a reference to the serpent. In our study, we’re going to use this as a bit of an allegory and allow Ammonite leader to represent the devil.
LESSON # 1: When we take our eyes off of God we see what appears to be the hopelessness of our situation which may lead us to negotiate with evil.
In church work, the issue often becomes a church attempting to compromise Biblical values or adopt worldly methods.
LESSON # 2: The devil seeks our surrender.
LESSON # 3: The devil’s terms always seek to humiliate us.
The devil wants to rob us of our Christian witness. If he can harm our reputation as a church or an individual believer (especially if he can draw us into sin) then he can destroy our witness. Whenever we surrender to the devil’s methodology, etc. we are going to be humiliated.
LESSON # 4: The devil’s terms always seek to cripple us, making us unfit for or less capable of future service to God.
Think for a minute about how well a soldier would fight with only one eye. It would be difficult because of the way a soldier would fight with a sword and a shield. Nahash was seeking to do a little more than humiliate the people of Jabesh Gilead, he wanted to render them harmless. The devil attempts to spiritually cripple us, making us incapable of serving God.
LESSON # 5: The devil rarely envision God coming to the aid of His people, because the devil himself would never aid those who have submitted to him.
Saul, having returned to his hometown, Gibeah, appears to have been discouraged from actually assuming the throne because of the sons of belial (at the end of chapter 10) who rejected his kingship. While some criticism may be good, the sons of Belial had nothing but their gut instinct that Saul was not a good choice. Their criticism almost dethroned Saul before he even accepted the throne. We need to be careful that our criticism has basis. We need to have sound Biblical reasoning behind us before we offer aloud criticism that can be used by Satan to discourage someone who is trying to do the will of God.
When Saul hears the news of the danger facing the people of Jabesh Gilead the Holy Spirit comes over him and he is enraged. He cuts his oxen into pieces and sends the pieces out as a visual aid. The visual aid serves two purposes. First, if offers the promise of judgment for those who refuse to come and participate. Second, it also is a demonstration of Saul’s decision to step up and assume the throne. This is a turning point for Saul, he is ready to stand up and assume his responsibilities.
Do you remember the name of the other man in the Bible who responded to God’s calling by sacrificing and burning his oxen, along with his plow, indicating that he would not be returning to the life of the farmer, but instead would serve as a prophet? This would be the prophet Elisha.
Saul’s call for an army to relieve the people of Jabesh Gilead is met with great success. Thousands quickly gather and muster with Saul prepared to enter the fray and get to work.
“Ye have not because ye ask not!” One of the reasons we don’t have a more positive response from God’s people to service is that we don’t put the call in a positive way with clear instructions about where to go and what to do. Sometimes we need a leader who is bold enough to make the call plain and simple while making the seriousness of the need known. We need to let people know what we expect and why we expect it, and also how necessary we find it.
Saul took the time to organize his army. He didn’t just wade into the enemy army, he took the time to approach the battle logically and in a strategic manner. As a church, we must organize before wading out into ministry. It should be noted that Saul did not OVER-organize his army, but provided a simple plan of organization.
As a church, we need to train people. We need to mentor new believers and young people into areas of service. We need to take them with us to minister and serve and train them by example.
VERSES 12- 15