chronological day 108 :)

Please read 1 Samuel 26, 1 Samuel 27:1-7, 1 Chronicles 12:1-7, 1 Samuel 27:8-12, 1 Samuel 28, 1 Samuel 29, 1 Chronicles 12:19, and Psalm 56. We’re making great progress!  Here’s what I am thinking about this morning:

images

Once again, David refuses an opportunity to take revenge on Saul.  Revenge is the Lord’s business.

“Abishai said, ‘This is the moment! God has put your enemy in your grasp. Let me nail him to the ground with his spear. One hit will do it, believe me; I won’t need a second!’ But David said to Abishai, ‘Don’t you dare hurt him! Who could lay a hand on God’s anointed and even think of getting away with it?’ He went on, ‘As God lives, either God will strike him, or his time will come and he’ll die in bed, or he’ll fall in battle, but God forbid that I should lay a finger on God’s anointed.’ ” (1 Samuel 26:8-11 MSG)

So sad that Saul has been rejected by God, and now God won’t even answer him.  Here we are near the end, but remember Saul’s tremendous beginning? (day 101)  Saul was not always rebellious.

“Saul prayed to God, but God didn’t answer—neither by dream nor by sign nor by prophet” (1Samuel 28:6 MSG)

I love Psalm 56, where David says “I come to You in trust”. We can always come to the Lord in trust – but not let’s wait until hard times to lean on Him. I want to stay close every day!

chronological blog day 107 :)

Good morning!  Let’s read 1 Samuel 23:13-29,  Psalm 54, 1 Samuel 24, and 1 Samuel 25.  Lots going on today!

download-1

So much happened today, it’s hard to know what stood out the most! David sets a wonderful example for us when he refuses to kill Saul or even harm him – he had opportunity, but he let the Lord be his defense.

Saul took three companies—the best he could find in all Israel—and set out in search of David and his men in the region of Wild Goat Rocks. He came to some sheep pens along the road. There was a cave there and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were huddled far back in the same cave. David’s men whispered to him, “Can you believe it? This is the day God was talking about when he said, ‘I’ll put your enemy in your hands. You can do whatever you want with him.’ Quiet as a cat, David crept up and cut off a piece of Saul’s royal robe. Immediately, he felt guilty. He said to his men, ‘God forbid that I should have done this to my master, God’s anointed, that I should so much as raise a finger against him. He’s God’s anointed!’ David held his men in check with these words and wouldn’t let them pounce on Saul” (1 Samuel 24:1-7 MSG)

Just because an opportunity arises or a door opens, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are supposed to go through it. Depend on the Holy Spirit to lead you to the right path. (of course, in the very next chapter, David is willing to kill Nabal and his entire household over the refusal of a meal…. No one is perfect!)

chronological day 106 :)

Let’s read 1 Samuel 22:1-2, Psalm 57, Psalm 142, 1 Chronicles 12:8-18, 1 Samuel 22:3-23, Psalm 52, and 1 Samuel 23:1-12 (it’s not as much as it looks like, my friend! You got this!).  Anything stand out to you today?  The Lord will always speak to our hearts if we purpose to listen!

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 9.44.45 AM

 

David’s “mighty men” assemble today (1 Samuel 22:1-2) – that’s important to notice. IN this context, Psalm 57 and 142 really come to life. I love that when David goes into hiding, literally on the run for his life, he still sings God’s praise:

“I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets,
    singing your praises in town and country.
The deeper your love, the higher it goes;
    every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness” (Psalm 57:9-10 MSG)

Saul’s response to the priests was so disproportionate – he had 85 killed for the actions of 1? That one didn’t even betray him.  When Saul commanded his henchmen to kill the priests, it should have been a wake-up call to him when they refused, a strong signal that this was a wrong move.

“The king ordered his henchmen, “Surround and kill the priests of God! They’re hand in glove with David. They knew he was running away from me and didn’t tell me.” But the king’s men wouldn’t do it. They refused to lay a hand on the priests of God” (1 Sam. 22:17 MSG)

Saul doesn’t take the cue.  If we listen, God does try to get our attention.

chronological day 105 :)

Here we go!  Good morning, and let’s read 1 Samuel chapters 20 and 21, and also Psalm 34. David is a favorite for sure – what do you love about David’s history?

download-2

I love when we are able to connect a psalm to an event in David’s life. Even though Saul has vowed to kill David, there are little reminders and hints to David that God is with him everywhere: a covenant friendship with his armorbearer Jonathan (1 Samuel 20), the priest having the bread of presence for him, the priest having Goliath’s sword (1 Samuel 21:6, 9).  David is literally hiding, running for his life, and look at his response:

“I bless God every chance I get, my lungs expand with praise. I live and breathe God” (Psalm 34:1, 2 MSG)

What an incredible response to his current circumstance! What an incredible example for us today!

chronological day 104 :)

Let’s read 1 Samuel 17:32-58, 1 Samuel 18, 1 Samuel 19:1-17, Psalm 59, and 1 Samuel 19:18-24.  It’s really cool to me when we can connect David’s Psalms to the life event that inspired them.  This is going to be fun!

download-1

I love David’s history!  Of course, we all remember David and Goliath –

“David said, ‘I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.’  Saul said, ‘Go. And God help you!’ ” (1 Samuel 17:34-37 MSG)

Even though Saul set David up for success here, Saul also develops a “scarcity” mentality. He doesn’t realize that there is enough praise to go around, room for his success and for the success of others.

“….the women poured out of all the villages of Israel singing and dancing, welcoming King Saul with tambourines, festive songs, and lutes. In playful frolic the women sang, ‘Saul kills by the thousand, David by the ten thousand!’ This made Saul angry—very angry. He took it as a personal insult. (1 Samuel 18:6-8 MSG)

Every time David has a success or does something well, Saul takes it as a personal attack – even though David is on Saul’s side and has never wronged Saul.  Did you notice – the women poured out in welcoming Saul. Their motive was to honor Saul the entire time.

When we really understand how much God loves us, we’ll also realize how much He loves each of us – and that there’s no need for competition in the body of Christ. If someone else is loved, it doesn’t mean that I am unloved. If someone else has a gift or talent, it does not mean that I do not have a gift or talent. I want to live out of God’s ABUNDANCE – and celebrate when other believers live out of abundance too!

chronological day 103 :)

Please read 1 Samuel chapters 15, 16, and 17:1-31.  What are you thinking about today?  Leave a comment and let’s visit!

download

The Amalekites have been a thorn in Israel’s side ever since they descended from Esau.  Even though I dearly love a history lesson, I’ll spare you!

“Samuel said to Saul, “God sent me to anoint you king over his people, Israel. Now, listen again to what God says. This is the God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaking: ‘I’m about to get even with Amalek for ambushing Israel when Israel came up out of Egypt. Here’s what you are to do: Go to war against Amalek. Put everything connected with Amalek under a holy ban. And no exceptions! This is to be total destruction—men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys—the works.’” (1 Samuel 15:1-3 MSG)

We have to remember this particular day, when Saul exchanges his judgement for God’s judgement. Rather than utterly destroying the Amaleks, Saul kept alive what he thought was best – unfortunately this act of disobedience is going to come back and haunt him later.   Put a bookmark here, we’ll re-visit it later.

Shortly after Saul’s disobedience and rejection as king, we see Samuel mourning for Saul, but God tells him to get up and get going:

“God addressed Samuel: ‘So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going’ ” (1 Samuel 16:1 MSG)

I think I’ve done that before too, mourned over something that God was done with in my life.  When God tells us to move along, we ought to move forward and keep our eyes on Him and what’s next!

chronological day 102 :)

Please read 1 Chronicles 9:35-39, 1 Samuel 13:1-5, 1 Samuel 13:19-23, 1 Samuel 6:18, and 1 Samuel 14 (whew – got all that?).  Sometimes we run into repetition, as events can be recorded by different authors in the Bible.  Repetition is good for our memory, and maybe something written more than once means it’s important!  Keep fighting the urge to skim! 🙂

download

Saul goes ahead of God, exchanges his own wisdom for God’s wisdom, makes his own plans, even though he has wise counsel nearby.  Sadly, we’ll see this pattern develop in Saul’s life.

“Saul did something really foolish that day. He addressed the army: ‘A curse on the man who eats anything before evening, before I’ve wreaked vengeance on my enemies!’ None of them ate a thing all day.

There were honeycombs here and there in the fields. But no one so much as put his finger in the honey to taste it, for the soldiers to a man feared the curse. But Jonathan hadn’t heard his father put the army under oath. He stuck the tip of his staff into some honey and ate it. Refreshed, his eyes lit up with renewed vigor” (1 Samuel 14:25-27 MSG)

It’s crazy that he makes a rash vow, putting a curse on soldiers who eat – and when his son Jonathan eats, Saul says that he has to die because Saul “can’t go against God” (1 Sam. 9:44 MSG)?  Sounds like he also justifies his own sin/disobedience/misguided judgement. Thankfully Jonathan was saved – he’ll continue to be important. God’s wisdom is best, seeking the Lord FIRST is best. Father, help us to follow You closely!

chronological day 101 :)

Today, we’ll read 1 Samuel chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12. Today we meet Saul!

images

We remember and talk about the end of Saul’s life often (I’m getting ahead of myself – sorry!  We’ll get there!), but wow – to be reminded of the beginning.

“There was a man from the tribe of Benjamin named Kish…. He had a son, Saul, a most handsome young man. There was none finer—he literally stood head and shoulders above the crowd!” (9:1, 2 MSG)

“The moment Samuel laid eyes on Saul, God said, ‘He’s the one, the man I told you about. This is the one who will keep my people in check.’ ” (9:17 MSG)

Saul was anointed and favored.  Even with all the mistakes the people of Israel made, all the rebellion, all the sins committed, even asking for a king, God never left them.  God never leaves us either.

chronological day 100 :)

Please read 1 Samuel 4:12-22, 1 Samuel chapters 5,6,7 and 8.  Can you believe we’ve made it to 100 days?  We’re way past mere habit now – and we won’t be stopped!  100 days is a milestone – way to go, friend!

download (14)

When Israel rejected God as king, Samuel tried to warn them, but they wouldn’t have it.  

“all the elders of Israel got together and confronted Samuel at Ramah. They presented their case: “Look, you’re an old man, and your sons aren’t following in your footsteps. Here’s what we want you to do: Appoint a king to rule us, just like everybody else.”

When Samuel heard their demand—’Give us a king to rule us!’—he was crushed. How awful! Samuel prayed to God.

God answered Samuel, ‘Go ahead and do what they’re asking. They are not rejecting you. They’ve rejected me as their King’ ” (1 Samuel 8:4-8 MSG)

Even though it wasn’t the right thing, God did give them what they wanted – He will not work against our free will. It’s so important to stay close to the Lord and lean in to the Holy Spirit, so we learn to want what God wants for us.

chronological day 99 :)

Good morning!  Let’s read 1 Samuel 1:9-28, 1 Samuel 2, 1 Samuel 3, and 1 Samuel 4:1-11.  Come on back and let’s visit a little bit.  Really, the most important thing is that you visit with the Lord today!

download

I’m thinking about Samuel’s parents this morning – they gave Samuel a godly heritage, and that is such a gift. What a bittersweet joy for Hannah – to leave Samuel at the tabernacle.

“Elkanah said to his wife, ‘Do what you think is best. Stay home until you have weaned him. Yes! Let God complete what he has begun!’ So she did. She stayed home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. Then she took him up to Shiloh, bringing also the makings of a generous sacrificial meal—a prize bull, flour, and wine. The child was so young to be sent off! They first butchered the bull, then brought the child to Eli. Hannah said, ‘Excuse me, sir. Would you believe that I’m the very woman who was standing before you at this very spot, praying to God? I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.’

Then and there, they worshiped God.” (1 Samuel 1:23-26 MSG)

Joy over God’s faithfulness and sorrow over leaving her son.  Then and there, in the midst of human emotion, confident that they were being obedient, they worshipped God. The Lord knows our hearts – even when a matter of obedience is difficult for us, God is true.  He always honors an act of faith!

“Nothing and no one is holy like God,
    no rock mountain like our God.
Don’t dare talk pretentiously—
    not a word of boasting, ever!
For God knows what’s going on.
    He takes the measure of everything that happens” (1 Samuel 2: 2-3 MSG)