E-Message Bible/Commentary

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." --- Psalm 119:105

Custom Search

I SAMUEL

Overlooking the Needs of Others
But to Hannah, he gave a double portion... (I Samuel 1:5)
Her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. (I Samuel 1:6)
"How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine." (1 Samuel 1:14)

Hannah was hurt and her husband didn't understand. Hannah was suffering and her husband's other wife wasn't compassionate. Hannah was suffering and even the priest thought she was drunk.

Too often we overlook the needs of others. Hannah was dismayed and those close to her failed to recognize her need. And because they did not recognize her need, they were not compassionate or sympathetic toward her. Each of them handled Hannah's need in a non-productive way.

Elkanah, her husband tried to appease her by giving her a double portion of meat when he was in charge of the sacrifice. It is evident by his questions that he failed to give Hannah his full support: "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" (1 Samuel 1:8) Elkanah, you are a loving husband, but it ain't about you right now. Furthermore, a double portion of meat once a year is no substitute for a son.

Peninnah, the other wife, was Hannah's rival. She poked fun at the barren Hannah. Peninnah teased and taunted Hannah by saying, "See, I am the one giving Elkanah children; something you can't do." Chill out Peninnah. It is not about you either.

Then there was Eli, the priest. He had no discernment about Hannah's predicament. In fact, he thought the worst of her. Eli mistakes Hannah's praying for drunkenness. This doesn't speak very highly of the priest who should have spiritually discerned Hannah's heaviness. Even the priest missed it!

In spite of all this, God did give Hannah the son she prayed for. Samuel grew to be a mighty man of God who eventually replaced Eli in the same temple where his mother had prayed so fervently for a son.

Hannah's story is a good example of how family, friends and even our pastors miss what's going on with us. How many times have we read accounts of people committing suicide and the response is "I didn't know he was going through so much"? Or "I didn't know she was so burdened." We come in contact with hurting people every single day, but we don't recognize it. If, per chance we happen to recognize it, we do what those close to Hannah did. Either we offer them a far-fetched substitute, tease and taunt, or miss it altogether.

Someone close to you is hurting right now. Don't miss the signs. Let them know you care. The healing of their situation just might be in your hands.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Two Many Requests
And she made a vow, saying, "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." (1 Samuel 1:11)
 
If you read the prayers in the Bible, you will find they have one thing in common. The prayers do not include a long list of requests. Instead, each prayers contains one main theme with one main request. Hannah prayed for a male child; and nothing else in that prayer. (1 Samuel 1:11) Elijah prayed for rain; and nothing else in that prayer.  (I Kings 18:41-46) Hezekiah prayed to get well; and nothing else in that prayer. (Isaiah 38:1-5) Jesus prayed for God's will to be done; and nothing else in that prayer. (Matthew 26:42)
 
Even though God is a prayer-answering God and can answer all our requests, we should pray one prayer at a time. Each prayer should be centered around one main theme. If we have a long list of requests, we should pray a long list of prayers. We shouldn't store up our requests and bombard God with personal petitions thinking of Him only as a "Gimme God." Instead, God should be a God with whom we have a relationship; someone we talk to on a consistent basis without always asking for something.
 
Continue to pray, but let your prayers be focused on one main thing rather than a shopping list. Learn to seek God's face and not always His hand. God wants us to check in on a daily basis without our hands stretched out for more things. He wants our heart opened for more of Him!
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Drunken Christians
As she kept praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.  (1 Samuel 1:12-14)
 
"These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!" (Acts 2:15)
 
What do these two incidents have in common? Hannah prayed so fervently that Eli thought she was drunk, but she wasn't. The apostles on the Day of Pentecost were so caught up in praise and worship that others thought they were drunk, but they weren't. How then can praying, praising and worshipping God be mistaken for drunkenness?
 
When a person become drunk by alcohol or drugs, all inhibitions are eliminated and the person does what he or she would not ordinarily be bold enough to do. When the Spirit of God has been poured out, as spoken by the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28), one becomes intoxicated and loses all consciousness of self while being moved by the Holy Spirit. With the surrender of self, the Holy Spirit takes over completely. To some this might look like the person is drunk.
 
Alcohol and drugs are not needed for Christians to get drunk. They can get drunk from praying, praising and worshipping God. "Devoted Christians" are usually "Drunken Christians," without the headaches or hangovers.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hannah's Prayer and Mary's Praise
Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the Lord, my strength is exalted in my God." (1 Samuel 2:1) 
And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..." (Luke 1:46-47)

There are generations between the time of Hannah and the time of Mary; yet they both had something in common.  Hannah was old and barren, but after praying for a male child, God opened her womb and she bore Samuel followed by seven other children. On the other hand, Mary was young and not married. The Holy Spirit overshadowed her and she gave birth to Jesus. She and Joseph had other sons and daughters after the birth of Jesus.

Notice how each woman rejoiced over the birth of their sons.  Hannah said, "My heart exults in the Lord, my strength is exalted in my God." (1 Samuel 2:1)  And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..." Luke 1:46-47.  Hannah said her heart and strength were exalted in the God that she served. Mary rejoiced in her soul and spirit because of God her Savior.

Your heart, strength, soul and spirit can also rejoice for the great things God has done for you.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Just Checking
For the Lord is a God who knows. (1 Samuel 2:3)

While on our recent cruise on the Carnival Victory to the Bahamas, we couldn't see road signs or scenery. We could see only water all around us. Therefore, we could not tell where we were by merely looking at the water. However, our route was mapped out in green dots on a tracker that was mounted to the wall on one of the decks. As we reached a certain point, the green dots turned red to indicate our exact location. We could check the map at any time to pinpoint where we were.

Quite often I e-mail family and friends and in the subject line I write, "Just Checking." I check in with them to let them know how I am doing, and I check in on them to find out how they are doing.

