1 Samuel 27


First I was delayed in getting this chapter out because of Davy starting school; then, almost simultaneously, our internet started to have major problems, so hopefully this will post now and all will be well. Rather than post all of the missed weeks, I am just going to pick up from here so we continue to do basically a chapter per week. Sorry for the gap, but if any of you have gotten behind this gives you a chance to catch up at least. Stay tuned for updates on Davy’s school as I get my routine in place for blogging again.

Overview

After his meeting with Saul, yelling across the hilltops and getting Saul’s word that he isn’t planning on killing David since David had such mercy on Saul, David flees the caves. The chapter begins with David saying “Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul.” So, he goes to live among the Philistines. The king of Gath, Achish, even gives him Ziklag which remains a city owned by the kings of Judah. David and his six hundred men go out and make raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites as their new habit in the land. They kill every person so no one can report to the Philistines what David is doing. When asked about his activities he says he is killing Negeb. Achish trusts David, and so thinks that David truly has made himself a stench to his people and is on the Philistines’ side now.

Characters

David; Saul; the Philistines; David’s 600 men; Achish, the son of Moach, the king of Gath; David’s wives Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel; the kings of Judah; the Geshurites; the Girzites; the Amalekites; and the Negeb.

Key Verse

Verse 1 “Then David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.”

Cross References

Verse 1 Cross References

1 Samuel 22:5 Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.

Exodus 14:12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

Numbers 14:3 “Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Isaiah 30:15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling, and you said, “No! We will flee upon horses”; therefore you shall flee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.

Lamentations 3:26-27 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Is is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

Conclusion

The crux of this chapter as well as of his life, and the other examples in the cross references goes back to the lawyer who asks Jesus, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The answer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus says, “Do this, and you will live.” (This story is in Luke 10.) But how often throughout the Bible and our own lives do we say in our hearts, “God is never going to come through on his promise. I probably just heard Him wrong from the beginning”?

God promised David the throne. Yet, our chapter today begins with David falling into the belief that Saul is going to kill him. It is good to wait, says Lamentations. Waiting is so hard to do, even with a cell phone to text. So, David decides to bide his time by going on his own personal raiding parties.

In my life I have a habit of self-sabotage which seems to me like David’s subconscious plan here. At the last minute before a stressful event I might start to nitpick little things or come up with a thousand legitimate reasons that I can’t be ready or I will get physically ill. David doing these raids is sure to backfire. He is sure to miss someone who runs to the king of the Philistines. Someone is sure to find out. But I think that David is feeling hopeless and trying to tip God’s hand.

I think there is a little bit of him that thinks, getting caught for this would be so much better than just being slaughtered in my sleep in a dirty rotten cave. I get to live with my wives here in Ziklag, we are comfortable. I still get to kill evil people all the time. Life is going my way, and darn it, if it doesn’t I will be in control of everything going South, too.

Boy do I feel that way a lot of the time. Sometimes I feel like I have been waiting so long that I forget what I am waiting for. I spend so much time thinking about how things should be better, I forget to focus on the promises God has made. My eyes stray from the goal to my comfort.

Love the Lord with all your heart—not saying in your heart, “God will never come through on His word.”

All your soul—my very being is tied up in God, I cannot worship comfort or money or possessions or anything else that I am tempted to believe would make my life better than God is making my life right now.

All your strength—I need my body to be fit for duty. I need to give God my best energy, my alertness, my abilities, and to strengthen my body for Him, for the actions He has called me to take.

All your mind—it takes discipline to meditate on His word day and night. So discipline your mind! Take the time to focus. Not just 5 minutes, but try 5 years of focusing on God, then another 5 years, then another and another and another, until you are face to face with God for eternity, then keep focusing your mind on Him.

