1 Samuel 27-28

1 Samuel 27-28

Chapter 27: David with the Philistines

David decides to leave Israel to go and live amongst the Philistines (mainly to avoid the crazy Saul, who keeps trying to kill him). David and his 600 men go and live in the area of Gath, where the king is named Achish. David tells Achish that he doesn’t want to live in Gath and the king tells him he can live in a place called Ziklag.

After arriving, David and his men start raiding and plundering surrounding people; the Geshurites, Gizites and Amalekites. David tells Achish that he is actually raiding the Israelites, but when he does his raid he kills all women, men and children so that no one can tell Achish what happened. David’s plan is to make Achish think the Israelites hate him, so he can like in Gath and serve the king Achish.

Chapter 28: Saul Enquires of a Witch

In this chapter we learn that there is a pending battle between the Israelites and the Philistines and King Achish comes to David to confirm that he will be fighting on the side of the Philistines.

David tells him that he is indeed fighting with the Philistines and that he has expelled all of the spiritual people from the land. The battle comes together and both sides look onto one another. When Saul sees the Philistine army, his heart is filled with terror. So he inquires of the Lord, but receives no inspiration. Saul gets nervous and asks his servants to find him some sort of medium with who he can ask questions and get comfort. His men tell him that there is a woman in Endor who can do this. Saul heads off to Endor to find the woman. Saul disguises himself and goes into see her, the woman tells Saul that Saul has banned mediums throughout the land and she would get in trouble for doing it. But Saul convinces her and she asks him who he wants. Saul asks for Samuel and the lady calls Samuel to come forth. Samuel comes forth and asks Saul what he was doing bothering him. Saul explains that the Lord is not responding to him and he needs advice.

Samuel tells Saul that because he disobeyed God and did not destroy the Amalekites like the Lord had commanded, he is going to have the kingdom ripped from his hands and that tomorrow the Philistines will defeat the Israelites. Saul, overwhelmed by this faints and falls to the ground. The medium tells him he needs to eat, Saul fights at first, but then gives in. The medium prepares food for Saul and his men.

1 Samuel 25-26

1 Samuel 25-26

Chapter 25: David Marries Abigail

This chapter starts off by tell us that Samuel has died. David goes to the Desert of Maon where he meets a man who lives there named Nabal and his wife Abigail. Nabal is a ugly, disgusting mean man and his wife was intelligent and beautiful. Think Beauty and the Beast or Shrek and Fionna. David and his men go to Nabal and ask him for a hand out, Nabal is a very wealthy man and David and his army have been protecting his property. Nabal, being the mean guy he is deals with the men unfavorably.

This upsets David’s men and they decide to teach Nabal a lesson! Afterall David has only been nice to him, how dare Nabal do that! So 400 of David’s men gather together to go and kill Nabal.

But while they are coming towards the house of Nabal, Abigail loads up a donkey with food and heads out to meet them. Abigail gets down and bows before David and begs him to not do anything to Nabal, because he is a fool. David agrees and accepts what she brought as a gift.

Abigail returns home in peace to find her husband drunk and living like a king. She decides to wait until the next morning when he is sober to tell him what had happened. Nabal, when he finds out freezes up and becomes like a stone for 10 days, before the Lord takes his life. David hears about this and sends servants to ask Abigail to be his wife, she agrees.

Chapter 26: David Spares Saul’s Life

Saul had just repented of trying to kill David, but Saul had lost his mind again and was back on the hunt to kill David. The Ziphites come to Saul and report that David is in the Desert of Ziph, so Saul sends his army out to get him, and they send out scouts to confirm that he was there.

One night, Saul’s army is all fast asleep. David and Abishai sneek into the camp and go to where Saul is sleeping. There they take Saul’s spear and jug of water and head up to a hill within shouting distance to taunt Abner, the leader of Saul’s army. He yells to Abner and asks him why he did not protect his king, by letting someone into the camp without stopping him and as proof he asks Abner to verify where the king’s spear and jug of water are.

Saul must have woken up by now, and steps into the conversation. David asks Saul why he is trying to hurt him, when he has done nothing wrong. Saul repents and tells David he won’t try to kill him again. David returns his spear and jug of water and Saul heads home!

1 Samuel 23-24

1 Samuel 23-24

Chapter 23: David Continues to Flee

David hears that a placed called Keliah is being attacked by the Philistines and David inquires of the Lord as to what he should do. The Lord tells David to go and save Keliah. David tells his men to prepare for battle and they tell him that they are too scared to fight. David inquires a second time and gets the same answer, so he tells his men that they must go. So they go, and they inflict massive damage and casualties! Saul hears that David is going to a heavily fortified city named Keliah and thinks that this is a sign from God that he will put him in prison for him. So Saul goes and prepares to siege the city.

