Posts Tagged king saul

Déjà vu – 1 Samuel 19

Is it just me or didn’t we just read this?

Here’s a section from chapter 18:

10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

Here’s a section from chapter 19:

9 But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

As any intelligent man would, David finally learns the king’s palace is not the safest place for him to hang out.

How sad for Saul that even his own children have fallen in love with the one he has come to despise and wants to kill. How sad for Saul that his own children aid his enemy. How sad that God has left Saul. He must be the loneliest king on record.

I love the next part – where Saul finds out where David is hiding and sends men to get him. They come near to where David is with Samuel, and God gets all over them and they all get the spirit of prophesy and go back to tell Saul. Twice more, Saul sends more men with the same result.

Finally, Saul figures he’s going to have to do this himself. But, the same thing happens to him.

22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” “Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said. 23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

God is in control, Saul. When will you learn? Are you so blind? God’s will is going to be accomplished, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

How many times do I forget this? Is there anything I can do to change the outcome? Better to keep my eyes on Him and enjoy the ride.

peace,

e

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David’s Drama Begins… 1 Samuel 18

I think it’s interesting about how Jonathan “became one spirit” with David. One translation says “their souls were knitted together.” We aren’t told what exactly drew him to David, but it’s easy to see that David was admired by many because of his deeds. It says elsewhere that he is a handsome young man. And his impressive victory with a giant was enough to impress anybody. But, something about how Jonathan’s dad, Saul, was speaking to David really clinches the deal for Jonathan and they become kindred spirits. I wonder what kind of father Saul was to Jonathan. Saul seems very self-serving, so I wonder if Jonathan ever received such words of praise from his father. Perhaps this is one of the things that drew Jonathan to David.

This chapter begins the growing suspicion of Saul towards David. Saul starts to fear for his throne, although David clearly gives no indication that is what he’s after. As a matter of fact, David’s humility is clearly demonstrated by his remarks in verse 18:

“But David said to Saul, ‘Who am I, and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?'”

Anyone interested in the throne would surely have seen that to marry a king’s daughter was the next logical step. Saul seems to miss this particular nuance, however, and his paranoid suspicions continue.

It’s interesting to note that although David was promised Saul’s daughter Merab in marriage, on the day she was to be given to David, she was instead given to Adriel. This was an act of great injustice, and accordingly this marriage was cursed by God, and the children from the marriage, were cut off by God (see 2 Samuel 21:8,9).

The other interesting thing I see is the method Saul was using to get rid of David. He was apparently thinking that by giving him a wife would distract him and he’d be more likely to be killed in battle. And, he kept sending him to battles that must have been seemingly impossible to win. Finally, Saul told David to bring him back 100 Philly foreskins! An odd request, for sure. But, for David to kill 100 of the enemy? Well, God blessed and he returned to the king with 100 Philly tubesteaks. (sorry)

Anyway, do you notice that the same tactics Saul used with David are later what David will use against Uriah? Never noticed that before.

The bottom line for me in all this is to keep my eyes on the Lord. Seeking His will, and only His will, is the only thing that’s going to keep me from making a mess out of things. Things are starting to fly apart in David’s world, but David seems to not be distracted. He is humble, not self-seeking, and is concerned about obeying the Lord. Therefore, the Lord blesses everything he does – even if the odds are stacked against him.

Lord, I want to keep my eyes on you only. Help me to serve you, not myself, today.

peace,

e

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Got Giants? – 1 Samuel 17

Goliath never stood a chance.

I mean, what 9 foot tall, heavily armored, highly skilled warrior stands a chance against a teen-ager in a robe with a sling-shot and the power of God almighty?

David is relentless in his faith. Despite the fact that his father has no confidence in him and keeps him home to tend the sheep, only to take some bread to his older brothers who are fighting on the front line…

Despite the fact that his older brothers mock him and tell him to go home and tend the sheep when he does show up…

Despite the fact that the king himself tells him he’s just a boy and that he could never fight the giant…

Despite the fact that the nine foot giant laughs and mocks him when he approaches with sticks and stones…

David has confidence in the Lord. He trusts that God would not allow this Philly giant to mock God or His chosen people. He remembers how God helped him slay the bear and the lion by hand when they tried to take his sheep.

And he knows that God will protect him now. So he runs (not walks) to the battle line and with a single, smooth stone takes down this enemy – with only one thought on his mind: glorifying God! Look what he says:

“You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

Now he has the king’s attention. Now, his brothers and his father have a new respect. Now, the entire nation of Israel know who he is – not that he was seeking that, but he was seeking to glorify God. As a result, he is now honored because he saved his people.

