Sunday, November 12, 2017

"The Head Fake" - 1 Samuel 13 - 171112PM@TBC

 Overview of 1 & 2 Samuel
        Samuel  (1-7)
        Transition to king  (8)
        The Reign of Saul  (9-14)
        The decline of Saul –
      rise of David  (15-31)
        David’s Rule of Judah  (1-4)
        David’s Rule of Israel  (4-24)

CONTEXT The Reign of Saul  (9-14)
9) Search Finds Samuel  (vs. 15-16)
10) Saul Announced King  (vs. 1, 25-27
11) Saul Defeats Ammonites at Jabesh  (vs. 12-13)
12) King Saul Confirmed (vs. 19-20
13) Saul Shows No Heart (War with Philistines)
14) War with Philistines (continued)
15) Sin in Attack on Amalek  (Saul shows he is spiritually unfit.)
1. Setting
Verse 1,  There is likely a textual problem with the numbers in verse one.
·       NKJV and ESV have one year and two years
·       NASB, NIV, etc.  inserted the chronologically more plausible numbers 30 and 42
·       RSV has ellipsis to show indicate they are missing
Verse 2  The number of three thousand might simply represent three companies IVPBBC

2. Rising Action
Verse 3  The Hebrew word nâtsiyb may also denote “a prefect” or “official,” and the passage would then denote the assassination of this representative of the Philistines and signal general revolt.  --Merrill Unger
Saul sounded a general call to muster at Gilgal near the Jordan in preparation for battle.
Verse. 4  “Saul” had attacked/smitten/defeated the garrison
Some would use the attribution of this attack to Saul as a sign of dishonesty and pride.  There is often a tendency of leaders to take credit for the accomplishments of their subordinates.
Verses 5-6  An overwhelming Philistine force was deployed.  The Israelites saw they were in serious trouble and began to hide themselves.

3. Climax
With this flurry of events and the serious situation, our attention is diverted to what is going to happen with the Philistines.
Instead, the text points us to Saul’s hasty act of sacrificing the burnt offering.
v 10b SAUL:  Greets Samuel.
v 11 SAMUEL:  What have you done?
(Note the value of not jumping to conclusions though here it seemed obvious)
SAUL:  Excuses
1. The people were scattering.
2. You did not come within the days appointed.
3. The Philistines had mustered at Michmash, soon coming to Gilgal.
4. I needed to seek the favor of the Lord, so I “forced myself.”
vv 13-14  SAMUEL:
1. You have done foolishly.
2. You have disobeyed.
3. The Lord would have established your kingdom, but…
4. The Lord has sought a man after His own heart.

You have done foolishly is a stronger condemnation than we might suppose, for in Scripture the fool is morally and spiritually blameworthy, not merely lacking in intellect. Saul had seen the Lord undertake for him in the Ammonite battle; he had heard the Lord’s word of assurance through Samuel (1 Sam. 12:14), but at the first moment of strain he has failed to be obedient to the Lord his God.  Tyndale OT Commentary
Psalm 14.1 & 53.1  The fool has said in his heart there is not God...
Saul was acting with disregard for God even though he was sacrificied "to God."
Proverbs 12:16
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.

Proverbs 28:26
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,

But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
Saul followed his own instincts instead the Lord's directions.

Application:  “Watch for the head fake.” 
While Saul was preoccupied with the events around him, God was watching his heart.
Would he allow this world to conform him to human expediency? or would he trust and obey?
He had no rational hope of defeating the Philistines anyway.
4. Resolution
Verses 15b – 18
The Israelites pretty much observed helplessly as the Philistines sent out raiding parties at will.
Verses 19-23 
The lack of iron weapons gave the Philistines a huge economic and military advantage.

APPLICATION:  Don't let life's pressures distract you from obeying God.