Kingship Confirmed

1 Samuel 11:8-15

8When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand. 9They told the messengers who had come, “Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.’” When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated. 10They said to the Ammonites, “Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.” 11The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

12The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.”

13But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.” 14Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” 15So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.

Introduction

All genuine believers have calling from God. God has prepared a specific ministry for each of us. Have you sensed God’s calling? You to want to obey and be very sure that you really are called! How do you practically prove that God is calling you to join a ministry He has prepared for you in advance? Evaluate your ability and spiritual gift and get involved in the ministry that you presumed God wants you to join. A few may know their calling immediately while others may not.

How God calls each believer varies. The manner we respond to God’s call is also unique. There’s no one-style-fits-all principle to confirm our calling.

Church nomination and election should add as personal confirmation of our calling. Some are pressured by people they respect while others just want to explore possibilities to serve. It is helpful to heed 2 Peter 1:5-10, Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble.

If people claim to have faith in Christ, we should not conclude that they’re spiritually mature. Observe if they’ve got active faith. Active faith adds goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love.

Perseverance is constant patience and endurance which manifests faith very practically. We’ve got to grow in our perseverance. If not, we can easily stumble when not so pretty things happen in the church. Church commitment is possible only when believers grow in mutual affection and love for the Lord.

The Israelites lost their love for the Lord, and they insisted to have a king. God gave Saul as their king but didn’t readily trust him. When enemies attacked, they didn’t go to Saul for his help, why? Maybe, they had no confidence in Saul.

Nonetheless, the Lord used the enemy invasion to confirm Saul’s kingship. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul. At his command, the Israelites followed.

1. Command

8When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand. 9They told the messengers who had come, “Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.’” When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated. 10They said to the Ammonites, “Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.”

There were few who opposed Saul as king of Israel. The 330,000 Israelites who responded to the challenge of Saul practically proved that more Israelites welcomed him. They were ready to follow his lead. Is it proper to interpret that the Lord may have touched their hearts to obey Saul’s command as their king?

11The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

Where did Saul get the idea to separate his men in three divisions? How did he come up with strategy to attack their enemy at a least expected time of the night? How did the Israelites act as one and followed the command of Saul? How could they easily defeat their enemies? It must be God’s intervention, ey?

It says in Genesis 14:14-16 14When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

There were 4 kings and their armies that Abram and 318 men defeated. The 318 men of Abram were trained to execute his commands. The strategy to attack at night had been utilized in other generations. So, it’s not reliance upon numbers or strength to defeat the enemies. They follow a command given by their master Abram. It’s very similar when the Israelites followed Saul.

The Lord Jesus Christ declared in John 16:33, 33In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The secret of successfully overcoming problems in this world is to follow the commands of the Lord Jesus. His commands are instruction for Christian to have successful life. We heard that but it’s really tough to obey. Therefore, we need an increase of faith, in which, the Lord would gladly give us if we ask Him.

The Lord chose Saul as king of Israel. When the Israelites followed his commands, they saw the Lord’s deliverance, and they celebrated their victory.

2. Celebrate

12The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.” 13But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.” 14Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” 15So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.

It must have been the greatest moment for Saul to be confirmed as king of Israel. Saul did not offer his self as king of Israel. Previously, Saul just obeyed his father in search of their lost donkeys when Samuel anointed him as king. Even before he was presented as king, he hid himself. Those situations may prove that he’s not really very enthusiastic to serve as king even though he was anointed.

Yet, when the Spirit of the Lord empowered him, he was furious against their enemies. He led the Israelites. They obeyed his command, and they were victorious. Saul’s followers wanted to punish those who opposed him but Saul prevented them, why? Did God’s Spirit inspire him not to kill the oppositions?

Do you believe that our church leaders have been chosen by the Lord?

Pray that the Holy Spirit empowers our church leaders similar to King Saul. Christ is the head of the church. The church is the body of Christ. Leaders and ordinary members, all church members are answerable to the Lord. Whatever we do, how we may get involved in the ministry, the Lord will reward accordingly.

It says in Ephesians 5:15-20, Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Everything includes good or bad things. There’s no exemption. We may not know why God allows things or events to happen in our life. And of course, we can only give thanks to God for everything if Christ’s Spirit prevails in us.

Most often we are thankful when everything is fine. But 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Not just for everything but also all in all circumstances. Whatever situation we are in, we can agree that it’s the will of God for us, even if we may not like it. Again, if the Spirit of Christ prevails or reigns in our heart, mind and soul, we can. What is it that you’ve experienced lately that you cannot necessarily appreciate?

If someone causes you to be upset or furious what should you do?

Pray and ask the Lord to strengthen your faith in Him and trust His word.

It says in Hebrews 10:30-31, 30For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

It is very advisable to rely upon the Spirit of the Lord at all times. We don’t know when the enemy attacks or provokes us to retaliate negatively.

We can learn from King Saul when he did not allow his followers to killing those who opposed him. It confirmed that the Spirit of the Lord prevailed in him.

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