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,
Chapter 25 – Samuel died. He was Israel’s last Judge. His mother Hannah prayed for a son and made a Nazirite vow if God would bless her with a boy. IF God would allow her to have a son THEN she would dedicate him to the service of God for all of his life. Hannah kept her promise and took little Samuel to the High Priest, Eli, as soon as she had weaned him. Samuel had been Israel’s spiritual leader. As a young boy and as an adult he was always careful to listen and obey God. Now with Samuel gone Israel would be without a spiritual leader until David became King. He anointed Israel’s first two kings, Saul and David. Sadly he won’t see David reign.
David came before Nabal (his name means “fool”) who was very rich and asked for food for him and his men. You might think this interaction was quite bold of David. However, the tradition of the day was hospitality. If total strangers came to your house … you were to feed them (and it didn’t matter how many.) The other interesting tidbit is that David and his men had been protecting Nabal’s work force while living in the nearby caves. David’s protection of Nabal was part of Nabal’s prosperity. YET – Nabal — just didn’t get it and refused to feed them!! Once I learned this, Abigail’s actions made so much more sense to me.
Abigail (means “my father is joy”) knew what had happened and lost NO time getting food to David and his men. She KNEW just what to say at a critical time (protecting her husband from dying at the hands of David….and protecting David from murdering someone.) Abigail KNEW David had been appointed leader of Israel and would one day be the King. Nabal true to his name… had NO clue what had happened. Abigail waiting till the morning to tell him what she did (after his drunkenness wore off… too bad his foolishness wouldn’t wear off.) When Abigail told him, he died of shock when he realized his actions to a future King could very well have caused his death.
David chose Abigail as his wife. We are told he had another wife named Ahinoam of Jezreel. The last verse is quite interesting. Saul had given his daughter Michal to Phalti (means “my deliverance” and he was a Benjamite) the son of Laish (means “lion”) of Gallim (means “springs” and was a place north of Jerusalem.) Ummmmmm….wasn’t Michal already married to David?? Yepper!! Just another insight we have into Saul!!! We will hear from Michal again in 2 Samuel 3:12-16, so stay tuned!! <<<smile>>>
Chapter 26 – The Ziphites (means “smelters”. They lived in Ziph which was a town in the tribe of Judah) approached Saul to tell him David was hiding in their area. Naturally Saul decided to PURSUE DAVID AGAIN!! I honestly felt like I was rereading Chapter 24….same scenario…different people…different place. David ONCE AGAIN was close enough to Saul, without him knowing it, to kill him. Abishai (means “my father is Jesse” or “my father is a gift” … he was a grandson of Jesse and nephew of David) showed great courage by telling David he would enter Saul’s camp without anyone knowing and would kill him. David, once again showed us his character by telling Abishai not to kill Saul since he was still the king and out of respect for him he could not permit him to be murdered. However, David did allow him to enter the camp and steal Saul’s spear and water jug. Saul “makes nice” the next day and calls to David. David responds and tells him… ummmmmm…. Saul….. you MIGHT want to KNOW that I could have KILLED you last night while you were sleeping but I did not. BUT…here is your spear and water jug to PROVE just how close I was to you.
Saul of course becomes his usual repentant self (because he was caught between a rock and hard place… in the south we call people like that “whiney butts”.) GEEZE!!! SAUL SAUL SAUL!!! However, Saul is one who makes each of us think. Are we more like Saul or like David?? Saul spent his ENTIRE reign as king trying to kill the enemy of his mind!! David was NOT his enemy and did not want to be. Look at how many years Saul spent focused on the wrong things. He had many, many chances to do the right things … but CHOSE to focus on the enemy his mind had concocted….what a waste!! Again… are you a Saul or a David??
Chapter 27 – David is wise enough to KNOW Saul will not keep his word!! (HOW can he at this point??? – The Lord departed from him LONG ago!!!) David and his men go live in the land of the PHILISTINES!!!! WWWHHHHAAATTTT!!!! I KNOW!!! Talk about “living with the enemy!!!” The king of Gath accepted David, his family, and his men – I MEAN WHY wouldn’t the king Achish WANT a “traitor” with David’s strength and determination on HIS side!!!??? David, his men, and their families put on a good show for the Philistines. BUT… David and his men went out COMPLETELY destroyed enemies of Israel. He left NO one behind who would be able to tell what he did. When Achish asked David where he had been “raiding that day,” David lied about where he had been so Achish thought he was destroying Israelites!! His lying kept him alive and his men and their families safe; however it also reminds us that David was not perfect.