Jesus in the Old Testament

*Even men and women of great faith can falter. David’s regular practice in the books of Samuel is to turn to God for guidance (23:2, 4; 30:8; 2 Sam. 2:1; 5:19, 23), to trust him, and to obey him. But in this episode, we hear nothing of David seeking God’s guidance through prayer or any other means.*

*The biblical writers are not in the business of sugar-coating even their more laudable human characters. David was a sinner, as will become much more painfully evident in 2 Samuel 11 and following. But David was also a man in honest relationship with God and capable of genuine repentance. Only the Greater Son of David, Jesus, was without sin (Heb. 4:15). God’s desire for his people is that we lean not on our own understanding but, rather, get to know and trust him with all our hearts (Prov. 3:5-6). But even when we fail, the good news is that “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).*

Hebrews 4:14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 John 2:1-3 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

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1 Samuel 23:15-29

This morning Kyrie woke up early, so I am taking advantage of the fact that she likes to play by herself near me to read and continue this Bible Study.


Overview

We left David two and a half weeks ago after David had gone to fight against the Philistines to defend an Israelite town. He sought the Lord and was successful.

Now we read of his hideout in the wilderness of Ziph. Jonathan comes to him there and makes a covenant with him reminding him of God’s promises and encouraging him that even Saul knows that what God has spoken will come to pass.

The Ziphites go to Saul and tell him they will turn David over to Saul. Saul, of course, agrees and seeks specific directions to David’s location. David is in the place where the Ziphites have said and so Saul is able to come very close to capturing him. However, while chasing David the Philistines attack Saul’s land and Saul must go to fight the Philistines. The rock the men were near is then named the Rock of Escape and David moved on to Engedi.

Characters

David, Saul, Jonathan, God, the Ziphites, David’s men, a messenger, the Philistines

Key Verse

Verse 16-17 “And [Jonathan] said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.””

Verses 26-27 “Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.””

Cross References

1 Samuel 26:1 “Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon?”

So, this happens again in three chapters. A different hill perhaps, but the same people are turning him over to Saul. How defeating that must feel to have no where to run, to be exposed at all times. But our God is stronger, wiser, and in charge, so David really had nothing to fear. God delivered him each time, just as he does with us, so that His promises will endure. That gives us strength as it did David.

Psalm 54 “To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “Is not David hiding among us?”

‘O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might. O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves. Selah

‘Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them. With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good. For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.”

1 Samuel 24:20 “And now, behold, I [Saul] know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.”

1 Samuel 20:31 “For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you [Jonathan] nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.””

Conclusion

    David must rely on the promises of God to get by each day. He obeys God even when it puts him in harm’s way like the first half of this chapter, and he also has faith in God even when Saul finds him and is in pursuit. It may seem to an outsider watching the situation like David has been caught, that he has no hope, but God already knew the Philistines were on the move and he knew Saul would have no choice but to leave. God uses the circumstances to His glory.

When the circumstances don’t work out it is easy to give into hopelessness, and I have to be honest that in my current situation I have been doing that lately. I can’t see the way that it is all going to work out, so I feel hopeless. Even the promise seems gray in my sadness and disappointment.

However, I have learned to hold onto the truths of God. I am not jumping up and down excited about them, but I know what God has told me and I have the Bible. I really have been able to have this steady Rock as I read to Davy each day, even in my saddest state. That is not something I could have said in the past, but through the habit of my Bible Reading Plan with built in Grace I have really changed my heart’s attitude. I don’t need the highest highs to praise God. I don’t need to feel happy or excited at all, in fact. I just need to read the Word and praise the Lord.

Psalm 54 is excellent for this time in my life as it was for David. It seems as though time is running out, but God already knew this would happen, too. He is not surprised. I am not ruining his plan, nor is Satan. I am right where God would have me, and while I will ask to be delivered and for justice to be done, I trust that God knows what He is doing and His promises to us will come true in His perfect timing.

Jesus in the Old Testament

“A true friend does not minimize or make light of the sorrow or difficulty another may be experiencing but, rather, helps the other find strength in God.”*

This is what is meant by “strengthening his hand in God” in verse 16. We need to encourage each other. Those people God has placed near to our hearts we need to be near in our spirits with prayer and encouragement. Our encouragement will help fill up the stores of resilience that are so essential to getting through the hard times.

