1 Samuel 19
Focus Verse: Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape. (10)
Beware of people who sit in their houses and throw spears!
Instead of getting right with God and rejoicing in David’s success, Saul allowed envy to eat away at him. You might have heard the saying “green-eyed monster” before in connection with jealousy and envy. Many people attribute it to Shakespeare’s Othello in which Iago warns, “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey’d monster…” A monster is exactly what Saul became, a malicious human hunter, intent on killing David. Instead of spending his time building up his palace or doing other kingly duties, he wasted years trying to end someone’s life. Worse yet, he didn’t try to hide his plans. He let everyone in on them – his son, Jonathan; his daughter, Michal; and all his men.
Being envious of others can lead us to do dangerous things – things we later come to regret. It also distracts us from the purpose that God created us for. We won’t have time for envy if we keep our focus on Jesus, instead of others.
1 Samuel 17
Focus Verse: David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (26)
The Israelite soldiers told David that whoever killed the giant Goliath would be rewarded by King Saul. He would be given great wealth, the princess to marry, and would never have to pay taxes again. Are these the reasons why David so bravely killed Goliath? No! David defeated Goliath because he could not stand on the sidelines and do nothing while a Philistine openly disregarded and disrespected His God. He couldn’t believe that the king and all the king’s men were quaking with fear and hiding from an uncircumcised heathen.
When David told Saul he had killed a lion and a bear, he didn’t do so with an arrogant attitude. It was just matter of fact. “I killed a lion. I killed a bear. I can kill Goliath.” David was confident not in himself, but in God. He said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
On another note entirely, I’m sure when Saul asked David “Whose son are you, young man?” David must have been like “C’mon, you don’t remember me? The dude you played the lyre for you so beautifully!”
I mean, if someone played me music, I’m positive I would never forget them 🙂
1 Samuel 15
Focus Verse: “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. (11)
God did not regret making Saul king because He had made a mistake or made a bad decision. It can be hard to understand, but God knew Saul would disobey Him when Samuel first anointed him. God regretted making Saul king because Saul lost his humility and thought his actions were more important than God’s commands. Shortly after the beginning of time, God regretted making humans not because He was in the wrong, but because people no longer obeyed Him. The Israelites repeatedly grieved God with their complaining and unbelief, but He did not make a mistake in freeing them from bondage in Egypt.
God is like any good parent. If a child chooses to drink and drive and ends up killing someone, a parent may regret that they gave their child access to a car, but they do not regret having the child. If we turn our backs on God and disregard His commands, God may regret that He blessed us with this or that, but He does not regret the fact that we are His children. God regrets our disobedience and our bad choices (especially if we don’t repent), but He never regrets us.
1 Samuel 13
Focus Verse: I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering. (12)
When Saul got tired of waiting for Samuel to arrive, he also got tired of waiting on God. He saw that his soldiers were scattering. He saw that Samuel did not come at the set time. He saw the Philistines gathering against the Israelites. His sight overwhelmed his faith.
We shouldn’t lose heart just because we cannot see a way for God to deliver us. While waiting on Him to move, don’t lose patience and attempt to proceed on your own. The Lord is always on time.
1 Samuel 10
Focus Verse: So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.” (22)
When it came time for him to be anointed, Saul ran and hid because he forgot what Samuel had told him earlier – “God is with you.” Despite the fact that God had chosen him to be Israel’s first king, Saul temporarily let his fear take over. God will not give us a task without also giving us the strength to handle it.
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
– Psalm 91:10-11
This passage isn’t saying God’s people will never experience evil. But when evil does come upon us, it will be turned into something good. Present painful events will be turned into future moments of joy.
In every negative situation, we can believe God for protection and eventually deliverance. Though Satan seeks to destroy us, God has given His angels guardianship over us and the powers of hell cannot hurt us without Heaven’s permission.
Disease, disaster, and death may surround us, but we do not have to fear. As long as we keep the faith, no depravity will touch us. If we stumble, angels will catch us. They will keep us from falling.
At home, at school, or at work; whether sleep or awake; God’s angels will guard us wherever we go.
1 Samuel 7
Focus Verse: Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (12)
Ebenezer means “stone of help”. Samuel acknowledged that God had helped the Israelites rout the Philistines. A popular song called “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” has lyrics which read: Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I’m come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. We need to acknowledge God’s help in our lives. It is His help that has brought us this far, and it will be His help that will take us home to Heaven.
1 Samuel 4
Focus Verse: And Samuel’s word came to all Israel. Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. (1)
What God predicted to Samuel in chapter 3 came true. Hophni and Phinehas both died. Eli died. Phinehas’ wife died. The Israelites were defeated by the Philistines. The ark of God was captured. It was a very grievous time because the majority of God’s people had turned their backs on Him. When God tells us He will do something, we can be certain that it will be done. In Isaiah 55:11, God says “my word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”.
1 Samuel 1
Focus Verse: In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. (10)
Hannah was in much anguish and grief over her childless plight. Her heart was very heavy. She had no one else to turn to but the Lord, so she poured out her soul to Him. She turned her pain over to God. He saw her tears and heard her cries and it wasn’t long before He answered her.
When we are troubled about something or going through a time of grief, the best thing we can do is turn our concerns over to the Lord Who is Himself a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. More than anyone else, Jesus understands our pain perfectly. He can bring peace and comfort to anguished hearts.