In the last chapter Samuel provided ‘evidence’ for God (if by evidence you mean no evidence) and stated we must fear God. In this chapter he gets upset at Saul and rebukes him.
“Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it.” – 1 Samuel 13:3
No reason is given for why Saul ordered this attack.
“’What have you done?’ asked Samuel. Saul replied, ‘When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.’” – 1 Samuel 13:11-12
Now why a burnt offering would do anything is beyond me, but oh well. Let’s see what happens next.
“’You have done a foolish thing,’ Samuel said. ‘You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.’” – 1 Samuel 13:13-14
Uh-oh! God’s going to lay the smack down on Saul and the Israelites now. Granted, God has control of Saul’s heart and Saul has no choice in the matter, yet somehow it is still Saul’s fault. It’s your classic biblical soap opera.
“Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, ‘Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!’” – 1 Samuel 13:19
A good strategic move on the part of the Philistines.
“So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” – 1 Samuel 13:22
Not true. This is impossible to be true. The Israelites are a people who are constantly at war with others. You’re telling me they don’t have a supply of weapons already constructed? You’re telling me they make brand new weapons prior to the start of every battle? You’re telling me that in all of the land only two swords could be found. Sorry, not buying it and nor is anyone else who can critically think.
That concludes 1 Samuel 13. Saul has led the Israelites back into war with the Philistines. Is Saul the one at fault here? Nope! We learned earlier in 1 Samuel God controls Saul’s heart. Any soon to be deaths among the Israelites or their enemies are at the hands of God and only God.
Coming Soon: 1 Samuel – Chapter 14: Jonathan Attacks the Philistines