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1 Samuel 23

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25

                                                    

SCRIPTURE:1 SAMUEL 23

BY: Jeremy Witt

Remember playing “Chase” as a child?  Do you remember the joy and fun of being pursued?  Maybe you remember being chased by someone who was angry at you?  Or maybe you were pursued by a buffalo like I was.  We were in the Wichita Mountains and we were trying to get close to get a good video (Camcorder from the ’80s).  There were me and two other kids along with the adult who was videoing.  Suddenly the buffalo charged and we took off trying to get to the safety of the van.  Naturally, I was faster than the other two, and one of them fell, and the adult who was videoing ran to help them up.  Needless to say, it was quite a video that we had!  This is the picture of chapter 23.  David is being pursued by King Saul.  Or as Roscoe P. Coltrane (Dukes of Hazzard) would say, “I am in hot pursuit!”

The chapter starts with David trying to help some folks in Keilah, but before David does anything, he inquires of the LORD.  Why?  David is well aware that King Saul is trying to catch him.  Even David’s best friend, Jonathan and his intervention on David’s behalf has not been enough.  David wanted to help others especially his countrymen, but David needed wisdom and the LORD’s guidance.  That is really an important thing for us to take notice of.  Seek the LORD first in our circumstances.

David sought the Lord by bringing the ephod, an article worn by the high priest.   (Read more on the ephod:  Exodus 28:429:539:2Leviticus 8:7).

The ephod was held together by a girdle of similar workmanship sewed on to it. It had two shoulder pieces, which, as the name implies, crossed the shoulders, and were apparently fastened or sewed to the ephod in front. In dressing, the shoulder pieces were joined in the back to the two ends of the ephod. At the point where the shoulder pieces were joined together in the front “above the girdle,” two golden rings were sewed on, to which the breastplate was attached.  The Urim and the Thummim were most likely held in the ephod and used to determine the will of God.  We don’t know exactly how these were used.  Some say like dice or others say two flat objects with one side being the Urim and the other side of Thummim.  If both showed the Urim, it would mean no or vice versa.  Ultimately, we are not exactly sure on the Urim and Thummim, but we do know that the ephod was used to seek the LORD’s guidance and will as we see David do multiple times in this chapter. 

We see David striving to help the people of the southern part of the country, but we see them turn on him in favor of the king.  We read more on the friendship between David and Jonathan in verses 16-18.  Ironically, Jonathan could get to David while Saul never could.  God protected David from being caught by Saul (verse 27) but God still allowed David to be pursued.  The pursuing taught David to rely on the LORD. 

There are quite a few things we could focus on from this chapter.  The friendship of two men was strong enough that Jonathan submitted to David despite his birthright said he would be king.  We could focus upon David seeking the LORD and trusting even when it was difficult.  Psalm 54 was written directly from verses 19-23.  Psalm 17 is tied to the pursuit and persecution from Saul. 

It is in times of adversity that our faith is put into action or our faith fails.  These times either make us stronger or times of failure.  How will we respond in times of adversity?  Will we be faithful?  Will we trust?  Will we rely upon the Word of God despite our circumstances? 

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

1 Samuel 22

Daily Devotion

February 22, 2019

1 Samuel: 22

By Brian Holland

As we look at the passage for today we see that it is a pretty straightforward account of the family feud between Saul and David.  David has been anointed King of Israel (1 Samuel 16) yet he waits for the Lord to deal with Saul before he assumes the official political seat.  Saul knows his time is fleeting (1 Samuel 13:14), but wants to hold on to something that he did not earn—the throne.

I can relate to that.  There are times in life when I want to hold on to something I think I own or have earned by my own hand.  Saul has this idea that he deserves to remain king.  His pride is so great that he does not see what is going on around him.  And so we see him blindly pursuing the one person he sees as an enemy to him, David.  He feels threatened by David and goes so far as to ruthlessly punish anyone that is seen as helping David in any way (v 16-19).

That is a good reminder for us all, I believe.  Paul, who was at one time a very proud Jewish persecutor of the early church, reminds us that we must make a concentrated effort to remain humble. 

“For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think.  Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.” Romans 12:3 (CSB)

We see the implications of this verse in Saul today.  God has another plan for Israel, yet Saul believes he knows better and tries to murder the very one God plans to use in Israel, David.  Saul loses his “senses” and it results in a horrific slaughter of a family.  Unchecked pride leads to serious consequences…write that down.  It is always true.  We see a man who thinks everything is about him, his comfort and his plan.  He lashes out against everyone around him, including his son.  Pride does crazy things to people…just ask Adam and Eve…and affects far more people than just us.

But we also see a man here who is not full of pride in David.  Because of Saul’s persecution, David is running for his life.  This activity brings people to David’s side (v1-2) and he does his best to care for them.  Here is a man who is the next king of Israel, making sure his parents are safe (v3-4) and those around him are safe (v5).  Ultimately, David takes in the one person who escaped the wrath of Saul, Abiathar. 

This passage reminds me of the dangers of unchecked pride in my life.  I need those around me who will point out when I seem off course, as Ahimelech does when he reminds Saul of David’s faithfulness to him (v14-5).  The danger is how I react when I see it face-to-face, isn’t it? (v18-9)

Let us pray today that God would be with us as we discover those areas in our lives where we might “think of (our)selves more highly than (we) should.”  Let us remember that “every good and perfect gift” comes from God and not from our own hands (James 1:17).  If we can do that consistently, our thankfulness will rise and our “entitled-ness” will fall.

Posted by Brian Holland with

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