Proverbs 27:9 “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”

“In the present episode, Jonathan encourages David by reminding him of God’s purpose to make David king (1 Sam. 23:17). How much grander is the Christian hope:”*

Hebrews 6:9b-20 “Beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have a strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

This is our calling.

Luke 7:34 “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'”

And aren’t we glad that He is our friend?!

John 15:12-17 “”This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”

We are friends of Jesus, which is why and how we are able to encourage and strengthen others.

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 24-26

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1 Samuel 22:20 – 23:14


Overview

    The very sad story of Saul killing all the priests has one glimmer of hope, an escapee, Abiathar son of Ahitub, one of the sons of Ahimelech. He goes to David to warn him and inform him of all that has happened. David realizes that he has gotten all of the priests killed, and invites Abiathar to stay with him since Saul is seeking both their lives.

David receives word that the Philistines are attacking Keilah, a grain growing town. Remember that before his exile David was often the one sent out by Saul to take care of these Philistine invasions, so David jumps into action. He seeks the Lord, not once, but twice for clarity as to how to respond. God sends him to get rid of the Philistines and save Keilah. However, Saul hears that David is in Keilah and sets out to capture and kill him. David prays again, and God informs him that not only is Saul coming, but the town David just rescued from a Philistine invasion will turn him over to Saul. So David and his men flee to the wilderness and continue to move around hiding out from Saul. Hope continues as Saul seeks David but God never gives him over.

Characters

The sons of Ahimelech / the priests killed by Saul, Abiathar the son of Ahitub, David, Saul, Philistines, Keilah, the Lord, and David’s men.

Key Verse

2 “Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”

14 “And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.”

Cross References

1 Samuel 22:9-10 “Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, and he inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

An excellent cross reference pointing out the difference in deference to God. When Doeg says that the Lord was sought, Saul doesn’t even blink before taking personal offense and having the priests killed. Whereas David seeks the Lord and takes what He says to heart.

Psalm 63 “A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.”

I feel this Psalm, which is a rare experience for me. David is sharing how hard it is to be on the outside of the community he has loved, to feel far from God, to have to draw upon the stores of faith and resilience inside of himself. Running around and hiding in the wilderness is physically and spiritually exhausting. Moving to and from Lebanon has felt this way for me as well. Here in the States I was attending Bible Study once a week, another one once a month, three groups for accountability and fellowship, church every weekend, and all in English-my heart language. In Lebanon we had no friends to start with, the church services were in Arabic and God did not give us peace about a specific church, and we were in a huge transition. Then we came back, but my pregnancy was exhausting and we were back and forth trying to see everyone. The community hadn’t changed but my ability to be a part of it was still not happening. When Louis and Davy left I continued the post pregnancy descent into depression. During this depression I have consistently been reading my Bible, have begun keeping a prayer journal again, and once Davy got back I got right back to reading him the Bible every night. But I am still depressed, in transition, and moving through a wilderness spiritually and physically. In addition, Satan is preying on me in this time of weakness and I have found myself believing old lies. This is a time of needing faith and resilience because I am not being filled nearly as fast as I am being drained. But, I know that this is a season and will pass. I know that my faith in God is well placed and that my time in the Word and in Prayer for others and myself is building and replenishing my stores of resilience. If you are in this type of season, you are not alone. If you have recently begun moving out of this type of season, remember to praise the Lord and give Him thanks. If you have had this type of season in the past, rejoice that you are in a different place now and take the time to fill yourself with the Word, Prayer, and Encouraging others around you. Next time you enter a wilderness period you will have even greater stores of resilience to draw upon. No matter what season you are in it is a good time to adjust your quiet time to include a focus on rejoicing in the Lord, thanking him, and seeking him intently.

