Category Archives: 1 Samuel

The Avenger

“May the Lord judge between you and me.  And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.”  1 Samuel 24:12.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 8, Psalms 57-58, and Matthew 8.

Great role model activity by David.

Saul was clearly out to get David, but God protected David.

David had several opportunities to finish off Saul but refused to do it because Saul was God’s anointed king.

David’s restraint was remarkable.

How easy it is to get back at somebody.  They do something to you and you bide your time waiting for an opportunity to give them what they deserve.

But this isn’t God’s Way.  God expects us to love our enemies.  Obviously, we can’t do that in our own strength.  We need Him running our lives.

I believe that many of us drive in an ungodly manner.  Someone cuts us off?  Time for the horn!  Someone doesn’t use their signal?  Time to say/think unhappy thoughts!

O how we need Him!

“Lord, take me over.  I want every word/deed to please You.  Forgive me for taking revenge in whatever form it takes.  I need to honor You in all that I do.  Help me, I beg.”

Are you vengeful?

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Samuel

Am I encouraging anyone?

“And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.”  1 Samuel 23:16.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Samuel 23, Psalm 31 & 54, and Matthew 7.

We are blessed if we have someone in our lives who regularly gives us encouragement.

I’m not talking about superficial encouragement but actual, realistic encouragement.

Jonathan knew two things; his father’s hatred toward David was senseless, and David would be the king because God had promised it.  Jonathan reminded David and encouraged him to keep going.

To be a good encourager, I must care for the other person’s well-being.  If I have a casual relationship with a person, my encouragement will be shallow and will be received the same way.

If I am full of God, I will be able to encourage others in a Godly way.  I will have His Words.  Those Words will be timely and appropriate.

“Lord, fill me with You. Give me, please, Your Words so that I will have them to use in every conversation I am in today.  Help me, Lord, I beg.”

Are you encouraging anyone?

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Samuel

I was wrong….end of story!

“Then Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned.  I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions.  I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.’” 1 Samuel 15:24.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Samuel 15-16, 1 Chronicles 5, and Matthew 1.

This is called taking the blame but not really taking the blame!

Saul credits himself with doing wrong BUT blames others for his action.

Saul was the king.  He could give orders.  He didn’t give his men the orders that Samuel had told him to give.  Saul disobeyed God and led his men into sinning against God.

Now Saul is apologetic but in a limited way.

How often do we rationalize our behavior!  Too often, I suspect.

We sin and instead of taking full responsibility for it we “share” the responsibility.  “It was their fault that I did it,” we tell ourselves.

My responsibility is not to sin against God, period.  When I sin, I own it.

Imagine Saul’s men learning that the Israelites were in trouble because of what they had done after a victory.  “Huh?”  “We did what Saul allowed us to do.”  They would probably take Saul’s approach and blame him!

I must own my sinfulness.  I must be appalled by it.  My sins are against God first.  I have disobeyed Him, and I MUST take ownership and responsibility.

If Saul had taken full “credit” then things thereafter might have been different.  Instead, they weren’t, and God moved on from Saul to David.

“Lord, forgive me for trying to lessen the impact of my sinfulness.  I am a sinner.  Enable me to own up to my wrong-doing.  I want to be clean with You so that I can rightly represent You in everything I do.  Help me, Father.”

How are you at taking full responsibility for your sins?  Not good?  Saul had the same problem.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Samuel

Why didn’t God answer?

“So Saul asked God, ‘Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines?  Will you give them into Israel’s hand?’ But God did not answer him that day.”  1 Samuel 14:37.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Samuel 14, 1 Chronicles 4, and 2 Corinthians 13.

Saul was prone to erratic behavior.

Why wouldn’t God answer Saul this time?

It goes back to Saul insisting that no one eat until the Philistines had been defeated.  Sounds good if it was for a short period of time but it wasn’t and as time went on Saul’s army became weak from hunger.  When they finally defeated the Philistines, they were ready to eat everything they found.  And some of what they ate had blood inside it which was never to be eaten.

Saul’s foolish initial decision caused his army to break God’s law.

The things we do have consequences.  Sometimes the consequences are good, other times not so much.

If I am close to God, then my behavior will reveal that relationship.

If my relationship with God is messed up, then I will be functioning without His Guidance.  I cannot comfortably live apart from Him.

