Scripture Read: 2 Samuel 6, 7
Title: David Desires to Bless God, But God Blesses Him
(H) Highlight verse: "When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever..'" 2 Samuel 7:12,13
(E) Explain: David realizes that He is a blessed man. God has provided for him and protected him for his whole life. He tells God that it is not right that he has a home to live in, but God, via the Ark of the Covenant, does not have a home. So, David tells the LORD he wants to build Him a home, or a temple. He wants to bless God with this gift, but God graciously refuses the blessing and in turn He blesses David by establishing a covenant with him. God promises to establish an eternal kingdom through David and that one day the eternal King will come from his lineage and he will build a house for the LORD's name. Of course God is speaking about the Messiah, Jesus. When we look at this account we see God's unwavering grace and love. David had a plan for God, to build Him a home, but God had a bigger plan for him, to promise an eternal Kingdom through his lineage, and this shows us how amazing our God is. We try to bless Him, but we can't outbless. God.
(A) Application: We plan. We set goals. We create and cast vision and mission statements. But we often fail to seek God’s plan over our desires. Sometimes our will and God’s will do not line up. Our desires and plans may not be bad, sinful or selfish but they are not what God has willed at this specific moment. This can be frustrating on a personal level because we put a lot of time, effort and resources into our plans just to see the door closed on us. We think we have wasted all of our time, effort and resources when in reality the closed door is pointing us in the God’s direction. Pastor James Montgomery Boice writes, “We need to understand that ‘closed doors’ though they are a type of negative guidance, are nevertheless true guidance.” It is important to be sensitive to the Spirit of God and flexible to change when God is the one who initiates the change.
 Boice, James Montgomery: Acts, Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1997 p. 274
(R) Respond: LORD, I want to be a blessing to you. I so often think there are things that I can do to make you love me more, but in reality you love me regardless of what I do or do not do. I am blessed and I acknowledge that every day. I am so thankful that you have great pleasure in blessing your children.
Scripture Read: 2 Samuel 3:1; 5; Psalm 23
Title: David Inquires of the LORD
(H) Highlight verse: "And David inquired of the LORD, 'Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?' And the LORD said to David, 'Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hands.'" 2 Samuel 5:19
(E) Explain: David was anointed king over Israel by the elders of Israel at Hebron. and he reigned for 40 years. David became more powerful and the LORD was with him. He began as a king who ruled and reigned under the authority and blessing of God. However, we see in his rise to power he begins to slip morally as he takes on concubines and wives. This may have been a custom, but it was never God's intended purpose for humanity. I think this was put smack dab in the middle of this chapter to let the reader know that David was a powerful and obedient king, but he also did not take the necessary precautions to set up accountability around him.
Regardless, the main point of this passage, I believe, is to show that God was with David and how he depended on God as he ruled and reigned as king. We read twice (2 Sam. 5:19 & 5:23) that David inquires of the LORD before entering into battle. Inquiring of God is a great discipline that David has as he doesn't just rashly go into battle for the sake of battle, he seeks the counsel of God about what he should do.
(A) Application: David was a powerful and great king only because God was with him. Although we will see in future passages that David was far from a perfect man or king, he was a man and a king who was dependant on God. David did not make impetuous decisions as a king, he inquired of the LORD before going into battle.
We can learn much about David's wisdom in seeking God when making a big decision. I believe we would all benefit greatly if we would seek God's counsel in all matters of life, and not necessarily just the "big decisions". This is why prayer and quiet time with the LORD is important for believers today. During our quiet time we should and can inquire of the LORD about ALL matters of our lives. I know I have the tendency to be obsessive in making decisions and I would benefit greatly if I would just take the time to inquire of the LORD and seek his counsel when I am making decisions or just doing life. I encourage all of us to take time everyday to simply inquire of God and ask him what He wants us to do in our lives.
(R) Respond: LORD, I am completely dependent on you in my life. There are, however, times when I feel like I need to take the reigns of my life and do what I want to do and ignore what you want me to do. Help me to be humble and wise enough to inquire of you in my everyday life and decisions.
