We are constantly surrounded by enemies who want to prey on God’s people. ~~~ As we finish up reading about the growing animosity from the worthless fellows from within, we are introduced to a new character named Nahash the Ammonite. Nahash brings threats of shame and slavery upon Jabesh-Gilead.. Nahash tells them that he will strike a treaty with them, but part of the treaty will be to gouge out the right eye of each man. This will accomplish two goals. First, it will just bring pure and utter humiliation upon that tribe. It will be a mark that they will have to bear for a generation or two, and will always be known in that way. The second goal that would be accomplished by the gouging out of the right eyes is that it would not afford them to fight in battle. The customary way to hold a shield was to protect one eye or side of your face, while using your other eye to peek around the shield. This could not be done, so it would reduce the men of the tribe to servanthood or slavery. So you have the threat of shame and slavery. And Nahash is so confident in his power and in the men of Jabesh’s, and perhaps surrounding Israel’s weakness, that he allows the men of Jabesh to try and hunt up an army for the next seven days. Can I tell you that we are surrounded by Nahash’s at every turn—people who want to prey on the perceived weakness of the people of God. They want to make a mockery of us as the church of God. They want us to live in fear and guilt and shame. They want to kill, steal and destroy because they act just like their father. The enemy, Satan, wants to silence the church, to render us ineffective. But this is where the story gets good. Now I want you to notice something…there is a tension that has been building since the middle of chapter 10. Samuel said in verse 19—“You have rejected your God who saves you from all your calamities and distresses.” What was the question the worthless men asked about Saul—“How can this man save us?” And what is the request of men of Jabesh to Nahash in verse 3?—“Give us seven days that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you.” In 11:9 “Thus shall you say to the men of Jabesh-Gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance (salvation).” The question hanging in the air is, “Who will save Israel? Can Saul really save Israel? Can Saul bring peace to the threats from within and vanquish the threats on the outside?” That question is one you should ask? Who can save you? Deliver you day by day? Who can rescue you from the threats of the enemies that surround the church? To find out what happens, join us for another episode of Day by Day tomorrow.
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