The people of Jabesh Gilead 1 Samuel 11 - commentary - Part One

There are few portions in the Scripture which always had lesser attention from us when compared to certain other parts. These days may the Lord help us to have more insight over those as well. This is also significant of the fact that God is raising the people who were not known before, or in other words, who were not known witnessing the glory of God before. Lord is raising testimonies to His name from unnoticed corners, to reflect His love and wisdom. He is raising examples in mother in laws, in teens and adolescents, and in people from so many walks of life.

These are the days where God is raising prophets from among the slaves, and the ones who were despised, He makes them to carry His presence, and from them the Lord is bringing deliverance, and in them He displays His glory. In this writing series we will study the Lords truths from a group of people who are not popular at all.

This is one of those chapters in the books of the Bible, which starts with a failure, but ends in celebration. In fact this chapter ends with this word ‘celebration’. How much would you like those failure situations of yours to turn into celebrations. I am giving you a lucrative foreword so that you would join me in the study of this chapter.

Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you.”

We think we invent shorter ways to escape hardship, even though it feels good for a while to imagine that way, the assumably creative solution doesn't work us the salvation, the deliverance that we needed. We think compromising with the principalities that we face, we can go smooth with it, and not have to struggle, as we don't want the embarrassment, hurt, frustration, and pressure, that could happen as we struggle through, and we think it's better to go a way that doesn't require us to struggle. But ultimately we end up in a greater struggle. Standing up for the faith, bearing the times of persecution, and struggling against the forces of the world, the principalities, the wrong authorities, powers of darkness, spirits of evil, the temptations of the world, and every besieging moment, is a better decision, than taking a seemingly stress free approach, where you have to compromise and subject to the enemy. All men of Jabesh Gilead wanted to go smooth, as without having to give a fight, they thought they could continue their unconfronted lifestyle, and it didn't matter who would rule them, be it even Nahash the Ammonite, they didn't care.

But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.”

Oops! It didn't go as you thought it would go, right? You thought, that way you could avoid a lot of trouble. You thought, going that route, you don't have to disturb much of your present lifestyle. You don't have to show the people about your refinement. You don't have to say a word about your Christian faith, you don't have to go through the difficulty of putting up a stand for your faith. You thought so, you could go real smooth with the forces that besieged you. The treaty you thought would bring peace simply failed. That's not the peace that Jesus promised, that's why Jesus had to tell this, that He would not give the peace as how the world gives. You think it's tolerable to stay defeated, but that's not enough for your enemy, as he wants you to be disgraced. And that's where we are compelled to be victorious. And we are victorious as we stand in the faith on Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who is victorious.

Nahash reveals the plan behind the plot of besieging Jabesh Gilead. It was to bring disgrace upon its people, the very thing which you thought you would avoid by going in peace with the enemy, with their principalities, agreeing to their norms.

The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.”

The nasty imagination of walking with one eye gouged out finally moves the elders of Jabesh to at least try to reach out for help if not struggling by themselves. Sometimes the enemy is so quick like the prowling lion and the tyrannical bear that came over David and Samson, which they were able to overcome by the strength of the Lord, but other times it advances against us in the right pace, giving us enough time to strategize the defense. You don't have to straight away give it up at the start of a challenging situation, you can buy time, you can slow down the purging. Here we could see the elders of Jabesh having excellent negotiating skills, bought seven days time in a besieged situation, from the enemy.

Your most of the worst decisions have come out at your haste, than when you really took time to work on it. Be very cautioned when you are all excited, when you are in a hurry, pray to God for a stand still sun (Joshua 10:13). Maybe, there is still hope in your situation even though you think you are at the verge of getting finished. Seven days of waiting in the Lord might turn it all around in your favor. Maybe, every single thing went wrong, but probably you can work out seven days postponement. It could be an act of the Holy Spirit if you feel you could delay that event for a while. Seven days signify ‘quite enough time’. May the Spirit of God give you the insight to recognize the ‘enough’ time you want to delay before you should close that deal. And you definitely are not all certain about your deliverance, but all you probably want to do now is that you can negotiate or work out a delay. We have all occasionally felt that there has been delays from God, though we also know it's not true as it appears to be, but the same idea of delay can be applied to your enemy. This is going to be the point you would note as one of the secrets of winning, and it is, if all that you can do at your moment of adversity, is just to make your enemy delayed, do it, and the Lord would stop the delaying of your victory and hasten it into you!

It's so spiritual, and scriptural, ask God in the name of Jesus to cause the sun to stand still, and the victory would be yours.

If you are feeling the presence of God around you now, just allow Him to minister into your heart, to show the things that you shouldn't really hasten but postpone it for a later date. You cannot succumb to the pressures of life that easily, but negotiate it, struggle against it, and continue to stand in faith on our Lord and deliverer, Jesus Christ. May God give wisdom and insight on what you need to delay, and may be you deserve rest, and while you rest you may want to send messengers to reach out for help.

We can study more in part 2, to know who are these messengers that we can send.

And I already pointed to you the last word of this chapter, remember it even as you go through the study.

To be continued...

Joseph v Dixon

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Joseph V Dixon
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