1 Samuel 19:11-24

Stream

11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.
14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”
15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.
17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?”
Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’”
18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied.21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.
23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Saul prophesying

My Thoughts
The Spirit of the Lord came upon people and they began to prophesy… No matter what Saul does to capture and kill David – God seems to protect him. First Jonathan (Saul’s son) helps him and now Michal (Saul’s daughter) helps him escape.

What interests me though is the part where everybody starts prophesying. Soldiers arrive to capture David but instead of killing him they experience the overwhelming Spirit of God and they start prophesying. Everybody prophesies, including Saul. When I read this story I see a God who overcomes evil with good. Instead of death, people experience life and wholeness. They are blessed with the ability to see what is yet to come, they are blessed with knowledge that they did not earn.
When Saul was first anointed king, Samuel told him 3 things that would be a sign to confirm that God had chosen him king. The 3rd sign was that Saul would meet a bunch of prophets and that Saul would prophesy. This happens and then the scripture tells us that this is why Saul was considered to be among the prophets. It is the same as what is happening here, however the first time it happens God makes Saul into a new person. He gives Saul a new heart. I believe that God is reminding Saul of who He is because this is in line with the character of God that I see in Jesus. The God of second chances, the God of restoration and the God who chooses to save rather than condemn.

1 Samuel 19:1-10

fields

Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David 2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. 3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”
6 Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”
7 So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.
8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
9 But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 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.
My ThoughtsPoppies
I have always been disturbed by this phrase…an evil spirit from the LORD. In my understanding God does not send an evil spirit to torment somebody. However, God did create everything on earth and in the heavens so evil spirits are technically from God. I believe that Saul made choices to deliberately defy God and thus invited his torment by choice. In this passage I see Saul swearing by God… as surely as the Lord lives… but he has no intention of keeping his oath. Saul did this earlier as well when he swore that… as surely as God lives Jonathan would be put to death and clearly he did not mean that either. I see a man who is happy to use the name of God to commit offences but Saul seems to forget that inherent in his choices were the curses for disobeying the Law of Moses…The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.
This was the common understanding in these times; if you were afflicted in some way then God has sent a curse…the story of Job helps us understand this concept better. We can get so focused on the negative aspects of this story and forget that God is a good God, a God who protects and saves. Jonathan should not be protecting David like he does…because if David takes the throne then Jonathan will lose his inheritance. But God saves David; he protects him against Saul and the Philistines. When we think about God in our daily lives we need to understand that God loves, God protects and God saves. Jesus says he came to seek and save the lost, He says that He came to save the world not to judge it. If we understand these qualities about God then we can understand why God sent His son to save us even when we were hostile towards him.

1 Samuel 18:17-30

Game of Thrones

17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself, “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!”

18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?”19 So when the time came for Merab, Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.”

22 Then Saul ordered his attendants: “Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law.’”

23 They repeated these words to David. But David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man and little known.”

24 When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, 25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines.

26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.

30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.

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My Thoughts

The Bible is full of drama, intrigue and bloodshed.  Humanity has also been drawn to love, power-plays, bravery and… the cutting off of people’s body parts? I read this story and realise that no matter how much we try to glamorize our biblical characters we can’t help seeing that the world they lived in was brutal and the lives they lived demonstrate this.  Saul continues to use his daughters to try and snare David into a relationship that will get him killed by the Philistines. However, no matter what Saul does, David seems to know how to respond.  When he goes to battle he is successful because God is with him.  The thing that interests me is what does God encourage and what is just human manipulation. Would God want David to go and take 100 Philistine foreskins or is that a human perversion?  It amazes me to see how things become normal to us in through exposure and our social norms.  Church groups get so used to a certain way of doing things that very soon that group comes to believe that the way they do it is God’s way.  We start to build a biblical case to justify our stance even if it does not look like the life or teaching of Jesus.  When we look at what Jesus teaches and how He lived we should be able to filter out what is Human perversion and what is of God.  Jesus is God in human form, when God lived among us – how did He live…what did He teach.  I think that we need to constantly look at our lives, our belief systems and hold them up to the life and teaching of Jesus to see if they match up.  If we are not using Jesus as our blueprint then we need to consider  what our blueprint is and more often than not we will discover that our Christianity is based on what others say Jesus is rather than who He says he is.  Let me know what you think.

