Category: 1 Samuel


Day 109: 1 Samuel 28-31 Psalm 18

I found Psalm 18 : 20-24 interesting, especially in regards to David’s righteousness… and I guess my interest goes back to the idea that if you are doing the right things you get rewarded and if you are being bad you’ll be punished… was this the case for David? Is this the case now?   Eh… I don’t know?!  Here are the verses:

 20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
   according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
   I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
   I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
   and have kept myself from sin.
24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
   according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

David’s a cool dude, but later on we learn he’s not perfect, not by a long shot… So there is a flaw in the formula: good things happen to good people, bad things happen to bad people. The flaw is simple: we’re people  and therefore flawed regardless of how well we try, we will always fall short. Additionally it’s just not always true, bad things happen to good people sometimes. 

What am I REALLY getting at?  I guess to me it’s important to give credit where credit is due.  Striving to be righteous, to do the right thing in everything we do IS important… it’s not important because it gets us good things but because it brings us closer to God.  The good things are icing on the cake.. THE CAKE is our relationship with God!  It’s a walk, it’s a journey and doing what’s right is a part of that journey.  Another part is giving credit where credit is due.  Do we get where we are in life because WE got us there or because GOD got us there?!   I’m not really big on bragging about my righteousness.  I guess we all  do brag some, but I just feel like it’s dangerous to call attention to how “good” I’ve been. So I struggle relating to this aspect of David, but David is VERY good at giving God the glory where glory is deserved!  For example:

 30 As for God, his way is perfect:
   The LORD’s word is flawless;
   he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the LORD?
   And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
   and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
   he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
   my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
   and your right hand sustains me;
   your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
   so that my ankles do not give way.

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Day 107 1 samuel 25-27

  I’m curious if the story about Abigail reflects a good pure heart or a very smart ancient biblical “politician.”  Did she disregard her husband’s rudeness and seek out David to give him supplies because it was the right thing to do or because she knew if she didn’t she and her family would likely die? Did David take her as his wife because she was so kind to him or because She was now a very wealthy widow?  Or did God play a hand in all this teaching David a lesson that sometimes people die when God is ready for them to die and David in turns apply this to Saul when he chooses not to kill Saul for a second time in a row? 

  David’s habit of raiding towns and killing EVERYONE is rather disappointing.. But oddly it’s what God had been asking for all along, leaving no survivors and the Israelites never really accomplished that.  .  . the survivors that lived among them introduced them to pagan gods and so the Israelites turned from their God over and over as a result.  Now I’d be short-changing you if I didn’t admit all this is a bit of a struggle to me.  morality in war is far from me to judge.  I have not been to war, my loved ones have and I do not judge them for the choices they made, so really I shouldn’t judge anyone else as well.. but why the no survivors?  why the raiding? Again with the politics.. he doesn’t want anyone taddling on him to good ol Achish who’s taken him in. . . the plot thickens.. I wonder is Achish will figure it al out.

Spared

Day 104 1 Samuel 21-24

When the Bible kept saying that David was a man of God’s heart I was curious what it was really getting at…  When Saul was.. well… doing his “thing” in the cave and instead of killing him as his followers encouraged David to do he cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.  With this one story I think I have a deeper understanding of what they are talking about when it come’s to David’s heart.  Saul is Psychotic.  He’d be a whole lot safer dead. LOGIC says killing him would be the best course of action.  David was encouraged to kill him.  But he didn’t… and he didn’t do it for the right reasons, reasons that defy his “human-ness.”  Now I know David will not be without his faults but he has his strengths and the depths of his heart is impressive.

Psycho

Day 103 1 Samuel 18-20 Psalm 11, 59

    Saul strikes me as legitimately Psychotic. It’s be interesting what a modern-day Psychologist would have diagnosed him with and if there is medication that could help him… Seriously, the way they say an Evil spirit of the Lord comes upon him, and this random spear throwing, irrational paranoia, and walking around prophesying… It reminds me a lot of paranoid schizophrenic.

Heart

Day 102 1 Samuel 15-17

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.  1 Samuel 16:7

What is the line that separates outer appearance and heart? I have to wonder because I get the feeling it goes well beyond just physical appearance. while I think my outward appearance includes my “perty” green eyes and freckled skin and dark hair, it’s also what I project in as my “me-ness” in a given situation.   A acquaintance thought for a long time I was really shy because every time she saw me at tiger cub meetings I was really quiet.  Well I was trying to not have a complete meltdown keeping up with my two-year old and providing parental support for my six-year-old while keeping the nine-year old preoccupied. . . So I guess shy was a decent outer appearance to project, sure beats close to loosing it.  I shattered her first impressing breaking into a disco dance in the middle of a radio studio tour with our den of six-year-olds.  I’ll acknowledge I have a variety of “faces.”  I like to take charge and lead in certain situations, I can be outgoing and bubbly. Given my circumstances here lately my outer appearance can vary WIDELY… I can worship God with such depth, I cry easily, express tremendous fear, but also determination.  But what is going on at the inner levels?  My friends know me and I know myself, but God knows me better, only HE knows my heart.