Joshua 15:21a, 24a, 32b “The cities belonging to the tribe of Judah in the extreme south, toward the boundary of Edom, were […] Ziph […]: in all, twenty-nine cities with their villages.”

I am reading Joshua to Davy right now each night. So, I am always excited to see cross references that overlap other parts of the Bible I am reading. This cross reference is meant to help understand the geography of David’s fleeing from Saul. When the Israelites entered the promised land it was split up amongst the 12 tribes and Ziph is within the territory of the tribe of Judah. This is a cross reference that might be easy to look at, shrug, and move on. You might struggle with the significance sometimes of cross references, or it may just be so much flipping around and it doesn’t connect for you. Reading the Bible is a lifelong process, you will continue to learn and grow in it all your life, so don’t be discouraged when you come across a cross reference that has no meaning to you YET. For me, this cross reference excites me because I get it, and because it is a recent thing for me to understand a cross reference like this. As I said, I am currently reading Joshua and just finished reading Exodus, so that specific background is fresh to me. I want you to be able to do this type of Bible Study on your own, and so I digress to share something that can become important in your life.

Conclusion

David must have been having some pretty mixed emotions at this point. But he clung to the Lord through it all. David’s wandering through the wilderness also reminds of Jesus’ own wanderings through the wilderness. Because so many people knew about him he had to retreat to the wilderness often to teach the multitudes who were following him. He also was being sought out for his life by the Pharisees. He had his men around him and expressed that many would be hurt because of His Name. Many are mistreated for serving the Lord, such as the priests who Saul killed, the martyrs after Jesus, and the Persecuted Church all over the world. In the midst of all of this, there is still work to be done, David still saved Keilah by fighting off the Philistines, Jesus still went to the temple to teach, Louis and I go to Lebanon to share Jesus with the refugees, and you are also called to go into your work, school, community, neighborhood, park, etc. to share the love of Jesus. David and Abiathar show us a moment of forgiveness. David just got all of Abiathar’s family killed and, instead of vengeance, Abiathar joins them and continues to inquire of the Lord for and with David.

Jesus in the Old Testament

“A mark of someone for whom God carries weight and who has experienced God’s forgiveness is the ability to honestly admit failings. When Abiathar, the son of the priest Ahimelech and the sole survivor from Nob, arrives in David’s camp, David readily admits that his own actions contributed to the massacre, and he offers Abiathar safe haven (22:22-23). By the end of this sextion, David has been joined by both the prophet Gad, who guides him (22:5), and the priest Abiathar who brought with him the priestly “ephod” (23:6), a further instrument of God’s guidance. Clearly, the Lord is providentially providing for David in the wilderness (cf. Psalm 63). Believers can be assured, even “in the wilderness,” that as they give God weight and seek his kingdom he will guide them and provide all they need (Matt. 6:31-33; cf. Phil. 4:19). For Jesus himself went through the wilderness, afflicted by the Enemy, so that all our wilderness experiences can be endured not as punishment but as the kind purposes of God to cultivate perseverance in his beloved children (Matt. 4:1-11; Rom. 5:3-5).

Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not be anxious, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

This has been really hard for me lately as well. I find myself very concerned about the future. This study was obviously meant for me today.

Philippians 4:19-20 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Matthew 4:1-11 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”

Romans 5:1-6 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 23:15-29

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1 Samuel 22:6-19


Overview

Saul continues to be paranoid and violent. He knows that David has fled and it is discovered that he is hiding out with the men we discussed last week. He becomes furious that no one told him and begins to believe that everyone is in on the great conspiracy against Saul. Doeg the Edomite who saw David seek help from Ahimelech speaks up and shares that he saw the priests of Nob help David, give him supplies and the sword of Goliath. Therefore, Saul calls all the priests of Nob. Quite honestly they share that they had no idea David was on the run seeing as he has always been loyal, is the son-in-law of Saul, and he did not share that he was on the run. Saul has all the priests and their families and livestock all killed by Doeg the Edomite because the guards refuse to kill priests retaining some fear of the Lord.

