Archive for the ‘1 Sameul’ Category


Under Gods Command

God wants a relationship with you

Philippians 1:9-11

9I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation— the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ*— for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

We studied these verses at one of my Bible Studies. It stuck with me for these reasons of my own. The only way to grow in knowledge and understanding is more than going to Church on Sunday. How can you understand what really matters to live a pure and blameless life if you don’t understand the requirements according to Gods standard?

Get involved with a Bible Study or Life Group. Start a reading plan of your own and ask God to give you the wisdom to understand. Read the first 4 books of the Gospel to get to know this Jesus that we always mention and most of us don’t know anything about Him.

Commentary Life Application Study Bible NLT broke it down like this

Often the best way to influence someone is to pray for him or her. Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that they would be unified in love. Their love was to result in greater knowledge of Christ and deeper understanding (moral discernment). Their love was not based on feelings but on what Christ had done for them. As you grow in Christ’s love, your heart and mind must grow together. Are your love and insight growing?

Paul prayed that the Philippian believers would have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. We ought to pray for moral discernment so we can maintain our Christian morals and values. Hebrews 5: 14 emphasizes the need for discernment.

“The day of Christ’s return” refers to the time when God will judge the world through Jesus Christ. We should live each day as though he might return at any moment.

The “fruit of your salvation” includes all of the character traits flowing from a right relationship with God. There is no other way for us to gain this fruit of righteousness than through Christ. See Galatians 5: 22-23 for the “fruit of the Spirit.”

Let’s Bring It Home: How many of us can really say we Love the Lord? Jesus said, how can you love me and hate your brother.

 


Saul becomes King

  1 Samuel 10:1-9     1Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance? 2When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?”

      3“Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. 4They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.

     5“After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps, being played before them, and they will be prophesying. 6The Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

     8“Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

     9As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 

When an Israelite king took office, he was not only crowned, he was anointed. The coronation was the political act of establishing the king as ruler; the anointing was the religious act of making the king God’s representative to the people. A king was always anointed by a priest or prophet. The special anointing oil was a mixture of olive oil, myrrh, and other expensive spices. It was poured over the king’s head to symbolize the presence and power of the Holy Spirit of God in his life. This anointing ceremony was to remind the king of his great responsibility to lead his people by God’s wisdom and not his own.

How could Saul be so filled with the Spirit and yet later commit such evil acts? Throughout the Old Testament, God’s Spirit “came upon” a person temporarily so that God could use him or her for great acts. This happened frequently to Israel’s judges when they were called by God to rescue the nation (Judges 3:8-10). This was not always a permanent, abiding influence, but sometimes a temporary manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Yet, at times in the Old Testament, the Spirit even came upon unbelievers to enable them to do unusual tasks (Numbers 24; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23). The Holy Spirit gave the person power to do what God asked, but it did not always produce the other fruits of the Spirit, such as self-control. Saul, in his early years as king, was a different person (10:1-10) as a result of the Holy Spirit’s work in him. But as Saul’s power grew, so did his pride. After a while he refused to seek God; the Spirit left him (16:14); and his good attitude melted away.

Lets Bring it Home: Lets us stay mindful that it is the Lords wisdom that leads people and not our own, so as we grow in statue, don’t let pride grow with power received from God.


1 Samuel 9:6-27

    6But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”

     7Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

     8The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.” 9(Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)

    10“Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was.

     11As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”

     12“He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifices at the high place. 13As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”

     14They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

    15Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed this to Samuel: 16“About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.”

    17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”

     18Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

     19“I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”

     21Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”

     22Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number. 23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”

    24So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set-aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’ ” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

     25After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house. 26They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. 27As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.” 

