Saturday, March 2, 2024

March 2, 2024

Saul is obsessed with trying to slay David. Jonathan, David’s best friend, and his father Saul met together near where David was hiding so he could hear what they were saying. Jonathan wanted David to know that he was on his side in the matter but also wanted to talk his dad out of trying to slay him. That day, Saul and David met together, and Saul agreed not to slay him. However, as David played the harp for him, he tried to slay him with the spear again, but he escaped and went home to his wife. Saul ordered everyone in his court and his servants to slay him. His wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, knew of her dad’s plans and helped him escape through a window. David ran to Samuel, and they hid in the school of prophets. Saul sent several messengers to get David, but because they were amongst the prophets, each messenger ended up prophesying, singing, and speaking words placed on their hearts by God because the Spirit of God came upon them. Saul decided to go himself, but he also started prophesying, stripped down naked, and lay in the street all day and all night. 

No matter what the enemy has planned, he will fail because God is more powerful. God can make any man, good or evil, do what pleases him, and we can see that he did that with Saul and his messengers. God can take over your mind and tongue, doing whatever He pleases with you. Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father! Wait for it; it will happen!

And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?  1 Samuel 19:24

Friday, March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

David and Jonathan, Saul’s son, became best friends, and they loved one another dearly. Their heart meld together. However, Saul becomes vehemently jealous of David, especially when they return from war with the Philistines, and the women praise David more than Saul, the king. 

Saul was seething over David and threw a spear at him, but he avoided his attempts to kill him twice! Saul sent him away to become a captain of one thousand men, hoping that he would die at war. Saul reneged on his promise to give him his oldest daughter for killing Goliath, so he offered his daughter Michal because she loved David, but with a caveat that he bring him the foreskins from one hundred Philistines to win her. David and his men went to war with the Philistines, bringing Saul two hundred foreskins to fulfill his demand. Isn’t that disgusting? Saul feared David because the Spirit of God was with him, and no matter what he did, he couldn’t kill him.

This story shows how precious we are in the sight of God; we are much like David and fall under God’s protection. Take a look at the trials David had and the rigorous training he endured at the hand of Saul long before he became king, then think about your own troubles and compare them. Though your challenges may not be less troublesome to you, you are enduring them because God needs you to be strong. A time will come, sooner than later, when you will have to defend yourself and prove your commitment to God. Be strong like David, standing firm. 

Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, thatDavid behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by. 1 Samuel 18:30

Thursday, February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath. A young man goes against a gnarly giant, the Philistine army’s hero, killing him with a sling and a stone, using the giant’s own sword to cut off his head, and even up the odds for the army of Israel to defeat them and take their spoil. This story is often told as an encouragement for us to forge ahead in our battles and remain fearless. My summation is no different, except that I’m highlighting a verse that should stay on our minds when facing our giants.

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 1 Samuel 17:26

David came in with both barrels blazing on behalf of God as if he needed to defend His character against this evil force. Remember, anyone who is not for us is against us. David was fearless and full of the Holy Spirit because he knew God was with him and would give him the ability to defeat His enemy. Why are you trembling in your battles? Will God not give you the capability to defeat your enemy, which is also an enemy of God, as He did David? Make sure you are prayed up, confessing and repenting of any sin; then you can go confidently into battle and win, giving all the glory to God!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

God makes it very clear that He judges us by our heart and not our outward appearance. He sent Samuel to the home of Jesse to anoint the next king, but this time, God will choose rather than leave it to the people. Jesse brought each of his sons, seven of them, before Samuel, but God didn’t choose any of them. Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons, and he told him his youngest was tending the flocks. So, Samuel told them to get him, and they would not sit down until they returned. David came in, and God told Samuel that he was the one, and he anointed him with a full horn of oil. As soon as Samuel anointed him, the Holy Spirit came upon him. However, the Holy Spirit left Saul.

