1 Samuel 11-12, The apex of Saul’s spiritual and moral life

1 Samuel 11-12

Israel has now changed, at her own choice, from a direct theocracy under Jahweh as king, mediated by God’s judges and prophets, into a human monarchy. Though sin was involved in that choice, God honored Israel’s choice and used His prophet Samuel to select and anoint the Benjamite Saul, son of Kish as king.
It should be remembered that the people of Israel, because of their idolatry and disobedience in various ways and times during the period of the judges, have been allowed by the Lord to be suppressed and distressed by her enemies. They do not have iron weapons, whereas their neighbors do. They can’t even sharpen or repair their own iron farm tools (plows, axes, picks, etc) but must go to the Philistine blacksmiths. God in His Providence and kindness toward Israel now prompts the Amonites to the east of the Dead Sea, to surround and besiege the Benjamite city of Jabesh-Gilead and threaten them with the choice of annihilation or serfdom and blinding in one eye!
At this time Saul, though anointed as king, is still not a politically or militarily powerful man. The Lord moves powerfully on him and stirs him to righteous indignation and strong action.
In chapters 11-12, we see Saul at his spiritual and moral zeniith. He ruled Israel for 42 years, but these two chapters record him at his best, early in his rule. The following chapters will reveal the details of a politically powerful, yet morally fractured, jealous, spiritually stunted, and emotionally unstable man.
Thank the Lord for His steadfast faithfulness! Though we stumble, He doesn’t.