David was determined to destroy Nabal, the mean-spirited man whose sheep and shepherds David had protected, because David was refused reciprocal support. On his way to inflict his revenge, Nabal’s wife, Abigail, intercepted Israel’s new king to make amends. Her appeal to David was presented in eloquent humility. Her meek and beautiful spirit touched David’s heart, and totally reversed his intention. She made such an impact upon David that when her husband soon passed away, David made her his wife.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” [Pr. 25:11]
PRAYER: Father, let my words be healing and health to the hearer. May they all be acceptable to you.
READ: 1 Sam. 24,25
Saul was desperately trying to kill David. (It’s like President Trump put a hit contract on you.) And, because he aided David, Ahimelech, the priest of Nob, and all his family were slain. Can you imagine the weight of grief and guilt that laid upon David.
Yes, David lived a rewarding and noble life, but the distresses he encountered on the journey of his life were great.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” -David [Ps. 34:19]
PRAYER: Lord, as we encounter hardship in this life, may we remember David and his sufferings. Bring us through like you did for him.
READ: 1 Sam. 21-23
King Saul was eaten up with envy toward David because God’s favor upon the young warrior eclipsed the king’s reputation. Saul was thereby determined to eliminate David. His consuming animosity even affected his relationship with his own son, Jonathan. How tragic.
Leaders can do despicable things when they are driven by jealousy. David relied upon God to determine his reputation whereas Saul was a self-promoter and self-preserver.
Paul said, concerning his reputation and authority, “I die daily.” He gloried ONLY in the Lord and His sacrificial death.
PRAYER: Lord, deliver us from the devastating jealousy that tries to consume us. Work Your humility in us. Protect and favor us to do Your will.
READ: 1 Sam. 18-20
David knew the importance of heart involvement in his music, his shepherding duties, and his submission to authority. He was appalled at the way Saul’s army let Goliath beat down their courage without even a fight. (The warfare was a spiritual one.)
As David approached the camp of Saul’s army, he brought in a courageous, fresh perspective. He had been entertaining the Lord’s presence while keeping his father’s sheep. He also had the advantage of seeing what God’s presence could do … he had killed the lion and the bear.
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart.” [Ps. 27:14]
PRAYER: Lord, strengthen our hearts the way You did for David. We will not turn back for any foe, regardless of their size.
READ: 1 Sam. 16, 17
Saul’s son, Jonathan, and his armor-bearer were involved in one of the most daring exploits in the Bible. They attacked an enemy outpost after climbing a dangerous cliff and routed 20 men
They saw a challenge, they took a step of faith, and God gave them a marvelous victory.
We can experience similar exploits by responding in faith to spiritual opportunities that arise in our daily lives.
“But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” [Dan 11:32b]
PRAYER: Lord, in Your name I will pray for the sick, believe for miracles, and step out in faith when I see an opportunity to bring glory to You.
READ: 1 Samuel 14, 15
This phrase occurs in 1 Samuel 12 and points to the investment and reputation the Lord had staked upon Israel. God’s interest in their affairs extended beyond the self-interest they were inclined to heed.
It’s the same today. God has put the name of His Son, Jesus, upon us. The purest motive we can have as we conduct our lives is to exist for God’s glory and yield every decision to the Lordship of Christ.
The rewards for honoring Christ are “out of this world.”
PRAYER: Lord, we seek to serve You only and not our best interest. Our vision is clouded by pride. Cleanse us. Fill us with Your Spirit today. Bring glory to Your name through our lives.
READ: 1 Sam. 11-13
Paul said it was good to desire spiritual gifts, but even the disciples were hand picked by Jesus. The first deacons were selected because of the already-functioning giftings God had deposited in their lives.
God expressed His selection of Old Testament leaders through the process of identifying and anointing by His seer, or prophet. Samuel was honored to have been that prophet in the selection of both Saul and David as kings of Israel.
Those who self-promoted for leadership perished e.g. Absalom, Judas.
“How blessed is the one whom you choose, and allow to live in your palace courts.” [Ps. 65:4]
PRAYER: Father, may we be respectful and supportive to those whom You have ordained to leadership in our lives. We trust You in all things.
READ: 1 Sam. 8-10