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From Eternity Past

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    The Reason for Saul's Sad Failure

    Saul was in disfavor with God and yet unwilling to humble his heart in penitence. He was not ignorant of Israel's defeat when the ark of God was brought into the camp by Hophni and Phinehas; and yet, knowing all this, he determined to send for the sacred chest and its attendant priest. By this means he hoped to reassemble his scattered army and give battle to the Philistines. He would dispense with Samuel's presence and free himself from the prophet's unwelcome criticisms and reproofs.EP 450.4

    The Holy Spirit had been granted to Saul to enlighten his understanding and soften his heart. And yet how great was his perversity! That impetuous spirit, not early trained to submission, was ever ready to rebel against divine authority. Men cannot for years pervert the powers God has given them, and then, when they choose to change, find these powers fresh and free for an opposite course.EP 450.5

    Saul's efforts to arouse the people proved unavailing. His force reduced to six hundred men, he retired to the fortress at Geba on the south side of a deep, rugged gorge a few miles north of Jerusalem. On the north side of the valley, at Michmash, the Philistine force lay encamped, while troops went out in different directions to ravage the country.EP 451.1

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