1 Samuel 11
GOD'S PLAN - 1). Saul cut up the oxen and sent them to everyone in Israel as a sign of his committment, and theirs. (v.7) Saul needed the oxen to tend his fields, but he cut them up as a sign that he was finally moving to his role as a king fulltime. He was finally leaving his old life behind to pursue the life God had called him to. 2). God changed the situation. (v.11) He took a divided nation in Israel, brought them together in unity and destroyed the Ammonites. He also took a united enemy, frustrated them in defeat, and sent them away divided and destroyed. Nothing can stand against God's power as He works His plan.
GOD'S PLAN - 1). The people came to Samuel and wanted to condemn the men who had spoke against Saul and his abilities. (v.12) After Saul defeated the Ammonites, the people were ready to follow him. God allowed a troubling situation to challenge Saul and give him the opportunity to prove his worth as king in the eyes of the people. 2). Samuel led the people to Gilgal where they reaffirmed Saul's kingship. (v.14,15) Though he'd already been anointed, God made Saul the king by giving him the challenge of the Ammonites. When he stepped up and defeated them, he truly recognized his role as the king. God wants us to achieve His desires for our lives, and if challenges help us do that, than so be it.
1 Samuel 12
GOD'S PLAN - 1). God told them to be obedient. (v.14,15) He told them to obey his commands and be faithful to Him. He also set up the king in such a way that if the king was disobedient, it would impact the entire nation. As a nation, we must serve the Lord and not rebel against His commands. 2). The people asked for Samuel to help pray for them after God punished them. (v.19) When God destroyed their harvest, they realized that Samuel had been right and they shouldn't have asked for a king. They finally respected his leadership and God's will after they saw a demonstration of His authority and power. When God moves in the affairs of men, they must take notice and respond to Him. 3). Samuel encouraged them to turn away from their sins and serve God with their whole hearts. (v.20) Their sin was a result of half-hearted efforts. When we give God our complete devotion, He will strengthen us to resist sin and stay true to Him.