16 Months

1 Samuel 27:1 (NASB)
1  Then David said to himself, “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.”

According to 1 Samuel 27:7, David served under the Philistines for 16 months. For 16 months he neglected the Lord and refrained from writing psalms. He killed people who did not deserve to die. He concealed his iniquities. He even sought to join the Philistine army which meant he would fight against Israel.

This was a dark time in David’s life. He bought into the enemy’s schemes & lies began to dictate his life. He believed the lie that one day he would perish at the hand of Saul. He forgot that Samuel and Jonathan told him he would become King one day. Even Saul had proclaimed that one day David would become King. More importantly, God assured him that he would reign as King of Israel. Yet David immersed himself in affliction, believing he would die.

As inhabitants in a broken world, dark times are inevitable. However, God, by His Grace, redeems and restores! God would restore David & has the power to restore you in your darkest hour.

 


Tears In A Bottle

Reading Plan: Psalms 56, 120, 140-142

Psalm 56:8 (NASB)
8  You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?

God ardently loves and cares for each one of us. Amidst his affliction, David knew that God deeply loved him. People he thought he could trust turned against him. His heart broke at the evil inflicted upon those he loved. He was driven from his home. He went from having it all to having nothing.

However, David did not squander hope. He knew God profoundly cared. He knew that God would not let one tear go unnoticed. Every tear shed by David would be treasured by God.

In the same way, God passionately loves & cares for you!

 


The Secret Place

Reading Plan: Psalms 7, 27, 31, 34, 52

Psalm 27:1-5 (NASB)
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread

2  When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3  Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.
4  One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.
5  For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.

Psalm 27 is a radiant depiction of resting in the Lord. In yesterday’s blog, we learned the context in which the psalm was written (found in 1 Samuel 21-24). David was on the run from Saul. War waged against him. Though his heart was dismayed, he rested in knowing that in the day of trouble God would conceal him in His tabernacle. God was His strength and shield. God took care of His faithful & humble son.

In our day of trouble, let us remember David’s sincere proclamation of faith. Rest in the Lord and trust that He will rush to our defense!

 


David’s Conscieince

Reading Plan: 1 Samuel 21-24

1 Samuel 24:4-7 (NASB)
4  The men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.'” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly.
5  It came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe.
6  So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the LORD’S anointed.”
7  David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way.

David had a heart after God. His conscience was sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

Saul conspired to kill David. He had David and his men cornered in a canyon; their escape seemed inconceivable. Saul had to go to the bathroom and out of the hundreds of caves he could have possibly walked into, he walked into the cave where David and his men were hiding.

David’s men believed that God had orchestrated Saul to be delivered into their hands. However, David knew that he could not raise his hand against the Lord’s anointed. Even cutting off a piece of Saul’s robe was dishonoring for David. His stomach turned at the thought of displaying irreverence towards the Lord’s anointed. David’s pure conscience guided him.

It is my prayer that we develop a pellucid and authentic conscience like David, one that is in tune with the Lord.

 


Confident In The Lord

Reading Plan: 1 Samuel 18-20; Psalm 11, Psalm 59

Psalm 59:16-17 (NASB)
16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my strength, I will sing praises to You; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

I love meditating on Psalm 59. By identifying the context within the book of Psalms, we gain a deeper understanding.

David wrote Psalm 59 in response to Saul sending men to arrest and kill him (as seen in 1 Samuel 19). David was trapped in his house with his wife, Michal. There were men outside of his house mocking him, belching, plotting to kill him.

In response to them, David prays and later writes Psalm 59. With Michal’s aid, God orchestrated David’s escape. Regardless of his predicament, David was confident in the Lord.

Like David, are you confident that God will provide refuge in the day of your distress?


God Weighs The Heart

Reading Plan: 1 Samuel 15-17

1 Samuel 16:7 (NASB)
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

God used a young man to win a great victory. This triumph would lead the children of Israel to experience God’s blessings.

From yesterday’s blog, we learned how God can win any battle by many or by few. God had been equipping David to defeat Goliath. David had beat a lion and a bear in order to rescue his sheep. He was a skillful musician who had a reputation of being a warrior, prudent in speech and handsome (1 Samuel 16:18). By negating his youth, they could see his potential.

