Fighting for the Little Guy 

If we do not fight for the little guy, what makes us think we will fight for the big guy?

First Samuel 11–12

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 14, In the year of our Lord, 2014

Scripture Reader and Reading: Carl Peugh – Hosea 13.9–11

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – Onward Christian Soldiers and similar songs


  1. What do we do when one of our brethren needs help? 
    1. Should not the whole support the part?
    2. Should not the strong defend the weak?
    3. Should not the large fight for the small?


  1. First Samuel 11.1–3 – Nahash Picked a Fight with Jabesh Gilead

    1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.” 2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, “On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring reproach on all Israel.” 3 Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, “Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you.”

    1. The men of Jabesh Gilead sought peace, but
    2. what notion of peace did Nahash have?
      1. He told Jabesh Gilead to put out their right eyes and
      2. bring reproach on Israel, because
        1. it would show what an enemy
        2. could do, bringing a whole nation to its knees.
    3. Since Nahash made it a matter of Israel,
      1. the elders of Jabesh Gilead wanted to see whether Israel would help.
      2. Amazingly, Nahash allowed them to make inquiry.
        1. Perhaps he allowed it to humiliate Jabesh even more,
        2. believing that no one would answer their call for help.
  2. First Samuel 11.4–8 – Unity in a Fight

    4 So the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept. 5 Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, “What troubles the people, that they weep?” And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh. 6 Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused. 7 So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen.” And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent. 8 When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

    1. Saul still chased animals.
    2. However, when he heard of the threat against a city of Israel,
      1. his spirit could not contain itself, because
      2. the Spirit of God moved him to do something about it.
    3. Immediately, he made a sacrifice.
      1. Then he did what national leaders have to do,
      2. he instituted a draft of sorts,
        1. threatening that anyone who did not come out to the battle,
        2. would suffer as Saul’s oxen had just suffered.
    4. The people believed Saul and
      1. in unity they went out to follow,
      2. numbering 330,000 soldiers!
        1. Every able-bodied man joined the force.
        2. Israel has that same thing today, including the young women.
          1. Over 1.5 million males, between 17–49,
          2. over 1.5 million females, between 17–49, and
          3. another 2.7 million plus ready for war.
        3. And how large is modern Israel?
          1. It is about the same size as New Jersey, or Lake Country, Oregon.
          2. See how it compares with England or the 48 States of America.
  3. First Samuel 11.9–11 – We Will Fight for You

    9 And they said to the messengers who came, “Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.’ ” Then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do with us whatever seems good to you.” 11 So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

    1. They did not need the full seven days, help was on its way.
    2. Israel slaughtered Nahash and the Ammonites.
      1. It is not a good idea to pick a fight with the people of God.
      2. Like today, groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation,
        1. are fighting us relentlessly, and
        2. for the moment they have gained many victories.
          1. However, in time, they shall be defeated and disappear, and
          2. the church shall remain.
    3. You cannot win against the church when the church walks in God’s grace.
  4. First Samuel 11.12–13 – No More Fighting

    12 Then the people said to Samuel, “Who is he who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring the men, that we may put them to death.” 13 But Saul said, “Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has accomplished salvation in Israel.”

    1. Because Israel had won such a marvelous victory with their new king,
      1. they wanted to go after the people who had challenged Saul as king.
      2. They wanted to kill them.
    2. However, Saul stopped them.
      1. Later, he would change, but
      2. for the present he was still a humble man of God.
  5. First Samuel 11.14–15 – Celebrate

    14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they made sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

    1. Samuel was also excited, because
      1. Saul did lead Israel in a great victory
      2. against an enemy that wanted to humiliate them.
    2. Thus, for the time everyone was happy.
      1. It would be easy to forget the problems
      2. that Samuel had said would come.
  6. First Samuel 12.1–5 – The Power of a Good Conscience

    1 Now Samuel said to all Israel: “Indeed I have heeded your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you. 2 And now here is the king, walking before you; and I am old and grayheaded, and look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. 3 Here I am. Witness against me before the Lord and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you.” 4 And they said, “You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand.” 5 Then he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they answered, “He is witness.”

