The Trumpet Sounded
1 Samuel 13:1-7
Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,…

And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear.

1. The great conflict between good and evil which has been waged from the first (Genesis 3:15) has been concentrated in every age on some particular issue. At this time it was whether Israel and the worship of the true God or the Philistines and the worship of idols should prevail. It was thus of the highest importance in relation to the kingdom of God upon earth.

2. The Philistines were old enemies and powerful oppressors (Judges 3:3; Judges 10:7; Judges 13:1; 1 Samuel 7:2). During the administration of Samuel they were held in check (1 Samuel 7:13), although they appear to have had military posts or garrisons in the land (1 Samuel 10:5; ver. 3), and the overthrow of one of these by Jonathan (at Geba, four miles north of Gibeah, and opposite Michmash) gave the signal for renewed conflict. Having evacuated Michmash, where he had stationed himself with an army of 2000, Saul summoned all the men of Israel to gather to him at Gilgal; but the advancing hosts of the enemy filled the country with terror, so that he was left with only 600 followers, and found it necessary, after his interview with Samuel, to join his son Jonathan at Gibeah (Geba) (vers. 2, 16; ch. 14:2). Meanwhile the enemy occupied Michmash, whence three companies of spoilers issued, plundering the plains and valleys. A second and greater exploit of Jonathan, however, drove them out of Michmash, and it was followed by a general engagement, in which large numbers of them were slain, and the rest "went to their own place" (1 Samuel 14:23, 31, 46).

3. The conflict to which Israel was summoned represents that to which Christians are called. It is a conflict with physical and moral evil, with the world, the flesh, and the devil (John 15:19; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 2:16), and with men only in so far as they are ruled by sin, and in order to their salvation; a conflict which is good ("the good fight of faith" - 1 Timothy 6:12) and necessary, and affords full scope for whatever warlike instincts and energies are possessed. What does the sound of the trumpet signify? (1 Corinthians 14:8).

I. A BLOW HAS BEEN STRUCK AGAINST THE FOE. The greatest blow that was ever inflicted upon the "power of darkness" was struck by "the Captain of our salvation" in his life and death and glorious resurrection (John 12:31; John 16:33; 1 John 3:8); and in the spirit and power of his victory his followers carry on the conflict (Matthew 10:34). At times there seems to be something like a truce, but it never lasts long; and when a fresh blow is struck by "a good soldier of Jesus Christ" it -

1. Reveals the essential difference between the spirit that is in "the Israel of God" and "the spirit that is in the world."

2. Intensifies their antagonism (ver. 4).

3. Commits them to more definite and decisive action. And to this end the fact should be proclaimed. "When Saul the king of the Hebrews was informed of this (ver. 3), he went down to the city of Gilgal, and made proclamation of it over all the country, summoning them to freedom" (Josephus).


1. Exceedingly numerous, "as the sand which is on the sea shore."

2. Skilful, crafty, and deceitful (2 Corinthians 11:14).

3. Very powerful. There is at the present day an extraordinary combination of anti-christian agencies (2 Timothy 3:1-9; Revelation 13:11-18), threatening Christian faith and practice, which might well fill us with fear, did we not believe that "they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16). "The spirits of the unseen world seem to be approaching us. Times of trouble there have been before; but such a time, in which everything, everywhere, tends in one direction to one mighty struggle of one sort - of faith with infidelity, lawlessness with rule, Christ with antichrist - there seems never to have been till now" (Pusey).

III. THE FAITHFUL MUST RALLY AROUND THEIR LEADER. The gathering forces of the enemy should constrain us to closer union, and the proper centre of union is he of whom the greatest kings and heroes were feeble types and shadows.

1. He has been Divinely appointed, and claims our obedience and cooperation.

2. He is fully qualified as "a Leader and Commander of the people."

3. He is the only hope of safety and success. "God is with him" (1 Samuel 10:7).

"With force of arms we nothing can,
Full soon were we down ridden,
But for us fights the proper man,
Whom God himself hath bidden.

Ask ye, Who is this same?
Christ Jesus is his name;
The Lord Sabaoth's Son;
He, and no other one,
Shall conquer in the battle"



1. What triumphs has he gained in former days I

2. They are an earnest of "still greater things than these."

3. And they should inspire us with the confidence and courage which are needful to participation in his victory and glory (Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:11). "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." - D.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,

WEB: Saul was [forty] years old when he began to reign; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,

Sin the Ruin of Nations
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