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1 Samuel 19






BY: Josh Boles

As I read through today's chapter I couldn't help but think to myself, “Man, chapter 18 and 19 would make for a really good soap opera.” If any of you are talented at writing, because I am clearly not, let’s team up and we could make a killing off of this thing. We could call it “All My Children (Hate Me).” It really is one of those stories in the Bible you can get lost it. It has adventure, betrayal, and multiple plot twists. The best part about these stories in the Bible however, is that they can always give us relevant truths to live by. Remember, all scripture is useful.

As chapter 19 opens up, Saul is again plotting to kill David. In verse one we see some really important words in this chapter, “but Jonathan.” Jonathan, who is Saul's eldest son, and heir to the throne betrayed his father and gives David inside information. Later in the same paragraph we see Jonathan reason with his father. In verse 6 we read that Saul listened to Jonathan.

These verses tell us a lot about the character of Jonathan. One, was that he is a good, and loyal friend. Everybody needs a good friend, and if there is anything we learn in the Bible about the life of Jonathan it’s that he is indeed a good friend. In these verses I think we learn the reason behind his friendship. Jonathan is a peace keeper. He is also wise. How else would he be able to talk an angry, jealous king off the ledge that Saul was on. We can learn a lot from Jonathan here. He stood on David’s behalf, even if it meant his own life, or the throne he was entitled to. I am thankful that we have somebody standing on our behalf. We have a friend in Jesus who looks after our best interest always.

In verse 9 we read that a harmful spirit from the Lord came over Saul again. This is right after Saul has agreed not to kill David. At first glance this could seem a little troubling. That is why I thought it important to pause and discuss this a bit. If we don't investigate this further it might become easy to think that God is just out to torment Saul for no apparent reason. Before we go any further, lets take a look back to 16:14.

We have to remember that in 16:14 the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul. This happens right after David was anointed as kind and the spirit of the Lord came upon David. Saul is losing his empowerment from God as king. This is not however, because God is unfair. It is because Saul turned against the Lord, and made all his decisions apart from the Lord. From this point on Saul would continually make futile attempts to govern without the Lord. Consequently, this harmful spirit from the Lord acts as a form of judgement on his sins of turning against the Lord. What should we learn from this? We should never act in any way that is contrary to the spirit. Thankfully, we have Jesus acting on our behalf so even when we mess up, we have a graceful king standing in the way of the harm that we deserve. This is kind of what Jonathan is doing for David.

As we get to the conclusion of this chapter we read that not only does Saul’s son betray him, but so does his daughter. Michal helps David escape, and Saul goes after him again. It is in the last section that we see something very interesting happen. As you read verses 18-24 pay close attention to verse 23. The spirit of God came upon Saul and he too prophesied.

This was not Saul returning to the Lord. This was the will of God removing Saul’s self control and turning his stubborn heart to the Lord so that the Lord's will can be done. God is sovereign over the universe. There is not a hair that falls off our head that does not fit within His divine, sovereign will. Some might disagree with what I will say next, but God also gives us free will. I don't understand it, but I have to come to grips with the fact that the complete sovereignty of God can, and does co-exist with the free will of man. We see this come to fruition in this chapter. Ultimately, the will of the Lord will be done. Saul chose to stand in the way of that, and it will cost him his life.

Even if it is something small in your life, do not position your choices against the will of God. How do we know what the will of the Lord is? Through prayer and supplication. Take a look at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” This is how we live in the will of God. Never do anything apart from prayer. Do we have freedom? Yes, but we must continually seek the Lord in every choice we make.

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1 Samuel 18





BY: Josh Boles

Today’s chapter marks a point of no return in Saul’s life. It is a point in his life where he will let fear completely consume him. In the previous chapters we have seen the many failures, and pride of Saul. We have to believe as Christ followers that God can redeem any situation. Saul would have been no exception to this rule, but today we read about how Saul would intentionally position himself agains the work of the Lord, and that is never a good idea!

Ninety percent of today’s chapter tells the story of Saul’s fear, contrasted with David’s success, but in the opening verses we get a picture of David and Jonathan’s friendship that will help us out with the coming chapters. Before we dive into the heart of  chapter 18, I want to show you one thing. In verses 1-3 it says a couple of times that Johnathan loved Davis as his own soul. Johnathan would eventually give up any claim to the throne, and even risk his life for David all while betraying his own father. It is not recorded when Johnathan knew that David was God’s chosen king, but this certainly foreshadows David becoming king.

The rest of the chapter will tell the story of Saul’s incredible fear, and the very unwise decisions he made because of that fear. We read in verse 5 that David had success everywhere he went. In verse 8 we read that Saul became very angry at David’s success, and in verse 9 we see Saul had it out to get David. From this point on, the rest of 1 Samuel will tell the story of Saul’s attempts to get rid of David more, and more openly every time.

In verse 10 a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul. This is not the first time we have read about this happening, and it wouldn’t be the last. Perhaps in this situations God is trying to get Saul's attention, but the reality is that Saul’s fear is driving him to act irrationally to every situation he is in. Fear has a tendency to do that doesn't it? Do you ever act irrationally when you are faced with uncertainty?

We see this play out very clearly in the verses to follow. In verse 12 Saul was afraid of David. Saul was afraid of David because he knew the Lord was with David, and I am sure at this point Saul was well aware that the Lord was not with him. Instead of repenting, and turning to the Lord, Saul plotted demise against David.

Saul tried to give his daughter to David, all for the purpose to cause him to fall. Could you imagine doing this? At this point we know with certainty that Saul has lost all capability for rational thought. Fear has consumed him. David had a zeal for God, and Saul was trying to use David’s zeal for the Lord against him. This is the moment when Saul would deliberately position himself against God. Not smart on Saul’s part.

Saul’s first attempt at offering his daughter for David’s demise failed, so why not try again? In verse 20 Saul offered his other daughter and he thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him.” His attempt failed again, and Saul saw that the Lord was with David and his fear grew. In verse 29 we read that David and Saul would be enemy’s from this point on.

The story today is about irrational fear, and how fear can alter our well meant intentions. I know that nobody reading this devotional would ever leverage their own daughter to gain status over another person, and I certainly hope that you would never intentionally position yourself against God. The fact is though, that fear causes us to think irrationally. It causes us to be manipulative, and controlling. This is exactly what happened to Saul. Over the last few chapters, we have seen him slowly lose grip of God’s plan and give in to his fear.

We can certainly learn a lesson from Saul today. We are up agains a very pivotal moment in our Churches history. Joe spoke about this yesterday. We have to know that God has a plan for us, and this Church. He loves this Church, and gave up His only Son as a ransom for the sake of the Church. Don’t get in the way of this. Don’t let fear and panic consume you. Trust in the Lord’s plan, and pray for our future pastor. We are the Church. We have a mission, lets get to it!

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