During Saul’s second year as king, he selected 3,000 men for his military. Jonathan, his son, attacks the army of the Philistines in Geba and the Philistines find out about it. He had decided to attack while he father was in Michmash. When Saul heard about it, he blew a trumpet, a ram’s horn, to assembled the military at Gilgal. All of the Israelites had heard that it was Saul who had attacked the Philistines, and that they were an abominations to the Philistines. The Philistines surrounded Michmash with multitudes of people came to fight Israel with chariots and horseman. “When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits” (1 Samuel 13:6 NKJV). Some of the Israelites decided to go across the Jordan River into the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul’s people were shaking in fear.
Saul waited seven days for Samuel to come to Gilgal to offer sacrifices, but he did not come. All of Saul’s followers scattered in fear. Concerned that his followers were scattering and losing courage, he decided to performed the priestly duties. By doing this, he broke the Law of Moses and Samuel, the prophet, instruction. When Saul had finished the burnt offering, Samuel arrived and he went out to meet him. He give Samuel four reasons why he had violated the law: 1) the soldiers were leaving him; 2) Samuel did not come on time; 3) the Philistines were gathering at Michmash; and 4) there was danger of attack from the Philistines. Samuel told Saul that he had acted foolishly. The Lord punished Saul by not allowing any of his descendants to inherit the throne and that Saul himself will be removed from the throne and replaced by a man after God’s own heart. This man would turned out to be David, even though he had many faults, he wanted God’s will to be done.
After Samuel left to go to Gibeah, Saul counted his men and found the about 600 had not left him. The Philistines decided to send in their raiders to harass the Israelites from three different directions. At this point in time, Israel had no iron weapons like the Philistines and Canaanites had. There were no blacksmiths to be found in Israel. Each Israelite would go down to the Philistines to sharpen their farming instruments- plowshares, mattock, ax, goads, and sickle. They were charged to do this. On the day of battle, the only weapons the Israelites had were slings, bows and arrows, and numerous instruments made of bronze.
1 Samuel 15:23 NIV For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.
“When men are lifted up in self-sufficiency, they are often led into folly” (Matthew Henry).
“Sooner or later men will be made to see, that God and his prophets are their best friends” (John Wesley).
“Sins which appear to us very little, have dangerous consequences” (Matthew Henry).
“Israel- The country was in the lowest state of depression and degradation. The Philistines, after the great victory over the sons of Eli, had become the virtual masters of the land” (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary).