Friday 21 October, 2016

1 Samuel 20:1-24

20 David was in Naioth at Ramah. He ran away from there to where Jonathan was. He asked him, “What have I done? What crime have I committed? I haven’t done anything to harm your father. So why is he trying to kill me?” 2 “That will never happen!” Jonathan replied. “You aren’t going to die! My father doesn’t do anything at all without letting me know. So why would he hide this from me? He isn’t going to kill you!” 3 But David strongly disagreed. He said, “Your father knows very well that you are pleased with me. He has said to himself, ‘I don’t want Jonathan to know I’m planning to kill David. If he finds out, he’ll be very sad.’ But I’m very close to being killed. And that’s just as sure as the Lord and you are alive.” 4 Jonathan said to David, “I’ll do anything you want me to do for you.” 5 So David said, “Tomorrow is the time for the New Moon feast. I’m supposed to eat with the king. But let me go and hide in the field. I’ll stay there until the evening of the day after tomorrow. 6 Your father might miss me. If he does, then tell him, ‘David begged me to let him hurry home to Bethlehem. A yearly sacrifice is being offered there for his whole family group.’ 7 Your father might say, ‘That’s all right.’ If he does, it will mean I’m safe. But he might become very angry. If he does, you can be sure he’s made up his mind to harm me. 8 Please be kind to me. You have made a covenant with me in front of the Lord. If I’m guilty, kill me yourself! Don’t hand me over to your father!” 9 “I would never do that!” Jonathan said. “Suppose I had even the smallest clue that my father had made up his mind to harm you. Then I would tell you.” 10 David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you in a mean way?” 11 “Come on,” Jonathan said. “Let’s go out to the field.” So they went there together. 12 Then Jonathan spoke to David. He said, “I promise you that I’ll find out what my father is planning to do. I’ll find out by this time the day after tomorrow. The Lord, the God of Israel, is my witness. Suppose my father has kind feelings toward you. Then I’ll send you a message and let you know. 13 But suppose he wants to harm you. And I don’t let you know about it. Suppose I don’t help you get away in peace. Then may the Lord punish me greatly. May he be with you, just as he has been with my father. 14 But always be kind to me, just as the Lord is. Be kind to me as long as I live. Then I won’t be killed. 15 And never stop being kind to my family. Don’t stop even when the Lord has cut off every one of your enemies from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant of friendship with David and his family. He said, “May the Lord hold David’s enemies responsible for what they’ve done.” 17 Jonathan had David promise his friendship again because he loved him. In fact, Jonathan loved David just as he loved himself. 18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the time for the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat at the table will be empty. 19 Go to the place where you hid when all this trouble began. Go there the day after tomorrow, when evening is approaching. There’s a stone out there called Ezel. 20 Wait by it. I’ll shoot three arrows to one side of the stone. I’ll pretend I’m practicing my shooting. 21 Then I’ll send a boy out there. I’ll tell him, ‘Go and find the arrows.’ Suppose I say to him, ‘The arrows are on this side of you. Bring them here.’ Then come. That will mean you are safe. You won’t be in any danger. And that’s just as sure as the Lord is alive. 22 But suppose I tell the boy, ‘The arrows are far beyond you.’ Then go. That will mean the Lord is sending you away. 23 And remember what we talked about. Remember that the Lord is a witness between you and me forever.” 24 So David hid in the field. When the time for the New Moon feast came, the king sat down to eat.

David confronts Jonathan with this wild accusation that the King is determined to kill him which Jonathan finds impossible to believe.

Jonathan finds himself in a very difficult position. David is his best friend. They have sworn loyalty to each other, and they share a very unique bond of friendship. What makes this difficult is that the King is his father. Jonathan is adamant that his father loves David and would never hurt David, let alone kill him. Jonathan wants to defend his dad and convince David that he is wrong.

David and Jonathan could have demanded that each other decide now who is right and who is wrong, to test that loyalty which could have potentially injured their friendship. Instead they both decide to test the truth and let God reveal who was right and this is wisdom. Leave it in God’s hands.

From time to time we are presented with difficult decisions, were we may or may not know all the facts. When this happens, ask God for wisdom and he will show you.

Even though David was right and he knew he was right, it was better for them both that Jonathan learn the truth about his father from God and because they trusted God their friendship remained.

Father, thank you that we can ask you for wisdom and that you will give us wisdom when we ask. Help us also to accept your wisdom, even if it is difficult to accept.

Written by Andrew Martin

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    I don’t know about other people but asking for and receiving wisdom in daily matters has been a regular problem for me. I forget to ask! I once worked on a technical problem for 6 month with no solution. One day I realised I had never prayed about the problem and within 30 seconds of praying I had a new thought and within 1-2 minutes I had a solution.
    Thanks Andrew for the reminder.

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Thursday 20 October, 2016

1 Samuel 19:18-24

18 After David had run away and escaped, he went to Samuel at Ramah. He told him everything Saul had done to him. Then David and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Saul was told, “David is in Naioth at Ramah.” 20 So Saul sent some men to capture him. When they got there, they saw a group of prophets who were prophesying. Samuel was standing there as their leader. Then the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men. So they also began to prophesy. 21 Saul was told about it. So he sent some more men. They began to prophesy too. Saul sent some men a third time. And they also began to prophesy. 22 Finally, Saul decided to go to Ramah himself. He went to the large well at Seku. He asked some people, “Where are Samuel and David?” “Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said. 23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God even came on him. He walked along and prophesied until he came to Naioth. 24 There he took off his clothes. Then he also prophesied in front of Samuel. He lay there without his clothes on all that day and night. That’s why people say, “Is Saul also one of the prophets?”

David had escaped from Saul who was trying to kill him. David sought out Samuel at Ramah and they then fled to a place called Naioth. Saul pursued David by firstly sending two lots of men and finally he went himself. All three attempts to take David’s life ended in failure as the Spirit of God caused his enemies to enter a trance like state, prophesying.

I take two things from this passage:

Firstly, David sought out the man of God when he was in trouble. It says David told Samuel all that Saul had done. It reminds me of the importance of open and honest relationship with Godly leaders. I’m encouraged to nurture and maintain such relationships and to reach out when I am in difficulty. At critical times these God given relationships can breathe life into a situation.

Secondly, you can’t help but see the sovereignty and protection of God almighty over David’s life. God’s purposes will come to pass!

Dear Lord thank you for the Godly leaders you have placed in my life. I also thank you for your ongoing protection and will coming to pass in my life as I trust and serve you. Amen

Written by Ps. Ainslie Woods

 

2 replies
  1. Rosie says:

    Thanks Ainslee. I find this story almost comical. Saul wants to come against David but every attempt not only fails but Saul himself is laid naked before God, prophesying! I’m reminded of the verse that no weapon formed against us will prevail – this story is all about Gods supernatural protection in action for David. Gods spirit is a formidable force and it surrounds us too. That gives me confidence to face today, knowing as I walk with him , nothing can prevail against me.

    • David Newton says:

      Yes it seems that in times of extreme trouble running to the most Godly person you know is a wise strategy. Thank Ainslee & Rosie!

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Wednesday 19 October, 2016

1 Samuel 19:8-17

8 Once more war broke out. So David went out and fought against the Philistines. He struck them down with so much force that they ran away from him. 9 But an evil spirit sent by the Lord came on Saul. It happened as he was sitting in his house and holding his spear. While David was playing the harp, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear. But David got away from him just as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David escaped. 11 Saul sent some men to watch David’s house. He told them to kill David the next morning. But David’s wife Michal warned him. She said, “You must run for your life tonight. If you don’t, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 So Michal helped David escape through a window. He ran and got away. 13 Then Michal got a statue of a god. She laid it on David’s bed. She covered it with clothes. And she put some goat hair at the place where David’s head would have been. 14 Saul sent the men to capture David. But Michal told them, “He’s sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David. He told them, “Bring him up here to me in his bed. Then I’ll kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, the only thing they found in the bed was the statue. Some goat hair was at the place where David’s head would have been. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you trick me like this? Why did you help my enemy escape?” Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Help me get away. If you don’t, I’ll kill you.’ ”

The relationship between Saul and David is the major theme of the entire book of 1 Samuel.

Here I observe a development in their conflict where it has reached a point where any interaction between them has become untenable.

Conflict between people is messy and difficult and I am astounded how much integrity David shows here. He could easily have used his warrior skill against Saul, or even used the support of his people to overthrow Saul as a leader.

In my past when I have been confronted by a tyrannical leader, my natural inclination has been to seek to undermine their leadership and seek to sabotage their power base to bring about change for the greater good.

While my motives towards an outcome may be good, this does not excuse me in using methods and techniques which are less than pure.

Here we see David mirroring Christ in loving his enemy in a Godly way and treating Saul with incredible grace and mercy.

Lord, help me to grow in integrity, not just in vision and outcome but also help me to act with love and righteousness in my actions.

Written by Ps Justin Ware

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Tuesday 18 October, 2016

1 Samuel 19:1-7

19 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan liked David very much. 2 So Jonathan warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be very careful tomorrow morning. Find a place to hide and stay there. 3 My father and I will come and stand in the field where you are hiding. I’ll speak to him about you. Then I’ll tell you what I find out.” 4 Jonathan told his father Saul some good things about David. He said to him, “Please don’t do anything to harm David. He hasn’t done anything to harm you. And what he’s done has helped you a lot. 5 He put his own life in danger when he killed Goliath. The Lord used him to win a great battle for the whole nation of Israel. When you saw it, you were glad. So why would you do anything to harm a man like David? He isn’t guilty of doing anything to harm you. Why would you want to kill him without any reason?” 6 Saul paid attention to Jonathan. Saul made a promise. He said, “You can be sure that the Lord lives. And you can be just as sure that David will not be put to death.” 7 So Jonathan sent for David and told him everything he and Saul had said. Then he brought David to Saul. David served Saul as he had done before.

Previously King Saul – jealous, disturbed and vicious – tried to manipulate circumstances around David so that he might die ‘by someone else’s hand’. This passage begins and the pussyfooting has ended, Saul out-rightly commands David’s death. But Jonathan…

Wise, insightful, committed to David, a servant heart, someone who pleases God – Jonathan intervenes. David is safe again because of Jonathan.

I am reminded that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf. Romans 8:25-27 and Hebrews 7:25 states this explicitly but today’s passage implies a different direction of activity. Like Jonathan to David, God guides us, shapes circumstances around our lives, keeps us safe, does us favours – God participates in our lives, God is our friend. Like Jonathan, God knows what challenges we face. We can rest assured that God knows our burdens, God knows our lives, God knows what spiritual forces are set against us. We are safe because of Him.

Lord, I acknowledge your goodness in my life. Thank you for being my friend, thank you for being close with me in my life’s journey. Amen.

Written by Sam Stewart

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    It is indeed true the Holy Spirit has made himself available to intercede, guide and shape our circumstances but there are some things we must do to allow this to happen. Ephesians 4:30 instructs us not to ‘grieve the Holy Spirit’ while he is doing His work, likewise 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says ‘Do not extinguish the Spirit’. The real question for us is “What are we doing in our daily lives that interfere with the Holy Spirit and ultimately God’s ability to shape the circumstances of our lives?” Some of the answers to this question can be found in the Scriptures in Ephesians 4:29,31.
    Thanks so much for that Sam!

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Monday 17 October, 2016

1 Samuel 18:17-30

17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I’ll give her to you to be your wife. Just serve me bravely and fight the Lord’s battles.” Saul said to himself, “I won’t have to lift my hand to strike him down. The Philistines will do that!” 18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I? Is anyone in my whole family that important in Israel? Am I worthy to become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 The time came for Saul to give his daughter Merab to David. Instead, Saul gave her to Adriel from Meholah to be his wife. 20 Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David. When they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 21 “I’ll give her to David to be his wife,” Saul said to himself. “Then maybe she’ll trap him. And maybe the Philistines will strike him down.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second chance to become my son-in-law.” 22 Then Saul gave an order to his attendants. He said, “Speak to David in private. Tell him, ‘The king likes you. All his attendants love you. So become his son-in-law.’ ” 23 Saul’s attendants spoke those very words to David. But David said, “Do you think it’s a small thing to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man. I’m not very well known.” 24 Saul’s attendants told him what David had said. 25 Saul said, “Tell David, ‘Here’s the price the king wants for the bride. He wants you to kill 100 Philistines. Then bring back the skins you cut off when you circumcise them. That’s how Saul will get even with his enemies.’ ” Saul hoped that the Philistines would strike David down. 26 Saul’s attendants also told David those things. Then David was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the wedding day, 27 David and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. They circumcised the Philistines. Then David brought back all the skins. They counted out the full number and gave them to the king. By doing that, David could become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave David his daughter Michal to be his wife. 28 Saul realized that the Lord was with David. He also realized that his daughter Michal loved David. 29 So Saul became even more afraid of him. As long as Saul lived, he remained David’s enemy. 30 The Philistine commanders kept on going out to battle. Every time they did, David had more success against them than the rest of Saul’s officers. So his name became well known.

It’s interesting to watch how David and Saul behave and react in this story.

Saul thought he had a problem and he decides to solve it by getting rid of David. He planned to trick David and to let someone else do the dirty work. He didn’t just do it once, he tried on 3 different occasions and he roped in others to help him trick David as well as being comfortable with sending David into a battle so one of Israel’s enemies could kill him. So he decided to do something not in line with God’s view of what a king should do. It wasn’t just a spur of the moment thing, he kept at it for quite awhile.

On the other hand, David was offered the hand in marriage of Saul’s daughter not once but twice. Pretty big temptation. But he didn’t fall for it. He didn’t think more of himself than he should. You could say he was a bit naïve because he didn’t see through what Saul was doing. But you could also say he had integrity and stuck to God’s view of the world. He did what his king asked of him and did it to the best of his ability.

Its then interesting to compare David in this story with how David ended up later in life where he did the same thing as Saul – sent someone to their death so he could have a relationship with an already married woman.

It is easy for all of us to get sidetracked and start down a path that takes us to a bad place. We have a problem and instead of going to God to get help addressing it we try and figure out a solution of our own. If we haven’t walked closely with God, then it’s easy for our ideas for a solution to be unhelpful or even dangerous for us. We need to remember to seek God’s help.

Lord thanks that You are just waiting for us to ask for help. Please help us to remember to ask. Thanks that Your solutions work so much better than ours.

Written by Therese Manning

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    The message is simple clear and for me today, very timely! Thanks you Therese, you took a difficult message and created an opportunity for me to hear from God!

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Sunday 16 October, 2016

1 Samuel 18:10-16

10 The next day an evil spirit sent by God came powerfully on Saul. Saul began to prophesy in his house. At that same time David began to play the harp, just as he usually did. Saul was holding a spear. 11 He threw it at David. As he did, he said to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David got away from him twice. 12 The Lord had left Saul and was with David. So Saul was afraid of David. 13 He sent David away. He put him in command of 1,000 men. David led the troops in battle. 14 In everything he did, he was very successful. That’s because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful David was, he became afraid of him. 16 But all the troops of Israel and Judah loved David. That’s because he led them in battle.

There are many doors in life. Some are to be walked through and lead to our destiny. Some are to be closed tight and never opened. Saul opened one of these doors – the door of anger and jealousy (see yesterday’s passage – 2 Samuel 18:8-9).  I’m amazed at how quickly disaster came to Saul – the very next day! (V10) Adds new urgency to the old verse “don’t let the sun go down on your anger” (Eph 4:26)

There’s another door that’s mentioned in this passage and that’s God’s door. David opened it and God came into his life. Twice this passage mentions the reason for David’s success was because God was with him. (V12 and 14)

I love that the same door, God’s door, is available to me to. I “open” it by faith and prayer. He is waiting for me to open the door so He can come into my life. So He can flood my life with all His mercy, His love, His favour, His strength, His peace.

I need only ask.

Dear God,
I’m sorry for opening doors I know I shouldn’t.
Thank you for sending your son to die on the cross – to pay for all my wrong doors. Please come into my life just like you did for David. I open your door today.   Amen

Written by Boudy VanNoppen

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Saturday 15 October, 2016

1 Samuel 18:1-9

18 David finished talking with Saul. After that, Jonathan and David became close friends. Jonathan loved David just as he loved himself. 2 From that time on, Saul kept David with him. He didn’t let him return home to his family. 3 Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him just as he loved himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David. He also gave him his military clothes. He even gave him his sword, his bow and his belt. 5 David did everything Saul sent him to do. He did it so well that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. That pleased Saul’s whole army, including his officers. 6 After David had killed Goliath, the men of Israel returned home. The women came out of all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul. They danced and sang joyful songs. They played harps and tambourines. 7 As they danced, they sang, “Saul has killed thousands of men. David has killed tens of thousands.” 8 That song made Saul very angry. It really upset him. He said to himself, “They are saying David has killed tens of thousands of men. But they are saying I’ve killed only thousands. The only thing left for him to get is the kingdom itself.” 9 From that time on, Saul watched David closely.

Saul was more focused on himself and how others perceived him rather than the actual outcome. David was successful in defeating Israel’s enemies, which meant Saul was king of a victorious nation, yet all he saw was David’s popularity. His insecurity blinded him to the bigger picture and he felt threatened by the presence of someone more successful than himself.

What a familiar situation! How often do I get caught up in what people think of me rather than the actual outcome. Am I paying attention to the students who are learning and growing or am I fixated on misbehaviour or disengagement, because it ‘proves’ I’m not a good teacher? Am I stepping back and seeing people enjoying the meal or am I worried about the food being overdone and people thinking I’m not a good cook?

Saul could not celebrate with his people, could not enjoy their gladness, because he was offended by it!

God, please help me to get my security from you such that I can take a step back, see the bigger picture, and be fully present in the moment. I want to celebrate the David’s in my world and enjoy the successes of those around me. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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Friday 14 October, 2016

1 Samuel 17:41-58

41 At that same time, the Philistine kept coming closer to David. The man carrying Goliath’s shield walked along in front of him. 42 Goliath looked David over. He saw how young he was. He also saw how healthy and handsome he was. And he hated him. 43 He said to David, “Why are you coming at me with sticks? Do you think I’m only a dog?” The Philistine cursed David in the name of his gods. 44 “Come over here,” he said. “I’ll feed your body to the birds and wild animals!” 45 David said to Goliath, “You are coming to fight against me with a sword, a spear and a javelin. But I’m coming against you in the name of the Lord who rules over all. He is the God of the armies of Israel. He’s the one you have dared to fight against. 46 This day the Lord will give me the victory over you. I’ll strike you down. I’ll cut your head off. This day I’ll feed the bodies of the Philistine army to the birds and wild animals. Then the whole world will know there is a God in Israel. 47 The Lord doesn’t rescue people by using a sword or a spear. And everyone here will know it. The battle belongs to the Lord. He will hand all of you over to us.” 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet him. 49 He reached into his bag. He took out a stone. He put it in his sling. He slung it at Goliath. The stone hit him on the forehead and sank into it. He fell to the ground on his face. 50 So David won the fight against Goliath with a sling and a stone. He struck down the Philistine and killed him. He did it without even using a sword. 51 David ran and stood over him. He picked up Goliath’s sword and cut off his head with it. The Philistines saw that their hero was dead. So they turned around and ran away. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah shouted and rushed forward. They chased the Philistines to the entrance of Gath. They chased them to the gates of Ekron. Bodies of dead Philistines were scattered all along the road to Gath and Ekron. That’s the road that leads to Shaaraim. 53 Israel’s army returned from chasing the Philistines. They had taken everything from the Philistine camp. 54 David picked up Goliath’s head. He brought it to Jerusalem. He put Goliath’s weapons in his own tent. 55 Saul had been watching David as he went out to meet the Philistine. He spoke to Abner, the commander of the army. Saul said to him, “Abner, whose son is that young man?” Abner replied, “Your Majesty, I don’t know. And that’s just as sure as you are alive.” 56 The king said, “Find out whose son that young man is.” 57 After David killed Goliath, he returned to the camp. Then Abner brought him to Saul. David was still carrying Goliath’s head. 58 “Young man, whose son are you?” Saul asked him. David said, “I’m the son of Jesse from Bethlehem.”

In verse 45 of this passage, David says to Goliath, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” The battle that he is facing against Goliath belongs to God, and David stands to fight for His glory. David knows that it is not a battle between just two men.

Sometimes I feel like I’m in a battle – though it definitely looks very different to the physical nature of this battle – however, I’m encouraged by David’s heart and awareness of Who he is fighting for and with. In verse 47 David goes on to say, “…everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues His people…”. I am challenged to look at the battles I can face, and question whether or not they lead people to seeing God as my rescuer and victorious King.

God, I thank You for the victory I have in You. Please help me to remember that You have already overcome any trials that are ahead of me. Help me witness to others as I trust in You. In Jesus’ name.

Written by Laura Samperi

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Thursday 13 October, 2016

1 Samuel 17:31-40

31 Someone heard what David said and reported it to Saul. So Saul sent for David. 32 David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone lose hope because of that Philistine. I’ll go out and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You aren’t able to go out there and fight that Philistine. You are too young. He’s been a warrior ever since he was a boy.” 34 But David said to Saul, “I’ve been taking care of my father’s sheep. Sometimes a lion or a bear would come and carry off a sheep from the flock. 35 Then I would go after it and hit it. I would save the sheep it was carrying in its mouth. If it turned around to attack me, I would grab its hair. I would strike it down and kill it. 36 In fact, I’ve killed both a lion and a bear. I’ll do the same thing to this Philistine. He isn’t even circumcised. He has dared the armies of the living God to fight him. 37 The Lord saved me from the paw of the lion. He saved me from the paw of the bear. And he’ll save me from the powerful hand of this Philistine too.” Saul said to David, “Go. And may the Lord be with you.” 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own military clothes. He put a coat of armor on him. He put a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David put on Saul’s sword over his clothes. He walked around for a while in all that armor because he wasn’t used to it. “I can’t go out there in all this armor,” he said to Saul. “I’m not used to it.” So he took it off. 40 Then David picked up his wooden staff. He went down to a stream and chose five smooth stones. He put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag. Then he took his sling in his hand and approached Goliath.

Two broad lessons stand out from this early section of the David and Goliath saga, you may be familiar with them:

1) David’s many private trials with wild beasts when guarding the family sheep prepared him for his public encounter with the Philistine champion.

2) David did well not to trust the impersonation efforts of King Saul – the timid king’s tactic, “My Bronze Helmet and sword look good on you!”, would have undermined David’s success.

The image of the young hero David as a prototype Jesus draws me deeper into the significance of the story.

1) What private trials and quiet victories did Jesus experience during his life?

2) What temptations did Jesus encounter that offered a short-cut, impersonation of His otherwise unique calling?

The answer to both suppositions – many and majority unknown to us. Interestingly this deeper reading of David preparing for Goliath re-casts the Temptation story of Jesus as an epic encounter of goliath proportions (eg. Matthew 4).

Jesus, you are the High image of the victorious King. I want to overcome the private tests that life throws at me. I want to have victory over temptations. Where I have failed in the past – thank you for your forgiveness and second chances. Thank you Jesus that you have gone ahead of me. Thank you Jesus that you have defeated the powers, you have defeated the giants. Thank you Lord, you have secured the ultimate victory. I draw my confidence from you. Amen

Written by Sam Stewart

2 replies
  1. Stephen Fell says:

    I love that David, even though a skillful fighter, gave the credit to God, and had the staunch faith that God would do the same in equipping him to defeat Goliath. This reminds me that in all my skills, it is because God has equipped me. Thanks Sam for your words.