These are just two examples of "just checking." Wouldn't it be nice if God would check in on us to give us hints about where we are spiritually? Well, guess what? HE DOES!

God checks in on us every moment of every single day and night. He indicates that He is with us by waking us up to work in His kingdom. When we have a vision or idea, it is God checking in to see if we will do His will.

God wants us to check in on Him as well. Check in to find out what's on His mind and what's in His heart. Let God know that you are available for whatever He wants you to do.

E-mail a friend or family member today just to check on them. If you are reading this, it is my way of letting you know I am "Just Checking" on you.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________


Prerequisites to Hearing God's Voice
The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down. (1 Samuel 3:3-5)

A close study of Samuel's first hearing from God clearly shows us four prerequisites to hearing God's voice.

  1. Samuel was quiet. He was lying down. He was not running all over the place trying to make things happen. Some people try too hard when God wants them to be still and hear from Him. (Psalm 46:10)
  2. Samuel had an open heart.  Many times God speaks, but our heart is too hard and too closed to hear. God wants us to hear Him with our heart more frequently than with our ears.
  3.  Samuel was in the house of God surrounded by the things of God. Samuel had the covering of the priest of  Shiloh to advise him. Even as a young boy, Samuel was working in the temple where the presence of God was. If you want to hear God's voice, surround yourself with people of God and the things of God. Also, begin working for God.
  4. Samuel acted immediately. He did not hesitate but went to Eli who set the record straight and gave him advice. Then Samuel responded as he was advised. God's voice continued to lead Samuel throughout the rest of his life as a prophet and judge.
God wants to talk to you. But He doesn't want you to turn a deaf ear. Hear ye! Hear Him!
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Listen and Respond

So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening,"  I Samuel 3:9
 
Listening and responding are vital in a relationship with God. Although God may not use the sound of a human voice, he speaks just as clearly today through his Word, the Bible. To receive his messages, we must be ready to listen and to act upon what he tells us.

Like Samuel, be ready to say, "Here I am" and "Yes, I'm listening" when God calls you to action.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How to Hear God's Voice
Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant hears." (I Samuel 3:10)

It is interesting that Samuel's first divine assignment was to learn to hear God's voice. When God first spoke to Samuel, the boy didn't yet know His voice, but he learned to hear it. Since the young boy had never heard God's voice before, he thought it was Eli the priest calling him.  Eli told Samuel three times that he hadn't called him. Then he instructed Samuel to respond by saying, "Speak,  for your servant hears."

God desires that we enjoy a close relationship with Him. But we can't do it until we learn to hear His voice. There are numerous ways God speaks to us on a regular basis. And we can hear God's voice when we learn how He speaks directly to us.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

"I Heard God Speak, But . . ."
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel, Samuel." And the Lord said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears it tingle." (I Samuel 3:10-11).
 
There should be no "but" after saying, "I heard God speak." When God speaks, one should not hesitate to obey. Hearing God speak and doing nothing about it is a slap in God's face because of three things:
  1. Disobedience
  2. Lack of Faith; and
  3. (Lack of Commitment
To hear God speak and ignore His command is a definite example of DISOBEDIENCE. Delayed obedience is still disobedience. Partial obedience is disobedience. When God speaks, obey immediately if not sooner!
 
To hear God speak and make excuses about why you can't respond is a LACK OF FAITH. When God speaks, He has already seen the end from the beginning. Be bold, be strong, and act with faith even if it is as small as a grain of mustard seed.
 
To hear God speak and not follow though is a LACK OF COMMITMENT. It is as if you know how to handle your life better than the One who created you. Appreciate that God is all powerful and all knowing, and whatever He has commanded you to do has already been approved by Him. On the Mount of Transfiguration God said, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him" (Luke 9:35). Mary said at the Wedding at Cana, "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5).
 
This advice is for you today. "Listen to Him," and "Do whatever He tells you."
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Are You Serious?
At that time Samuel said to them, "If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your Ashtaroth idols. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines." (1 Samuel 7:3)
 
How many times have you told someone something and that person asked the rhetorical question, "Are you serious?" Or how many times have you yourself asked that question? In the above scripture, Samuel did not beat around the bush or mince words. He told the Israelites that if they were really serious about serving God, they had to do two things.

(1) They must get rid of their foreign gods and their idols. God had already told them, "Thy should have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). God will not tolerate someone else taking His place in our lives. He will not play second fiddle to anyone and certainly not to an idol made out of a piece of wood, bronze, silver or gold.

(2) Then the Israelites had "to determine to obey ONLY the Lord." "To determine" means to set your mind on a course of action. This kind of commitment means you don't back out, but you work toward the goal you have set. If you have made a decision to follow God, don't allow anybody or anything to turn you around. Don't allow excuses, distractions, or second thoughts to deter you from your goal.

Decide and determine to follow Jesus . . . And be serious about it!
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
 Your Ebenezer
Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." (1 Samuel 7:12)
 
An Ebenezer is a stone commemorating God's intervention in very difficult circumstances. Samuel set it between Mizpah and Shen as a boundary and as a reminder of the presence of God in difficult circumstances with his enemies. God intervened; so the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again.
 
We, too, should have a pocket full of "Ebenezers" to remind us of God's intervention in our lives when we needed Him to help us through many difficult trials and tribulations. Our Ebenezers help us to say like David, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of Goliath" (1 Samuel 17:37).
 
We need Ebenezers to help us to remember that "nothing is too hard for God" (Jeremiah 32:17). Our Ebenezers remind us that "Thus far the Lord has helped us." Why should you think He has reached a point where He isn't going to help any longer? The next time you find a stone, pick it up, put it in your pocket and call it your "Ebenezer." Whenever you feel that God has abandoned you, feel the rock in your pocket, or look at it on your desk and know that God is true to His word. "He will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Being Set Up
Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost.  And Kish said to his son Saul, "Please, take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys" (I Samuel 9:3)

Don't you just hate it when someone sets you up? How do you feel when you know you have been set up?  You probably don't feel so good about it. When human beings set you up, the results are usually negative.  But, do you know God sets us up all the time?  God sets us up for blessings, miracles, and good things beyond our wildest dreams.

