Posts tagged ‘Saul’
1 Samuel 28-31; Psalm 18
David can finally breathe a sigh of relief; he will no longer be chased by Saul in pursuit of his life.
We see an interesting contrast between Saul and David in today’s reading. In chapter 28, we see how Saul first gathered his troops to fight against the Philistines (1 Samuel 28:4), and then he inquired of the Lord. David, on the other hand, immediately inquires of God in 1 Samuel 30:8, and only once he hears God’s response does he gather his men to fight.
God does not respond to Saul’s inquiry, which leads Saul to seek guidance from a medium. Saul knew this was wrong and against God’s law (for he himself had outlawed mediums from the land), yet he pursues this course of action anyway. And to what end? Yes, he finds out what will happen, but it is all bad news. He even finds out that he is going to die the next day. Wow! He really would have been better off not to know these things in advance.
God’s law protects us from our own stupidity. No matter how tempting it is to get a palm reading or talk with someone who can supposedly talk to the dead or even read a horoscope, it is always better to avoid these things. We learned back in Deuteronomy that God detests occult practices. Let God be your answer. Let Him be the one you turn to with questions.
1 Samuel 21-24
Inquiring of God
The chase is on in these chapters of 1 Samuel. We see King Saul desperately chasing David in an attempt to kill him. David and his men are fleeing and hiding in the desert and in caves. This sounds like an awful way to live; always feeling like someone is chasing you.
I have had dreams like this before, where I’m hiding and running away from someone trying to kill me. Not fun. Thank goodness these dreams do not occur very often anymore! But for David, this was not a dream, this was real life.
I love how even in the midst of all of this, David seeks God’s counsel when making decisions. When deciding whether he should lead his men in an attack against the Philistines, we read “he inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go and attack these Philistines?’” (1 Samuel 23:2) God told him to attack them, but David’s men answered in fear, so David inquired of God a second time, and he heard the same answer.
Once David knew what God’s will was, then he did it! “So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock.” (1 Samuel 23:5)
Earlier, David was obedient when the prophet Gad told him, “Do not stay in the stronghold. God into the land of Judah.” (1 Samuel 22:5) Immediately after he is told this, the scripture tells us that David left and went where he was told he should go.
Wow! What obedience! What wisdom: to seek out God’s answer before acting. How many major decisions do you (and I) make monthly, weekly, even daily without ever even thinking about consulting God? This is mainly a reminder to me to ask God for His counsel before I ever ask my husband or call up my friends or my mom for advice.
1 Samuel 18-20; Psalm 11/59
The Value of a Great Friend:
Today we encounter the deep friendship between Jonathan and David, and I realized what a blessing true friends are. Jonathan cared so much for David that the Bible says, “He loved [David] as he loved himself.” (1 Samuel 20:17)
This is the kind of love that Jesus told us we should have for each other. A type of love that puts other’s needs above our own. A type of love that protects a friend even though his safety means you yourself will never be king.
That is exactly what Jonathan did for David. Jonathan would have been the next in line to be king since he was Saul’s son, but instead acting out of selfishness to help his father kill David, he warns David and protects him.
A true friend is a precious thing. Have you thought about how much your friends mean to you? Have you thanked them for the times they helped you out? Have you thanked God for bringing these friends into your life?
1 Samuel 15-17
So many great points from today’s reading. Here are some of my favorites:
1. What trying to please others will get you:
In chapter 15, we see that Saul did not follow the Lord’s command to completely destroy the Amalekites (along with their livestock). Instead, Saul allowed the men to save the best sheep and cattle. Saul says this was going to be used as a sacrifice to the Lord, but Samuel rebukes him and says, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
Eventually, Saul admits that he sinned because he “was afraid of the men and so [he] gave into them” (1 Samuel 15:24) Saul should have been more concerned with following the Lord’s command than with trying to please his army. After this incident Saul is told once again that God has rejected him as king over Israel.
2. After Samuel anoints David as the future king, we read that “from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came on David in power.” (1 Samuel 16:13) I had never noticed that verse before. In fact, I always just assumed that David had a really great aim in combination with a lucky shot at Goliath to bring him down, but in reality, David was already filled with the Spirit of power.
This is the same phrase that is used of Samson when he tore a lion apart with his bare hands and when he killed 1000 people with a donkey’s jawbone. This is some real power! No wonder David prevailed against Goliath.
3. Don’t you just love David’s verbal attack against Goliath before any stones were slung? I especially love how eloquent David’s speech is compared to the grade-school like taunting that Goliath just gave David.
David says, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty…All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lords saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47) Doesn’t this make you want to stand up and shout Amen? I love the courage, power, and truth behind his words.
What battles are you fighting today. Do you need to be reminded that The battle is the Lord’s?
1 Samuel 13-14
The cost of impatience:
In chapter 13 we see Saul’s impatient, desperate action of offering the burnt offering himself, instead of continuing to wait on Samuel.
In Saul’s defense, I do see the challenge in the situation. Their army was already scattered, hiding in caves and rocks. The remaining troops were very fearful, and Saul had already waited the previously agreed upon seven days for Samuel to arrive.
However, in Saul’s desperation, he forgot to ask God what he should do. Instead, he took matters into his own hands with no guidance from the Lord, and as soon as he finished making the burnt offering, Samuel arrived.
Because of this disobedience to God’s command, Samuel tells Saul that God will no longer establish his kingdom for all time but instead God has already sought ought another leader.
Ouch! Wouldn’t it have been so much better for Saul to simply continue waiting? Or at least, to inquire of God and hopefully make the right choice instead of the wrong choice to make the offerings himself.
How many times do we grow impatient with God’s plan and take matters into our own hands? Maybe we need to slow down, stop, wait, and inquire of God instead of acting out of impatience and desperation.
1 Samuel 9-12
I love reading about Saul’s anointing as king because we see a part of his personality that is rarely seen after he becomes king: humility.
When Saul first hears from Samuel that the whole desire of Israel is turned toward him, Saul replies, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” (1 Samuel 9:21)
Then when Saul’s uncle confronts Saul and asks what Samuel told him, Saul does not boast and share the joyous news that he will be the leader of all Israel, but instead, Saul simply tells his uncle that Samuel told him that their donkeys were already found.
A third act of humility, or possibly even fear, occurs when Samuel called all Israel forward by tribes to present the new king but Saul was nowhere to be found. In fact, he was hiding among the supplies!
It seems Saul truly knew his place and possessed a humble heart when God called him to be the king of Israel. Just think, how would you react if someone came up to you and told you that God had chosen you to be the next President of the United States?
On a completely different note, can you believe we have already been reading the Bible for 100 days? Wow! Time sure does fly by. To celebrate our 100th day of Scripture reading, here’s a little giveaway.
I will be giving away one hardback copy of the book Unveiled by Francine Rivers. This is the first book in the Lineage of Grace Series (which I have already mentioned multiple times on this blog) and is the historical fiction account of Tamar, one of the five unlikely women in Jesus’s family line. I cannot mention how much I love these books!
To enter the giveaway all you have to do is sign up to follow this blog and then leave a comment on this post by 10:00pm tomorrow night. I will then randomly select the winner. Good luck!