When I have disobeyed Him, I may not get an immediate reaction to it.  However, almost without fail, when I try to pray, I sense that my prayers are unheard and quickly recollect why.  I must confess the sin I’ve gotten into and seek restoration to Him.

“Lord, reveal to me the errors of my way.  Show me so that I can own up to them and get right with You.  I need You every second.  I want to please You so that my behavior and thoughts will please You. I want to rightly represent You in word and deed.  I am so needy.  Take me over, Lord.”

Had any unanswered prayer lately?  There may be unconfessed sin to deal with.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Samuel

In God we trust?

“But when you saw that Nahash King of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’ – even though the Lord your God was your king.” 1 Samuel 12:12.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Samuel 11-12, 1 Chronicles 1-2, and 2 Corinthians 11.

Having a heavenly King wasn’t enough!

Samuel is frustrated with the Israelites and well he should be.

They want someone other than God to be ruling them.  Why?  God’s rules were strict, and judgment was severe.  Maybe an earthly king, they thought, would be less demanding.

Why do we follow in their footsteps?  We stray from The God and turn our allegiances to other gods of our own creation.  And then we wonder why our lives are so troubled!

God is not mocked.  He knows where our hearts are.  Instinctively we want to have things go our way on our terms.  We want to run our own lives and Satan whispers to us that this is the best way.

My life must be totally committed to doing what God wants.  I must seek Him desperately and beg for His nearness.  “Earthly” kings will not get me where I need to be.  I cannot place my security in their hands because their hands are made of clay.  They will abandon me.  They will let me down.  Their attractiveness is only for a season.

I must be alert to the ascension of lesser gods in my life.  When I worry, it is because a lesser god is being challenged.  The God is always up to the task.  The God will never leave me.  I can, and must, rely solely on Him in all things.

I marvel that the Israelites would not see the folly of putting their hopes in an earthly king.  Of course, in our day, many are just as foolish as they put their trust in our leaders, or the opposition leaders, or our government……….sinking sand of the highest order!  In God we must trust.

“Lord, forgive me for giving power to lesser gods.  You are The God, the One and only God.  In You I trust.  Prick my conscience when my allegiance is being drawn away from You.  I don’t want that.  I want You in charge.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Are you trusting in God?

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Samuel

Do what your hand finds to do

“The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.  Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”  1 Samuel 10:6-7.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Samuel 8-10 and 2 Corinthians 10.

This is so practical: Do what your hand finds to do.

There are moments where “big” things are going on.  You’re in the middle of a tremendous worship service.  The singing, the preaching, the prayers are all amazing.  Then it’s over, and home you go.

Today’s advice was given to Saul before he actually became Israel’s first king.  The “highs” were going to end and then the “regular” stuff would start!

It wouldn’t matter what activities Saul was involved in because God was with him.

God is with me in the mundane.  Taking out the rubbish.  Saying, “Thank you.”  I must not lessen my striving for full Godliness in any circumstance.  If I am full of God, it will carry over into the “rest” of my life.

“Lord, thank You for the Bible.  Thank You for the stories and the lessons therein.  I must be Godly in every situation.  I cannot hope to do that without being attached fully to You.  Take me over.  I surrender now to You.  I love You, Lord.”

I must follow His lead in everything I do this day.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Samuel

When He calls, will I hear?

“The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel!  Samuel!’  Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’”  1 Samuel 3:10.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Samuel 3-5, Psalm 66, and 2 Corinthians 7.

Samuel doesn’t recognize the voice of the Lord.

I was part of a Bible class today from John 10 where Jesus is the Shepherd.  Jesus explains that His sheep know His Voice.

Samuel was young and unfamiliar with God, therefore God’s voice would not be known to him.

But once Samuel figures things out, he gives a wonderful response. Samuel wants God to speak to Him because now he is tuned in to God’s voice.  Samuel also recognizes that he is God’s servant.

Lessons are plentiful for me in this verse.  I MUST be listening to God.  I must construct my life so that there will be places where God can reach me.  I cannot be so consumed with other things that God can’t reach me.

I must also remember that I am His servant.  How am I going to know what to do, and not do, if I am not hearing from Him?  I must construct my life so that He is within range of me.  I need His guidance desperately.

“Lord, thank You for the story of Samuel’s introduction to God.  Forgive me for tuning You out.  I need You every second.  Prick my conscience when I am separating from You so that I can remove the separation.  I truly need You.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Can God get through to you?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Samuel