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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Showing Grace

Shows confidence.

1 Samuel 11:7b–15

And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent. When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. And they said to the messengers who came, “Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.’ ” Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you.”

So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

Then the people said to Samuel, “Who is he who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring the men, that we may put them to death.”

But Saul said, “Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has accomplished salvation in Israel.”

Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they made sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Saul’s stunt with the cut-up oxen works and Israel rallies to his side. The good guys win. The bad guys lose. Remember, the Israelites wanted a king to lead them in battle. Looks like they got what they wanted.

Saul passes his first test as king with flying colors.

But this leads immediately to a second test. Fresh off their triumph over evil, the victors want to “remind” Saul’s skeptics that they were wrong.

But Saul is having none of that. Instead, he shows class and humility. He gives credit to God and cites that as the overriding factor in why his critics should be spared.

Saul is displaying grace, something we don’t often we don't often think of when reading the Old Testament. The “sons of worthlessness” that opposed him (and Samuel, and God) earlier could justly be punished.

But that isn’t necessary. The only thing that would accomplish is to set an example of justice. But it would also set an example of cruelty.

Instead, Saul’s grace towards these guys displays something that may prove more useful in the long run. It shows that their criticism didn’t sting. Saul looks confident and strong.

His administration is off to a great start.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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