12:1-13:15a – To the king as well as the people, God speaks in promise and warning: ‘If both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well… If you will not hearken to the voice of the Lord… then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king’ (12:14-15). Samuel was not afraid to speak very directly to the king – ‘You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God… Your kingdom shall not continue’ (13:13-14). Saul’s reign was about to end. God’s love continued: ‘The Lord will not cast away His people, for His great Name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for Himself’ (12:22). Saul had become too full of himself and his own importance. He needed to be replaced by ‘a man after God’s own heart’ (13:14). To the divine King be all the glory!
13:15b-14:23 – Humanly speaking, Israel seemed to be ‘no hopers’ (13:22). There was, however, something else. The Lord was with His people and He would give them the victory (14:6,19,12,23). There is a very important lesson for us here: ‘The weapons of our warfare are not worldly’. We are to ‘put on the whole armour of God’ (2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 6:11-13). The victory does not come from our own strength. It comes from the Lord (Psalms 21:16; 21:7). In all our difficulties, we say, with faith, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?… In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us’ (Romans 8:31,37). Do you want to have this strong faith which rejoices in the Lord, even when life is very difficult? – ‘Wait on the Lord and renew your strength’ (Isaiah 40:31).