    What is my heart? Is it my motivations? Is it where my true intentions can be discovered? We easily question other’s hearts, do we question our own?  Lord, reveal my own heart to me in order to help set my path straight.  I want You near and dear to me and I know that is done when I am walking the path You have set before me and doing what You’ve asked exactly how you’ve asked it.  Let me not worry about what everyone else thinks, this time in my life it seems as though EVERYONE has an opinion about what I need to do, and who I need to be.  Clear it all from my mind and let me focus on YOU.  My heart is Yours, and I dearly want to please You. help me.

Day 101 1 Samuel 13-14

“A dog is smarter than its tail’, but if the tail were smarter, then the tail would ‘wag the dog”

What is more important, that Saul be right with God before the battle with the Philistines through submission to the directions he was given by the prophet of God or that God be “prepared” for Battle according to Saul’s timeline and in total disregard for  Samuel’s instruction?  It’s an urgent situation and I can almost see how Saul get’s tripped up. I mean, essentially,  “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”  Is a powerful motivation to want to take control into your own hands and start dictating just how and when everything is going to take place.  Clearly Samuel was late, right?  Self preservation seems to be the more pressing issue here right?  Saul included God, albeit not the way Samuel and therefore God had asked him to, but hey God gets a honorable mention in the plan.  Then Samuel shows up and has the audacity to be upset!  “Look old man, you were late, and I needed God’s blessing so it is what it is.”

 13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”

Prophets are never much fun are they. What is the more important issue here?  The fate of this battle or the fate of this Kingdom?  Despite Saul’s meddling it was the LORD who won that battle according to the LORD’S timeline.

  My Key verse for the year has been Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still.  Trying to figure out what that means has been a journey in and of itself.  But for me, it’s been drawing close to God in my turmoil, Praying and Praising like never before, listening for the Holy Spirit in everything, and seeking the fruits of the Spirit. Does this mean I never screw it up and try to take control for myself. Uh No.. I frequently try to take the yoke from God claiming its my pile of crud I’ll carry it… but when the weight hits I freak out and  I realize just how much my God is carrying and I gladly give it back.  In giving it back I’m putting my trust in God’s timing, and God’s hand in this. What’s more important, this battle or the fate of my relationship with my Creator?

  God’s hand is in my life and my life’s circumstances, I see His fingerprints everywhere, and let me tell you He’s messy. He likes to remind us of just where he played a part in our lives. To quote a Veggie Tales move, specifically Esther, The Battle is not ours, we look to God above, for He will guide us safely through and guard us with His love. I will not be afraid, I will not run and hide. For there is nothing I can’t face when God is at my side.  Saul got that.. kinda, he understood it in an arrogant, “I know what’s best,” disrespectful kind of way. His priorities were myopic, And this begins his downfall.

Where is our King?! Hiding…

Day 100!!! 1 Samuel 9-12

   One of the perks of reading the bible this way is I really get a feel for the background to what is happening.  I think I can say I’ve read most of the bible, but never in order.   So not only am I filling in the gaps I’ve missed, because you know, not many Sunday Sermons are going to cover the Benjamite gang rape of a Concubine, But it helps provide a deeper understanding and context for what I’m reading.. Now when I did read the story about the tribe of Benjamin almost being wiped off the face of the planet by the other Israelites I questioned, why was this even in the Bible?!  What can I learn from this?  But now reading about king Saul, who came from the tribe of Benjamin, I have a deeper understanding of him and where he is coming from.

   Saul is an interesting character, and I have to admit I have a great deal of compassion for him at this point in the story.  He seems to have stumbled into unexpected circumstances.  Would the son of a donkey “herder”  from the least of the tribes of Israel setting off to find a group of lost donkeys expect to discover He was to be a King some day? And when Samuel is all set to reveal who the King is going to be with great ceremony.  He reveals the clan, then the family only to have the King-to-be MIA and hiding.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it’s God who reveals where Saul is hiding among the supplies.  Saul later rises to the occasion… And Samuel thinks his life work is finished. 

  My OH MY, how what we think is a done deal and what God thinks is a completed work can differ!  Every fiber of my being is feeling that right now…  am I projecting?  I have a tendency of doing that when I’m experiencing large life experiences.  But it really seems like Samuel believes his crowning achievement is finding and anointing Saul king.  My life was completed with the adoption of my daughter right?  but just when that goal was reached my world began to crumble and what I was certain would be the outcome for my family is not what is becoming reality.  What do I do?  I’m curious what is Saul and Samuel going to do when what they thought was going to happen, well, doesn’t? 

12:20-24 “do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”

Day 99

Day 99 1 Samuel 4-8

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Day 98

Day 98 1Samuel 1-3

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