1 Samuel 14:24-52

Talks for Growing Christians

King Saul Makes Two Foolish Vows

1 Samuel 14:24-52

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Lesson Number 16

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Foolish decisions result in needless hardships.
  2. Foolish decisions result in tragic situations.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t make decisions in the emotion of the moment.


  1. What title was suggested for 1 Samuel 14?
  2. Who was Abner?
  3. What rash oath did Saul make on behalf of his soldiers?
  4. What tragic situation occurred that night after the battle?
  5. What foolish decision did Saul make next?
  6. Did Jonathon die that night?


  1. “Faith in contrast to Folly,” the faith of Jonathon contrasted with the foolishness of Saul
  2. Saul’s uncle, and the commander of his army
  3. That they would not eat any food until evening, when they had taken vengeance on their enemies
  4. The people were so hungry they started ravenously slaughtering and eating the animals taken from the Philistines, without first draining the blood. This was a violation of the Mosaic Law.
  5. Because God would not answer Saul as to whether to pursue the Philistines further, Saul wrongly assumed that someone had sinned by breaking his foolish fasting vow. He said that even if his son Jonathon had broken the fast, he would surely die.
  6. No, God intervened and the people rescued Jonathon, protecting him from Saul.


  1. Foolish decisions result in needless hardships and tragic situations. Consider by yourself decisions that you have made regarding your family, church, and workplace. Did these decisions follow biblical principle of decision making? You can read about these principles in Dr. Dave’s essay, The Seven C’s of Decision Making.


  1. Even well meaning decisions made in the emotion of the moment can have sad consequences. Don’t make decisions in the emotion of the moment.

Key Verses

  • “Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” 1 Samuel 14:24
  • “Now there was fierce war with the Philistines all the days of Saul.” 1 Samuel 14:52

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