1 Samuel 10:26-27
And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.…
I. THE SYMPATHY OF SAUL'S FRIENDS. There are times in the life of man when the sympathy of a friend is of priceless value. At critical junctures of our history, in times of sorrow or in seasons of joy, it is most acceptable.
1. This sympathy was human. "There went with him a band of men." Potent as are spiritual influences to sustain us in duty, is it not welcome to feel the pressure of the hand. to hear the love which speaks in the quivering voice, and to see the eye of compassion looking upon us?
2. This sympathy was collective. "A band of men."
3. This sympathy was practical. "They went with him."
4. This sympathy was fervent. "Whose hearts." They did not merely follow Saul as a bodyguard of soldiers, who were to be paid for their work. There was some deep power within that bound them to the new King; and therefore we cannot wonder at their sympathy taking a practical form.
5. This sympathy was divinely called forth. "Whose hearts God had touched." Yes! all hearts are in the Divine hand, and when we are placed by Providence in circumstances of trial, it can influence the most potent so that they become our friends.
II. THAT ANTIPATHY OF SAUL'S ENEMIES. "But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents."
1. This antipathy was envious. "This man save us." They thought themselves far more worthy for the position of king than Saul; they considered his social rank beneath theirs, and his valour far inferior to their chivalry. Envy always makes men blind.
2. This antipathy was sarcastic. "This man."
3. This antipathy was presumptuous. Why should they place themselves in opposition to such a potent and even holy authority.
4. The antipathy was unconcealed.
III. THE SUGGESTIVE CONDUCT OF SAUL IN REFERENCE TO THE HATRED OF HIS ENEMIES. "But he held his peace."
1. His conduct was dignified.
2. His conduct was discreet.
3. His conduct was magnanimous.Lessons: —
1. The considerateness of Divine Providence in giving us the aid of our companions in the trying circumstances of life.
2. That the efforts of national opinion are often misdirected.
3. That envy is often the secret of much political opposition.
4. That silence is the best method of treating such contemptible opposition.
(Joseph S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.