1 Samuel 11

Talks for Growing Christians

Saul Defeats the Ammonites

1 Samuel 11

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Lesson Number 12

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The enemy will attack God’s people where they are vulnerable.
  2. The enemy will blind God’s people if they compromise.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s be angry for God’s sake.


  1. Where was Jabesh Gilead?
  2. Were the Ammonites the same as the Ammorites?
  3. Why would the men of Jabesh Gilead be helpless without their right eyes?
  4. Why was Saul so motivated to go and help Jabesh Gilead?
  5. Why did God want all of His people to cross the Jordan and dwell in the heart of the Promised Land?


  1. Jabesh Gilead was in the territory of the half tribe of Manasseh that had settled east of the Jordan River, 25 miles south of the Sea of Galilee.
  2. No, they were both enemies of Israel, but the Ammonites were descended from Lot.
  3. Most people were right handed and held their shields in the left hand, which covered the left eye. Therefore a warrior would be helpless to revolt if he did not have his right eye.
  4. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin, which had almost been wiped out in civil war during the time of the judges. Four hundred maidens from Jabesh Gilead were given to the men of Benjamin who survived the war. Saul’s lineage could have included a woman from Jabesh Gilead.
  5. For unity and security


  1. Jabesh Gilead and the rest of the territories on the east side of the Jordan were vulnerable to enemy attack. They settled for less than God’s perfect will by choosing to settle there. The Enemy will attack God’s people where they are vulnerable today as well. Have you settled for less than God’s perfect will in your life? Are you more vulnerable to the Enemy’s attack? Read 1 Peter 5:8.
  2. If the people of Jabesh Gilead had surrendered to the enemy, the result would be their literal blindness. Many people today are blinded to spiritual realities and the truth of God’s Word. They are ineffective in spiritual battle because they have surrendered to the enemy in some area of their walk of faith. If you are in this group, don’t compromise! Ask God to send help and victory.


  1. King Saul was filled with good and righteous anger when he heard of the threat of the Ammonites. We should be angry when we see God and His Word mocked and slandered. Let’s be angry for God’s sake.

Key Verses

  • “Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused.” 1 Samuel 11:6
  • “So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 11:15

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