TEACHING THE TEACHER
power of testimony which "the word of Jehovah" conferred. They seem to have lived together, I Sam. 19:20, in communities similar to those two centuries later under Elijah and Elisha. They used musical instruments in their devotions, which were public as well as private. Ch. 10:5. They were the center of patriotic zeal as well as of religious effort. In fact, the belief in Israel's God was so evidently the bond that bound Israel together, that for the common man patriotism and religion were in danger of being regarded as one and the same thing.
It is not surprising, therefore, that out of Samuel's time and from the forces which Samuel set in motion, there came two movements which changed the course of the nation's history: an outward movement for independence, and an inward movement for monarchy. A revival of religion could not fail to rouse the subjected Hebrews against their oppressors, the Philistines. The reverses they suffered in battle against their better armed and better led enemies put it into their minds to set up a king, "like all the nations."
Samuel, as the national leader, was God's agent in selecting, consecrating, and establishing the first king. He chose Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, a man of heroic proportions though of modest demeanor. Ch. 9:2, 21. His choice met the popular approval, at first with general and outward acquiescence, though with much inward reserve and individual revolt; but after his first successful campaign with universal loyalty. Ch. 10:27; 11: 12-15.
That first military effort of the new monarch was against the Ammonites. But a greater test remained in the menace of the Philistines, whose garrisons at strategic points in the mountains of Israel served to keep the tribes in check. Under those circumstances Saul was cautious, for he had but a small force, inadequately armed, at his disposal. But the initiative, for which all Israel waited, was taken by Saul's son, Jonathan. Unknown to his father, Jonathan, accompanied only by his armor-bearer, but encouraged by an indication of God's will and by the enemy's slackness, ch. 14:12, attacked boldly a Philistine garrison that relied too much on the natural strength of its position. He began in this way a panic in the enemy's ranks, and soon drew after him in pursuit of them not only Saul's small army but multitudes of Hebrews who in their hiding places only waited such a signal to fall upon the hated oppressor. The victory of Michmash was overwhelming, the mountain country was cleared of the Phil-