We are reading our final chapters of 1 Samuel. Can you believe it??? WOW!!!
In these last chapters we will see many strengths of David’s character revealed and many of Saul’s weaknesses of character.
Let’s take a look at David’s character:
- David was trusted by king Achish and was willing to go to war against his beloved Israel (28: 1-3).
- God protected David so he did not have to face the dilemma of fighting against his own people. All the other Philistines demanded king Achish send David back to Ziklag. (29:1-5)
- Achish respected and trusted David and did not want to send him back but he did. (29:6)
- David and his men reach Ziklag to find that the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They burned it to the ground and took captive all the women including David’s wives. (30:1-2)
- David’s men wanted to KILL HIM!! But rather than arguing, debating, or fighting David focused on the Lord and a solution. (30:3-6)
- David asked the priest to bring the Ephod with the Urim and Thummin. Only a high priest could carry this. Since David could not go to the Tabernacle because of Saul he used what he had that represented God. David inquired of the Lord as to if he should battle the Amalekites. The Lord responded: “Pursue them…You will certainly over take them.” (30:7-8) WHAT CHARACTER we see in David!!
- Most of David’s men destroyed the Amalekites and brought back all the women and plunder. These men who battled the Amalekites face to face did not want to share the plunder with the men David had allowed to remain behind due to exhaustion. David gave the exhausted men a job…they were to protect the camp. David responded with courage and as a leader. He told them we ALL share. He made an ordinance/law so that the men who stayed behind were treated the same as those who were in the direct line of fire. ALL were important. (30:17-25)
- David treated the Egyptian slave with integrity and the Egyptian showed him where the Amalekites camped. (30:13-16)
- David shared the plunder with ALL Judah in ALL the placed he and his men had roamed!! Not only was there enough plunder for ALL the men to share, but there was more than enough to share with all the places and all the people where David and his men had been. (30:20-30)
- A man of INTEGRITY!! Not perfection!! Not sinless!! But a true heart for God!!
Now let’s take a look at Saul’s character (ummmmm… it “ain’t purdy.”)
- Saul is FULL of fear when he sees the Philistine army. (28:5)
- Saul asked God for help, but God did not respond. (28:6)
- Since Samuel was dead, and God would not speak with Saul he decided it would be “wise to seek a medium.” OYE VEY!!! Samuel had already told Saul he would not go back with him (1 Sam 15:26). In 1 Samuel 15, Samuel also told Saul that he would not be leader of the kingdom forever, God had already picked another. Seeking a medium…. Ummmmmm…not so bright!!! In Deuteronomy 18:9-14, God CLEARLY explained NO divination, sorcery, witchcraft, mediums, spiritists, or ANY one who consulted the dead!!! PLUS Saul had JUST banned them from his kingdom (28:3) …excuse me…. DUH!!! Samuel responded to Saul alright… “tomorrow you and your three sons will be with me.” (28:8-20)
- Did you notice the medium’s response when Samuel showed up? She SHRIEKED at his appearance!!! She KNEW too well that the spirits she usually contacted were either contrived or satanic. SOMEHOW Samuel’s appearance revealed to her that she was dealing with a power much much greater than she had ever before known!! That HAD to be a “light bulb” moment for her!!! (28:21-25)
- Saul lost his 3 sons because he spent so much energy on David (who could have helped him totally defeat the Philistines he was so afraid of) that there was no way he could win this battle. And then, Saul killed himself after his armor bearer refused to essentially murder the king. (Chapter 31).
- We are told that Saul was very handsome, tall, strong, rich, and powerful. However, do you think God saw him with these characteristics at the end of his life? In God’s eyes he was most likely seen as small, ugly, weak, and spiritually bankrupt. Saul’s lack of faith, his hunger for power, and desire to ONLY be with the LORD AFTER he rebelliously did things on his own which resulted in failures, and distance from God….time and time again would have changed God’s view of him. God desires a true relationship with each of us which requires…daily reading, listening, praying, being still in HIM, resting in HIM, and having a heart for HIM. It is NOT about perfection, it is not about how much time we spend….it is about WHO our heart desires to be with.
My prayer for each of you in that we learn day by day to put the Lord first, spend time in the Word, praise Him, thank Him, ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us and crave ALL of HIM as NEVER before.
Psalm 18 – This is a beautiful Psalm of David which is said to have been a song to show his deep gratitude for deliverance and victory. God is our ONLY way to be delivered from the surrounding evil. Thank God we have HIS WORD, JESUS our DELIVERER, and the Holy Spirit so we may call upon HIM for help, strength, courage, guidance, protection…and ALL our needs.
Sharing HIS love,