In Verse 21 “Why do you say such a thing to me?” Saul’s outburst reveals a problem he would face repeatedly—feeling inferior. Like a leaf tossed about by the wind, Saul vacillated between his feelings and his convictions. Everything he said and did was selfish because he was worried about himself. For example, Saul said his clan was “the least” in the smallest tribe in Israel, but 9:1 says his father was “a man of standing.” (The tribe of Benjamin was the smallest because they were nearly wiped out as punishment for their immorality—see Judges 19–21.) Saul didn’t want to face the responsibility God had given him. Later, Saul kept some war plunder that he shouldn’t have and then tried to blame his soldiers (15:21) while claiming that they had really taken it to sacrifice to God (15:15).

Although Saul had been called by God and had a mission in life, he struggled constantly with jealousy, insecurity, arrogance, impulsiveness, and deceit. He did not decide to be wholeheartedly committed to God. Because Saul would not let God’s love give rest to his heart, he never became God’s man.

Lets Bring it Home: Notice in Verse 22 that the servant was blessed also by being seated at the table along with Saul.  Sometimes when we accompany or they accompany us who are on their way to get a blessing, we get bless also. Remember, we are also servants of The Most High God, and that gives us a seat at the table of Christ.

In Verse 21, what do we still struggle with before we were saved?  Is there anything getting in the way of your walk with Christ that comes from the past that cripples you at times?  If it is, surrender it to the LORD and let Him go to work on it.

 


Samuel Anoints Saul 

1Samuel 9:1-6    1There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. 2Kish had a son named Saul, as handsomed a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.     

     3Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.” 4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them.

     5When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

     6But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”  

Saul was sent by his father on an important mission—to find their stray donkeys. Donkeys were all-purpose animals, the “pick-up trucks” of Bible times. Used for transportation, hauling, and farming, they were considered necessities. Even the poorest family owned one. To own many donkeys was a sign of wealth, and to lose them was a disaster. Saul’s father was wealthy, and his many donkeys were evidence of that wealth.

The city where the servant said the prophet lived was probably Ramah, where Samuel moved after the Philistine battle near Shiloh (7:17). Saul’s lack of knowledge about Samuel showed his ignorance of spiritual matters. Saul and Samuel even lived in the same territory—Benjamin.  

Often we think that events “just happen” to us, but as we learn from this story about Saul, God may use common occurrences to lead us where he wants. It is important to evaluate all situations as potential “divine appointments” designed to shape our lives.

Lets Bring it Home: Think of all the good and bad circumstances that have affected you lately. Can you see God’s purpose in them? Perhaps he is building a certain quality in you or leading you to serve him in a new area.


Israel Asks for a King 

1 Samuel 08:10-20 10Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.12Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

     19But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.   

Samuel carefully explained all the negative consequences of having a king, but the Israelites refused to listen.

Israel was called to be a holy nation, separate from and unique among all others (Leviticus 20:26). The Israelites’ motive in asking for a king was to be like the nations around them. This was in total opposition to God’s original plan. It was not their desire for a king that was wrong, but their reasons for wanting a king.

Lets Bring it Home: When you have an important decision to make, weigh the positives and negatives carefully, considering everyone who might be affected by your choice. When you want something badly enough, it is difficult to see the potential problems. But don’t discount the negatives. Unless you have a plan to handle each one, they will cause you great difficulty later.

Often we let others’ values and actions dictate our attitudes and behavior. Have you ever made a wrong choice because you wanted to be like everyone else? Be careful that the values of your friends or “heroes” don’t pull you away from what God says is right. When God’s people want to be like unbelievers, they are heading for spiritual disaster.


Israel Asks for a King

1 Samuel 8:4-9 4So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

     6But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” 

 Israel wanted a king for several reasons: (1) Samuel’s sons were not fit to lead Israel. (2) The 12 tribes of Israel continually had problems working together because each tribe had its own leader and territory. It was hoped that a king would unite the tribes into one nation and one army. (3) The people wanted to be like the neighboring nations. This is exactly what God didn’t want. Having a king would make it easy to forget that God was their real leader. It was not wrong for Israel to want a king; God had mentioned the possibility in Deuteronomy 17:14–20. Yet, in reality, the people were rejecting God as their leader. The Israelites wanted laws, an army, and a human monarch in the place of God. They wanted to run the nation through human strength, even though only God’s strength could make them flourish in the hostile land of Canaan.

