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2 Samuel Overview

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FIRDAY, MARCH 8

BY: Josh Boles

Monday we are going to continue our journey together through the life of David. Before we did that I wanted to give you a brief overview of where we have been, and where we are headed, as well as a time of reflection. 

1 Samuel taught us a lot about how not to lead. We see Saul, who was well equipped to lead, fall short because he did not trust God. Even David failed to live up to his potential in many ways throughout 1 Samuel. 2 Samuel will tell the story of David's dynasty, and the expansion of the kingdom of Israel under God's chosen leader. Perhaps the thesis for 2 Samuel is 2 Samuel 7:16, "your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.'' (ESV) 

There is a lot of theology packed into this statement. God is adding to the covenant set whit His chosen people. We call this the Davidic covenant. Because of his faith, God did not treat David's heirs as He treated Saul's. Sin always has to be punished, but David's bloodline would never be completely cut off. This is so important to observe for us today because through the bloodline of David, we get Jesus! And through Jesus the covenant also included the continuing promise that God has a place for His people forever. 

1 and 2 Samuel are actually from the same book in the Hebrew Bible. The Septuagint is the ancient translation of the Hebrew Bible into the greek language. This is where 1 and 2 Samuel were first divided into two books. This is helpful to us in developing a theology of Samuel, as well as the rest of the Bible. The whole Bible is telling one story of God's great plan of redemption.  

The awesome thing about God's plan of redemption is that He is using us as a part of it! 2 Corinthians 5 encapsulates this perfectly for us. As we reflect today, I would encourage you to reach this chapter. Pay close attention to verses 11-21. God in His essence is holy, and the outflow of His holiness is love. The instrument of His love is Jesus, and Jesus gave up His own life for the sake of the Church. Because of this fact we must deal with scripture as it applies to the Church today. 

Just like David, we all have a part in the story of Redemption. Just take a look at 2 Corinthians 5: 20. God is making His appeal through us. We are His ambassadors here on earth. This means in a lot of ways that we are the voice of God to the lost and dying world. This is why it is so important to align our hearts with the Heart of God as we will see David do in 2 Samuel.

Our lives are speaking volumes to the world around us, so we have to ask ourselves some tough questions. What is my life portraying to the world around me? As we close let's take a look at the words of David himself.  "Search me,O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV) Ask God to search your heart today and see if there is anything getting in the way of the voice of God in your life. 

 

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1 Samuel 31

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, MARCH 7

SCRIPTURE:1 SAMUEL 31

BY: Josh Boles

Just in case you were wondering why there was no devotional yesterday, it was Jeremy’s fault. I’m not really sure why, or how, but lets just run with that. He sincerely apologizes for the lack of devotion yesterday.

Today marks the end of our journey together through 1 Samuel. The plan at this point is to pick up right where we left off in 2 Samuel. 2 Samuel tells the story of King David. All of his triumphs and failures. There is a great deal we can learn from the life of David but first we have to tackle this very difficult Chapter.

Chapter 31 is the subsequent chapter to 28 and 29, and tells the story of Saul’s death. If you go back to 1 Samuel 28:19 Samuel predicts the death of Saul and the complete destruction of the Israelite army in this area. Here we see in verse 1-10 that Saul meets his end and watches his sons die right in front of his eyes. Not to mention everything that had belonged to Israel was lost in the battle to the Philistines.

The battle was so devastating that the cities that Israel previously occupied were now abandoned. What a way to end a book right? The king that Israel had demanded had led them to a place of despair and destruction. The thing about this that makes it so sad is that Saul had such great promise. He was well suited for the job and if you remember, started off as a great leader.

The largest majority of 1 Samuel tells the story of the many problems Saul had. Even when David enters the story, the story still encapsulates Saul’s issues with David. But let’s think about that for a minute. Saul’s problem was not the Philistines, Goliath, or even David. Saul’s problem was Saul.

God could have conquered all of Saul's enemies and actually promises He would do so, but the fact of the matter is that Saul simply refused to trust God. At every turn, Saul trusted in himself. So what can we learn from the life of Saul as we move on?

I think one of the things we see in the life of Saul is that he was a religious man, but did not truly know God. He practiced religion, but did not make an effort to know and trust the most high God. Trust in God, and living in His will does not come from a place of religious rituals and virtue. It comes from love, and devotion.

I think the other really important thing we can learn from Saul’s mistakes is repentance. Saul never repented, and thus had the complete inability to foresee God’s will for his life. If our devotion to God becomes simply about virtue (trying to be a good, moral person) then we have no real reason to repent, we just try to do better next time. In this case, our life becomes a continual pattern of religious practices without relationship. This will eventually lead to despair, just as we see in Saul’s life.

I know that it is hard not for our human instincts to take over when we are faced with trials. Even David, who was “one after God’s own heart, did this when he fled his home land. The fact of the matter is, we are going to make mistakes, and a lot of them. But if we truly learn to trust in God, and live a life of repentance, we will get to see the glorious plan of God unfold in our lives. We get to see this manifest in the life of David. Yes, he had many mistakes, just as we will. The separating factor in 2 Samuel is that David repented, and turned his heart to the Lord. So don’t be like Saul, be like David. Trust in the Lord!

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