A sad part of Judges 18, that I didn’t discuss, was how the tribe of Dan wiped out the people of Laish. They were described as quiet and unsuspecting. They kept off to themselves.
Now, in 1 Samuel 11, we have another group about to be destroyed. They want to know if they have a deliverer. The Israeli town of Jabesh-gilead is under siege.
A siege is a long, drawn-out battle where one group is in a fortified position and the others are trying to get in while waiting them out, hoping the people inside will run out of supplies and get desperate. They could last months. They were expensive and wearing.
The people of Jabesh-gilead call for a temporary truce. They say they will surrender in one week if no one comes to their aid. The aggressors agree. I guess they figured if no one had come to help so far, the odds were no one would come. It would make the capture of the Israelites a lot faster and easier if it played out in their favor.
The people of Jabesh-gilead are hoping for a deliverer. They don’t cry out to God. They send out a message to all of Israel.
Saul is at home doing his chores. When he hears the message, the Spirit of the Lord rushes upon him and he gets angry that this is happening to the people of Israel. He calls all Israel to rally to their aid.
Saul leads the way and the people of Jabesh-gilead are saved. Saul is made official king before the Lord, calling it the renewing of the kingdom. Saul is feeling good and acting rightly. He acknowledges the Lord instead of thinking about himself.
When people want to kill those who scoffed at the idea of Saul being their king, Saul doesn’t defend himself but honors God as the savior of Israel that day.
The day ends with acknowledging the Lord with peace offerings and great rejoicing. Don’t we wish we could pause our stories at times like this?
But the story goes on.