Saturday, March 16, 2024

March 16, 2024

David was anointed king of Judah after the death of Saul. However, Saul had another son, Ishbosheth, and Abner anointed him king of Israel. He reigned until his death, which lasted two years. The kingdom was divided for that short time. Civil war broke out, with most of the casualties being on the side of Israel, where Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, challenged Joab, David’s army commander, to a dual of twelve men on each side. They fought, and all twenty-four died. When it was all said and done, there were 360 men killed on Israel’s side and only nineteen for Judah. It is thought that David held them back from annihilating them because he cared about them. There was a side story about a strong runner, Asahel, who pursued Abner, who wouldn’t turn away from chasing after him after being warned many times, so Abner slewed him with the butt end of his spear. Asahel was good at running but not good at fighting. 

The lesson is to engage in challenges where God has strengthened you with certain gifts. David’s army was strong, but Abner’s men were not ready to fight a valiant warrior like David and his army. Asahel, on the other hand, though strong in running, wasn’t up to challenging a man of war like Abner. Stay in your lane and engage when God prompts you through the Holy Spirit; that’s when you know you will be successful.

Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren? And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother. So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more. 2 Samuel 2:26-28

Friday, March 15, 2024

March 15, 2024

David was back home in Ziklag, and an Amalekite came to tell him that Saul and Jonathan were dead and brought David his crown and bracelet. He takes credit for killing Saul, thinking that doing so would give him kudos for killing David’s enemy, and tells him that Saul was injured and had asked him to kill him. However, David’s reaction to the news wasn’t what was expected, and the man embellished the story by adding that if he hadn’t killed him, Saul would have been dishonored for being killed by a Philistine. David was incensed and scolded him for feeling it was okay to slay one of God’s anointed, even though Saul was an enemy of his. It’s possible this man’s story was a lie, but even if it was, he was an Amalekite, and God had explicitly told Saul to eliminate them when he became king. It’s foreboding that an Amalekite takes him out for disobeying God. David did what Saul should have done and had him killed. David mourned over Saul but was heartbroken over Jonathan, his best friend. We can see that this is the end of Saul’s kingdom and the beginning of David’s reign, out with the bad and in with the good. The good Kingdom is near. As we wait for Jesus to return, we must stay committed to him and do our best to live a full life in these evil days. Stay vigilant and seek him daily.

And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD'S anointed. 2 Samuel 1:15-16

Thursday, March 14, 2024

March 14, 2024

Among all the good things about King David, he was also a poet and wrote many of the books of Psalms. He expressed his feelings heartfeltly to give us a view into his thoughts. Some psalms start very depressing, but he always found God’s helping hand to bring him into thankfulness. One thing I’m learning, especially as I read the King James Version of the Bible, is to ask questions and clarify and define words and phrases I’m unfamiliar with. The Holy Spirit prompted me to seek an answer to the words, “he restoreth my soul.” It could be said, “he forgives us of our sins.” We are humans, and we sin even though we do our best not to; it’s inevitable; even a simple, unpure thought can taint us. Jesus restores our soul when we would have lost it due to sin. Saul may have received a few drops of oil when he was anointed king, but David was generously anointed, so his cup overflowed. The Holy Spirit would come and go in Saul, but David kept him! When we receive our salvation in Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit and have kept him; that’s why you feel guilty when you sin and quickly seek forgiveness; he restores your soul. If we hadn’t been anointed with the Holy Spirit at salvation, we might not have been reminded that we need God’s forgiveness. Jesus leads us in the path of righteousness so we can lay down in the green pastures of peace. 

A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou artwith me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalms 23

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

March 13, 2024

We are concluding 1 Samuel with the Philistines fighting against Israel. Saul’s three sons were killed right before his eyes, and an arrow hit him. Not wanting to be tormented by the Philistines, Saul asked his armor-bearer to kill him, but he was too afraid and refused, so Saul fell on his own sword and died. Rather than removing their dead bodies for a decent burial, the armor bearer also fell on his sword, killing himself. The next day, while the Philistines were stripping the bodies of the dead of their valuables, they found Saul and his sons. They took them and displayed them by hanging them up on the wall of Bethshan. They cut off Saul’s head and sent it throughout the land of the Philistines and posted his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth. Some valiant men of Israel took the bodies down and burned them. 

