Friday, May 1, 2009

Day 9: 1 Samuel 17-18

Happy Friday to everyone. This is our last day of the week for our reading challenge, we'll pick back up again on Monday. Today's reading is from 1 Samuel 17-18.

These two chapters show the emergence of David onto the scene. The story of David slaying Goliath is the famous one, the one read in every Sunday school in the country. What I enjoy the most about that story is not the fact that the small undersized David beats the giant Goliath, it is why David chose to fight him to begin with. David was not seeking glory or to be the guy everyone thought was a stud. Instead, he was moved by a righteous anger that someone would dare to defy and mock the armies of the Living God. It was for the honor of God, not his own. I think that is the key to the David and Goliath story.

After the battle, Saul becomes jealous of David because he is gaining fame around Israel. David and Jonathon link up to become best friends for the rest of their lives. The next major statement that I think speaks to David's character is when Saul offers him his daughter in marriage and he says, "Who am I, and what is my family in Israel that I should be the king's son-in-law?" There is humility just dripping off that reply. This is why God has chosen David to begin with. He has a heart that reflects what is needed to lead God's people. I think it is extremely important to check ourselves routinely. Are we becoming arrogant? Do we live with too much pride or are we genuinely humble? You see, Saul started off this way too, but we now see where he is. If this aspect of our lives is not monitored daily, we can quickly become too prideful to even notice the change.

Last thought: Much of this book has been about God's anointing of these men for their service. We've also noticed what happens when God removes His anointing. A quote to leave you with for today: R.T. Kendall says, "If I do not experience a fresh anointing every day, it is only a matter of time before I will become yesterday’s man."

Your thoughts from today's reading?


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  2. Ch.17 Take AwayNo surprise to see Saul trying to put his hand print on something offering his armor to David, it would have given him a bit of glory in David defeating Goliath..but David didn't use the glory really has to go to God.

    Ch.18 Take AwayThink it was how Saul set a high standard of 100 philistine foreskins for David to bring back...but David brought 200 b/c God was with him...How often would we exceed the world's high expectations..if we allowed to be the driving force?Also...the visual of 200 foreskins...yuck...imagine that being dumped at your feet! Saul was sick...

  3. Several things stood out to me.

    There was 40 days of torment by Goliath. Little did he know that God has a way with those 40 day type environments. He was about to deal with Goliath in His own way.

    Natural armor verses spiritual armor. Ephesians 6:10-18. I see a warning to be careful when those around you try to clothe you with their ways of defeating an enemy.

    David's attitude was always great. He was anointed by God and he simply did the tasks before him. Even though he knew Samuel's promise, he simply got under the King and did whatever he was commanded, but with the wisdom of God upon everything he put his hands to doing.

  4. In the bible 40 is the number for testing. Can't imagine listening to a giant calling out for somebody to fight him twice a day for 40 days.Talk about psychological warfare!
    I was struck with how responsible David was. He was careful to leave someone to watch after his fathers flock in his absence and then careful to leave his carriage with the keeper
    Back in chapter 16, Saul had made David his armor bearer and it looks like David had been at the "battle"in the beginning, but since Saul wasn't doing any fighting, just cowering in his tent,he had gone home.
    Sometimes when people are afraid, they come across as angry and I think that was the case of David's older brother,Eliab.Back at the annointing, all of David's brothers were present so they knew God had a plan for David's life and that He was with him.
    Of course a huge giant,armed to the teeth and covered in body armor can be intimidating.
    Never once did Saul mention for Samuel to come nor did he pray for help and guidence. Saul fixates on what he can see.
    I found it odd that Saul would agree to let David go since Goliath had made up this term agreement that if their guy whooped him, the Philistines would serve them,but if their guy lost, they would have to serve the Philistines. So for Saul to turn David loose on the giant tells me he could show faith when it came down to it.
    I love the picture of this little man not just talkin smack,he's filled with righteous indignation,and after he kills the giant, cuts his head off with his own sword.The Philstines are in such a dumb struck terror that they basically trample each other to get out of Dodge. Meanwhile there is David still walking around with the giants head in his hand.
    It's a shame that Saul's sin kills it for Jonathan. He shared a kindred spirit with David. Saul true to form shows his prideful heart in his jealousy over the attention David receives.
    Ch.18:10 where it speaks about an evil spirit from God. I believe that isn't to say evil came from God since every good gift and every perfect gift gift cometh from our Father which is in heaven. I believe that is to say God vacated his heart and the evil was revealed. Remember the conversation God had with Cain right before he killed his brother Abel? If you had done what was right we'd have a relationship.Pride caused Lucifer to fall from heaven,pride caused man to fall from favor with God and pride was the evil spirit that consumed Saul. David showed humility and has been called a friend of God.
    Paul said he battled this issue of pride every day. Sometimes as christians we arn't careful and fall into the trap thinking we are good to go because we prayed about it once.
    Every disagreement I have ever had was a result of my pride. It's my or the highway. I need to be more conscious of this in my life.
    Great, now I will be tested very soon!

  5. Whenever I'm up against the impossible I think, "five smooth stones." It's amazing what God can do when we get out of the way and know he's the one making it happen, not us.

    And I'm with you on the extreme humility when offered Saul's daughters. I never before noticed the response he gave when he was offered either of them. I suppose after going to Africa and experiencing the culture of "thank you" gifts for a wife(??!!!) brought this out a little more boldly to me.

    Unlike Saul, David did not forget where he came from. It wasn't assumed he "deserved" anything for what he accomplished because of God's favor in his life. A good daily reminder for us all. All that we have, all that we have accomplished is only because of the gifts GOD gave us and the opportunities HE affords us. Good soup.

  6. What Amber said about 5 smooth stones struck me as significant. The Philistines worshipped the earth. God has a sense of humor to use something that Goliath would have found sacred as a tool for his death.

  7. I too thought about the five smooth stones, Laurie and Amber. I think it's spot on that God would use His own creation to bring down that which mocks Him.

    One of the most obvious things here that I think we've not yet mentioned is faith. Even with someone like Saul, who knows what the anointing of God means, and how it can bring justice and triumph over all (because he, himself, experienced it in previous battles), just sits around whining about how the Philistines are taunting them. Rather than turning to God, Saul offers his daughter and a tax free life for whoever kills this giant.

    David comes along, the son of a shepherd, with nothing. He has no fame, no wealth, no wife, no kids, no promise of fortune. And yet, when the rubber meets the road, he's the first one out of the gate to remind everyone who it is that they "supposedly" serve. David's faith is all he has. He believes that he serves the God of the universe. And so, how DARE anyone, let alone this ungodly giant, mock, and defy his God or his God's people. I don't think David had even a twinge of fear. His faith was sooooo strong, that he knew any one of them could've faced this giant and been victorious over him, not because any of them were bigger or stronger, but because God had chosen Israel as His people. Not the Philistines. Therefore, there was no way this giant could live up to his threats against the armies of God.

    Too often times I think we operate out of "not enough faith". Jesus told us that we literally have the power, through Him, to say to that mountain, "move over there" , and it would move. Do any of us have the C.O. Jones that David did to actually stand in front of a group of people and expect God to deliver on His promises? Elijah called down fire on a soaking wet altar, in front of thousands of people to prove that Bail was a farce. To give glory to God. How many of us have that kind of faith. Are we willing to risk looking stupid? The fact is... if it glorifies God, and it's something that He has given us authority over anyway, we wouldn't look stupid..... if we only had the faith to step up to the plate.