Sharing HIS love,
Today’s entry may be a bit different from the usual entries. It is really early on Saturday morning (or very late on Friday night depending on how you want to say it), but I want all you early birds to have the opportunity to read this first thing since tomorrow is Saturday.
Chapter 21: David goes to Nob. Nob is the priestly city in Benjamin territory. Saul is a Benjaminite!!!!. Ohhhhhh. AHHH HAAAAA…… you got it… he is IN THE TERRITORY of the very man chasing him!!!!
- 21:2 David Lied! He is fearful and LIED.
- 21:4 OK… so David asks for bread, or anything he can find so he can take with him for his men on this “special mission.” Ummmmmmm…..the priest gives David the “showbread”… the bread that is to STAY in the Holy Place in the Tabernacle…. Consecrated for the priests only (originally), but now consecrated bread provided for men who have kept themselves from women.
- 21:9 They think David is on a Mission for Saul so they arm him up with the SWORD used to cut off Goliath’s head and David accepts it!!
- 21:10 WHY was David so weird in front of the King of Gath? Gath is one of the five large cities of the Philistines ….. as in Goliath….as in the ENEMY!!! He had to get out of there FAST… so David pretends to be insane…making marks on the doors, letting saliva run down his beard!! The king of Gath says get him OUT of here, I have enough crazy people to deal with!!
- David’s family gathers around him….. about 400 men volunteered to be in his army!!
- David left his family in the hands of the king of Moab, at first appearance it might not seem like such a good idea …. BUT WHO was David’s great grandmother ….. REMEMBER RUTH???? Ruth was a Moabite. David’s family (father Jesse) are safe.
- I realize Saul was desperate and used anyone who would follow him, BUT… Saul is king over the Israelites AND he is using Doeg who was the CHIEF of Saul’s herdsmen. Doeg was an EDOMITE…. A descendant of Esau, not an Israelite. NOTICE—the Israelites REFUSED to kill the priests of the LORD!! (GOOD FOR THE Israelites!!)
- Saul has Doeg kill the priests of Nob. The priests didn’t know any better, they believed David’s lie. DAVID’s LIE (sin) had a HUGE CONSEQUENCE. The consequence was many people lost their lives believing, never doubting, they were doing something good for Saul. Oh Heavens…….we are all sinners and fall short of God’s plan…how often do our personal choices have consequences that impact many others??
Chapter 23 —
- Keilah was in Judah. David was told that the Philistines were fighting against Keilah so he goes back into dangerous territory to save the Israelites at the hands of the Philistines (again)!! Before David went into Keilah TWICE, “HE INQUIRED OF THE LORD, should I attack these Philistines?”
- God answered and told him HE would give the Philistines into his hands.
- David heard that Saul was plotting against him. He asked the priest who had escaped the massacre of Nod, to bring the ephod. David then goes before the Lord for direction. David and his warriors are on the run again when God reveals to them that Saul will come to Keilah and the men of Keilah will surrender him to Saul!!
- Saul had come out to kill David. Jonathan went to David to help him find strength in God. Jonathan and David plan the future … David will be King of Israel and Jonathan will be his second in command.
- Saul and David are SO close to each other, just on the opposite side of the mountain from each other and someone comes to Saul to tell him the Philistines are attacking and he must return!! GOD’S TIMING!!
AMAZING how quickly word traveled “back in the day.” I don’t know what they had….but Saul certainly found out information quickly!!!
- Saul comes to the place he thinks David may be and goes to the “relieve himself” according to the NIV. However, in the KJV the words used are that “he went to cover his feet”. David and his men were far back in the cave Saul chose went to rest.
- David is convicted for cutting off the corner of Saul’s robe because it is such a disgraceful thing to do to his master, and anointed by the Lord. So David makes all his men leave the cave without attacking Saul.
- LOOK at David’s character in dealing with Saul!!! He treats him with respect, BUT lets him KNOW that the LORD delivered him from David’s hands that day because David COULD have killed him!! He reminds Saul that he has done NOTHING wrong to him. “NOW may the Lord judge between you and me.” And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, BUT MY hand will NOT touch you!!
- David gives his oath to Saul that he will not kill his descendants or wipe his name out from his father’s family.
- David did mess up in today’s reading, but he also made things right with God, and returned to his loving arms.
- David—integrity, compassion, respectful, a man after God’s own heart!!! WOW!!!
I could have killed you but I didn’t. Now do you believe me Saul!!!????
David truly is a man of character!!
Sharing HIS love,