We can see from this story that justice was served against Saul. David refused to seek revenge against Saul for trying to kill him. However, David was God’s anointed and a man after his heart, so he worked out the details to bring him into his kingdom when the time was right. Because we are God’s children and are his beloved, we can count on him to justify us for any wrongdoing done to us by our enemy. It may take some time, but we learn to trust him during the process. Wait for it; it will surely come.

So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together. 1 Samuel 31:6

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

March 12, 2024

Have you ever received God's chastisement? If so, you can sympathize with David. David and his fighting men left to help the Philistines go against Israel but were sent home by the king. When they got back to Ziklag, the Amalekites had taken everything, including all their wives and their belongings, and then burned the city. David and his men were distraught and enquired of the Lord through the ephod, and God told him he would be successful in retrieving all of their possessions and family. They went after them, but some men were so distraught and weak that they couldn't make the trip, so they stayed behind and watched over the belongings. They stopped along the way to help a man that the Amalekites had left behind, and he helped David find the army that had ravaged Ziklag. They caught them off guard because they were partying with everything they had stolen. David destroyed all of them except for a few who rode away on donkeys and camels. He recovered everything they had lost and then some. David shared the bounty with the men left behind and then sent gifts to many of the cities in Judah. This gesture would help him once he became king.  

Why didn't the Amalekites kill all of David's people? God was in on it. He didn't want David to lose but wanted to teach him not even to attempt to ever go against him again. David is about to become king, and it is noteworthy that things can get a little rough right before a breakthrough or a blessing. God puts us through trials to encourage us to appreciate his blessing. Don't get discouraged when you are suffering; maintain your faith, and God will pull you through it and bless you.

And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD; 1 Samuel 30:26

Monday, March 11, 2024

March 11, 2024

Achish, the Philistine king, was ready to go to war with Israel at Jezreel, and David was preparing to go along with them. However, the princes of Philistine didn't want him to fight with them because they were David's people, and they feared he would turn on them. Even though Achish loved and trusted David, he sent him and his men back to Philistia because of the prince's fear. We can see that God was in this and was protecting David. It wouldn't have been a good idea for him to go against God's people or for him to kill Saul in the battle to safeguard Achish. You can see by this story that God gave David an out for his temptation to sin. He couldn't have been king of Israel if he had made them his enemy, so God worked out the details of his plan to remove him from the battle against his people. 

Never underestimate what God can do when our backs are against a wall. God will give you an escape from your temptation to sin, but you must choose the narrow road, turn, and walk away. 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle. 1 Samuel 29:9

Sunday, March 10, 2024

March 10, 2024

The Philistines decided to take on Saul and Israel while David lived among them. They feared fighting against David more than Saul, so this was the perfect opportunity for them to defeat Israel. Achish sought out David to help, but David was vague in answering him. Because of the lie he told him about fighting in some cities in Judah, Achish probably thought he would fight against his own people.

Saul trembled in fear of the Philistines because God was no longer with him. His inquiries of God went unanswered; Samuel was dead, the Urim was gone, and God no longer communicated to him by prophets or in his dreams. Saul decided to consult a witch to get answers. However, he had killed all of them, but his servants knew of one in Endor who had escaped his edict. Saul went to her in disguise, but the woman feared him, especially after realizing it was Saul. However, he insisted that she conjure up Samuel. We know who she brought up wasn't Samuel because this was part of the devil's work. The fake Samuel told Saul that he would lose to the Philistines and that he and his sons would die in battle. 

When people can't get what they want from God, they sometimes sell their souls to the devil. I saw a video of Katy Perry, who grew up in the Christian faith, saying she wanted to be the next big Christian artist, but when that didn't happen as quickly as she had hoped, she said she made a deal with the devil. We have to understand that Jesus expects us to leave everything behind to follow him, so it's apparent that she didn't and never was a Christ follower; otherwise, she wouldn't have denied Jesus and sold her soul to the devil. Be careful of your casual encounters with evil; even if it's for entertainment, it's wrong and could cost you everything. Turn your heart toward Jesus and never look back. 

And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. 1 Samuel 28:5-6