Characters

King Saul, David / son of Jesse, the men with David, Saul’s servants / people of Benjamin, Doeg the Edomite, Ahimelech son of Ahitub, Goliath, Ahitub’s household men – 85 people, God, and Ahitub’s family line of women and children as well.

Key Verse

Verse 17 & 18 “And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out heir hand to strike the priests of the Lord. Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod.””

Cross References

2 Kings 10:21, 23-28 “And Jehu sent throughout all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they entered the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other…Then Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search, and see that there is no servant of the LORD here among you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside and said, “The man who allows any of those whom I give into your hands to escape shall forfeit his life.” So as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the officers, “Go in and strike them down; let not a man escape.” So when they put them to the sword, the guard and the officers cast them out and went into the inner room of the house of Baal, and they brought out the pillar that was in the house of Baal and burned it. And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day. Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.”

Another story of wiping out priests, but this time priests to Satan.

2 Chronicles 12:1-2, 5-10, 12 “When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem…Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand Shishak.'” Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous.” When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.” So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house…And when he humbled himself the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover, conditions were good in Judah.”

Another king who turned from God. But this is a story of finding humility and turning back to God.

1 Samuel 2:31 “Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.”

The word of the Lord to Eli the priest in the beginning of this book.

Conclusion

With the candidates for office in the States starting to be bigger news, it is important for me to remember that God is in charge of choosing who rules and he gives them their authority. They don’t have anything that hasn’t come from God whether they choose Him or not. He is in charge. As in the stories above, none of those leaders were fully following God, but God was able to use them in the way He planned things. This is humbling as well as hopeful.

Jesus in the Old Testament

“Saul’s small-to-nonexistent concern for God, by contrast, leads only to paranoia, even on the throne. One never sees life’s circumstances rightly when one’s view of God is too small. Defective theological vision can lead to alienation and sin.”*

Romans 1:19-32 “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

“The fate of those who, like Saul, refuse “to acknowledge God” is alienation and sin. As Paul warns in Romans 1:28-32, God gives up such persons “to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done,” to be filled with “envy, murder, [and] strife,” to become “foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless,” and to approve (like Saul) those who (like Doeg) commit crimes worthy of death.”*

“The hope and promise of the gospel, by contrast, is a renewed mind capable of discerning the will of God and, by grace, obeying it (Rom. 12:2). For we are not who we once were. We have been adopted into God’s family, utterly by grace. We have been given a new identity as children of God.”*

Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 22:20—23:14

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1 Samuel 21-22:5

Screenshot 2015-01-29 21.46.16 (2)

Overview

    After David discovers from Jonathan that King Saul wants to take his life, David flees. First he goes to the temple and gets food (specifically the Holy Bread of the Presence) and the sword of Goliath. Then David goes on to Gath, but discovers that the people there have heard of his many killings and he pretends to be insane. Next he hides out in the cave of Adullam. His family comes to him there as well as about 400 who were in debt, discontent, or in distress. He becomes captain over these men. To take care of his parents he seeks help from the king of Moab to let them stay there. The section ends with the prophet Gad telling David to move on from the cave to go to the land of Judah, which David does.

Characters

David, Ahimelech the priest, Saul, the Lord, Doeg the Edomite, Goliath, Achish the king of Gath, David’s brothers, David’s father and mother, the king of Moab, and Gad the prophet

Key Verse

21:6 “So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.”

22:1-2 “David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.”

21:4 & 6 Cross References

1 Samuel 21:4 “And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.”

Leviticus 24:5-9 “”You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold before the Lord. And you shall put pure frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the Lord. Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange it before the Lord regularly; it is from the people of Israel as a covenant forever. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him a most holy portion out of the Lord’s food offerings, a perpetual due.””

Exodus 25:30 “And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly.”

Matthew 12:1-8 “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.””

Mark 2:23-28 “One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck head of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.””