When you take inventory of your life and reflect on every bad thing that has ever happened to you, you will surely find that in the long run it was the best thing that ever happened to you.  Every crisis, tragedy, disappointment brought along with it a blessing in some form.  The bad situations we faced yesterday have allowed us to be set up for blessings we are about to experience today. 

God does everything right by putting people and events in our lives to bless us in the long run.  For example, Saul in the above scriptures had a crisis.  His father's donkeys were lost, and he couldn't find them. In the meantime, God had sent Samuel to anoint the first king of Israel.  When Samuel saw Saul, he knew that was to be the first king.  Had the donkeys not being lost, Saul would have been no place around Samuel.  The Bible is full of similar examples.  Ruth's husband died. Ruth returned to Israel with Naomi, met Boaz and eventually married him. Through their lineage Jesus was born (Ruth 1-4).  

What are you being set up for? The solution to your biggest problem might be somewhere in the crisis you are facing right now.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 A Unique Sermon
Now the donkeys belonging to Saul's father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys." (1 Samuel 9:3)

Sometimes you hear a sermon based on the word of God that just hits your heart and causes you to feel the presence of the Lord throughout the sermon. And then you are doubly blessed if the sermon you hear is one that comes from your own lips. I preached such a sermon on Sunday, July 16, 2006 at Friendship Baptist Church in Richmond, VA where the Pastor is Rev. Dr. Barbara Taylor-Harris.

The title of the sermon was "Everybody is Looking for Something" based on 1 Samuel 9:1-4. The focus statement or proposition of the sermon was the same as the title: Everybody is looking for something.

The text was about Saul being sent to look for his father's donkeys which he never found. It really wasn't about the donkeys. It was about Saul's obedience to do such a menial task. Because he could not find the donkeys, he took the advice of his servant to look for Samuel the prophet who would tell him where the donkeys were. It wasn't about finding the donkeys. It was about getting Saul in line for a greater blessing. Samuel anointed Saul to become the first king of Israel. How about that; someone goes looking for donkeys and returns an anointed king?

From each of the 66 books of the Bible, an example was given about someone looking for something proving that everybody is looking for something. The Christological move came from Revelation, the last book of the Bible that proved that while everybody is looking for something, God needs to get us alone away from the maddening crowd. It was only when John was on the Isle of Patmos that he was able to be in the Spirit on the Lord's Day and be shown the things that would come to pass.

Since everyone is looking for something, here is a link to the 30-minute Unique Sermon in its entirety to discover that no matter what we are looking for, we can all find it in the same place. . . in Jesus Christ.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hide and Seek
Now the donkeys belonging to Saul's father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys." (I Samuel 9:3)
Finally the son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. So they inquired further of the Lord, "Has the man come here yet?" And the Lord said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage." (1 Samuel 10:21-22)

Most of us know about the children's game, "Hide and Seek." The object of the game is to hide something and others will try to find it. The winner is the one who finds the object first. In the first verse above, the donkeys of Kish were lost and his son Saul was to seek and find them. The donkeys were finally found but not by Saul. In fact, the prophet Samuel found Saul and told him he would be the first king of Israel. Isn't that amazing to go out seeking donkeys and end up king?

Saul was not excited about that decision, so he hid himself among the baggage. At first reading, one would think hiding among the baggage was just a place to hide. However, it is extremely significant that Saul would hide himself among the baggage while Samuel was looking for him to present him to the people as the first king of Israel.

Why did Saul hide? The Bible is silent on that answer, but here is one possibility. Saul was a Benjaminite from the smallest tribe of Israel and from the smallest clan in the smallest tribe. (I Samuel 9:21) He probably hid because he felt unworthy to become king; especially the first king with no example to follow.

Why did Saul hide among the baggage instead of hiding some other place? The Benjamites were warriors and the baggage consisted of supplies for the military. Hiding among the baggage was simply a foreshadowing of Saul's reign and downfall.  He would have some "baggage" while ruling Israel. Saul's baggage is going to cause God to grieve that He chose Saul to be king. (1 Samuel 15:35) Saul's baggage would cause God to swear that Saul would have no descendants on the throne. God kept His promise because Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died in battle on the same day. (1 Samuel 31:6) Saul began his reign with "baggage" (NIV) or "stuff" (KJV), and he ended his reign the same way.

What baggage or stuff do your have in your life that needs to be dealt with. Don't let it become your downfall.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Being Set Up
Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. And Kish said to his son Saul, "Please, take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys" (I Samuel 9:3)
 
Don't you just hate it when someone sets you up? How do you feel when you know you have been set up? You probably don't feel so good about it. When human beings set you up, the results are usually negative. But, do you know God sets us up all the time? God sets us up for blessings, miracles, and good things beyond our wildest dreams.
 
When you take inventory of your life and reflect on every bad thing that has ever happened to you, you will surely find that in the long run it was the best thing that ever happened to you. Every crisis, tragedy, disappointment brought along with it a blessing in some form. The bad situations we faced yesterday have allowed us to be set up for blessings we are about to experience today.
 
God does everything right by putting people and events in our lives to bless us in the long run. For example, Saul in the above scriptures had a crisis. His father's donkeys were lost, and he couldn't find them. In the meantime, God had sent Samuel to anoint the first king of Israel. When Samuel saw Saul, he knew that was to be the first king. Had the donkeys not being lost, Saul would have been no place around Samuel. The Bible is full of similar examples. Ruth's husband died. Ruth returned to Israel with Naomi, met Boaz and eventually married him. Through their lineage Jesus was born (Ruth 1-4).
 