The people clamored for a king, thinking that a new system of government would bring about a change in the nation. But because their basic problem was disobedience to God, their other problems would only continue under the new administration. What they needed was a unified faith, not a uniform rule.

Had the Israelites submitted to God’s leadership, they would have thrived beyond their expectations (Deuteronomy 28:1)

Lets Bring it Home: Our obedience is weak if we ask God to lead our family or personal life but continue to live by the world’s standards and values. Faith in God must touch all the practical areas of life.


Israel Asks for a King

1 Samuel 8:1-3 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

As an old man, Samuel appointed his sons to be judges over Israel in his place. But they turned out to be corrupt, much like Eli’s sons (2:12). We don’t know why Samuel’s sons went wrong, but we do know that Eli was held responsible for his own sons’ corruption (2:29–34).

It is impossible to know if Samuel was a bad parent. His children were old enough to be on their own. We must be careful not to blame ourselves for the sins of our children. On the other hand, parenthood is an awesome responsibility, and nothing is more important than molding and shaping our children’s lives.

Lets Bring it Home: If your grown children are not following God, realize that you can’t control them any longer. Don’t blame yourself for something that is no longer your responsibility. But if your children are still in your care, know that what you do and teach can profoundly affect your children and lasts a lifetime


1 Samuel Chapter 8

Samuel and Saul (8:1—15:35) Samuel judges Israel well, saves them from the Philistines, and leads them back to God. But when he retires, the nation does not want another judge. Instead, they demand to be given a king in order to be like the nations around them. Although God is unhappy with their request, he tells Samuel to anoint Saul as Israel’s first king. Saul is a skillful soldier who successfully leads the nation into many battles against their enemies. But in God’s eyes Saul is a failure because he constantly disobeys and does things his own way. God eventually rejects Saul as king.

Lets Bring it Home: Sometimes we want to go our own way rather than follow the ways of God. This will always end in ruin as it did for Saul.


Under Gods Command

Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah 

1 Samuel 7:1-17     1So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD. 2The ark remained at Kiriath Jearimc a long time—twenty years in all.

    Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD. 3So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.

     5Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the LORD for you.” 6When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.

     7When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9Then Samuels took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him.

     10While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.

     12Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” 

      13So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines. 14The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

     15Samuelb continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life. 16From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. 17But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.   

The ark was taken to Kiriath Jearim, a city near the battlefield, for safekeeping, and Eleazar was given the task of caring for it. Why wasn’t it taken back to the tabernacle at Shiloh? Shiloh had probably been defeated and destroyed by the Philistines in an earlier battle (4:1-18; Jeremiah 26:2-6) because of the evil deeds of its priests (2:12-17). Apparently, the tabernacle and its furniture were saved because we read that the tabernacle was set up in Nob during Saul’s reign (21:1-6) and in Gibeon during the reigns of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 16:39; 21:29-30; 2 Chronicles 1). Shiloh, however, is never again mentioned in the historical books of the Old Testament. Samuel’s new home became Ramah (7:15-17; 8:4), his birthplace (further evidence of Shiloh’s destruction).

Samuel urged the Israelites to get rid of their foreign gods. Idols today are much more subtle than gods of wood and stone, but they are just as dangerous. Whatever holds first place in our lives or controls us is our god. Money, success, material goods, pride, or anything else can be an idol if it takes the place of God in our lives. The Lord alone is worthy of our service and worship, and we must let nothing rival him. If we have “foreign gods,” we need to ask God to help us dethrone them, making the true God our first priority.

Baal was believed to be the son of El, chief deity of the Canaanites. Baal was regarded as the god of thunder and rain; thus he controlled vegetation and agriculture. Ashtoreth was a goddess of love and war (she was called Ishtar in Babylon and Astarte or Aphrodite in Greece). She represented fertility. The Canaanites believed that by the sexual union of Baal and Ashtoreth, the earth would be magically rejuvenated and made fertile.