Although it did not make sense to anoint David to fight Goliath, God chose him because of his pure heart. God weighs our heart & not our physicality. Young or Old, weak or strong, our heart is what truly matters. God desires for you and I to develop a pure heart like David.

 

 


The Lord Is All That Matters

Reading Plan: 1 Samuel 13-14

1 Samuel 14:6 (NASB)
6 Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.”

I admire Jonathan’s faith, the son of Saul. At the time, the Israelites were at odds with the Philistines and the Philistines outwardly had the advantage. Israel had almost no weapons and their men were not as well trained. They were also outnumbered by the Philistine soldiers.

However, Jonathan trusted in the power of God. God’s power has no bounds. God can “save by many or by few.” He can use us to win battles even without weaponry. God gave Jonathan & his armor bearer the victory even though they would have to crawl up a hill on their hands and knees, exposed to being attacked.

Jonathan anticipated the power of God. He knew God would lead, guide, provide and answer his prayer. He knew God would be there for him. That is all that matters.

 


Futile Things

 

Reading Plan: 1 Samuel 9-12

1 Samuel 12:21 (NASB)
21  “You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile.

I love Samuel’s warning to the Israelites and pray that we will all take heed of his warning in our day & time.

So much of what people strive for is vacuous. So much of our time & energy is wasted on fruitless matters. God values us. His plan for us is to live a life comprised of deep fulfillment & significance. If we turn from God, then we will turn to futile things. This leads to an empty & desolate life. If we turn from God then we will understand Solomon’s wise words, “Vanity, all is vanity” (Eccles. 1:2).

However, if we cling to God and follow His ways, we will live extraordinary & meaningful lives! We will understand what truly matters. We will experience the effects of what we are made for. We will find ourselves deeply content. We will find ourselves satisfied as we live for God. You and I have a purpose. Let us take to heart the words of Samuel, choose to stay the course, never turn away, and find ourselves living the blessed life!

 


When The Faithless Are Faithful

Reading Plan: 1 Samuel 4-8

The verses below are words marked by faith. They depict people who believed that God’s presence meant everything. Sadly, these are the words spoken by the Philistines and not the people of Israel. From chapter six, we identify how the Philistines understood the power of the presence of God. They knew His Word. In the verses below, take note of what they believed.

1 Samuel 4:5-8 (NASB)
5  As the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded.
6  When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp.
7  The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.
8  “Woe to us! Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.

1 Samuel 6:6 (NASB)
6  “Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He had severely dealt with them, did they not allow the people to go, and they departed?

How is it that people who do not know God believe in His power and word more than those who do?  I have talked to people who are not following God yet believe in the power of prayer & miracles.

I pray that our faith and trust in God will never pale in comparison to those who do not know and follow God. May people look to us and marvel at our unwavering faith. May they look at us and see the face of God. May they fall in love with God because of the way that we love them.

 


Voice Of The Lord

Reading Plan: 1 Samuel 1-3

1 Samuel 3:1 (NASB)
1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

Samuel changed from worshiping God in a religious way to knowing Him in a relational way.

I earnestly desire to be a passionate follower of Christ who listens to the Lord. When I hear from God I must heed His instruction.

This chapter begins by portraying a clear indication of the state of affairs in Israel. In the previous chapters, the sons of Eli were living in sin against the Lord. Their sin prevented them from hearing from the Lord & because of this visions were infrequent. There was no one who would truly listen and obey the Lord. Then came Samuel!

1 Samuel 3:7-10 (NASB)
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him.
8 So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy.
9 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”

What does it really mean to know the Lord? Samuel was called by God & was sensitive to the call. Samuel came to know the Lord because he listened and obeyed Him. Do not miss what Samuel’s response was to God, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”

To truly know the Lord we must listen & obey. As you spend time with the Lord daily, commit to live as Samuel did. Be sensitive to the calling that God has placed on your life. I pray that you would seek the Lord daily, listen to His instruction, and commit to obeying the Lord.


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