1 Samuel 18:1-16

Peaceful

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
5 Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.
6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. 7 As they danced, they sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.”
8 Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.
10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.
12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.

My ThoughtsSaul spears David

Saul is caught in a difficult position; he is afraid of David Saul is worried that David will take the kingdom away from him but at the same time David’s success in battle is useful to Saul and the kingdom. Saul is afraid of him but he also needs him. What I don’t understand is why Saul does not take the opportunity to nurture and develop David into somebody who is loyal to his king. It seems like Saul is ruled more and more by fear, jealousy and pride than he is by virtues like love, trust and humility. I wonder what the world would be like if people let go of negative…destructive emotions and embraced virtues that focus on building and nurturing. How often do we let our pride, jealousy or anger get the better of us? What kind of effect have you had on the world around you when you act on these emotions? This week is a good week to start looking at yourself and being honest with your motives, let’s see if we can be those who build, who bring peace and create shalom in our work environment.

1 Samuel 17:29-58 David

Lion

29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 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.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.

54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent. 55 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?” Abner replied, “As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.” 56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.” 57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head. 58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him. David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”

My ThoughtsDavid and Goliath 1

This story fascinates people both young and old. The phrase David and Goliath has come to mean the little guy triumphing over the big guy…it is used in sports, in business and in most other areas of life…3500 years after the event we are still using the phrase. There is a lot to this story but the part I want to focus on is this response David gives to Saul… “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.”
David is 14 or 15 years old, he is a shepherd with a relatively peaceful life. The thing that is not normal about David is that he has already been anointed as the next king of Israel. He is God’s chosen king and clearly God has been with him against the lion and the bear. We have Saul’s battle hardened soldiers too afraid to fight one man (for all the riches they can imagine)but a 15 year old boy does not think twice – why? Because he sees the offence that this uncircumcised Philistine is bringing against the armies of the Lord. In David’s mind this is not a fair contest, Goliath is out of his league and he does not even know it.
He tells Goliath this… “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head”. What I want us to think about is what it would take for us to be so sure that God will overcome in the face of the overwhelming odds we face daily. David seems to actually believe that God is for him, that God is willing and able to help and his belief is worth risking his life and the lives of the entire Israelite army for. It is almost as if he believes that a world without this kind of God is not really worth living for. What are your thoughts?

1 Samuel 17:17-27 The Israelites

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17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”

26 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?”

27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”  28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

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My Thoughts

As Goliath continues to taunt the Israelites Saul offers riches, fame and power to the man who kills him.  The offer of wealth, becoming a prince and being free of taxes is a pretty strong incentive.  Many people have done crazy things for far less than that but somehow this Philistine was so imposing that nobody was willing to face him.  What good is wealth and fame if you are not around to appreciate it?

So the Israelites fled from Goliath in great fear… I am sure that we would do the same and are currently doing similar things.  The world has changed but people have not changed that much.  People still oppress and bully other people.  People use force and brute strength (financial strength) to force others into submission while good people stand by too afraid to help.  I was watching one of the NOOMA DVD’s the other day called Store.  I felt like the speaker made some very good points when talking about anger. He said that so many of us want to get into a fight (petty fight) because we are not in a fight and that people get angry about stuff that just does not matter whilst nobody gets angry about things that do matter.

We need to work out what matters to us, what we stand for and how far we are willing to go for the things we stand for. We should not be motivated by money, fame or power but by the things that are on Gods heart. To break the chains of injustice, to set the captives free and to treat the undervalued people of society with the same level of decency that we treat ourselves.  How do we do this? Read tomorrow’s blog.

1 Samuel 17:1-16 Goliath

GiantNow the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

power of nature

My Thoughts


I imagine 2 armies gathered on the brink of war with one man…all be it a very large man between them. The text says that Goliath came out and taunted the Israelites for 40 days, why would people be so afraid of one man when you have a vast army at your back. This story comes after Saul and Jonathan defeated the Philistine army when they were vastly outnumbered because God acted on their behalf. Why are the Israelites so afraid again?
I feel like this is how our lives go, we face huge odds and somehow manage to get past them, we are grateful to God until we face another obstacle and then we suddenly forget that God is God and we become fearful as if we live in a world without God. My challenge to us is to start looking at our life its daily challenges and ask God how we (you and God) are going to overcome. If we believe that Jesus overcame this world, that he is in fact Lord, Saviour and King then let’s act in accordance with that belief. Have an inspired day.