David however hears about this and decides to inquire of the Lord. The Lord tells them that YES Saul is coming and that the people of Keliah will give David to Saul. David and his men leave the city in droves, and make it so Saul changes his search from Keliah to David directly. David, with the help of God evades Saul.

While David is at Horesh in the desert of Ziph he learns that Saul was coming out to take his life and that his son Jonathan tells David to not be afraid for his father will not lay a hand on him. In fact David and Saul make a pact, that David will become the king of Israel and that Jonathan would be his second in command. After this pact is made, Jonathan heads home and David stays at Horesh.

Both Saul and Jonathan know that David will become king! The Ziphites approach Saul and offer to hand over David, but Saul rejects their offer until they come up with a more solid offer, because Saul knows David too well! He knows that if he can evade him, he can easily evade the Ziphites. David is hiding in the Desert of Maon and Saul is hot on his trail. However the Lord intervenes again! While Saul is chasing David and his men, a messenger comes and tells Saul that the Philistines were being attacked and they needed reinforcements. This slows down Saul.

Chapter 24: David Saves Saul’s Life

This chapter picks up where the last one left off. Saul is still pursuing David, but goes into a cave to relieve him. While he is in there, he doesn’t realize that David and his men are also hiding in the same cave!

Instead of killing Saul, David sneaks up to Saul and cuts a corner off of his robe and keeps his men from attacking him. Saul leaves the cave and David calls out to him. David explains that he is crazy to think that he was deceiving him or trying to harm the king. He shows the corner he cut off of his robe, to prove to Saul that he could have killed him, but he did not! David even calls Saul his king.

Saul weeps out and tells Saul that he has done wrong and should not have tried to kill him, calling David more righteous then himself.

1 Samuel 21-22

1 Samuel 21-22

Chapter 21: David Gets Help from Ahimelech

David, while in hiding goes to a place called Nob where he meets up with Ahimelech the priest. The priest gets a little nervous for some reason that David is alone, thinking that there might be something up, like maybe he is in hiding/running away? Maybe. But David tells him that he is on basically a secret mission for the king and that he really isn’t alone, because he will be meeting back up with the men soon.

David asks the priest for some food and he explains that he has no “normal” food, but some blessed/consecrated bread. Ahimelech gives David the food, thinking it is for his men and David actually asks the priest for a weapon and armor because he “left so quickly” that he had essentially forgotten about the whole thing. Ahimelech gives David the sword that had belonged to Goliath.

Unbeknownst to David, a servant of the king named Doeg is there in Nob when David was talking to the priest… but continuing on… David goes to a place called Gath. Unfortunately for David the king of Gath named Achish gets nervous and thinks that David is the king of Israel because he had slain tens of thousands of people while Saul had only killed a few thousand. So they go to kill David and David decides to pretend like he is completely wacked out nuts. The king buys the acting of David and then doesn’t feel threatened by this madman.

Chapter 22: David Moves: Running from Saul

David leaves Gath and heads for a cave in a placed called Adullam, oddly enough people hear that David is coming and they actually meet him there! So much for being secretive. Every man who was in distress or in debt gathered around David and made him their leader, 400 in all.

David approaches the king of Moab and asks him to provide a kind of protective custody for his parents in his land while he figures out the stuff between him and Saul. The king of Moab agrees and David goes back to his cave in Adullam. David is there in the cave for a while until a prophet in Gad tells him to not stay there, so David listens and goes to the forest of Hereth.

This whole time up until now we have read about David and his constant fleeing and hiding, but what about Saul? Oh, he has been busy looking for David! Saul gathers his men and starts talking to them about how they have deceived him and are not telling him key details. In this group, we have Doeg, remember from last chapter? Doeg tells Saul that he saw David in Nob and that he had been speaking to Ahimelech the priest. Saul commands that Ahimelech and his entire family be brought in for questioning. Ahimelech tells Saul that he hasn’t been helping David and that he doesn’t think that David would conspire against him. Saul of course is not happy with this answer and thinks that Ahimelech is up to no good, so he orders his execution.

Saul’s men however are not about to kill a servant, let alone a priest of the Lord! So they refuse, but Doeg is more than happy. He kills Ahimelech, his family and all of town of Nob. The only one to survive and flee is Abiathar who was Ahimelech’s son. Abiathar catches up to David and tells him everything that had happened. David feels bad and blames himself, even saying that he thought he had seen Doeg, and thought that he would do something like this. David tells Abiathar to stay with him and he would be safe.