Luke 6:1-5 “On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.””

22:1-2 Cross References

Psalm 57

Psalm 142

2 Samuel 23:13 “And three of the thirty chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.”

1 Chronicles 11:15 “Three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David at the cave of Adullam, when the army of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.”

Judges 9:4 “And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him.”

Judges 11:3 “Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob, and worthless fellows collected around Jephthah and went out with him.”

1 Samuel 23:13 “Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition.”

1 Samuel 25:13 “And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.”

Conclusion

    I am always glad to make connections between different books and chapters of the Bible. When I read about the bread I said to myself, Jesus talks about this! It made the story more important and I was able to focus on it a little more. Also, Jesus is pointing out something that David did which was wrong instead of the way many Jews and Christians look at David as a perfect person. All have sinned, and even though we can think of David as “innocent,” he was not any more innocent than any one of us, which means he was a sinner, too.

The second part that I thought was important was the men that gathered around David. The cross references were fascinating. First, the two Psalms that we know came from this time of being in the cave. Then other verses talking about David and another time at the same cave later on. Then the two verses about two other men who became leaders of a band of discontent, but these men are described as reckless and worthless. It makes me think that these men may not have been the best choices, but sometimes that is how God makes his choice. Finally, we see that these same men will also go to battle with David in future chapters.

Jesus in the Old Testament

“Taking one’s eyes off God invites fear to rush in. And fear can lead to desperate and dangerous actions. Fleeing from Saul, David not only deceives the Lord’s priest at Nob (21:2-3), but after receiving food and Goliath’s sword (21:9), goes to Goliath’s hometown (21:10)! It seems an insane step—did David hope to enter the city unnoticed, with Goliath’s sword tucked under his belt? As it happens, David is quickly recognized (as Israel’s “king”! 21:11) and escapes death only by feigning insanity. He flees into the wilderness (cf. 22:1), and there he begins a training course in trust.”*

Once again I want to point out that stories in the Bible do not contain perfect ideal people, but real people. David was a real person who made real mistakes and sinned in this story.

“In the life of a believer, the wilderness is often just the place to learn bedrock trust. “When I am afraid,” writes David in a Psalm linked to his misadventure in Gath, “I put my trust in you” (Ps. 56:3). “What can man do to me?” (Ps. 56:11; cf. v. 4). Or, as the apostle Paul later writes, “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom. 8:31). The bedrock certainty of believers in Jesus is that we are “more than conquerors through him who loved us (Rom. 8:37). Nothing in all creation—no hardship, no earthly or heavenly power, no extremity of life or death, no “Saul,” absolutely nothing—”will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).”*

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 22:6-19

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1 Samuel 19-20

Screenshot 2015-01-29 21.46.16 (2)

Overview

Saul wants to kill David, and tells his son Jonathan who warns David. Jonathan then proceeds to talk Saul out of killing David. He reminds Saul of how David has been a great blessing to Saul and the country by killing Goliath. A brief reprieve from Saul’s murderous intent is arrived at and another war with the Philistines comes upon them. David, again, goes out and fights and the Philistines flee. As David plays the lyre for Saul the harmful spirit again comes upon him and he throws a spear at David to kill him. David escaped that night with the help of his wife Michal. Michal covers up for him and Saul is furious that she helped her husband to his shame. He sends many messengers after David who has gone into hiding with Samuel, but they all end up prophesying at Samuel’s feet. When Saul goes himself, he also ends up prophesying lying at Samuel’s feet. David then goes to Jonathan to tell him of Saul’s desire to kill David, but Jonathan doesn’t believe it. So they work out a plan to confirm that Saul wants to kill David. Indeed, Saul gets upset at Jonathan as he did with Michal and throws a spear at his own son. Jonathan again warns David and they part ways making a covenant, swearing on their love for each other.

Characters

Saul, Jonathan, David, “the Philistine” = Goliath, the Philistines, messengers, Michal, Samuel, Abner, and a little boy

Key Verse

19:5 “For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philitine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?”

