1 Samuel 13-14
Chapter 13: The Lord Chooses Another
Saul reigned over Israel (up to this point for 2 years), 2 mark his 2 years he chose three thousand men, two thousand to stay with him in Michmash and in mount Beth-el and the other thousand men were to reside with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the men were sent home.
Jonathan decides to really smite the Philistines and sounds a trumpet throughout all the land to let the Hebrews know. The Philistines gather to fight Israel and bring with them 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen and people “numbering the same as the grains of sand in the ocean”. Naturally the Israelites begin to tremble and even hide in caves and high places. So Saul calls for a burnt offering to be made. He makes the offering and is them met by Samuel, who came to salute him.
Samuel tells Saul that he has done foolishly and because of him (and his lack of obedience to the Lord’s commandments) Israel shall be destroyed. Saul quickly goes to find a smith in the land to make weapons, but they are unable to find anyone to make weapons. Because of this they are going to fight the Philistines with absolutely nothing as for weapons.
The Lord rejects Saul and appoints a new captain over the Israelites.
Chapter 14: God does not Always Answer Prayers
Saul and six hundred of his men are in the outskirts of Gibeah with a priest named Ahijah. Jonathan decides to leave one day with is armour-bearer (he doesn’t tell his father or anyone, he just goes!)
Jonathan heads for an outpost on the a hill. Jonathan asks God as to whether or not he should attack the Philistines. They decide to show themselves to the Philistines and if they tell them to stay where they are, they will do it. But if they tell them to go to the top of the cliff, then they will take that as a sign from God to attack the Philistines.
The Philistines ask them to go up, so Jonathan and his armour-bearer attack some 20 armed Philistines in an area of about 1 acre. Because of this the Philistines freak out and start to panic, causing there army to spread across the land. Saul back home doesn’t know what is going on, so he calls the troops to be numbered and prepared for war. This is where they realize that Jonathan and his armour-bearer are missing. Saul calls for the Ark, but in the last minute tells the priest to just summon all the men into battle.
When Saul and his army get to the battle, they find the Philistines so confused that some of them are actually striking each other with their own swords! The Lord rescues Israel. Saul commands a fast in the land until the evening, so that they can defeat the Philistines. He puts death as a punishment for not fasting.
The troops go through a forest where honey is oozing out of hives. Jonathan unaware of this oath tastes some and has one soldier telling him about the oath. Jonathan basically says that he thinks it is stupid and blames Saul for putting this burden on weaken troops, who could have fought better having been full.
They finish their battle with the Philistines and start to plunder, by slaughtering animals to eat. They are so hungry that some of them eat meat with the blood still on it. Saul gets upset and tells them that they are sinning and sets up a stone where they can properly butcher and cook the meat. Saul builds an altar to the Lord.
Saul decides to go back and plunder the Philistines again, the priest that is with them suggests that they ask God first. So, Saul asks God and receives NO ANSWER! (1 Samuel 14:37). Saul gets worried that someone has sinned, and because of this God is not taking any favor in him. So he calls all of the men and finds out that Jonathan had sinned by tasting the honey, when they took an oath to not eat (by fasting).
Saul wants to put Jonathan to death for doing what he did. But the men of Israel won’t let Saul kill Jonathan. The chapter ends by telling us that; Saul’s wife is named Ahinoam, he has three sons; Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malki-Shua. He also has two daughters; Merab and Michal. Saul has an uncle named Ner, and Ner’s son; Abner is the commander of Saul’s army.