“If there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you" (v3). The twelve tribes of Israel were a coalition more than a nation at this time, and their lack of unity made them weak. As their first king, Saul was able to unite the Israelites in defense of the people of Jabesh-Gilead (v7), who were being threatened by the Ammonites (v1). Though God’s desire was to be Israel’s only king and deliverer, He used Saul to protect the nation (v9).
“Today the Lord has worked salvation in Israel” (v13). Saul’s leadership was only effective because he cooperated with what God was doing. We thrive in our gifts and callings when we whole-heartedly serve our King.