Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 7: 1 Samuel 13-14

Welcome back everyone. We pick up in 1 Samuel 13-14 today. I appreciate all of you who are reading along and commenting on the readings. It is fun to gain insight from others. If you're new to the challenge, don't feel that you need to go back and catch up, just pick up where we are today.

Chapter 13:
The first thing that stands out to me is that Saul reigned forty-two years. Wow! I didn't think his reign lasted that long. He was thirty when he became king and died at seventy-two as king. For some reason, I had always believed Saul to have died young, only after ruling for a handful of years. This tells me that he spent the majority of his kingship as the one not anointed by God. Interesting.

Then it happens. Saul's fatal move as king that cost him and his family the dynasty (vs 14). Saul chooses to make the sacrifices before Samuel arrives (vs 9-10). It seems like a harsh punishment for a slip in judgment, but it obviously was a bigger deal than I realize. Samuel then tells Saul that God has sought after a man after his own heart (vs 14). I pray I will always be the one who's heart is after God's own heart and not the one being told that God's anointing has passed because of your disobedience.

Chapter 14:
One of the most inspiring chapters in these books and the Bible period. Jonathon charges the Philistine camp with his armor-bearer and a sword and wins (vs 12-14). The rest of Israel is hiding. I love how Jonathon initiates the action. I think to often in our lives and in churches, we are waiting for some glorious sign or parting of the Red Sea before we act, meanwhile, Jonathon shows us that sometimes we have to initiate action in order to see God move on our behalf.


  1. Erik I was in the same belief as you about Saul and his reign so it was good to learn from reading this morning...

    My take away from the reading came from
    I love Jonathan's boldness of a blk & white faith in God...basically telling his armor bearer....that God will show us...saying "if they ask us to fight then we know God will make us victorious, if they ask us to stop..then we won't fight" wasn't so much a matter of praying about the situation as it was believing in the fact that God was going to show them an immediate answer to the situation...
    I think too often we don't have the boldness like Jonathan...and we lack the faith that God will actually come through at that second...
    Not that I am against prayer...maybe what I am saying is that I am just more for an authentic walk with where we don't have to use the term prayer all the time..well b/c we walk with Him daily and have a boldness in our belief about Him and what He can do and that He does give us a clear answer...

  2. Josh,

    Right on my man! I wholly believe in the power of prayer, but what we often sound like when we say "I'll pray about it" is that I need to call God and get his thoughts, instead of already being on the line with Him to get an answer. This is a little bit of what I think is going on when in Ch. 10 Samuel tells Saul to do what he thinks is best because God will be with him.

    Good thoughts bro.

  3. The thing that struck me in this passage is that the actions do not make the man. Saul, from the beginning was not a man following God or terribly concerned about listening to Him, David was and when he screwed up you see tremendous repentance on his part and the Psalms are full of his soul crying out to God. When Saul screws up, he blames other people and even Samuel himself. Both made major mistakes, but only one was really about knowing God.

    One thing I found really odd is that the least spiritual man mentioned so far, Saul, has a son that pursues God and does amazing things. Eli was a good man and his sons were sleeping around and totally taking advantage of their positions. Even Samuel's sons turned out pretty pitiful. Then along comes Saul, as clueless as he can be about spiritual matters, and Jonathan turns out pretty solid. Seems backwards to me.

  4. Chad- man great thoughts on the bad father/good son thing, never thought of that.
    Josh-I also think we hide behind prayer as an excuse for inaction.

    I love the fact that the butt kicking took place on a half acre. That’s like my backyard! I love that part of this story. I think that the thing that sticks out to me is the loyalty of the armor-bearer. He has great faith, great strength, he is absolutely necessary and completely understanding of his role. I want to be like the armor-bearer.

  5. Good thoughts everyone!

    Chad, very interesting insight there with the father/son thing. The best thing about Saul was his son.

    Shawn, a butt-kicking battle that took place on about half an acre...must have felt like more of a cage match than a war. Just imagine that scene!

  6. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Saul wanted to get God's attention and yet he knew that Samuel was the man of the hour. That was the way God planned it.

    Then to complicate things further Saul orders everyone to fast with a curse if they did not.

    This teaches me to be careful about getting ahead of God in thinking that I can tackle things alone, when things seem a little slow in coming to my expectations. And to definitely not drag others into that situation, just so I will feel more powerful as a leader.

    Hard lesson for leadership. Wait on God's plan before one leaps !

    The statement: "..for he (Jonathan)has worked with God this day." Stand out the most for me. The first son in our saga so far that has obeyed God.

    I would like to be known as the " one who worked with God"

  7. The thing that stuck out to me was the burnt offering. It goes to show that you can do the right thing in a wrong way and the end doesn't justify the means. Saul performing the burnt offering sacrifice was a really big no-no. It was a death sentence.That offering was specifically to be done at the tabernacle door. This shows me that Saul may have wanted God in his life, but only on his terms.
    Frankly if Saul had planned his attack better, I mean come on 2000 men for him and 1000 for Jonathan?? Against a real army numbering 36,000?
    Isn't his reaction a lot like ours today? We get in a jam,usually because we have made some poor choices and then we want God to "fix it".
    In chapt.14 I wondered how could Saul get any more stupider?? He has his men fighting in hand to hand combat, they are tired to the point of fainting, outnumbered and yet he makes this insane rule that nobody gets to eat and have nourishment till they win this fight. He insists on putting God in this box and plays liek he's all "spiritual" expecting God to bless him as he wishes to be blessed. vs.37 Saul finally prays and asks God for guidance and God gives him the silent treatment. Instead of asking again,being still or examining why God is not answering, he jumps back in and grabs the controls.
    I have been know to be like that a time or two.

  8. If Saul just would have trusted the Lord and waited on his timing all of these things could have been avoided. It is so easy to become impatient when we are waiting on God to answer us. We often try to take things into our own hands and handle them ourselves without God's guidance. This sometimes will lead us into sin as it did Saul and we try to blame it on someone else or make excuses for our actions. Saul blamed his sin on Samuel for being late. From these two chapters I have learned that I need to trust God's timing more and not blame others for the sins I have commited.