The Ammonites from the east side of the Jordan River besieged Jabesh Gilead (25 miles south of the Sea of Galilee); and Saul, with the Spirit of God "upon him in power" (11:6), united the nation of Israel to defeat them. This confirmed Saul's kingship at Gilgal in the presence of the LORD and all the people.
Reminder: "The Ammonites were descendants of Benammi, Lot’s younger son by his daughter, born in a cave near Zoar (Gen. 19:38). They were regarded as relatives of the Israelites, who were commanded to treat them kindly (Deut. 2:19)." (Wood, D. R. W. ; Marshall, I. Howard: New Bible Dictionary. 3rd ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, 1996, S. 29
Reminder: The fellowship offering of 11:15 was an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving to God, symbolizing peace because one knows Him and lives according to His commands. We studied this offering in Leviticus 3.
The Scarlet Thread of Redemption
Do you see how Judah is singled out from the other tribes in 11:8? This is because it was 1) the largest tribe, 2) the tribe in which most of Israel's kings would come (Genesis 49:8-12), 3) one of the few tribes who would return to God after the captivity, and 4) the tribe through which the Messiah would come (Micah 5:2).
Saul started out well. He proved himself an able military leader and his anger toward the injustice of the siege of Jabesh Gilead was properly directed. This passage shows me that not all anger is sinful if directed at sin and the mistreatment of others. The Holy Spirit used this anger to bring about freedom for the people of Jabesh Gilead.
Does injustice ever make you angry? In the past, I would watch the news and just want to throw something at the TV. That was NOT a proper channeling of my anger over the injustice that I saw in the world!
Next time you observe injustice or mistreatment of others, ask the Holy Spirit to channel that anger so that you might take action and make a positive change in our world!!!
Now, rather than become angry and want to throw things at the television, I pray and educate myself more thoroughly about the situation. Sometimes it might lead you to give to people and initiatives that are helping to rectify the problem. Sometimes it might lead you to go and help in the initiative!
2015 Update: ISIS in Iraq and Syria is that thing that makes me want to throw things at the television. Your response might be fear. Whatever your response, fight the battle on your knees! Remember that our battle is not with flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces that cause people to act in evil ways. Download a 30-day prayer guide to pray for this situation.
Lord, the injustice in our world makes me sad and sometimes angry. There are so many who are oppressed and mistreated. Help us to make an impact on the world for Your glory as we see injustice. Open our eyes and move our hearts toward action that would bring glory to You. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.