1 Samuel 15-16

1 Samuel 15-16

Chapter 15: Saul Disobeys

Samuel comes to Saul and tells him that he was the one that the Lord had sent to anoint him as king over the Israelites. Samuel tells him that he has a message from the Lord and that he should listen to him. The message from the Lord tells Saul that the Amalekites are evil and that they must be punished for what they have done to Israel, even saying;

 “…utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (1 Samuel 15:3)

                This is a very interesting point about God. At times he commands someone to “utterly destroy everyone” (See Judges 21:11) and at times God tells people to “not kill” (See Exodus 20:13). What is the reasoning for this? Well in Isaiah 55:8/28:10 the Lord tells us that his thoughts are not the same as our thoughts. This is an important principles to remember with anything that happens. God knows best, even if we don’t understand why something is happening, eventually we will know and understand and be grateful for the master plan that the Lord has for each and every one of us.

So with this commandment from God, Saul doesn’t hesitate in mustering up his men to prepare an attack on the Amalekites. Before he goes to attack the Amalekites, he sends a warning to the Kenites who live nearby that Saul will spare them. So Saul and his men do what the Lord asked and utterly destroy everyone and everything except, they spare the best livestock as plunder and the king Agag of the Amalekites. The Lord is displeased with their ignorance to his commandment. The Lord tells Samuel that he is disappointed in Saul, Samuel prays all night crying out for Saul.

The next day Samuel goes on a search to find Saul and talk with him, but cannot find him, because he had been moving around. But Samuel does find a statue that was made to honor Saul. Finally when Samuel meets up with Saul, Saul explains that he doesn’t think he disobeyed the Lord.

So Samuel asks him why he can hear animals in the background if he “utterly destroyed everything”.  Samuel tells him that he essentially thought it would be ok to take the best animals and spare the king, completing most of what the Lord had asked. After talking with him some more, Saul admits that he was afraid of the people and gave into their demands of plunder. He tells Samuel that he has sinned and asks Samuel to go with him to worship the Lord. Samuel refuses and walks away, but Saul grabs his robe and it rips. Samuel takes the opportunity to teach and object lesson; just as his robe has ripped, so has the kingdom torn from the hands of Saul. But still Saul practically begs for forgiveness and yet again Samuel uses this opportunity as a teaching moment.

Samuel tells Saul;

“…Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices , as in obeying the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice…” (1 Samuel 15:22)

                Obeying is better than sacrifice. Maybe you have heard the phrase “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission”? This is a very common and I would think widely used phrase in its literal meaning in today’s world. We see this happening everywhere! But in the world of the Lord, Asking for permission is better than asking for forgiveness. It is much easier to do the right thing the first time, instead of having to make things right and living with the guilt and pain of your bad decisions for the rest of your life.

Samuel leaves and goes to put Agag to death, then leaves to go home in Gibeah. Samuel never sees Saul again and the Lord is grieved that he has made Saul king of Israel.

Chapter 16: Saul Chooses David

This chapter introduces King David. The Lord comes to Samuel and tells him that he should not mourn for Saul, but instead for to the home of Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint the new king. Samuel is a little worried about this, because he thinks that if Saul finds out that he is doing this, that he might be killed by Saul. So God tells Samuel that he should just claim he is making an offering sacrifice and inviting Jesse to go with him.

Samuel goes to Bethlehem and has the town elders there to meet him. Samuel meets up with the elders and tells them that he has come in peace and that he must go and consecrate the sons of Jesse. Samuel goes to a feast and meets Jesse’s son Eliab, who he thinks (by his appearance) is the one that the Lord has chosen. But the Lord tells Samuel that he should not consider his appearance of height, because the Lord does not look at the same qualities in man as men do. The Lord looks at a man’s heart, whereas the natural man looks at his appearance on the outside.

Jesse introduces Samuel to seven of his sons, but the Lord rejects them all. Samuel asks Jesse if he has more sons. Jesse tells Samuel that his youngest is out tending to the sheep. Jesse sends for David and tells everyone that they will not sit down to eat until he arrives. David comes and Samuel anoints him in front of everyone, and from that day on David is filled with the Spirit of the Lord and his power.

Saul doesn’t find out that David has been anointed (but not yet crowned king), and as soon as the Spirit of the Lord entered David, an evil spirit of the Lord entered into Saul. So one of his servants suggests that they find someone to play the harp to soothe him. The servant suggests the youngest son of Jesse, who is David!

David travels to see Saul and begins serving him. Saul likes David so much that he has him become his armour-bearer and has him play the harp to soothe the evil spirit when it comes.