What are you being set up for? The solution to your biggest problem might be somewhere in the crisis you are facing right now.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Divine Appointment
So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, "There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people." (1 Samuel 9:17)
 
Often we think that events just happen to us. From the story of Samuel anointing Saul to be the first king, we can clearly see that God uses common occurrences to carry out His plan. It is important to evaluate all situations as potential "divine appointments" designed to shape our lives.

Think of all the GOOD and BAD circumstances that have affected you lately. Can you see God's purpose in them? Perhaps God is building a certain quality in your life or leading you to serve Him in a new area.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Divine Appointments
So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, "There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people." (1 Samuel 9:17)
 
Sometimes the avenue of service God has mapped out for us coincides with our desires, almost as though we had written our own script. At other times, it is very important to be open to opportunities that cross our paths when we are least expecting them.
 
Often we think that events just happen to us, but as we learn from this story about Saul, God often uses common occurrences to lead us where he wants us to be. Saul was out looking for his father's donkeys when he was anointed to be the first king of Israel (at a time when there had been no kings).
 
It is important to evaluate all situations as potential "Divine Appointments" designed to shape our lives. Think of all the good and bad circumstances that have affected you lately. Can you see God's purpose in them? Perhaps He is building a certain quality in your life or leading you to serve Him in a new area.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Divine Appointments
So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, "There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people." (1 Samuel 9:17)
 
Have you ever wondered why certain events have or haven't taken place in your life? From this story about Saul (1 Samuel 9:1-27) we should be able to see that whatever happens to us happens for a specific reason. Everything we do is part of a bigger plan. God often uses common occurrences to lead us where He wants us to be. Therefore, it is important to evaluate all situations as potential "divine appointments" designed by God to shape our lives. Think so all the good, the bad and the ugly things that have ever happened to you. Looking at them in retrospect, can't you see God's purpose in them?

Whatever is going on in your life at this particular time might be because God is moving you in a different direction to serve Him in a new area. Don't miss that "divine opportunity" by focusing on the wrong things.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Divine Appointments
So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, "There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over my people." (1 Samuel 9:17)

Are you wondering why certain things are taking place in your life right now?

From the story about Saul (1 Samuel 9:1-27) we can clearly see that whatever happens to us happens for a specific reason. Everything we do is part of a bigger plan. God often uses common occurrences to lead us where He wants us to be. Therefore, it is important to evaluate all situations as potential "divine appointments" designed by God to shape our lives.
Think of all the good, the bad and the ugly things that have ever happened to you. If you look at them in retrospect, you will see God's purpose in them. Whatever is going on in your life at this particular time might be because God is moving you in a different direction to serve Him in a new area.

Remember, Saul went out looking for donkeys and ended up becoming King of Israel. Your next assignment might not be evident to you right now, but keep on doing what you are doing. Soon you will discover why you are out looking for donkeys.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Nothing Happens Out of the Blue
So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, "There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over my people." (I Samuel 9:17)
 
Often we think things just happen to us out of the blue. A deep study of the Bible wi
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hide and Seek
Now the donkeys belonging to Saul's father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys." (I Samuel 9:3)
Finally the son of Kish was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. So they inquired further of the Lord, "Has the man come here yet?" And the Lord said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage." (1 Samuel 10:21-22)

Most of us know about the children's game, "Hide and Seek." The object of the game is to hide something and others will try to find it. The winner is the one who finds the object first. In the first verse above, the donkeys of Kish were lost and his son Saul was to seek and find them. The donkeys were finally found but not by Saul. In fact, the prophet Samuel found Saul and told him he would be the first king of Israel. Isn't that amazing to go out seeking donkeys and end up king?

Saul was not excited about that decision, so he hid himself among the baggage. At first reading, one would think hiding among the baggage was just a place to hide. However, it is extremely significant that Saul would hide himself among the baggage while Samuel was looking for him to present him to the people as the first king of Israel.

Why did Saul hide? The Bible is silent on that answer, but here is one possibility. Saul was a Benjaminite from the smallest tribe of Israel and from the smallest clan in the smallest tribe. (I Samuel 9:21) He probably hid because he felt unworthy to become king; especially the first king with no example to follow.

Why did Saul hide among the baggage instead of hiding some other place? The Benjamites were warriors and the baggage consisted of supplies for the military. Hiding among the baggage was simply a foreshadowing of Saul's reign and downfall.  He would have some "baggage" while ruling Israel. Saul's baggage is going to cause God to grieve that He chose Saul to be king. (1 Samuel 15:35) Saul's baggage would cause God to swear that Saul would have no descendants on the throne. God kept His promise because Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died in battle on the same day. (1 Samuel 31:6) Saul began his reign with "baggage" (NIV) or "stuff" (KJV), and he ended his reign the same way.

What baggage or stuff do your have in your life that needs to be dealt with. Don't let it become your downfall.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Come Out of Hiding
So they inquired further of the Lord, "Has the man come here yet?" And the Lord said, "Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage." (1 Samuel 10:22)

When Samuel anointed Saul, he anointed a man of kingly stature, handsome and tall, but who thought of himself as the least important man of Israel. Saul said, "Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin?" (1 Samuel 9:21)

Saul was simply an obedient son looking for his father's donkeys when Samuel anointed him Israel's first king. When Samuel was ready to present Saul to the people as their king, Saul hid among the baggage. Because of his background, Saul did not think he was worthy to become king.

Many of us are hiding and not being all God wants us to be because we remember where we were born and the status of our family. God wants to use us to do greater things than we are doing, but we prefer to hide among our "baggage." Baggage represents that which you carry; that which holds your problems; that which weighs you down; and that which hinders your progress.

