Saul had led God’s people to a great victory, and as the people basked in the aftermath, perhaps fueled by massive quantities of adrenaline left over from the fight, some called for those who had doubted their new king to be put to death (11:12). Hearing this, Saul could have heartily consented to this demand, thereby ridding himself of potential adversaries or at least resisters. Instead, he stood before the people and declared that no one would be executed; instead, everyone should focus on the victory the Lord had given them (11:13). In this critical moment, Saul demonstrated wisdom, mercy, and grace and pointed his people to the Lord. We should give credit where credit is due.
But we should also look more broadly at Saul’s reign than just one moment. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that matters. We need to be careful never to rest on past accomplishments and moments of obedience. Yes, we should be grateful for them and recognize God’s kindness to give us these victories, but we should also never forget that our race is not done until we, by God’s sustaining grace, cross the finish line.
What victories has God given you in the past? How can these help you when you are tempted to give up or fall back into habitual sin?