 

1 Samuel 11-12

1 Samuel 11-12

Chapter 11: Saul Comes to the Rescue

The chapter opens up with the Ammonites trying to attacking the Israelite city of Jabesh Gilead. They start to really do a number on the city, when the Israelites agree to be subject to the Ammonite ruler Nahash if they are spared. Nahash agrees, but adds that he must take out the right eye of every person in the city to bring disgrace to Israel.

The Israelites of course are not happy to accept an agreement where their eyes are torn out. So they ask for seven days to ponder his offer. Nahash agrees and the Israelites send out messengers to ask Israel what they should do.

The messengers arrive at Gibeah, where Saul lives. Upon telling the story the people of Gibeah burst into tears, but when Saul hears what happens he is filled with anger. So he takes 2 oxen and cuts them into pieces, sending them to all of Israel with a message that if someone refuses to help they too will be cut up into pieces. So the Israelites (for fear of being cut into pieces, and the fear of the Lord) gather 300,000 men to fight + 30,000 from Judah.

The messengers bring word back to Jabesh Gilead that they will be saved tomorrow. The Israelites living there are super happy and in the morning Saul and his men arrive and essentially slaughter Nahash and his men, so that the ones who do survive are so scattered that not more than 2 are left together. Saul is confirmed a king of Israel.

Chapter 12: Look What God Has Done for You!

Now that Israel has officially called Saul to be their king, they no longer need the leadership of Samuel. But before completely handing over the reign to Saul he addresses the people;

Samuel explains that he has been a righteous leader, and the people agree. He then explains how God calls people to leadership positions to help out his people and relates a few stories about how the Lord has always helped his people, including stories of Jacob after he entered Egypt and how the Israelites have always betrayed their God and then came back to him. Always on a roller coaster like timeline of good and evil.

The people shout out to him that they have indeed sinned. He warns the people that if they have chosen a king then they must follow the commandments and in live in righteousness of the hand of the Lord will be against them.

The people than get really nervous about their sinning and this are where I REALLY learned a lot…

Samuel ends his address:

“…Fear not; ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great names sake; because it pleaseth the Lord to make you his people… I will teach you the good and the right way… consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.” (1 Samuel 12:20-25)

Here we learn something very important, we all sin. It is a fact. No one is perfect, but we should be constantly striving to better ourselves, so that one day we might become perfect! We can learn that when we sin, we need to pray even more and have God closer to us. When we sin, we need him even more. That is something that most of us probably don’t understand. I know when I have been doing things I shouldn’t have been doing, I feel like God is so ashamed of me that he doesn’t want to talk with me or hear me. But that is Satan tricking us into believing this.

The truth is that God loves us always! He will not forsake us, even if we have sinned. It can only be us forsaking him!

1 Samuel 9-10

1 Samuel 9-10

Chapter 9: Saul to be King

In the last chapter we learned that Israel wanted a King and even though Samuel was unhappy with their choice, the Lord gave his consent to their request. God goes in to see Samuel and tells him that he will be meeting the new King. The Lord tells him that at about the same day tomorrow he will send a man to cross his paths that will come from the land of Benjamin. The Lord tells Samuel to anoint him as the king and leader over his people. Telling Samuel that this man will deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.

Samuel begins to prepare a feast for this even and had a cook reserve a special piece of meat just for this new king that he will be meeting soon. The man who comes is named Saul and he is a Benjamite, who was a very impressive young man.

Donkeys belonging to Saul’s father get lost, so Saul and as servant set out to look for them. They spend a very long time searching for them and they don’t find any of them. Saul is ready to give up, because he is worried that his father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start to worry about him and the servant. But the servant convinces Saul to keep up the search and even decide to go see a “man of God” to see if he can help. This “man of God” is Samuel and it is interesting how the Lord works. He seems to be able to put two things together to make one thing happen.

Saul and the servant get to the town and come across some girls who are drawing water for the well, they tell him where to find the “man of God” and that he must hurry to catch up to him before they have the big feast and sacrifice that was planned at the beginning of the chapter. Saul meets up with Samuel and finds out that Samuel is indeed the “man of God” or Seer and at the same time Samuel gets spiritual confirmation that he is speaking to Saul, the new king.

Samuel invites Saul and his servant to the feast and Saul gets his special piece of meat and then he and Samuel speak on his roof all night.

Chapter 10: Saul Prophesies

Samuel takes a vial of oil and pours it upon the head of Saul, anointing him as the captain of the Lord’s in heritance.

Saul is given another heart by God, or in other words he is “spiritually reborn”. He prophesies among the prophets and is chosen as king over Mizpeh.