God is speaking to you now. If you are reading this, God is saying to you: "Come out of hiding." Get rid of your baggage. Lighten your load. Go on and be the king, queen, prince or princess that God has already anointed you to be. Like Saul, you need to come out of hiding, take your position in the world, and work in the kingdom of God.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Is Prayerlessness a Sin?
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.  (I Samuel 12:23)
 
Is prayerlessness a sin? Yes! God commands us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Neglecting prayer can reveal a sinful attitude of self-sufficiency and independence. It is wrong to try to straighten out your problems with only human resources. It is sinful to ignore a problem, choosing instead to "just let things happen." God wants to be involved in every area of your life. True prayer comes from an attitude of dependence on the Lord, whether celebrating His provision, confessing sin or expressing need.
 
Is prayerlessness a sin? Yes, it is! Jesus was fully God and fully human; yet He prayed. He taught the disciples the model prayer. He also told them to pray with Him in the garden the night of His arrest. When they fell asleep, He asked them, "Could you not tarry one hour?" Perhaps you don't pray for one hour, but your lifestyle should be one of prayer? Pray without ceasing so that when you really need God, you will not have to introduce yourself to Him. He will already know you from your constant communication with Him. Is prayerlessness a sin? Yes, it is!
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How Does God Describe You?
I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will. (I Samuel 13:13-14; Acts 13:22)

Abraham was described as a "friend of God." (2 Chronicles 20:7) David was described as "a man after God's own heart." (1 Samuel 13:13-14) Noah found favor in the eyes of God and was described as a just man among the people of his time. (Genesis 6:8-9) Job was described as blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:l) God said, "Have you considered My servant Job"? (Job 1:8) Jesus was described as "My Son in whom I am well pleased."  (Matthew 3:17)
How does God describe you?

God's description of you depends on your relationship with Him. If you serve God at a distance, His description of you certainly will not denote intimacy.

If you want a favorable description, then live a favorable life. Develop intimacy with God. And He certainly will refer to you in terms of endearment.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Do Not Judge By Appearances
The Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
 
Saul, the first king of Israel, was tall and handsome. He stood head and shoulders above everyone else. He was an impressive looking man and accepted by the people because of his good looks and appearance. As far as appearances are concerned, no man in the Bible was more suitable for success than Saul, and no man ever messed up the way Saul did. He was a man anointed and filled with the Spirit to do exploits for God, and in his early years he was humble and practiced self-control. Then he became disobedient and was guilty of rash vows and the witchcraft he had previously forbidden. Jealousy prompted him to harm David. Saul's moral life was destroyed, and he ultimately destroyed his physical life by committing suicide (I Samuel 31:4).
 
Saul's story is a sad one, but it shows that appearance doesn't reveal what people are really like on the inside. God does not look on the outward appearance. He judges by faith and character. Because God is the ONLY One who can actually see on the inside, ONLY God can accurately judge fairly. While everyone can see our faces, ONLY God knows what our hearts really look like. Our faces might not win a beauty contest, but thanks be to God that our hearts are attractive and win with God every time.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Bigger Is Not Always Better
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (I Samuel 16:7)
 
A story is told of a small race horse jockey who was extremely unhappy with his size. He believed if he were bigger and taller he was be more popular, more attractive to the beautiful ladies and people would respect him more. He prayed that he would be bigger and taller. In a dream, he became 6 feet tall. He was delighted to buy all new clothes, including buying size 13 shoes. Then the jockey received a telephone call that he had long awaited. It was a promotion to the highest paying assignment of any jockey in history. What a dream come true for the jockey! He ran to his closet to put on his jockey clothes, but wait . . . all his jockey clothes were for a small jockey. None of his gear would fit. And by the way, whoever saw a 6 foot jockey wearing size 13 shoes? The offer had been made based on his performance as a small jockey. This jockey learned the hard way, "Bigger is Not Always Better."
 
In the Old Testament, King Saul was handsome and stood tall above everyone else; yet he failed God. God made it clear to Samuel not to look at Saul's big stature or his handsome face because He refused Saul. In the New Testament, Zacchaeus was small in stature but became big inside when he repented of his sins and made restitution for his wrong doings (Luke 19:3).
 
Life Application: Bigger is not always better. The size of a person cannot be measured with a ruler, tape measure, or yard stick. The measure of a man or woman is determined by the size of the heart. Bigger is not always better. Let's keep this in mind this Christmas when we make our decision about gift giving.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________



In Position But Not Producing
For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and took his stand. (1 Samuel 17:16)
 
This scripture is taken from the story of David and Goliath when the Israelite army was in position but doing nothing to fight Goliath. For forty days Goliath shouted threats to the army while "Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified." The army probably had on the best armor with the finest weapons, but the Israelites did nothing.
 
We might be in position but not producing. Several reasons might attribute to this passive state. If it is fear of failure, remember "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). If it is lack of wisdom or understanding, "in all your getting get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7). Perhaps you are in a position earmarked for someone else and not for you. If that is the case, say like John the Baptist, "I am not the one. I merely point to the one who is better equipped." (John 1:19-27) (paraphrased for emphasis)
 
The point of this message is that if you are just sitting without accomplishing anything, then perhaps you are in the wrong place. Perhaps it's as if you are sitting in a rocking chair; you are moving but not getting anywhere. Now is the time to be like David and do something about your situation instead of just being in position but not producing. Even the world gives valid advice (in the form of an either/or statement) to people who just sit and do nothing.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

What's Your Track Record?
Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God." (1 Samuel 17:36)

When you have a problem to solve  or a major decision to make, it would be wise to look back over your own track record. What happened the last time you were in a similar situation? How was your last problem solved? How did God show up to help you make your last decision?

