Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 4: 1 Samuel 7-8

Thank you everyone who has been participating in our 28 day reading challenge of 1 and 2 Samuel. There has been great feedback and thoughts given on the passages and I have learned a lot from those of you who have posted. Also, those of you who read, but don't post, feel free to get on periodically and make a comment. We would love to hear your feedback. Don't forget, we will take a break on Saturday and Sunday and then resume on Monday.

Today's reading 1 Samuel 7-8

The irony of these two chapters is fascinating. In Chapter 7 Israel repents of her ways and resubmits herself before the LORD. In doing so, the LORD'S favor is given and they defeat the Philistines and experience peace in their land. I love when Samuel says, "Determine to obey only the LORD; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.(7:3 NLT) "However, once again, a man of God's sons becomes the downfall of the nation. Except this time, Israel wants a king! Then some of the saddest words uttered in Scripture by God, "Do as they say, for it is me they are rejecting, not you. (8:7 NLT)" Regardless of the warnings about how a king would rule them, they were stuck in their idea of what was best for them. How often do we do the exact same thing?

My takeaway: God loves us continuously and receives us back when we repent (Ch. 7), but we often reject this compassionate grace and mercy and still choose our own ways (Ch. 8). God loves us so much, that he will let us choose our demise if that is what we choose. We were created for no king but YHWH, but we too often reject him as our king.

How about you? What things stood out to you? What questions did it raise?


  1. Great two chapters! One might wonder how Israel was feeling. It took 20 years before a movement toward God was stirring. And suddenly it was there.

    The Church today could learn from this. There are seasons for whatever reason, it seems God is not there. He is and He is waiting for that right time to move in the midst of His people as they truly turn toward Him. Never give UP !

    Notice that God is out ahead of our battles. Often the enemy is defeated before we meet them on the battlefield.

    So, when we cry out to God for those spiritual warfare moments, we need to remember He is already at work on our behalf.

    A great lesson is that He restored the capture land. We can through Christ have things restored to their rightful place, when our enemy is defeated, even in this life.

    The finally thing I learned is that association with men or women of God is not enough. We know that Samuel was a holy man of God, yet his sons refuse to follow in his footsteps.

    There must be a personal realtionship with God...and the people of Israel decided they wanted a king. They were willing to give up their personal relationship to the Living God.

    So the Church today must always remind itself to always respect and follow gody leaders, but they too must follow the KING !!

  2. When I read chapters like 8, I always think to myself, what a bunch of idiots. You have God leading you as a King, and He demolishes armies with thunder alone. All you need to do is obey Him, love Him, worship Him. Instead they want an earthly king that is going to make life tough for them. Sure he will rule over them and lead them, but at what cost?

    I was ok with things until Samuel mentioned the king could also take your donkeys, thats going a bit too far I think.

    But seriously, we have God offering us freedom and purpose in life and yet we still turn to our own kings in this life. Our kings take from us while He gives. All kings require obedience, I just don't understand why we so easily accept the rules of earthly kings and other personal kings but are so slow to follow the Heavenly King.

  3. The thing that stands out to me about these chapters is how relevant this is to our time right now.

    It seems that the people of this world are in search of someone, of flesh, who will give them everything that they want. However, as the old adage says, "Be careful what you wish for".

    We live in a day right now where people don't want to turn to God for their needs. They continuously want government or corporations to give them to them. It saddens my heart to know that the Church is partly responsible for this. We talk all the time about the uphill climb that we face, trying to re-educate people what a relationship with God is truly about, when we have so many people within the church who stand in judgement of others, rejecting them the compassion and love that they were commanded, by God, to give. I can only think about what it would look like if the Church had its stuff together, and we all operated out of one mindset, that of our Heavenly Father's. I believe then we would see our nation, and perhaps the world seeking peace and help and judgement from the only one who can truly give it. Jesus.

    These two books have always intrigued me. I find the parallels between then and today so evident. I hope others can see them as well, as we continue to dive into this reading together. Perhaps God will bless this effort and use us to ignite the movement we so desperately wish to see.

    - robbie

  4. I agree with Robbie. Even though these scriptures were written a long time ago, they are still so relevant to our lives in the present.

    The verse that stood out to me the most was 8:18: When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king you've chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won't answer you on that day. This verse is pretty scary because (in my opinion) our country recently chose a leader thinking he could "bail us out" of a mess we have made for ourselves. When he can't bail us out like we had hoped what will happen. Will we finally turn to God for help? Will he answer us on that day?

  5. Robbie/Lisa,

    Your point is right on. It is scary to think that if we turn away from Him too often, there could possibly be a day that He doesn't respond to our cry. This is more evidence for why we need to repent and keep the path.

  6. I have been a little behind on my reading, but I've gotten caught up today. I have really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts. You all have had great thoughts!!!! Hopefully, next week, I can keep up and add some insight myself.

  7. Courtney, looking forward to you joining us!

  8. Yeah, Courtney... this may be a cool opportunity for you and Alex to spend some time reading scripture together and then commenting on your thoughts as a couple!! ????? Just a thought. I'm trying to get tiffany to do the same with me.

  9. BTW..... I would like to formally congratulate Erik on completing the Marathon!!!!! I know several people from the Journey participated in the Music City Marathon. Congratulations to all of you. I know that most of you did the half. For those of you who are absolutely crazy enough to try the full 26, well..... I recommend that you seek psychiatric help, but aside from that.... congrats! That's a huge achievement. I'm very proud of all of you..... but I still think you all are crazy. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to run 26 miles when you can drive! LOL. Great Job everyone, especially you, Erik. I love ya man! And I'm extremely proud of you!

  10. Ch.8
    Take away: I find it amusing that when God spoke it confused the Philistines...makes me smile when thinking of even today...when God speaks to His people and they respond, those around us that are not believers...get confused and wonder what is going on...if only we listened more...

    Ch. 8
    Take away: I had the same thoughts at Robbie/Lisa...has our nation gotten to the place where God has given what we have asked for and if so is this the instance when God won't hear our cries for help?
    Also found it interesting that basically Samuel's sons turned out like Eli's sons...was this a reflection of Samuel taking fathering cues from Eli? - Just a thought...

    Congrats on finishing the race Erik...that's just a little too much running for my taste...