DAVID: (Study 1.2): Saul – At Gilgal, The Conflict between the Natural and Godly Strength

Saul made King: I Samuel 9: 2, 15 – 22, I Samuel 10: 1 – 10, 24 – 27, I Samuel 11: 12 – 15, I Samuel 13: 8 – 14, Samuel 1: 18-32.

Samuel was the last of the Judges but the first of the Prophets, Israel was moving from Theocracy to Monarchy. The Israelites demanded a king, God gave them what they wanted Rom. 1: 18-32. Kish (Saul’s father) and Abner (Commander-in-Chief) were brothers who descended from a line of warriors, so the Israelites got exactly what they wanted a king who will lead them to battles like other nations. The flesh will say they needs out there, my skills can take care of them, I Sam. 10.23 – 24. We shall meditate later on what constitute Natural strength and Godly strength in our day to day activities.

I Sam 10:8, “You shall go to Gilgal”. Gilgal was where the Jews crossed the Jordan River before taking Jericho, it means rolling, so that at Gilgal the whole nation was circumcised thus rolling away the reproach of the years of disobedience in the wilderness. Circumcision is the deliberate removal of the flesh. Saul made Gilgalol of the removal of the flesh, yet he fails anytime he went to Gilgal because of the flesh.

In Chapter 11 Nahash the Ammonite surrounds Jabesh-gilead, a town that belongs to Israel. He has so much power and such disdain for the Israelites that when the men of the town wish to make a treaty with him, he says, “I’ll make a treaty with you if you let me gouge out your right eyes. Soldiers in that day protected their left eyes with their shields, and used their right eyes for the sword. Therefore, if the right eye was removed, they could never fight again. With only one eye, they also lacked depth of perception.So Jabesh-gilead pleads with Nahash,(Serpent).

“Give us seven days respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you. I Sam. 11: 3”

The Bible says “the spirit of God came upon Saul mightily,” and a great victory was won for Israel. Now, as king, he has had an experience of the power of God. Saul is “made king before the LORD” at Gilgal, and he starts out as a beautiful picture of the power ot as a beautiful picture of the power of God.

In Chapter 13 we will see Saul begin his movement toward rejection as king, and unfortunately his downward slide as believer. The Philistines are a people from out of the Aegean Sea area who went to Egypt, were thrown out of Egypt, and wound up on the southeastern seacoast of the Mediterranean where they cannot be dislodged by the Israelites. They have learned iron smelting, the process of which they keep secret. When a Jew wants his plowshare, his ax or his scythe sharpened, he must seek the Philistines. The Philistines realize that as long as they keep a monopoly on iron the Israelites cannot make weapons of war. With this new monarch of the Jews posing a threat to them, the Philistines set out to eliminate him. The Jews are trapped.


  • What are those things that constitute the Philistines in the lives of the believer and how should we deal with them?
  • Saul was filled with the Spirit, prophesied and had a changed heart, yet he failed. What are those things responsible for this?
  • Why was Saul instructed to go to Gilgal? Phil. 3.3
  • Compare the thought Nahash the Serpent to Jug. 16: 21 and Gen. 3: 5

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