David was confident he could kill Goliath. How could he be so sure? He was sure based on his track record. He had already killed a lion. Major accomplishment! David had also killed a bear. Another major accomplishment! David had established a track record.  Next in the line of progression was an uncircumcised Philistine by the name of Goliath. David, because of previous experience with God's help, did not doubt to overcome this major task.. David knew not only his own track record but also God's track record. David strongly believed that since God delivered him out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, he would also deliver him out of the hand of Goliath.

When we are faced with our own giants, we must remember our track record and God's track record. If God has ever delivered you before, it is no doubt God will deliver you again and again and again!

Let's thank God for our track record. More importantly, let's thank God for His track record!
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Keep Your Perspective
Moreover David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.  (1 Samuel 17:37)
 
What a difference perspective can make! Others saw a giant, but David just a young boy, saw only a mortal man defying Almighty God. In addition, David knew he would not be alone when he faced Goliath. God would fight for him.

David looked at his situation from God's perspective, not his own. Viewing impossible situations from God's point of view helps us to put giant problems in perspective.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Wearing Somebody Else's Clothes
"I cannot go in these," he said to Saul "because I am not used to them." (I Samuel 17:39)

When David was about to fight Goliath, King Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on the sword over the tunic and tried walking around. David concluded he couldn't go in the king's clothes because he was not used to them. So he took them off and used his own things that he knew would work. (1 Samuel 17:38-40)
 
Too often we wear someone else's clothes to be like them. Too often we wear someone else's clothes thinking we will get their anointing. Too often we wear someone else's clothes while we leave our own clothes in a pile on the floor or hanging in the closet. God wants us to wear our own clothes.
 
Those of us who have even worn hand-me-downs know we can get away with wearing them, but there is never a proper fit. They don't fit properly because they have been shaped to someone else's body frame. David knew in order to be successful when he went up against Goliath, he had to use what he knew would work. We know the rest of the story. David slew Goliath with only a sling with a rock in it. It was an unconventional method, but it WORKED!
 
Too often we lose our battles because we fail to use what God has given us. We think what others have is more valuable than what we have. We trade our talents for what we see others doing. We put on other people's clothes because we don't trust what God has given us to wear.

If you want to slay the giants in your life, you must stop wearing somebody else's clothes because you are not used to them. To win the battle and to live victoriously, don't be hindered by wearing someone else's clothes. Trust God and wear your own clothes!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Use Your Own Gifts
David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, "I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them." So David took them off. (I Samuel 17:39)
 
We all have all done it. We have all worn other people's clothes at some time. Some of us grew up wearing hands-me-downs because they were the only clothes we could get. Teenagers think it is cool to exchange clothes. Whether you wear someone else's clothes by choice or chance, they don't always fit right. For example, shoes worn for a period of time become shaped to a person's own foot style. So if you wear someone else's shoes for a while, they are bound to be uncomfortable.

So it is with God's plans for us. God gave each one of us our own plans and the necessary gifts for those plans to succeed. Whenever successful parents force their children to follow in their career paths, it places the children in bondage. Expecting or forcing someone to do what you think is right for them might not line up with God's plan. And surely they will not have the God-given gifts to do so.
 
Saul had clothes. Saul had weapons. David had his own clothes and his own weapon. Even though they were not as elaborate or sophisticated as Saul's, David had used his own, and he knew they worked. Like David, God has given us our own gifts and anointing to fulfill His purpose and plans for our lives. We do so by using them instead of trying to make somebody else's gifts fit us.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Facing Our Giants
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. (1 Samuel 17:45)

David faced the Goliath, the giant without fear and trembling. Using David as an example, here are three major points given in the Bible to help you face your giants.

  1. David was equipped to face his giant. He had already killed a lion and a bear. (1 Samuel 17:34-37)
  2. David was prepared to face his giant. He took five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (1 Samuel 17:40)
  3. David went in a name greater than his own. He didn't go against his giant with sword and spear and javelin, but he went against his giant in the name of the Lord Almighty. (1 Samuel 17:45)

Perhaps these three guidelines will help you when (not if) you have giants to face.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Friends: Our CHOSEN Family
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. (I Samuel 18:1)

We don't have a choice who our relatives are. We were born into a family without having any say-so in the matter. We accepted the values of our parents, siblings, and other close relatives. As we grew and developed, we used our own free will and chose our friends according to our own standards.

Friends are our chosen family who know all about us and love us anyway. Friends are our chosen family who stand by us through the good times and the bad times. Friends are our chosen family who sense when something is wrong and provide assistance without giving us the third degree. Friends are those people who pick us up and carry us when we don't have the wherewithal to carry ourselves.

There are 93 verses in the Bible with the word "friend" in them. The ideas of friendship involves three components: association, loyalty, and affection. There are also three levels of friendship: friendship as association only; friendship as association plus loyalty; and friendship as association plus loyalty plus affection. Jesus' relationship with His disciples involved all three levels. Therefore, He called His disciples "friends." (John 15:14-15) Other familiar friends in the Bible include: God and Abraham; Ruth and Naomi; David and Jonathan; Job and his three friends; Daniel and his three friends; Mary, Martha, Lazarus and Jesus.

We thank God for the family we were born into; those people who surround us because they HAVE to. We thank God for the family He allowed us to choose; those people who surround us because they WANT to.

We thank God for Friends: Our Chosen Family.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Eating Holy Bread at Nob
David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. David asked him for bread. The priest answered David, “I don't have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated here provided your men have kept themselves from women.” (I Samuel 21:1; 3-4)

Nob was a town allotted to the priests (I Samuel 22:19) in the town of Benjamin. When David fled from King Saul, he went to Nob and asked for bread. The priest had only holy bread and offered some to David and his men only if they were consecrated.

This situation should be kept in mind when you make the decision to sin. There are consequences for sins and rewards for not sinning. In this case, David's men were able to eat when they were hungry because they were consecrated to God while fighting battles. Had they not been consecrated, the priest would have been under no obligation to let them eat “holy bread.”

