Suppose that the inhabitants of a city are in a desperate situation. A cruel enemy has surrounded their city with his army, and he intends to destroy it. It seems that they must hand over their city to him. That was what happened to Jabesh in 1 Samuel 11:1-11.
However Jabesh had a powerful king, King Saul of Israel - although nobody had yet recognised his importance. Saul made a serious promise that he would gather a vast army to rescue Jabesh.
Before Saul reached Jabesh with his army, he sent an important message to the city’s inhabitants. He was coming soon, so they must not hand over their city to the enemy.
In that message, Saul was telling them to depend on him. They should put their trust in him. He was their king and he would save them. That is also the meaning of Paul’s words when he urges people to ‘call upon the name’ of Christ (10:9-13). People should depend upon Christ because he alone can save people from their sins (evil deeds) (Matthew 1:21); from the devil (Hebrews 2:14) and from death (John 11:25-26).
Jabesh’s inhabitants were very happy when they received Saul’s message. They saw that they could have confidence in his power to save them. They depended on him only because they believed him. They believed only because they heard his message. They heard it only because some men went back into Jabesh to declare it. Those men only went because Saul sent them with his message.
So, God’s message about Christ is even more important, and even more wonderful. The task to declare that message is both a serious duty, and a great honour.
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© 2017, Keith Simons.