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Wednesday 12 October, 2016

1 Samuel 17:12-30

12 David was the son of Jesse, who belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. Jesse was from Bethlehem in Judah. He had eight sons. When Saul was king, Jesse was already very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul into battle. The oldest son was Eliab. The second was Abinadab. The third was Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest sons followed Saul. 15 But David went back and forth from Saul’s camp to Bethlehem. He went to Bethlehem to take care of his father’s sheep. 16 Every morning and evening Goliath came forward and stood there. He did it for 40 days. 17 Jesse said to his son David, “Get at least half a bushel of grain that has been cooked. Also get ten loaves of bread. Take all of it to your brothers. Hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten chunks of cheese to the commander of their military group. Find out how your brothers are doing. Bring me back some word about them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel. They are in the Valley of Elah. They are fighting against the Philistines.” 20 Early in the morning David left his father’s flock in the care of a shepherd. David loaded up the food and started out, just as Jesse had directed. David reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions. The soldiers were shouting the war cry. 21 The Israelites and the Philistines were lining up their armies for battle. The armies were facing each other. 22 David left what he had brought with the man who took care of the supplies. He ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As David was talking with them, Goliath stepped forward from his line. Goliath was a mighty Philistine hero from Gath. He again dared someone to fight him, and David heard it. 24 Whenever Israel’s army saw Goliath, all of them ran away from him. That’s because they were so afraid. 25 The Israelites had been saying, “Just look at how this man keeps daring Israel to fight him! The king will make the man who kills Goliath very wealthy. The king will also give his own daughter to be that man’s wife. The king won’t require anyone in the man’s family to pay any taxes in Israel.” 26 David spoke to the men standing near him. He asked them, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine? Goliath is bringing shame on Israel. What will be done for the one who removes it? This Philistine isn’t even circumcised. He dares the armies of the living God to fight him. Who does he think he is?” 27 The men told David what Israel’s soldiers had been saying. The men told him what would be done for the man who killed Goliath. 28 David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him speaking with the men. So Eliab became very angry with him. Eliab asked David, “Why have you come down here? Who is taking care of those few sheep in the desert for you? I know how proud you are. I know how evil your heart is. The only reason you came down here was to watch the battle.” 29 “What have I done now?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 Then he turned away to speak to some other men. He asked them the same question he had asked before. And they gave him the same answer.

As I watch the interaction in this passage between David and Eliab, I see the impact of fear, cowardice and inactivity in the human heart in contrast to the fresh eyes of courage, faith and purposeful activity. David has been active in his purpose – serving Saul and tending his father’s sheep – and so comes to the battle lines with fresh eyes and a heart of faith in God. Eliab should have been active in his purpose – battling the Philistines and overcoming their army – but has instead experienced the exhausting taunt of Goliath for 40 days and been part of an Israelite army paralyzed by fear and inactivity. And so, when David speaks up, Eliab responds with nasty, angry and bitter words coming from a heart that must have been deeply frustrated – overcome by fear, inactivity and a resultant inability to rise in his purpose.

This passage is a warning to me. A warning to the effect of – if I allow fear to take hold in my life, my purpose will be frustrated and I will find inactivity, cowardice and nasty bitterness growing all by itself. Most dangerously, this nasty bitterness can be unleashed on those who could MOST HELP me get back on purpose. David has a strong sense of purpose, and yet his influential eldest brother does everything in his power to shut David down.

Lord, I want to be free from the paralysis of fear and cowardice. I see that keeping active by faith in my purpose is crucial to this end. Lord, refresh your sense of purpose and call on my life, and help me be bold in fulfilling this, no matter what the taunts and lies my enemy will hurl in my and my peers direction. And where I have lost battles in the past, help me learn from my weaknesses and mistakes, and remember that you’ve already won the war!

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

1 (reply)
  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    Thanks Rob, I was challenged to see places in my life where I’ve been an arm chair critic and places where bitterness dwell. This devotional is helping blow them up and let faith replace

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