    1. Paul reminded the elders in Acts 20 of the same thing,

      33 “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20.33–35).
    2. This is why Peter spoke these words,

      15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed (1Pe 3.15–16).
  7. First Samuel 12.6–18 – The Lord in History

    6 Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore, stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did to you and your fathers: 8 When Jacob had gone into Egypt, and your fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. 9 And when they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. 10 Then they cried out to the Lord, and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ 11 And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety. 12 And when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. 15 However, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers. 16 Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes: 17 Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the Lord, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking a king for yourselves.” 18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

    1. Samuel gave them a quick history lesson,

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (George Santayana).

    2. See how Samuel began (v.6), “It is the Lord who…”
      1. Then he reminded them of several of the things the Lord had done.
      2. For the reasons he stated, we also need to know all biblical history.
      3. We need to know church history.
    3. Is it good for young people to know of The Depression and World War II?
      1. I think so because those events shaped our world, even today.
      2. Yet, those events are specks on the timeline of biblical and world history.
    4. Then see what Samuel did in verse 17.
      1. Israel needed to know that though they had a king,
      2. the Lord still reigned over Israel.
        1. Therefore, Samuel called to the Lord
        2. to send a monstrous thunder storm during wheat harvest.
          1. Did you see the result in verse 18?
          2. The people feared both the Lord and Samuel.
  8. First Samuel 12.19–22 – Pray for Us

    19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.” 20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. 22 For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people.”

    1. Not surprisingly, the people confessed their sin,
      1. seeing what the Lord was able to do,
        1. hence what He could have done to their enemies,
        2. such as Nahash, and
      2. that He did so at the direction of one man!
    2. Samuel did not tell them everything was okay; that it was no big deal.
      1. No, he told them not to fear, but
      2. right along with that,
        1. he impressed upon them what they needed to do:
          1. Do not turn aside from following the Lord,
          2. Serve the Lord with all your heart,
          3. Do not turn aside after empty things that are profitless.
        2. They were to so serve the Lord because
          1. He would not forsake His people,
          2. He would remain loyal to them for His great name’s sake, and
          3. it pleased Him to make them His people.
    3. Brethren, those words apply to us also.
      1. We should serve the Lord,
      2. not going aside after profitless things.
        1. He has said that He will remain with us to the end of the age, and
        2. His work on the cross shows His pleasure in making us His people.
  9. First Samuel 12.23–25 – I’ll Pray, You Obey

    23 “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

    1. The words of Samuel in verse 23 haunt me.
      1. They haunt me at the thought of ceasing to pray for you, because,
      2. according to Samuel, that would be sinning against the Lord!
    2. Also, Samuel devoted himself to teaching the good and the right way, and
      1. I cannot imagine doing anything less.
      2. Some of you are teachers.
        1. We need more of you who will teach, and
        2. who will have the passion of Samuel.
    3. Again, Samuel reminded the people
      1. to fear the Lord,
      2. to serve Him in truth with all the heart,
        1. letting memory of His work among them
        2. prompt them to fear Him and to serve Him.
    4. On the other hand, if they continued in wickedness,
      1. they and their king
      2. would be swept away.
        1. And guess what the history of Israel shows?
        2. They served Him off and on, but
          1. eventually it was completely off,
          2. as they followed the wicked example of their kings, and
            1. the Lord swept them off the land,
            2. sending the Northern Kingdom,
              1. starting in 722/721 BC
              2. into Assyrian captivity, and
            3. sending the Southern Kingdom
              1. starting in 606/605 BC
              2. into Babylonian captivity.
    5. Listen to what the Lord told Israel centuries later,

      9 “O Israel, you are destroyed,
      But your help is from Me.
      10 I will be your King;
      Where is any other,
      That he may save you in all your cities?
      And your judges to whom you said,
      ‘Give me a king and princes’?
      11 I gave you a king in My anger,
      And took him away in My wrath.”
      (Hos 13.9–11)


  1. If you ask God for something, and 
    1. He gives it,
    2. do not let it take you away from Him.
      1. This is what Israel did.
      2. Solomon did the same thing, chronicled in the Book of Ecclesiastes, but
        1. he returned to the Lord,
        2. seeing that fearing God and keeping His commandments
          1. are what life is about.
          2. How would you summarize your life?