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1 Samuel 13





BY: Josh Boles

So far we have been able to see Saul as a good leader, but we knew this would be short lived. Saul led the Israelites for forty years. This was a pretty good run, but today we get an insight to his true character. Saul had a lot of things that led to his failure. In this chapter alone we see irresponsibility, pride, unbelief and impatience, deception, folly, and an untrusting army.

The whole scope of this chapter is about Saul's irresponsibility. Mainly in the regard that he tried to cover up his disobedience with lies. The first way we see this manifested is pride. A couple of chapters ago over 300,000 men volunteered to be in Saul's Army, but we see here in verse 2 that he chose only 3,000 for himself. Saul gathering up an army was in essence declaring war against the Philistines, who also had a very large army. Saul was placing a lot of confidence in himself by selecting an underwhelming army compared to his enemy.

The next thing we see in verse 5-9 is unbelief and impatience. Saul hid from his enemy. Had not the Lord delivered His people from great enemies with far less people? Also we see Saul grow impatient with Samuel, and take matters into his own hands.

Next in verse 10-12 we see the incredible pride, and deception from Saul. He covered his disobedience up with lies, and blame shifting. Notice how many times in these two verses he uses a variation of the word “I.” I counted seven. Saul words, “I saw,” indicated that he was walking by sight, and not by faith. Saul’s main issue here is not that he made a mistake, it is that he had no remorse, or repentance. Being able to swallow your pride, confess, and repent is the mark of a true leader, not blame shifting.

In verse 13-14 we see the price Saul would pay for his folly. Saul was foolish to think he could disobey God and get a way with it. Saul’s deception, pride, and unbelief were judged by the Lord and he would now pay the consequences of that decision. All of these things ultimately led to his prized army’s lack of confidence in him. we see in the rest of the chapter that they were insecure,  and dwindled down to only 600 (15-16).

The last thing we see is that his Army was deprived. It is bad enough that Saul had no men, but even worse that the few men that he did have were not equipped for battle. In a way the function of Saul's army resembles much of the American Church today. we have everything we need for success. We have the armor of God. We have the Gospel. We have the Holy Spirit with us at all times.

So I have to ask myself this morning, is my pride and unbelief keeping me from fighting the good fight. As you all now know, we have a few challenges ahead of us. The next few weeks, and months are met with a lot of uncertainty. Even in light of this, we must never lose sight of the fact that we already have everything we need to win the battle. The Lord has told us everything we need to know about the strategy of our enemy. All we have to do is believe and trust in the Lord’s plan. He always has a plan for us. We see this in our chapter today. God already had a king lined out for Israel long before Saul was going to be done.

The same is true for us. God has somebody picked out for us that will lead us. And although I am incredibly thankful for Joe’s leadership, and personal mentorship in my life, the success of FBC Marlow is not his, it is the Lord’s. The Lord knows what is in store for FBC Marlow, and here is the cool thing about that. You have a part in that. So here is my challenge. In the coming weeks rise up to the challenge. Carry the Gospel everywhere you go. We can rise about the challenges we are faced with because the Lord in in control. In the midst of this uncertain season, we can grow in our faith, and in number. Be encourages Church!


Posted by Josh Boles with
in Faith

1 Samuel 12






BY: Jeremy Witt

We come to a moment in the life of Israel of change.  Change is not easy for a lot of us, well for most of us.  Israel has asked for a king and now they have one.  Samuel will no longer be their judge and prophet or mouthpiece from God.  He is stepping away.  There is a lot of change coming to Israel.  We may be facing change right now and will be most certainly in the coming days.  How we will respond to that?

Samuel does something very bold.  He asks the people if he has done anything or taken anything from them.  He goes further and asks, “Have I ever taken a bribe or perverted justice?” (Verse 3)  What a leader they had!  The people respond in verse 4 with no.  As Samuel is leaving, he is confirming his legacy of serving God.  He recalls their history beginning in verse 6 and concluding in verse 12. 

Then we read verse 13.  Samuel essentially says, “You asked for it, you got it!”  Now I won’t be here to deal with your mistake.  Samuel warned them and the people insisted on being like their neighbors, the very ones that they feared.  May we learn from their mistake and trust in the LORD and not man.  When we face change, we must trust the LORD for guidance and wisdom.  When we are in the midst of change, we must live by faith in the LORD Jesus.  When change comes knocking on our door, we must not react, we must not be fearful, but we must trust in the LORD and seek His face.  May we remember this lesson and use it daily for we most certainly need to do this daily.

In verse 14, Samuel tells them and Saul of the blessing if they are faithful to the LORD.  Verse 15 gives them the punishment of not being faithful.  Notice in verse 15 “the LORD will be against you as it was against your fathers.”  History is a cycle.  We see that in the Old Testament and if we study history, we see this in every nation that has worshipped the LORD God.  Faithfulness brings blessings and unfaithfulness brings discipline/punishment.  This happens in families.  When we follow in the sins of our fathers, we are just like the Israelites.  Will we learn the lesson or repeat the mistakes and suffer the discipline that the LORD sends? 

Samuel then prays to God and God sends a sign that the people recognized was from God in verses 16-19.  The people call out that Samuel will pray for them and stop this thunder and rain (notice why in verse 17)

At the conclusion of our chapter, Samuel repeats what the people should do by being true in their worship to the LORD God.  He repeats what will happen if they fail to do this in verse 25. 

So who is your king?  Who is leading you?  Is it the LORD or is it someone or something else?  Who is the one calling the shots in your life?  Who are you following?  Just know that if it is anything or anyone other than the LORD, we face the same discipline/punishment as verse 25 in that it will be swept away.  God will not allow anything else or anyone else to be “king” in a believer’s life other than the LORD Jesus.  Because He is the King of kings and LORD of lords. 

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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