20:17 31 “And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul…For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.””

Cross References

1 Samuel 28:21 “And the woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, “Behold, your servant has obeyed you. I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to what you have said to me.”

Judges 12:3 “And when I saw that you would not save me, I took my life in my hand and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?”

Judges 9:17 “for my father fought for you and risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian,”

1 Samuel 17:49-50 “And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David.”

1 Samuel 11:13 “But Saul said, “Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has worked salvation in Israel.””

1 Chronicles 11:14 “But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and killed the Philistines. And the Lord saved them by a great victory.”

Matthew 27:3-4 “Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.””

18:1-3 “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.”

Conclusion

The two main things that jump out at me in these two chapters are anamnesis and the will of God.

First, anamnesis is a word that became very important to our family when we moved to Lebanon. This is the act of remembering all that God has done for us. Jonathan reminds his father of the good that David did for them. When we begin to fall into sin, listening to Satan, and we don’t take time to reflect and remember, it is easy to forget the purpose of others in our lives.

In marriage, for instance, if we do not stop and reflect we can get hung up on little things and begin to hate our spouse. Or to put it more on level with Saul’s actions, we can begin to seek out another lover because we begin to see and think only evil of the other person.

This may seem distant from us, but I truly believe this is common and easy for all of us in many situations. We do not start out planning to do or think evil of someone, but as we forget the good God has put in our life we can fall into that sin. Another example would be with coworkers. Every now and then I have worked with someone difficult to work with, or who I disagree with. As I pray for the person, God has usually revealed to me a purpose for them being at the workplace or in my life. If I forget that purpose I can return to hating that person, and perhaps even plotting how to avoid working with them altogether. But if I focus on God’s will that He had placed in my heart through prayer, I can help that person toward Christ.

This leads me to the second stand out that I saw in these chapters. God’s will. Jonathan and David are still focused on what God wants, and this is what gives their covenant weight. When Saul has made promises in this book they have often been empty, such as when he said he would kill anyone who had eaten. His promises do not sprout from God’s will, and therefore they are meaningless. When we turn to God’s plan, follow it, and share it with others, we are able to live a fuller life.

Also, this hope and faith in God’s plan is what truly gets us through the grief of losing people in our lives. As Jonathan and David separate at the end of chapter 20, they are in deep sadness, but they are in God’s will, which allows them to have comfort for the other person’s future. When we lose people to death or distance, we can leave them in God’s hands and have faith and hope.

When we have Christian friends, we are bound together with a hope and love that goes beyond life, and we will one day live in true, fulfilled community in eternal life.

Jesus in the Old Testament

“Earlier in the book, Eli set the pattern of how one is to respond to divine rejection from office—namely, give in”*

1 Samuel 3:18 “So Samuel told [Eli] everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.””

“Saul refuses to give in to God, and this costs him dearly. He is progressively alienated from his family (Michal in 19:11-17; Jonathan in 20:13, 16; etc.), from his supporters (22:17), and even from his own mental capacities. With respect to the latter, Saul at first is willing to listen to Jonathan (19:4-6) but ends up cursing him (20:30) and even trying to kill him (20:33), hurling his spear at him, as he had more than once done to David (18:11, 19:10). Consumed with fear, Saul can think of little else than killing David. But the Spirit of God prevents him, overwhelms him, divests him of his royal robe, and puts him on his face before Samuel (19:23-24). Saul is, we might say, out of his mind. Prophesying in a posture of worship is so out of character for Saul that the people, with considerable irony, again take up the saying of 10:11: “Is Saul also among the prophets?” (19:24).”*

“How different is the work of the Spirit on those who trust God. To them God gives “a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7). Those, like Saul, who refuse to “humble [themselves]…under the mighty hand of God” soon find themselves under the sway of a very different spirit, one which “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:6, 8).”*

2 Timothy 1:7 “I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

This text again brings out anamnesis. It increases our joy to reflect on those who came before us in the faith, those who led us into faith, those who were examples to us. It is in these memories that Paul reminds Timothy to bear fruit for Christ. It is easy to feel alone, but we are not alone. We are not called to bear fruit by ourselves, but in community. Saul has become lonely by alienating himself, but we are called to live in community so that we can move toward Christ and not get sidetracked by sin as Saul did.

