1 Samuel 13: Saul and Samuel don’t get along


Saul rules for a couple of years and then his son Jonathon smote a garrison of Philistines in Geba. So the Philistines gather 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horseman to fight back. The Israelis panic. Saul is in Gilgal 7 days, but Samuel never comes.  So Saul prepares a burnt offering and Samuel is upset and shows up – what are you doing?!?  Saul says – trying to rally the troops. Where were you?  Samuel lectures Saul on how he has not done what God wants and his kingdom will not stand. So Saul and his son Jonathon go with 600 men who remained with them to Michmash to meet the philistines and since there were no smiths to be found to help them, they had to sharpen farming implements to fight with.

In other words:

Saul’s son Jonathon picks a fight with the Philistines who outnumber them 36,000 to 600. Samuel does not support this campaign.

Favorite bit:

1 Samuel 13:11 – And Samuel said, What hast thou done?   I love that Samuel doesn’t support Saul and then blames him for trying to put together an offering to God on his own.

2nd favorite bit:

1 Samuel 13:20 – All the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe and his mattox. Basically – they are going to fight a well armed army – with farming tools. Awesome!

Least favorite bit:

The entire chapter. Apparently god is not a very good judge of character. He chooses this guy to be king and then doesn’t support him when he goes about his kingly business- which is to protect the people of Israel from attack.  Though, in God’s defense – Saul and his son Jonathon did attack first – so ... yeah.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Pre-emptive attacks are stupid and immoral and god doesn't like them. (1 Samuel 13)