Remember what happened at Nob, and let it be a lesson to keep yourself consecrated to the Lord at all times so you may partake of "holy bread" whenever you are hungry.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Listen to God and Do What He Says
When David was told, "Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors." he inquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" (1 Samuel 23:1-2)

In the above story, David did not think it unmanly to ask God for directions. Many times we do things on our own without inquiring of the Lord to find out if we should or shouldn't do them.

The Lord did not hesitate but answered David by saying, "Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah." (1 Samuel 23:2b) That should have settled the matter, but it didn't. David's men tried to talk David out of the decision God had already given. Once again David inquired of the Lord, and once again God answered him. This time God gave another piece of information, "Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand." (1 Samuel 23:4)

The end of the story is that David went, fought the Philistines and defeated them because God kept His promise.

Listening to God and doing what He says will always bring victory. Family, friends and others who give advice might mean well, but it is only God who can back up what He says.

When we listen to God and do what He says, God takes an active role to bring to pass what He told us to do. Well meaning family and friends might give advice freely, but usually they do not become an active part of the solution. God does! So listen to God and do what He says!
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

In-the Nick-of-Time Experiences
Saul was going along one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side, hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his forces were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, "Come quickly! The Philistines are raiding the land." Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. (1 Samuel 23:26-28)

An "in-the-nick-of-time" experience is one that happens at the last possible moment. It is called an in-the-nick-of-time experience because an unexpected thing can happen quickly. On the sundial, it is an extremely short space from one "nick" to the next "nick." Things can go from tragedy to triumph or from delight to devastation in the nick of time. In that short period, things can change from one way to another.

The Bible records many in-the-nick-of-time experiences. When the blade of Abraham's knife was coming down to sacrifice Isaac, the angel of the Lord came in the nick of time. Otherwise, Isaac would have been no more (Genesis 22:1-19).

The above verses indicate an in-the nick-of-time experience. David had been running and hiding from Saul for a long time. Saul was determined to kill David. God sent David into a place where Saul was sure to kill him and it looked like he would. In the nick of time, a messenger came to tell Saul the Philistines were raiding the land. Saul left to take care of that matter. God has spared David's life in the nick of time just like He spared Isaac's life.

Perhaps you are dealing with an unpleasant situation now. Do know that even though it seems like time is running out, there is a small window of opportunity for things to be reversed. No matter what the situation looks like, remember God will take care of it, just in the nick of time.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

A Close Call
As Saul and his forces were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, "Come quickly! The Philistines are raiding the land." Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. (I Samuel 23:26-28)

Because of Saul's fierce jealousy and anger toward David, he sought him out in fields, deserts, caves and wherever he had heard David was. At this particular time Saul was going on one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side, hurrying to get away from Saul. Saul was inches away from killing David, but God intervened. A minute later, Saul would have killed David. David's life was spared because the hand of God was on David.

This is a perfect example of God intervening in a close call. This should prove to us that if our lives are lined up with God, God's hand is also upon us. God will intervene in the nick of time for us as well. It might seem that the enemy is on our heels, but God can cause a distraction, and the enemy will have to leave us alone. God used the raid of the Philistines to get Saul's attention off of killing David temporarily.

Are enemies on your heel? If you are sincerely a child of God, remember it might look like  your enemies are winning, but no plague will come nigh thee (Psalm 91).
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Keeping a Positive Attitude Like David
The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, or lift my hand against him, for he is the anointed of the Lord. (1 Samuel 24:6)

A positive attitude will help you do what is right.

David was anointed king while King Saul was already reigning. David kept a positive attitude about the entire situation even though Saul was jealous of him. On numerous occasions, Saul sought to kill David. In fact, David ran from King Saul and hid in caves as he escaped the threats and attacks of Saul.

Once Saul was exhausted from chasing David. He laid down and fell asleep. When David saw him sleeping, he had the opportunity to kill Saul. However, David kept a positive attitude. David could have killed Saul, but the only thing he did was cut off a piece of Saul's garment to let Saul know that David had been that close to him. (1 Samuel 24:4)

When you know your God and your standing with God, you can come close to your enemy and not harm him. You can have a positive attitude knowing that God Himself will reward you in due season.

Saul's reign ended when Saul and all his sons died on the same day. God promised David that he would always have a descendant on the throne. God kept His promise because of David's positive attitude.

Keep a positive attitude and perhaps God will move you to a place of prominence like David.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


A Wise Woman
She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings. (1 Samuel 25:3)
 
Wisdom is defined as "having the ability to walk circumspectly." We all know Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. He asked God for wisdom instead of riches, but God gave him wisdom in addition to riches. There were other wise people in the Bible. In fact, one woman can be characterized as "a wise woman." Do you have any idea who she was?
 
Here are a few clues. See how quickly you can identify her. In an alphabetical list of all biblical women, her name is the third from the top. This woman had both beauty and brains. While she was "wise," she had a foolish husband. In fact, his name literally means "foolish." By now you should have figured out that this wise woman was Abigail.
 
Abigail's husband was an ill-tempered drunken man. When David was hiding from the jealous King Saul, he asked Nabal for food for himself and his men. Nabal blatantly refused. Angered, David threatened to plunder Nabal's possessions and to kill Nabal and his entire household. Abigail, in her wisdom, gathered enough food for David's men, rode out to meet David, and bowed before him to show her respect. By agreeing with David that Nabal had acted with great disrespect, she stopped David's planned attack on Nabal's life. Her courage and wisdom so impressed David that when Nabal died of a heart attack after a drinking spree a short time later, David married Abigail and she bore him a son. (I Samuel 25) Abigail was a wise woman indeed.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Experience or Judgment?
David said to Abigail, "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment . . . (1 Samuel 25:32)

Unless you have been under a rock for the last few weeks, you have heard the political debates about experience versus judgment.
 