Mizpah held special significance for the Israelite nation. It was there that the Israelites had gathered to mobilize against the tribe of Benjamin (Judges 20:1); Samuel was appointed to be leader (1 Samuel 7:6); and Saul, Israel’s first king, would be identified and presented to the people (10:17-27). 7:6 Pouring water on the ground “before the LORD” was a sign of repenting from sin, turning from idols, and determining to obey God alone.

Samuel became the last in the long line of Israel’s judges (leaders), a line that began when Israel first conquered the Promised Land. For a list of these judges, see the chart. A judge was both a political and a religious leader. God was Israel’s true leader, while the judge was to be God’s spokesperson to the people and administrator of justice throughout the land. While some of Israel’s judges relied more on their own judgment than on God’s, Samuel’s obedience and dedication to God made him one of the greatest judges in Israel’s history. (For more on Samuel as a judge, see the note on 4:18.)

In Joshua’s time, the Amorites were a powerful tribe scattered throughout the hill country on both sides of the Jordan with a heavy concentration occupying the east side of the Jordan River opposite the Dead Sea. In the context of this verse, however, Amorites is another general name for all the non-Israelite inhabitants of Canaan.

The Israelites had great difficulty with the Philistines, but God rescued them. In response, the people set up a large stone as a memorial of God’s great help and deliverance. During tough times, we may need to remember the crucial turning points in our past to help us through the present. Memorials can help us remember God’s past victories and gain confidence and strength for the present.

Israel mourned, and sorrow gripped the nation for 20 years. The ark was put away like an unwanted box in an attic, and it seemed as if the Lord had abandoned his people. Samuel, now a grown man, roused them to action by saying that if they were truly sorry, they should do something about it.

Lets Bring it Home: How easy it is for us to complain about our problems, even to God, while we refuse to act, change, and do what he requires. We don’t even take the advice he has already given us. Do you ever feel as if God has abandoned you? Check to see if there is anything he has already told you to do. You may not receive new guidance from God until you have acted on his previous directions.

 


Under Gods Command

The Ark Returned to Israel

1 Samuel 6:13-21  13Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight. 14The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD. 15The Levites took down the ark of the LORD, together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock. On that day the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the LORD. 16The five rulers of the Philistines saw all this and then returned that same day to Ekron.

    17These are the gold tumors the Philistines sent as a guilt offering to the LORD—one each for Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron. 18And the number of the gold rats was according to the number of Philistine towns belonging to the five rulers—the fortified towns with their country villages. The large rock on which the Levites set the ark of the LORD is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.

    19But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the LORD. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the LORD had dealt them. 20And the people of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?”

     21Then they sent messengers to the people of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the LORD. Come down and take it up to your town.” 

Why were people killed for looking into the ark? The Israelites had made an idol of the ark. They had tried to harness God’s power, to use it for their own purposes (victory in battle). But the Lord of the universe cannot be controlled by humans. To protect the Israelites from his power, he had warned them not even to look at the sacred sanctuary objects in the Most Holy Place or they would die (Numbers 4:20). Only Levites were allowed to move the ark. Because of their disobedience, God carried out his promised judgment.

God could not allow the people to think they could use his power for their own ends. He could not permit them to disregard his warnings and come into his presence lightly. He did not want the cycle of disrespect, disobedience, and defeat to start all over again. God did not kill the men of Beth Shemesh to be cruel. He killed them because overlooking their presumptuous sin would encourage the whole nation of Israel to ignore God.

Lets Bring it Home:  Does the cycle of disrespect, disobedience, and defeat keep starting over for us? Could this be due to disregarding the warnings signs that God gives us in the present?  Does God take people out due to knowing that their presumptuous sin would encourage other believers to go a different way?