May 21, 2019
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN BOTH PROTECTED AND CORRECTED AT THE SAME TIME? In the season when David was on the run from King Saul, he allied himself with the Philistines. Yet, on the eve before they went into battle against Israel, they sent David and his men away. In this, God protected David. For the… Read more »
May 18, 2019
GOD’S PROVISION AND PREPARATION IN THE WILDERNESS David fled from King Saul to live in the Judean wilderness of En Gedi, which provided both caves to live in and springs from which to drink. God provided for David in the wilderness. And although it was a very difficult time, it was also a time of… Read more »
May 16, 2019
THE LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES SEEN IN DAVID AND SAUL David was an obedient and enthusiastic servant of King Saul. And God gave David success. At first, his success led to the king’s favor, but as his victories grew, Saul’s favor turned to jealousy. In all of this, God was at work, moving Saul out and David… Read more »
May 15, 2019
IN WHOSE NAME DO YOU COME? What David said to Goliath as they closed for battle revealed his heart and passion for God’s great name. It was this same David who inspired of the Holy Spirit wrote, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our… Read more »
May 13, 2019
KING SAUL, A STUDY IN LEADERSHIP FAILURE It’s heart-breaking to read the stories about King Saul, Israel’s first king. Although he reigned for 40 years, his leadership style was fraught with short-sighted and ill-conceived tactics, blustering, macho-inspired dictates, people-pleasing priorities, and most of all – a failure to seek God first in all things. Even… Read more »
May 11, 2019
MUST THE ONE IN THE PULPIT BE CALLED TO PREACH? One of the confirming signs that God had chosen Saul to be king over Israel was that he would prophesy. Saul had gone to the prophet Samuel for help in finding his father’s donkeys. But he left with the prophet’s anointing oil dripping down from… Read more »
May 10, 2019
SUFFERING OFTEN COMES FROM GETTING WHAT WE ASK FOR Samuel had led Israel well his whole life, but now he was old and his sons weren’t men of integrity like him. So, the Israelites went to Samuel asking him to give them a king like the other nations had. Of course, he felt rejected. He… Read more »
May 20, 2017
King Saul, the first king of Israel, who had begun so well, finished in fear and dread, ultimately committing suicide. The young, tall and awkwardly humble Saul (remember him hiding among the baggage), had grown to be the old, prideful and painfully paranoid king. Yet here, when he saw and heard from the shade of Samuel, we see the humbled and broken man as he was.
When Samuel asked why Saul had “disturbed” him, Saul stooped with his face to the ground and replied, “God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore.”
How tragic it is to see the decline of one who was blessed of God, but took his eyes off of the Lord that blesses, to put them on the blessings themselves. It is a heartbreaking reminder to keep our eyes on the Lord, especially as we grow older. It is good to begin well, but even better to finish well for the Lord!
May 19, 2017
Samuel was the last of the judges and with his passing, Israel transitioned from the time of the judges to the time of the kings. Samuel was the greatest Israelite leader since Moses. He was a forerunner of the Messiah, bearing the threefold titles of prophet, priest and judge. He served the Lord faithfully from his childhood until his death. Both he and Jesus were described as growing “in stature and in favor with God and man” (1 Sam. 2:26, Luke 2:52). No shortcoming stains his biblical record.
But Samuel died and was buried. All Israel “lamented for him.” And their lament continues as they continue to await the coming of the Messiah.
Yet, the Messiah has already come. For Jesus is the fulfillment of Samuel’s threefold ministry and every other prophecy and foreshadowing in the Old Testament. One greater than Moses and Samuel has already come. He died, but was raised up on the third day and lives today!
Oh, that all Israel, and all those far from God, would cease their lament and recognize the One who has conquered sin, death and the grave. Jesus Christ is the Messiah. He is our Prophet, Great High Priest and King of Kings!
May 18, 2017
Abiathar, son of the high priest, Ahimelech, must have been left behind to care for the sanctuary when Saul called for his father’s attendance. When he heard that Saul had killed all the Lord’s priests, he fled to David.
Saul had falsely accused Ahimelech of “inquiring of the Lord” to aid David against him. But now by killing the Lord’s priests, he had actually driven Abiathar to David’s side, bringing the ephod, with the Urim and Thummim, with him (1 Sam. 23:6).
Saul’s killing of the priests was one of the most heinous acts of any Israelite king. It revealed his heart’s rejection of the Lord. Saul’s foot soldiers, who ran beside his chariot, refused to carry out his order to murder the priests. They feared the Lord, but Saul knew one who did not. So, Saul called on Doeg the Edomite to kill them. Doeg turned and killed not only the 85 priests, but went to their city and killed every living thing including women, children and nursing infants. That Saul would stoop to instruct an Edomite, to even touch the Lord’s priests, showed the insane hatred he had for the true king, David.
Centuries later, the son of an Edomite named Herod became king over Israel as a vassal of Rome. After hearing of the birth of the prophesied Son of David from the Magi, he murdered every baby boy under 2 years of age in Bethlehem attempting to kill Jesus. But he failed, for the Lord protected Jesus, just as the Lord protected David.