Week 20

1 Samuel 15:1-28:25

1 Sam 15:9 “Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs-everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.” This was in direct disobedience of what God had clearly ordered-destroy everything! They kept what “appealed” to them rather than doing what God commanded…that will lead to trouble every time.

Vs 15: Saul refers to the “Lord your God” while speaking with Samuel…not a personal God.

Vs 22-23: “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? LISTEN! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.” God is more interested in our heart and our obedience to Him than our outward shows of religion. True faith is following Him and obeying His word.

Vs 29: “And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind.” JESUS!!

1 Sam 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” Remember this in relation to others but also, especially, as I look at myself! Don’t get caught up in the world’s standard of beauty, worth, success…know that God looks on the heart!

Vs 14a: “Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul,…” What a heartbreaking statement! The emptiness he must have felt…it would be awful!

1 Sam 17:16 Goliath taunted the Israelite army for 40 days…there’s that 40 again.

Vs 26b: “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” David had it right…who shall defy the living God?? What are the things in my life that defy Him? My own “pagan Philistines” that rise up and taunt His power in my life?

Vs 33: “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” Oh I so need this! David and the giant! This comment by Saul is exactly what I hear in regards to the giants I must battle (from the world, the devil, from myself!).

Vs 37a: “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” WILL RESCUE!! David had absolute faith in the strength and power of God to rescue him from the “giants” in his life. Lord, help me to know that before You ALL my “giants” will fall! The victory is Yours…help me to be faithful to allow You to fight for me moment by moment, with each thought and action, Lord.

Vs 38-40: Saul gave David armor but he turned it down and only took his sling and stones. The weapons of the world (Saul’s armor) do me no good when I step into spiritual battle with the giants of my life. Trust in the armor of God!

Vs 45-46a: “David replied to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies-the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled. Today the Lord will conquer you’…” Claim that assurance and confidence in God as my own! Know He can and He will!! The Lord will conquer those giants that seem so unbeatable in my life!! Vs 47b: “This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

1 Sam 18:1-3 David and Jonathan loved one another and Jonathan provided for David (outfitting him with weapons and his own garment). This was not a homosexual relationship…it was a Biblical example of what godly friendship should look like.

1 Sam 20:13b-15 “May the Lord be with you as he used to be with my father. And may you treat me with the faithful love of the Lord as long as I live. But if I die, treat my family with this faithful love, even when the Lord destroys all your enemies from the face of the earth.” Jonathan to David. First, what a sad statement, “as he USED to be with my father.” How heartbreaking! But this friendship between David and Jonathan is an awesome, God-ordained friendship!! Vs 17b: “for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.” True friendship looks this way!

Vs 23: “And may the Lord make us keep our promises to each other, for he has witnessed them.” This makes me think of my marriage vows. What a good sentiment to include in the vows!

1 Sam 22:2 “Then others began coming-men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented-until David was the captain of about 400 men.” Sounds like a band of misfits!!

1 Sam 25:18-31 Abigail defuses the situation. Her husband, Nabal, was foolish (even according to his name)…her quick thinking eased David’s wrath.

Vs 44: “Saul, meanwhile, had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to a man from Gallim named Palti son of Laish.” When all the bad blood was happening between Saul and David, Saul gave David’s wife (Saul’s daughter, Michal) away to another man!!

1 Sam 28:6-7 “He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots or by prophets. Saul then said to his advisers, ‘Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.’ His advisers replied, ‘There is a medium at Endor.'” The use of mediums were outlawed. Three things I see in this passage: 1) Don’t go ahead of God-be patient for His answer. 2) DO NOT seek answers from any source that isn’t God (His Word, His people…) 3) Choose your advisers wisely! (Prov 15:22 “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”)  They should have pointed out it being ungodly to turn mediums…instead they quickly offered up the name/location of one!

John 8:1-11:54

John 8:4b-5 ” this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” At first I was like where is the man? She didn’t commit adultery by herself!! But you know what? It doesn’t matter and it’s none of my business…the point of this passage is to not judge others in their sin because none of us are blameless!

Vs 6b: “…but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.” One day I want to know what He wrote!

Vs 34: “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.'” So true!! Lord, help me not to be a slave any longer!

John 9:2-3 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sin or his parents sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” Bad things happen…sometimes it is because of someone’s choices but often times it is so God’s power/healing/guidance can be seen by others. Sometimes things have to happen just for the power of testimony!!

Vs 25b: “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” Yes!! Amen!

John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” God wants us to have an abundant life!

Vs 18: “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily.” Jesus gave up His life for us…no one took it…He made the choice to die to save me!

Vs 34: “Jesus replied, ‘It is written in your own Scriptures’…” I love how Jesus turned to the Scripture to answer people’s questions/arguments. If He, as the Son of God, felt the Scripture held answers He needed, how much more so should I be immersed in the Word?!

Psalms 110:1-117:2

Ps 116:1-2 “I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to LISTEN, I will pray as long as I have breath!” I love the image this stirred in my mind/heart. Our Father bending down…I think of a treasured loved one, like my Mamaw was to me, drawing closer because they just don’t want to miss even one word you say. I’m that important to Him…that loved that He “bends down to listen” to me! How blessed are we??!!

Proverbs 15:8-23

Vs 11: “Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the Lord. How much more does he know the human heart?” He knows my heart!!! He sees it all…good and bad…there’s no hiding from Him!