Scripture Read: 2 Samuel 1; 2:1 - 7
Title: David Mourn's Saul's Death/ David is Anointed King
(H) Highlight verse: "Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing. Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them." 2 Samuel 2:6, 7
(E) Explain: When David hears about the death of King Saul and his sons, he is devastated. He hears about their death from an Amalekite who assisted in killing Saul. Upon hearing his testimony, David has the Amalekite executed for his crime of killing the king.
David is anointed king over the house of Judah. When he heard about the men of Jabesh-gilead giving Saul a proper burial David honors them by giving them a blessing for their kindness. He encourages them to be strong and valiant since their king is dead and to know that he is now the anointed king of Judah.
(A) Application: One would think that David would be celebrating in the streets now that the man who pursued him and sought to kil him was dead. This was not the case. David had high respect and regard for the position of the king. On numerous occassions David spared the life of Saul when he could have easily killed him. David gives us a true picture of what mercy, respect, forgiveness, and kindness look like. We read earlier in 1 Samuel that the LORD chose David to be the next king because he was a man after God's own heart. David could easily have been bitter against Saul because of the anguish and pain he caused him, but he wasn't. He was grieved because David may not have had high regards for Saul the person, but he respected the position of being the LORD's anointed. I know I can learn a thing or two about forgiveness from David's response to Saul's death.
(R) Respond: LORD, you know my heart. You know how I can be when it comes to forgiveness. Help me to become more like David when it comes to showing forgiveness.
Scripture Read: 1 Samuel 28 & 31
Title: Saul's Tragic Downfall
(H) Highlight verse: "Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor bearer, and all his men on the same day." I Samuel 31:6
(E) Explain: We now come to the tragic end of King Saul's life and ultimately his kingdom. Before his last battle, Saul goes to a medium incognito, to have her summon the recently departed Samuel because God had departed from him and stopped speaking to him. When Samuel is summoned he rebukes Saul and informs him of his pending demise on the following day.
The next day Saul goes to war with the Philistines and he, his sons, and all his men are killed in battle. The Philistines desecrate his lifeless body by piercing him to a wall and removing his head. The book of 1 Samuel ends with some valiant men reclaiming his body and giving him a proper burial.
(A) Application: I refer to King Saul's death as a tragedy because it is a sad story. The beginning of Saul's kingdom had so much potential. He was a man filled with the Spirit and served the LORD, but then he started to be disobedient and his downfall began. He was tormented throughout his life with evil spirits, jealousy, and anger. His disobedience led to the Spirit departing from him and ultimately led to his death.
I think this passage serves as a good reminder that disobedience leads to death. Now, I am not saying that if you are disobedient to God today He is going to kill you. What I am saying is that when we allow sin to control us, God will stop blessing. God desires for His children to walk in obedience to Him and to bring Him glory in all we do and say. So, may we learn from the life of Saul about the importance of walking upright and in obedience to God and in doing so we can live a life filled with his blessings and if we choose to do the opposite God will not bless those who walk in rebellion.
(R) Respond: LORD, help me to walk in your ways and obedience to your Word. Keep me from walking in rebellion and bringing dishonor to your name.
Scripture Read: Psalm 22; I Samuel 24 - 25:1
Title: David Spares Saul
(H) Highlight verse: "May the LORD judge between me and you, may the LORD avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you" I Samuel 24:12
(E) Explain: In today's reading we see the true integrity, godliness and humily of David. But we also see in the Psalm that he was a man who was in despair because of the evil pursuits of the King. He trusted and worshiped God during this time, but that didn't take away from the fact that his heart was heavy and troubled because of this relationship with the King.
In the account found in 1 Samuel 24 we read about an opportunity that David has to take care of the problem of King Saul in the cave. As King Saul is in a cave relieving himself, he is unaware that David and men are in the cave. David's men encourage him to strike down his enemy and all of this running, torment and pain could be done with. However, David does not agree to this. Instead he cuts off a part of the king's robe and later uses this to show the king that he could have killed him easily but he chose to not "put out his hand" against the king.
