Israel Makes Saul King
Verses 1-3 – At this time, Israel was very susceptible to invasion by tribes such as these Ammonites from east of the Jordan River. Why would Nahash give the city of Jabesh Gilead seven days to find an army to help them? Because Nahash was betting that no one would come to the city’s aid. He was hoping to take the city without a fight.
Verse 6 – Anger is a powerful emotion. It can drive people to hurt others with their words or physical violence. Saul was angered by the Ammonites threat to humiliate and mistreat his fellow Israelites. The Holy Spirit used Saul’s anger to bring justice and freedom. When injustice or sin makes you angry, ask God how you can channel that anger in a constructive way to help bring about a positive change.
Verse 8 – Judah, one of the 12 tribes, is often mentioned separately from the other 11. Three reasons; Judah was the largest tribe (Numbers 1:20-46); Judah is the tribe from which most of Israel’s kings would come (Genesis 49:8-12); Judah would also be the tribe through which the Messiah would come (Micah 5:2).
Verse 14 – Saul had been anointed at Ramah (10:1); then he was publically chosen at Mizpah (10:17-27). By defeating the Ammonites, it confirmed his kingship in the people’s minds; at this time, all the people confirm his rule.
Verse 15 – This fellowship offering was an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving to God, symbolizing the peace that comes to those who know Him and live in accordance with his commands. Unfortunately, this attitude did not last with Saul, just as God had predicted (8:7-19).