1 Peter 5:6-11 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

This 1 Peter text has so much bearing on these two chapters. Saul is in a panic about losing his place as king, but when we are in the center of God’s will, relying on him in faith, the suffering will not be long and God will establish us. Instead, Saul relies on man made power, which is no power at all. Jonathan is relying on God, and his name is established and we know that he had faith in God. Also, casting our anxieties on God is part of this equation, and is what all the Psalms show us David does during his time of exile. We cannot hold onto the anxiety we feel, we must fight it by giving it to God. He will take care of it, and then we can have peace in our suffering because we have faith in the One who will help us.

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 21—22:5

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1 Samuel 18

Screenshot 2015-01-29 21.46.16 (2)

Overview

This chapter opens with a friendship that I think we all long for. Jonathan and David are connected: “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (verse 1b).

David continues to have success and move up the ranks in Saul’s army, becoming the man in charge of all the men of war. The people are pleased with this position for David and he continues to grow in esteem with all around him. However, Saul becomes jealous of David’s success and then afraid of David because the Lord was with David. One of the days that David is playing the lyre for Saul, Saul throws a spear at him to kill him and misses twice. Saul then tries to snare him by marrying him off to one of his daughters. As the price to wed Michal, Saul asks for 100 foreskins of the Philistines. David goes out and brings back 200. Saul is even more afraid of David when he sees that his daughter truly loves David. “So Saul was David’s enemy continually.” (verse 29b).

The chapter ends with the continued success of David in battle against the Philistines who continue to come out against them.

Characters

Saul, Jonathan, David, all the people, Saul’s servants, the women, Merab, Adriel, Michal, the Philistines, and the princes of the Philistines.

Key Verse

1 Samuel 18:1 “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

1 Samuel 18:12 “Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul.”

Cross References

Cross References for 1 Samuel 18:1:

1 Samuel 20:17 “And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul.”

Deuteronomy 13:6 “”If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, some of the gods of the people who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him.”

1 Samuel 19:2 “And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself.”

2 Samuel 1:26 “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.”

Cross References for 1 Samuel 18:12:

1 Samuel 18:15, 28-29 “And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him…But when Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.”

1 Samuel 16:18 “One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.””

1 Samuel 28:15 “Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.””

Conclusion

    Here are two very different relationships: one of sincere love and devotion, and another of fear and murder. Because the Lord is with David he is well liked among everyone he meets. Because Saul does not have the Lord with him he grows in his anger and murderous desires. We need good friends around us to keep us accountable. The Deuteronomy verse above is one example of why we must keep our friends accountable, so that we stay on the path toward God, following His heart rather than the world’s passions. Also, we must stand firm in what we know is right when we are with God. Saul is the king, a man of authority, and it must have been harder and harder for David as Saul will continue to try to kill him. David is doing the right thing, following God, and yet the leader of his people is trying to kill him.

Jesus in the Old Testament

“Such selflessness is possible only for those in sync with the purposes of God. Believers today are called to just this kind of selflessness: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3). In his self-emptying, Jonathan anticipates the far greater act of love rendered by the son of David to come. “Though he was in the form of God,” Jesus “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:6-7).”*

Philippians 2:1-8 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

“Like Jonathan, Saul senses that David is to replace him as king (1 Sam. 18:8). But Saul’s reaction is the precise opposite: anger (v. 8), aggression (v. 11), fear (v. 12), scheming (vv. 17, 25), and enmity (v. 28). Being at odds with God puts one at odds with God’s purpose in other people’s lives.”*

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 19—20

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