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April 27, 2011
This entry is part [part not set] of 3099 in the series Daily Words for the Christian Life
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At the time Saul was made king the Ammonites invaded Israel and encamped against Jabesh Gilead, a city of Israel (1 Sam. 11:1). The people of that city asked to be given seven days to seek a deliverer in Israel, and the enemy surprisingly agreed to this. If no one could be found to defeat the Ammonites, however, the people were to surrender, their right eyes were to be plucked out, and they were to serve the Ammonites as slaves. If they did not surrender, the entire population would be put to the sword.

When Saul heard of the situation, the Spirit of God came upon him, and he slew a yoke of oxen and sent the pieces throughout Israel, saying the oxen of whoever did not respond to his summons would suffer the same fate (11:6–7). As a result, 300,000 men assembled before him at Mizpah, with 30,000 of Judah, and they totally defeated the Ammonites and freed Jabesh Gilead. Immediately afterward, Saul was established as the true leader in the eyes of the people and publicly received as king by all Israel in Gilgal.

Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, page 30.

Tomorrow: “Saul Established as King of Israel” (2)

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