What giants do you face? There are things I struggle with that seem like giants. They mock me when I let my guard down. They seem insurmountable when I think of how “I” am going to solve them. But, if I realize who I am and who has my back, there is no need to hesitate or worry. I can run to the battle line and deal with them. Not only will the giants be slain, but as I battle the giants in the name of God, I will be blessed and honored.

Good things to meditate on today…

peace,

e

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Samuel Anoints David – 1 Samuel 16

Finally we get to the good stuff!

Reading about the disobedient Israelites and arrogant Saul brings me down! Enter David, son of Jesse…

Samuel is mourning Saul, but God tells him to get some oil and go anoint the next king. Samuel hesitates because the current king still lives! He would be risking his life. But Samuel trusts and heads to his next assignment, despite the risk.

It’s interesting that his own father does not consider David to be king-worthy. All Jesse’s sons are present for Samuel to evaluate – except David. Samuel asks Jesse if these are ALL his sons. I love Jesse’s answer:

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Jesse’s like, “Well, ya there’s one more, but it’s just David. Why would you even ask about him? He’s out there somewhere…” Wouldn’t you bring all your sons before Samuel if Samuel asked you to bring all your sons?

God judges the heart. He selects the weak for positions of honor. He does not consider height or appearance, but seeks hearts that are after Him.

So Samuel anoints David as the next king.

Wait…what about the current king? What are we to do about him?

Well, isn’t it a strange coincidence that King Saul somehow randomly recruits David to play the lyre for him? No coincidence. God is at work. His will is going to be accomplished. There’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Lastly, it’s noteworthy to point out something in verse 23. Did you catch it?

“Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.”

In the first part of the verse, it says “the spirit from God” and in the last part, “the evil spirit would leave”.

Seems God is the one sending the evil spirit. Upon researching this a bit, you’ll find that it is inconsistent with God’s character to directly send evil spirits. Although He does punish people for their disobedience (and Saul is clearly disobedient to God), so some have suggested God simply allowed the evil spirit, not directly sent it.

I tend to think this is more a matter of linguistics. The word used for “evil spirit” here is the word rauch, which has a wide range of translations, including air (i.e., breath or wind); the vital principle of life or animating force; the rational mind where thinking and decision-making occurs; the Holy Spirit of God (Gesenius, 1847, pp. 760-761) and disposition of mind or attitude (Harris, et al., 1980, 2:836).

Furthermore, the word used for “evil” here is , which is translated “bad,” “unhappy,” or “sad of heart or mind” (Gesenius, p. 772).

Could it be that Saul was suffering from his own bad attitude? There have been many times I’ll sit and listen to music to chase away a bad mood.

The bottom line is this: God has intervened and suddenly David, a small shepherd boy whose own father considers him simply that, is now God’s anointed and finds himself somehow inexplicably in service as the king’s own armor-bearer.

Coincidence? I think not…

Stay tuned, it’s just starting to get good!

peace,

e

 

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1 Samuel 13 – Impatience on Saul’s part

So, Saul has some victories and the people are pleased with their new king.

Then, Saul was told to wait seven days for Samuel to come and make a burnt offering before the Lord. However, Samuel doesn’t show in that time, so Saul takes it upon himself (pride?) and makes the burnt offering without Samuel.

Wow, big mistake. Samuel says, “You have acted foolishly, you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure.”

Dang. Pride and impatience. So glad I don’t have issues in those two areas.

Oh, wait, I do. How many times would Samuel had to sit me down with a similar chastisement? Guess that’s why I’m not “king” of much at this time.

Hey, did you see that even back then the Philistines were hooked on Oprah? See verse 17:

And the raiders came from the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned toward Oprah…

I guess they didn’t fight that day because they watched TV instead.

peace,
e

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1 Samuel 11 – Nahash the Ammonite

1 Samuel 11 - Nahash the Ammonite

Nahash the Ammonite

Nahash the Ammonite. Not the nicest fella, nor the smartest.

First he besieged Jabesh-gilead. When the occupants pleaded, he said they could be his servants, but he’d first have to gouge out one of each of their eyes.

Then, they asked for 7 days to muster help.

Um…let me see if I get this right. Nahash agreed to wait a week while the citizens of Jabesh-giliead had the chance to gather an army?

Very interesting. Perhaps Nahash felt the Jews were weak and that no one would come to their rescue. Perhaps because the people had no “king” they had the reputation of being weak.