David's mercy does not mean that all is forgiven and that the relationship is restored, not by any means, because he says, "May the LORD judge between me and you, may the LORd avengenge me against you..." This was David's way of saying, "I will not kill you with my own hands, but I will trust that God will avenge in this case." He is being honorable to the king, yet trusting that God will be the one to deal with the king and not him.
(A) Application: David was the man chosen by God to be the king of Israel. The throne was rightly his, he was God's anonted, and he had every right to "put away" the current King Saul. But in the passage we see the true heart of David. He was a man of integrity, humilty, and a true leader. He shows mercy to Saul because he does not believe he should be the one who "deals with" the king. This is God's job and David, although in despar, trusts that God will deal with the problem at hand, in his own way.
This account should serve as a reminder to us that revenge and vindication is not our job, it is God's. When we are wronged, hurt or falsley accused we need to trust that God will prevail and He will right the wrongs. This doesn't mean that we can't defend ourselves and seek restitution because we do need to advocate for ourselves. What we ultimately need to do is
(R) Respond: I want to put all of my effort in the Kingdom of God, the only Kingdom that matters. I pray that if I ever try to build a kingdom for me that it would crumble before it even is established.
Scripture Read: I Samuel 21 - 22
Title: Saul's Rage Continues
(H) Highlight verse: "And the king said to the guard who stood about him, 'Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.' But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the LORD. Then the king said to Doeg, 'You turn and strike the priests.' Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and killed on that day eighty five persons who wore the linen ephod." I Samuel 22:17, 18
(E) Explain: King Saul is fully engrossed in his rage and hot pursuit to kill David. He will stop at nothing until he has the head of David. His actions are so outrageous that he has eighty five priests of the LORD murdered just because they helped David. In this passage we are continuing to see how the spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul and that he has a spirit of darkness and evil dwelling in him.
(A) Application: This passage reads more like a Game of Thrones episode than an account in the Holy Bible. It is in this story we see full blown evil at work in a man who was once a vessel of God. His rage, bittterness and hatred for David has fully consumed him and he will stop at nothing to ridding the planet of his nemesis. This really is a sad story, but it is also a disturbing one as well.
I see in this passage that when one is fully engrossed in their sins and have allowed sin to rule their lives they will stop at nothing to preserve themself. Saul has eighty five priests of the LORD murdered just because they were loyal to David. I have read about and met people who have dedicated their lives to building their own kingdom and will stop at nothing to see their kingdom preserved. This happens in business, entertainment, and in ministry. Be careful when you spend the majority of your time trying to maintain the kingdom that YOU build, you will fall into the depths of sin and start doing sinful things to preserve your kingdom. This is the main reason why you should not even pursue building a kingdom of me, but invest in building the Kingdom of God.
(R) Respond: I want to put all of my effort in the Kingdom of God, the only Kingdom that matters. I pray that if I ever try to build a kingdom for me that it would crumble before it even is established.
Scripture Read: I Samuel 19 - 20
Title: Jonathan and David's Friendship
(H) Highlight verse: "Then Jonathan said to David, 'Whatever you say I will do for you'... And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul." I Samuel 20:9 & 17
(E) Explain: David and Saul's son, Jonathan had a friendship that was rock solid. Jonathan loved David as his own soul. Both of them had a friendship that was glued together by love, loyalty and brotherhood.
King Saul, wanted to kill David because of his jealousy and hatred for David and this concerned his son. Jonathan was put in a peculiar situation because as a son he was to love and respect his father, but as a friend he needed to remain loyal and loving. David and Jonathan's friendship was so deep that they would stop at nothing to ensure that David was safe from the violent and raging pursuits of King Saul.
(A) Application: Good friendships are rare, but hopefully we all have at least one relationship in our lives that model the kind of loyalty and love that Jonathan and David had for one another. So what is it that you look for in a friendship with strong bonds? Below are some qualities that I look for in a friendship.
