Saul was certainly not an incredible Biblical hero as far as his relationship with the Lord went. When we think of Saul, we typically think about King David, and the trials that Saul put him through. We think of Saul seeking to destroy King David. His story was a tragic one. He had the honor of being Israel’s first king, but instead of following God, he chose to go on his own path, and it led to his destruction. He had no faith in God. When David killed Goliath, he went into a rage, knowing that his people began honoring the shepherd boy more than their own king. Most of us know how this story went. Saul eventually ended his life by committing suicide.
1 Samuel 31
31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
But despite Saul’s tragic end, despite his faults, we read of an incredible moment in 1st Samuel 11, when the Holy Spirit came down on him and filled him with righteous anger, and Saul saved God’s people from destruction.
A bit of a backstory; we see in scripture that Nahash the Ammonite rose up against the city of Jabesh. Amazingly, the people of Jabesh decided to make a covenant with Nahash. In a sense, they were making a deal with the devil. Let’s read a bit of 1st Samuel chapter 11 to see just what they were getting themselves into…
1 Samuel 11
1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.
2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel.
Nahash had a plan; he would make sure that they were not able to battle (hence the right eye) and it would be an easy victory. He would take over God’s people, and it seemed as though it wouldn’t be a difficult thing to do. They seemed willing to sit back and let themselves be ruined without fighting! We go on to read verses 3 and 4.
3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee.
4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.
Nahash let them ask for help because he was certain that no one would come to their rescue. And it seemed as though he was right. When the people heard about what was happening, they wept. They sat down and cried over this terrible thing, but that was all they did. Weeping does us no good when there is no action! Jesus wept, but Jesus acted! He fought against sin and won the ultimate battle for us! Christians now seem to be like these people of Jabesh; we are content to stare at the world and weep over their sin, but we don’t want to do anything about it. God forbid we lift ourselves off of the ground where we weep and go out and fight for God and His Holy Word. But thankfully, God had a plan for these people. He would save them using a man that we would consider an unlikely hero.
5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh.
6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.
7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
8 And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
9 And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.
10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you.
11 And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.
The Spirit of God came down on Saul and kindled his anger. It is time that Christians today are filled with the Spirit of God and are willing to stand up and get angry like Saul. We are so concerned with seeming holier than thou, so concerned with offending the world, that we have forgotten that sometimes, God calls us to be bold and angry over sin! This world is going to Hell, and it’s going quickly. In the word’s of scripture and my Pastor, it is getting late. The day of judgement is coming, and soon, we will have no more time to get angry over sin and stir up a revival! Revival will not come until Christians are ready to say enough is enough! Churches have become no more than a glorified country club meant for socializing with your friends, Christians have become nothing more than a bunch of weakling hypocrites who either say they believe in all of the Bible but do nothing about it, or cherry pick the Bible until it’s a watered down version! Gone are the men and women who were willing to get angry and get stirred up! We are left with very few people who are willing to go out and be the disciples that God commanded us to be when He said go and sin no more. We are so stuck on grace that we fail to realize God will judge us! He is full of grace, but that is not an excuse to go on sinning! If you are born again, act like it. If you are a new creature in God, act like it. It is time that we forget about the bullying we’ll face and realize that God’s judgement is much, much worse!
“There is but one way to save this generation. It is the way of Christ, and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.” Leonard Ravenhill.
We have churches that are allowing people who are living in blatant sexual sin get behind the pulpit, become deacons, and so on. We have churches who care nothing about the youth and are letting them sit and get addicted to pornography and other evils online without doing anything about it. We have churches that are full of people who are doing nothing more than listening to a nice message on Sunday then living like Hell for the rest of the week. God help us, because we are turning into a sick bunch of weaklings and God’s judgement is coming, it is getting late. Saul, despite all of his faults, was willing to do something that most of us would never do. He got stirred up, and he stood up for God and His people! If Saul could do this, if Saul could listen to God like this and have such an incredible victory, what more could a large group of Christians do now? The battle is on, Christians. And Satan is getting ahead. We know the end of the story, we will win, we will be conquerors. But why are we content with letting lost souls go to Hell, why are we content with watching lost souls sin so blatantly without any knowledge of a Christ who loves them? Why are we sitting still, weeping, and doing nothing when we know judgement day is coming? There is a fire in the house, and we are running to save ourselves without warning others to get out!
Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
We already have the Holy Ghost right there, we have it without our grasp. We have the ability to be stirred up..but are we willing? Let us look at this world and be stirred up by the Holy Spirit with righteous anger and sadness and be willing to say, help is on the way. We are coming. We are going to rise up and slay the enemies.