There is no doubt experience is important; however, there are pros and cons about experience especially when it is not accompanied by good judgment. A wrong choice gives a person experience just as much as a right choice does. So, to say one is experienced is not a guarantee that every decision in the future will be a good one. Those without experience will certainly get it as he or she continues to use sound judgment. To that end, both are important: experience and judgment. And they must be seen as twin characteristics; not identical twins, but twins nonetheless.
 
Nabal was a highly respectable and experienced nobleman, but he made a foolish choice. He insulted David when he refused to give David and his men provisions. David took it personally and planned to kill Nabal. However, Nabal's wife, Abigail, used sound judgment by going to David and begged for the life of her husband. In that case, judgment won over experience.  When Nabal found out what his wife had done, he had a heart attack and died. Then David married Abigail. (1 Samuel 25)
 
Jezebel was experienced, but she was experientially wrong.  Her husband, King Ahab, did not use good judgment because he allowed her to do evil. Once she used her husband's influence to have a man killed because he refused to sell the king his land. (1 Kings 21) The experienced evil queen eventually suffered a terrible and humiliating death.
 
So, who do you want answering your telephone call at 3:00 a.m.? One with experience or one with judgment?
 
God has both!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Zigzagging at Ziklag
Then David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your sight, let a place be given me in one of the country towns, so that I may live there; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you? So that day Achish gave him Ziklag; therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. (I Samuel 27:5-6)

When David was pursued by Saul, he and his six hundred men fled to the land of the Philistines and found sanctuary with Achish, king of Gath. Notice the way David put his request. David reminded Achish that he was Achish’s servant and should not be living in the royal city with him.  Achish gave the city of Ziklag to David, and it became his military base and a safe place for his six hundred men, every man with his household, and David with his two wives. When Saul was told David had found refuge in Ziklag, Saul no longer sought after him. Why not? Because Ziklag is a safe place to go for refuge. It is a place to go where your enemies wouldn't dare try to harm you.

Remember, Ziklag is where you go when you need a hiding place. It is that place you stop and stay until the coast is clear from your enemies.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Strength in the Midst of a Storm
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (I Samuel 30:6)
 
David's own men held him responsible for the tragic raid on Ziklag by the Amalekites. They had burned Ziklag and taken captive all the women and children. When David and his men returned to Ziklag and discovered what had happened, they wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. Even though David's family was among the captives, David's own men wanted to stone David for something he had no control over. That proves that we are sometimes in the midst of situations where people unfairly hold us responsible. Nevertheless, it still places us in the midst of trouble.
 
We should do what David did. He did not plead with his men trying to make them understand. Instead of asking his own men to spare his life, he found strength in the Lord his God. How did he do that? David prayed the following prayer: Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. (David explained his situation). Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. (David asked for forgiveness for his own sins). See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! (David did not beat around the bush. He was direct and to the point. He was honest about having enemies). Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. (David affirmed the power of God; not his enemies). Psalm 25:16-21
 
When we are faced with any problem, turn TO God and away FROM the problem. Like David, God will also rescue us.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Inquire of the Lord

So David inquired of the Lord . . .
(1 Samuel 30:8; 2 Samuel 2:1; 5:19; 5:23; 21:1; 1 Chronicles 14:10; 14:14)
 
If you would do a thorough study of the life of David, you will note that he was a mighty king in spite of his many tragedies. Three of his children died, his daughter was raped by her own brother, his oldest son turned against him trying to take the throne, and he was constantly on the run from Saul who was jealous of him. David was victorious over all these calamities because he inquired of the Lord. David was not sinless, but he did repent of his sins and asked God to "create in him a clean heart" (Psalm 51:10).
 
Inquiring of the Lord simply means asking God what you should do in EVERY circumstance of your life. Inquiring of the Lord means talking to God about the details of your life, seeking His approval BEFORE you act. God wants to be an intricate part of our lives, and He wants also to be involved in the decision making. Would you make major decisions for your company without discussing them with your superiors? God is your Superior. He is in charge of your life. Do nothing without hearing from Him first. If you inquire of the Lord before you get into trouble; it is less likely that there would be any trouble at all. Be like David . . . inquire of the Lord.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Help in Making Moral Decisions
Saul said to his armor bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me." But his armor bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. (I Samuel 31:4)
 
It is important to obey God rather than follow human commands. Saul's armor bearer was faced with a moral decision. He knew murder was wrong; yet, his master the king had asked him to kill him rather than letting his enemies kill him. And then when the armor bearer wouldn't do it; Saul killed himself by falling on his own sword.
 
What would you have done? Would you have obeyed the earthly king or the heavenly king? There is a difference between following an order with which you don't agree and following one you know is wrong. Murder is wrong and the armor bearer knew it. It is NEVER right or ethical to carry out a wrong act no matter how you try to justify it. It is NEVER right or ethical to carry out a wrong act no matter who gives the order. It is NEVER right or ethical to carry out a wrong act even if you think you will not be found out.
 
Have the courage to follow God's law above human commands.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
What Happened At Mount Gilboa?
Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me. But the armor bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul and his three sons and his armor bearer and all his men died together that same day.” (I Samuel 31:4-6)

Saul was the first king of Israel, but the Lord rejected him because he violated God's instruction. Remember, but do not imitate what happened at Mount Gilboa. Saul took matters into his own hands and made a bad choice concerning his death as he had made bad choices before.  Because his three sons were killed in battle, Saul no longer wanted to live. At his armor bearer's refusal to kill him as the king had instructed, Saul fell on his own sword. His actions impacted his armor bearer who also fell on his own sword.

If you are a leader or role model, keep in mind that whatever you do impacts the lives of those who look up to you. Make sure all your intentions are honorable.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Custom Search