Saul became king. God selected him privately with Samuel and anointed him with oil in a private ceremony. Saul was king. God selected him publicly through casting lots and praised him publicly through all the Israelites. Saul is king. They all shouted with joy, but not everyone was excited.
When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him. But there were some scoundrels who complained, "How can this man save us?" And they scorned him and refused to bring him gifts. But Saul ignored them… (1 Samuel 10:26-27a NLT)
Every position of leadership comes with its challenges. People will agree and people will disagree with the leader. This is where humility (discussed earlier) comes into play for the leaders. Humility is being honest about and faithful to our part of God’s plan. Humility knocks us down when we are prideful. Humility builds us up when others tear us down.
About a month later, King Nahash of Ammon led his army against the Israelite town of Jabesh-gilead. But all the citizens of Jabesh asked for peace. "Make a treaty with us, and we will be your servants," they pleaded. "All right," Nahash said, "but only on one condition. I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you as a disgrace to all Israel!" (1 Samuel 11:1-2 NLT)
Beyond the people God calls a leader to serve, others set themselves up as enemies of God. These enemies will destroy people in order to mock God. These are the true enemies of the King.
Saul had been plowing a field with his oxen, and when he returned to town, he asked, "What's the matter? Why is everyone crying?" So they told him about the message from Jabesh. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. (1 Samuel 11:5-6 NLT)
Saul knew how to make the distinction between the people he served and the true enemies of The King. When he saw the second, he rallied the troops – literally. Saul pulled together the warriors of Israel to save the Israelites from the Ammonite attackers.
So Saul sent the messengers back to Jabesh-gilead to say, "We will rescue you by noontime tomorrow!" There was great joy throughout the town when that message arrived! The men of Jabesh then told their enemies, "Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you can do to us whatever you wish." But before dawn the next morning, Saul arrived, having divided his army into three detachments. He launched a surprise attack against the Ammonites and slaughtered them the whole morning. The remnant of their army was so badly scattered that no two of them were left together. (1 Samuel 11:9-11 NLT)
Today, we do not fight human enemies. God calls us to go and make disciples of human beings (Matthew 28:19-20). Human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6; James 3:9-10). People are not our enemy. The enemy is our enemy (1 Peter 5:8). We fight the enemy (James 4:7-8) and love God (Matthew 22:37). We fight the enemy (Ephesians 6:10-20) and love people (Matthew 22:39). In doing this, we become a servant-warrior like Saul. We serve God and people by fighting our true enemies.
How about you? Do you see people as human beings made in God’s image? Do you see our true enemy as the enemy? Do you fight the enemy and love God? Do you fight the enemy and love people? Are you a servant-warrior?