Morning Light – May 11th, 2015

MLx250Today: [1 Samuel Chapter Eleven]: If Thy Right Eye Offend Thee… In this chapter we find Saul is ordained by Samuel and immediately faces an Ammonite warlord. This man’s name is Nahash which means “serpent”. He threatens to pluck out the right eyes of the men of Jabesh. Before the deed is done Saul as the captain of the Host comes to deliver the city. We see in this passage a deeper meaning of the words of Jesus in Matthew 5 about “plucking out” your right eye if it offends you.

Today: [1 Samuel Chapter Eleven]: If Thy Right Eye Offend Thee… In this chapter we find Saul is ordained by Samuel and immediately faces an Ammonite warlord. This man’s name is Nahash which means “serpent”. He threatens to pluck out the right eyes of the men of Jabesh. Before the deed is done Saul as the captain of the Host comes to deliver the city. We see in this passage a deeper meaning of the words of Jesus in Matthew 5 about “plucking out” your right eye if it offends you.

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[1Sa 11:1-15 KJV] 1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.

Saul is anointed by Samuel to be a captain over God’s people. It is interesting that the word of the Lord to Samuel doesn’t use the term king but the word captain on two occasions (1 Sam. 9:16; 10:1). Now we see an Ammonite warlord named Nahash rising up to attack the city of Jabesh-Gilead. He besieges the city and the people who live there plead with Nahash to make a covenant with them and they will become his servants. Now remember the 1 Cor. 10:11 principle. These things happened to them and are recorded for us as an example on whom the ends of the age have come. What does this story say to us?

Nahash the Ammonite means “inbred-serpent”. This warlord represents the enemy of your soul when he comes and encamps himself in your life. This is more than a drive-by assault of the enemy. This is the enemy bringing in the heavy equipment and setting up for a prolonged siege against the promises of God in your life. Nahash also represents the SIN NATURE – the INBRED SIN that each of us are born with. Jesus spoke of fallen man is “serpents and vipers” (Matt. 12:24). Psalm 51:5 says we are “born in sin and shapen in iniquity…” This is why Jesus said in John 3:3 that you must be “born again…” There must come a change to break the siege works of the enemy against your life. Nahash doesn’t strike when you are on top of the world and everything is going well. He strikes when you are spiritually living in Jabesh-Gilead. Jabesh means to be “dry, confused and ashamed…”

The people are afraid and feel overwhelmed by what they see coming in the attack of Nahash. Therefore they want to make a covenant. They in effect want to make a “deal with the devil” or Nahash the serpent. We do this many times. We get under pressure and we offer God all kinds of promises, vows and religious performance. We offer to suffer for God which is the one thing He is not interested in. When you come to God with your fasting, promises, vows, oaths, resolutions, or acts of penitence you are not negotiating with God you are negotiating with the Devil. It is Satan who was interested in tempting Adam and Eve in getting them into a works based approach to God. It was Satan who reviled Job with a performance based accusation. You may be addressing those pleas to God but it is the Devil who will step up to the auctioneer and make his bid for control of your life in lieu of your religious based, performance oriented plea for relief and safety from the things you fear. God doesn’t deal in fear. He doesn’t do shame and He doesn’t do blame.

2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this [condition] will I make [a covenant] with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it [for] a reproach upon all Israel. 3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if [there be] no man to save us, we will come out to thee.

What does Nahash want? He wants not only to destroy you but to defame the God of Israel. The serpent (the Devil), your Nahash isn’t after YOU he is after the GOD in YOU. What does Nahash want? He will negotiate with Jabesh if they allow him to put out all of their right eyes. Now what could the possibly mean? We need to look into this because it is the first mention of “putting out the right eye” in the scripture. That brings out the “law of first mention” which is a principle of biblical hermeneutics that says this:

“The first mention of a subject in the bible becomes an interpretive guide for understanding that subject when it comes up throughout the biblical narrative…”

Remember that Jesus was a student of these passages. 1 Samuel was in his bible. He would have been very familiar with this passage. He understood and the ancient Hebrews understood that the term “put out your right eye…” was an idiom or figure of speech for making a deal with the devil. In Matthew chapter five Jesus uses this idiom or figure of speech in addressing matters of religious performance and the works of the law:

[Mat 5:29 KJV] 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

The Israelites at Jabesh ask the warlord Nahash for 7 days to seek out a deliverer who could help them AVOID putting out their right eyes. In other words they are given an opportunity to solve the problem – but not on the level of the problem. They are looking for ANOTHER deliverance. Likewise Jesus in Matt. 5 is implying “if you want to seek perfection on the enemies terms then go ahead and PLUCK OUT your RIGHT EYE…” but rather – why not understand the “7th Day Principle” and seek out God’s perfect Deliverance. We cannot cease from sin or be perfect WITHOUT JESUS just as the men of Jabesh (confused, dry in their soul and ashamed of their moral and spiritual failure) could not live up to the demand and are given permission to SEEK A SAVIOR.

4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept. 5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What [aileth] the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. 6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent [them] throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.

Saul’s response to the threat of the SERPENT WARLORD was anger. If you want to know the anger of the Lord look at the threats of the enemy in your life. God is angry with the enemy. How can He be angry with you when He sent His son to die for you while you were yet in your sins (Eph. 2:12). Saul’s question to the Israelites is God’s question to you – “what aileth you?” And they TOLD HIM (Saul) the tidings. Saul was their captain. Jesus is the Captain of our Salvation (Heb. 2:10). When is the last time you looked to the Captain of Your Salvation and “told Him the tidings”. That is what prayer is ALL about!

What does Saul do? He takes a yoke of oxen and hews it into 12 pieces and sends it into the land to call the people to Him. This is a picture of what God Himself did (Isa. 53:10). He was angry at the consequences of sin and took Jesus as the spotless bullock and tore Him in pieces on the cross and declared “whosoever will” let him come …

8 And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. 9 And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by [that time] the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed [it] to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you. 11 And it was [so] on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.

Notice when help came. We want help 30 minutes after we get in trouble. When will help come? Tomorrow! Tomorrow when things get HOT! God is a God who limits His sovereignty in terms of outcome and promise but He retains His sovereignty in terms of timing and process.

[Heb 4:16 KJV] 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

12 And the people said unto Samuel, Who [is] he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death. 13 And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel. 14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there. 15 And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

The victory is won and Samuel the prophet is ready to execute those who did not come out to war with Saul. See the compassion and the magnamity of Saul – “there shall not be a man put to death this day…” This is equivalent to what Jesus said when His disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven but He said “the son of man didn’t come to destroy but to save…” So rather than falling upon each other in a great slaughter they went to Gilgal to have a party. The captain of the Lord of Host was installed in the person of Saul and salvation was come to the land just as salvation comes to us when we muster out to Jesus warring with Him and allowing Him to war in our behalf.

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