The people of Israel had chosen their first king, and it would not be long before they would need his leadership. Messengers arrived at Gibeah, King Saul’s hometown and Israel’s first capital city, with a crisis: The Ammonites had invaded and barricaded Jabesh Gilead, efforts at peace had resulted in a horrific demand by the Ammonite leader Nahash. Rather than taxes or tribute, Nahash was after humiliation and domination; he wanted to gouge out the right eye of all Jabesh Gilead’s citizens. Instead of agreeing, a call for Saul’s help would be the first test of his merit. Saul was enraged by the news. He successfully drew together the men of Israel and led them to defeat the Ammonites in battle. This story is significant because it shows how Saul solidified his leadership in Israel. Saul had many strengths, but would he rely on God’s strength to overcome his human weaknesses?
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