But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. 1 Samuel 16:14

Because the Holy Spirit left Saul, he was greatly afflicted and wanted music to help quiet his soul. So Saul asked his servant to find someone to play for him. The servant knew David could play the harp and the Lord was with him, so Saul sent for him. Do others notice that the Lord is with you? David loved Saul and became his armor-bearer. When David played for him, his spirit quieted. That began David’s training because it placed him amid the government. Little did he know of the trials he was about to face at the hand of Saul. When God calls us to his service, He trains us; it’s not easy, but if we stay the course, the outcome will be a blessing to us and the people around us. Long-suffering will feel like punishment, but God doesn’t train wimps. Stand strong, mighty warriors of God; He’s raising up men and women of courage, and that takes perseverance. 

Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him. 1 Samuel 16:18

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

God will use whatever means necessary to administer justice. The Old Testament is full of good guys killing bad guys. However, the “good” guys aren’t that good; they have their own sins, and God will deal with them in his way. God told Saul to destroy all of the Amalekites, men, women, children, and all their animals. However, Saul disobeyed God and saved the king and all their herds for themselves. I’m not sure what he was going to do with the king, but after Samuel told Saul that God was sorry that he had ever appointed him to be king and that he was going to replace him, he told the Amalekite king he was going to make his mother childless as he had done to so many Israelite mothers and he took a sword and hacked him into pieces. Some may wonder why we need a Savior; this is a good example of why. Rather than receive the punishment we deserve in this lifetime and the next, Jesus covers our sins so we are not utterly destroyed like the Amalekites. If you take advantage of Jesus and continue to sin, it’s shameful. Repent and turn away from it! Many of your blessings are lost due to sin and disobedience. We should all try and do better. 

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 1 Samuel 15:22-23

Monday, February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Jonathan, Saul's son, seemed to understand God better than Saul. Saul had set up camp under a pomegranate tree with his motley crew of 600 men. After fearing the Philistines with their vast army, the rest had headed to the mountains and caves. Jonathan and his armor-bearer snuck out of the camp to find a garrison of Philistines. He and his companion agreed that God could use the two of them because they trusted in His power. They were right! Jonathan met the leaders of the Philistines and spoke the words they needed to hear to signal them. The two of them killed twenty men, and then God made them turn on each other, and a multitude fell that day. Jonathan and his armor were victorious by the hand of God. The Lord had saved Israel that day. 

For some reason, Saul made the entire army not eat that day, and if they did, he would kill them. They were hungry but feared for their life and didn't eat. They happen upon some honey on the ground; no one except Jonathan ate. He had yet to hear what his father said about eating. They cast lots to find out who had eaten, and Jonathan was chosen. He admitted it, and Saul said that he should surely die, but the other soldiers rescued him from Saul's hand. This chapter was long and had many lessons, but I chose this one because of Jonathan's faith in the power of God's hand. He trusted God, and God gave him the victory. Saul continued in his destructive leadership; rather than honoring God's children, he oppressed them. You can see God's hand at work, especially saving Jonathan from Saul's hand. Trust God even when facing an army of evil beings, and watch how He handles them. God is amazing, and we must trust him. He is powerful!

And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not. 1 Samuel 14:45

Sunday, February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

It must take more than a year to learn to be a king. After choosing three thousand soldiers and sending the rest home, Saul took on the Philistines by sending Jonathan, his son, with a thousand men to invade their garrison, killing them. They had stirred up a hornet's nest of Philistines who were now preparing to come against them. The people of Israel scattered, hiding in caves and running away by crossing the Jordan. Then Saul, smitten with his power as king, decided that he would offer a burnt sacrifice to God and an offering for peace, which was completely unlawful because he was not a priest or prophet. About the time the offering had finished burning, Samuel arrived and was not too happy about what he had done. Samuel told him he was foolish and his kingdom would not stand, and that the Lord sought a man to take over that was after his own heart. He left. Saul counted his men and had six hundred, but they had no weapons because the Philistines had removed all the blacksmiths from the country so that they couldn't make swords. 

The lesson in this passage is that we must wait on God. Things will not end well if we try to do things independently without consulting Him. God has perfect timing, and if we try to push it without Him, we will create a mess. In other words, you will make things worse for yourself. Quiet yourself and wait for God; His plan is always the best and most fulfilling. 

But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee. 1 Samuel 13:14