July 1st I Samuel chapters 28-31 & Psalm 18

Good morning!  It has been a while sense the last post; I sure hope that we are still reading together.  I don’t know if you have noticed, but the first and second book of Samuel are quite exciting.  These are my favorite books of the Bible and I find them riveting. I would guess that the man who put them into the form of a film may be very successful.  We are going to look at a few things this morning and I will probably be a little “windy” due to the fact that I have not posted in some time due to the business of VBS, mission teams and the like.  So I will be reverting back, somewhat, to prior chapters in today’s post.

When we read of David’s utter respect for Saul it seems almost unbelievable and could be considered, in our fleshly view, foolish.  Saul was undoubtedly David’s enemy and wanted to kill David; in fact he went to great lengths in which to do so.  It would be pretty obvious to someone that they were un-liked when an individual began to chuck spears at them!  David had opportunity at different times to remove the “problem” from his life and, if he were a good old Southern Baptist, he would have said “God has opened a door for me” (as we have all heard and probably said at one time or another) when Saul was vulnerable and it was in David’s ability to kill him.  One would question David’s actions and perhaps feelings for Saul; Why would he show so much respect for a man who had become so evil?  David was a man of faith.  David didn’t so much desire good for Saul, or have affection for him.  I don’t believe that David actually believed that Saul would one day “come around” and love David.  David trusted in the sovereignty of God even when it didn’t make sense.  David did not respect the man, but instead he respected the position.  David knew that God set up kings and kingdoms and that God also tore down kings and kingdoms.  David also knew that it was God who ordained Saul as king and that He was very capable, in His own time, to remove him.  David would not lay his hand on God’s anointed; but instead let God do His will in His own time.  We need to be very cautious when dealing with God’s people, especially His leadership.  When we decide to treat a brother or sister in Christ with contempt we need to remember that God loved that person enough to have His own Son die for him or her.  As we deal with God’s people we need to remember that He has considered these people, no matter how angry they may make us, to be His children.  “Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us that we should be called the sons and daughters of Christ.”  If you really want to offend someone, treat their children with contempt.  For the parents that are reading this do you remember a time that other children were treating your children badly?  Do you remember how that made yo feel?  I think of this when dealing with God’s children; I think about the wrath that I would, in the flesh, want to send out to any one who even hurt my son’s or daughter’s feelings.  How much more does God love His children?  I personally understand the phrase of “fearing God” when I put this into perspective.  David had a unique perspective on God’s love, sovereignty and timing.  We would be wise to mirror His attitudes and actions.

I also want to have us take notice of the condition of Saul and how he ended up where he was.  Saul in today’s chapters is looking for God to guide him into battle, but God has not answered him.  Saul and the people of his time did not have the full written Word of God as we do and God used prophets and priests to speak to them.  Sadly Saul had been on a slippery slope.  Saul who had been ordained by God as king, who had prophesied before the people while filled with the Holy Spirit and who had delivered Israel from many enemies has now, due to sin, removed himself from underneath Gods provision and protection.  Saul, at one time, had an intimate relationship with God and God’s mediator (at the time Samuel and the other prophets) but now cannot even distinguish God’s will for him and his nation.  Through disobedience he has slowly drifted farther and farther from God even to the point of hiring a soothsayer to give him a vision.  Saul did not wake up one day completely separated from God, he instead slowly drifted farther and farther away from Him.  We need to take note that we are no different, or better, than Saul and when we let sin into our lives, it will consume us and take away our relationship with God.  Romans 6:12 says “Therefore let sin not reign in your mortal bodies that you obey its lusts thereof.”  Sin needs to be dealt with, confessed and turned away from immediately for the believer.  This is an ongoing, daily practice for the believer who wants to please God.  This is why we are called to in Luke 9:23 “Take up our cross daily…”  which means to die to ourselves and why we are to be as it says in John 15:5 “…he who abides in Me and I in him…” the term abiding is a daily action as if to say he who clings to me.  If Saul could do these evil things, how much more could we?  In Psalm 18 that we read today a specific verse stood out to me, verse 23 and is says “I was also blameless before Him, and i kept myself from my iniquity.”  Did you notice the phrasing there?  “From my iniquity” God is protecting us from ourselves, and the best way to do this is to be constantly in His presence.  Paul talks about being crucified with Christ in Galatians chapter two and we must put ourselves to death every day or we will end up on the same slippery slope that king Saul was on.