Template:DOD protected/March 23
Today's reading covers the renewal of the kingdom. Saul returned home and was actually hesitant to talk about his great experience. Keep in mind that this was at the beginning of the kingdom, when everything was new, Samuel was still the spiritual ruler of the land, and he and Saul were waiting for God's leading concerning the future of the nation. The nation did not have modern means of transportation or communication, and it would take months for Saul and Samuel to unite and rally the people. Saul's first opportunity came when Nahash threatened the nation. The Spirit of God came on him mightily and he utterly defeated the enemy. Certainly this national victory put Saul before the people and established his power. Some of his associates wanted Saul to kill those Israelites who had opposed his reign, but Saul showed humility and restraint by giving the glory to the Lord and refusing to take vengeance on others.
This victory was the occasion for a renewal of the kingdom and a rededication of the nation. Samuel reviewed his own ministry and reminded the people that he had been faithful to them and to the Lord. He then reviewed the history of the nation and led the people to see that they had greatly sinned against the Lord by asking for a king. He called for rain to show the people his own faith and the power of God, and the sudden storm in harvest (an unusual thing at that time of the year) brought fear to the people. They admitted their sin and Samuel reassured them of God's grace.