1 Samuel 13 War with the Philistines

Fear: 13:1-22.  Early in Saul’s reign, a skirmish with the Philistines at Geba leads to a major innovations.  The Israelis are terrified at the size of the forces that come against them.  Saul is at Gilgal, sent there by Samuel with instructions to wait for him seven days.  Then the aged prophet/priest will come to pray for victory.

As the days pass, the forces with Saul dwindle, for his army deserts him.  On the seventh day, a desperate Saul determines to offer up the sacrifice himself, an act forbidden anyone who is not a priest.  Samuel appears just as the sacrifice is finished.  Furious, he tells Saul that God will not permit a son of his to inherit the throne.

Ironically, the 600 men who remain with Saul are twice the number of Gideon had to defeat an even larger army of Amalekites!

Humanly speaking, Saul’s fears are understandable.  Not only are the Philistines numerically superior, they also have iron weapons.  Only Saul and Jonathan his son are so equipped in Israel.

13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lordhath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.

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