Oh, Israel, if you only understood the power of God on your side.

Story turns out good for Israel. Saul gets involved, persuades all his Jewish buddies to fight and they slaughtered the Ammonites. Now, the people recognized Saul ask king.

And so it begins…

peace,
e

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1 Samuel 10 – Saul chosen as king

One day he wakes up as Saul, son of Kish, in search of lost donkeys. The next, he wakes up as Saul, anointed first king of Israel, in search of the first king of Israel instruction manual.

Must have been an amazing and confusing time for everyone. I get the feeling that God was saying, “You asked for it. Here you go.” But, maybe that’s just what I would have said if I were God.

I found it amazing how Samuel gave Saul all these very specific instructions:

When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?”

3 “Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. 4 They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.

5 “After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. 6 The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

And, this was all done without the use of cell phones. Did Samuel have all this arranged ahead of time? Or, did God just give Samuel these instructions right there on the spot, and then make them all happen just as Samuel said?

I prefer to believe the latter.

Lord, you ordain my steps. I wish to follow in the steps you have laid out for me today that you may be glorified.

peace,
e

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2 Samuel 1 – God establishes rulers of nations (even ours!)

God appoints rulers of nations

God appoints rulers of nations

I jump back into dBrag (see http://www.dbrag.org for more info) again with a good friend, after a season of “busy-ness”, having been convinced once again of the importance of spending time each day in meditation of the Holy Bible. I am grateful for God’s Word and for good friends who care enough to help me along on my journey to continue to growing in my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today, we jump back in at 2 Samuel. This chapter starts out with an Amalekite man coming to David, having escaped the Israelite camp that David just defeated. The man, clothes torn with dust on his head, fell at David’s feet and began to honor him. He told David of the death of Saul, the King of Israel and also the death of Saul’s son, Jonathan (who was David’s best friend).

As you know, King Saul was in hot pursuit of David to kill him to prevent him from becoming his replacement. Yet, David did not rejoice at the new of King Saul’s death. David asked how it happened. When the Amalekite reported that he himself helped kill Saul, who was already fataly wounded, David became enraged.

13 David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?”
“I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite,” he answered.

14 David asked him, “Why were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?”

15 Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the LORD’s anointed.’ “

Why? Why was David so mad at the man, who was simply helping Saul to die rather than to lie there in pain and suffering until he bled to death? David, although he knew he was to be the next King, refused to lay his hand on the Lord’s anointed. You see, he believes that God appoints the kings and rulers of nations. As such, David put his fate in the hands of God. When God was ready for him to be King, God would work out the circumstances, and David would not have that blood on his hands.

Romans 13:1 has this reminder:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

It is God who appoints authority and establishes powers of nations. We are to pray for our leaders and leave what happens in the hands of God.

Will you be a David today? Will you pray for your nation’s leaders? Will you avoid trashing your leader with course jokes or hateful speech? No matter how bad it seems, God is in control. God can see the future, we cannot.

Trust the Lord and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5-6

peace,

e

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“No One Is Concerned For Me” – Psalms 142

You know the story – David is being hotly pursued, his life at stake, by King Saul. According to Matthew Henry, David pens this Psalm inside a cave he’s been chased into. He cries out in desperation to God to rescue him from his pursuers.

4 Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. 5 I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” 6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. 7 Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

The part that jumped out at me was this: “no one is concerned for me.”

I lived the majority of my life not understanding the importance of friendships. I had been brought up to take care of myself and to be independent. My loving parents encouraged me to figure things out on my own. Being the “baby” of 5 siblings teaches you how to survive in a competitive environment!

So, when my life blew apart after a divorce, my friends all disappeared. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t figure out how to fix things and I was ready to give up. God heard my cry and sent people I didn’t know into my life to lift me out of my despair and pull me through until I could stand on my own again.

Since then, I’ve realized the importance of friendship with godly men. I looked up some of my friends from High School and we now get together every year from all over the nation for a long weekend. Through email we keep in touch all year.

My friends in my men’s group, the Wildmen, also understand the importance of friendship between men and I have dozens of men I can call upon in my time of need.

Now that I’m back on my feet, I try to make myself available to others for prayer, conversation, encouragement or other kinds of help. There are plenty of hurting people out there – people like David running from their pursuers, running from themselves, hiding from pain or rejection, struggling with addictions or griefs, who really need to look to their right…and find someone who cares.

Look to your left…who needs to see you today?

grace & peace,
e

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