Archive for February 14th, 2008

Our Enemy & Our Saviour

In 1 Samuel 11, Nahash (which means snake or serpent) the Ammonite was coming up against Jabesh Gilead of Israel, just like our enemy Satan does with us.

Jabesh Gilead is on the outskirts of Israel, far from the heart of Israel, and bordering the enemy territory of Ammon.

A. Our enemy approaches us, 1) either where we are the weakest, or 2) the area we pay the least mind to.

B. Our enemy may attack us, but cannot do anything against us without our agreement or consent. He asks for, and requires our cooperation.

C. Our enemy wants us to serve him, and will attempt to rationalize and intimidate us into giving in to him.

D. Our enemy wants to humiliate us, and exalt himself over us. Through humiliating one believer, Satan can bring reproach on all of Christianity.

E. Our enemy wants to take away our ability to effectively fight against him (ie, blinding the right eye, which peaks from behind the shield being held by the left hand).

F. Our enemy wants to blind us, and if he cannot blind us completely (cannot see God exists), he will blind us partially (cannot see God is good).

The Gileadites are in a good position if you look at through the eyes of recovery!

First of all, we need to have our denial crushed. Why don’t we just submit to Nahash and become their slaves (as opposed to crying out to God)? Seems like such a peace-keeping thing to do!

Once the Ammonites cruelty rears its ugly head and Nahash’s proposed covenant is seen for what it really is, the Gileadites realize…they are powerless!

They realized they had a need, and that there is no hope in and of themselves. Is there a savior to be found?

Saul did arise to the occasion for his first kingly duty. And sobriety was accomplished because of the outside power of the Saviour!

One last piece of this chapter which is a real challenge…

10:27 we read of rebels who doubted “How can this man save us?” So they despised him.

And even then, Saul “held his peace.”

“The Hebrew is striking. ‘He was as though he had been deaf’ – he pretended not to hear. He did hear; every word had struck deep into his soul, but he made as though he were deaf. It is a great power when a man can act as though he were deaf to slander, deaf to detraction, deaf to unkind and uncharitable speeches, and treat them as though they had not been spoken, turning from man to God, leaving with God his vindication, believing God will mend the situation.” –F.B. Meyer

Then in this chapter, the opportunity arose for Saul to finally “speak his peace”, as it were.

At this moment of great victory, the supporters of Saul wanted to expose and kill those who rebelled against Saul’s appointment as king in 1 Samuel 10:27.

Who is he who said, “Shall Saul reign over us?” Bring the men, that we may put them to death!

Yet Saul, in his humility would not have any of it!

Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has accomplished salvation in Israel!

Saul wisely knew this was no time to take revenge on his opponents. Satan, having failed in the attack through Nahash, was now trying to attack Israel – even in victory – by dividing the nation against each other. Our enemy will attack us anyway he can, and often use times of victory to attack.

Lord Jesus, draw every part of me so close to You that there is no “Jabesh Gilead” lingering near the enemy’s territory. And yet Lord, for those areas that I am under attack and struggling, I ask for Your deliverance. Be my Saul.
Also Father, make me a Saul…as he is in this chapter…bold, active, and humble, willing to give all the glory to You!