5 qualities of a Great Friend…
(R) Respond: LORD, I thank you for the friends in my life. I thank you that my friends care enough for me to speak hard truths when I am off base and who are also there for me during the dark days of my life. Thank you for sending me multiple Jonathan's into my life.
Scripture Read: I Samuel 17 - 18
Title: Saul's Jealousy of David
(H) Highlight verse: "Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul" I Samuel 18:12
(E) Explain: Today's reading is a very familiar storu. It is safe to say that the story of David and Goliath has been told numerous times in Sunday school, at bedtime and from the pulpt. Instead of recapping a story we all are quite familiar with I would like to look at the events that transpire after the slaying of the giant.
David was appointed overseer of the men of war by King Saul. However, problems began to arise as jealousy begins to take root in the heart of Saul. He hears that the people are praising David for his conquests and this angers Saul greatly. Not only does this make him angry, but he begin to be afraid (we read three times in chapter 18 that he was afraid). Why was he afraid? He was afrand because the LORD was with David and not with Saul. I would think this would have made Saul happy since you would want your number one right hand man walking with the LORD, right? Apparently now, Saul was afraid because he knew David was walking with the LORD and he was not. Saul knew that David was on the uprising because God was with him and Saul was heading for a downfall because the LORD was not with him. This created a problem for Saul because he wanted the glory for himself. This is usually the root of jealousy. Saul is concerned because the people saw God working in David and not in him and this meant the people were losing faith in his leadership and ability to be King over Israel.
(A) Application: Jeaousy is hard thing to deal with. I find it hard to believe a person could be jealous of another persons spiritual growth and success. I am in the "business" of promoting and helping people grow, so spiritual jealousy is almost a foreign concept to me. Unfortunately spiritual jealousy is a problem in the Christianity. The problem arises when people are not walking with the LORD and they see others walking and growing this makes them mad. Why is this so? They may not realize it at the time, but their anger is actually rooted in jealousy. We read in scripture that dark and light cannot coincide and this is what is happening in Saul with David. Saul is living in darkness, the Spirit has left him, and David is walking in the light, the Spirit is with him and this tension makes for a recipe for spiritual jealousy. The problem is not David and his spirituality, but it is Saul and his lack of spirituality. This holds true for us today. If someone is critical of your growing relationship with God, he/she is not jealous because of something you have done, but it is more often a reflection of that persons relationship with God. Jesus has assured those of us who follow him that when people oppose, persecute, or hate us it will not be because of us and what we have done, but the oppositions and jealousy will be rooted in them seeing the growing relationship we have with Jesus Christ.
(R) Respond: LORD, I know that when I face spiritual jealousy, criticism and opposition for doing the right thing I tend to get frustrated and run down. Help me to remember at all times that what I am doing is right and it is for your Kingdom and that is all that matters.
Scripture Read: I Samuel 15 - 16
Title: David Annointed As Next King
(H) Highlight verse: "But the LORD said, 'Do not look upon his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks upon the heart.''" I Samuel 16:7
(E) Explain: Saul continues to be disobedient to the LORD. Because of his disobedience the LORD rejects him as the King of Israel. The LORD commissions Samuel to go to the house of Jesse to find the man who would become the next king. When Samuel arrived he brought out his oldest boy and upon seeing his looks and stature Samuel thought for sure this was the next king. However the LORD told him that he is rejecting this person. God informs Samuel that He is not choosing a king based upon his outer apperance (that already happened with Saul) He is instead looking at the heart of a man. The LORD wants a man who will be obedient to Him and have a heart to serve Him. This man, or should I say boy, is none other than David. He would become the next king. Samuel anoints him and David quickly becomes the armor bearer to Saul. Even though Saul has been rejected by God, he remains king, but he is troubled by evil spirits and his reign is about to unravel.
(A) Application: God looks at the heart and not the appearance. This truth has been one of my favorite scriptures for nearly 25 years. God can and does use anyone for His purposes. He doesn't need stong and beautiful men and women to make an impact for his Kingdom. He doesn't need college educated people to promote His will. He doesn't need men and women with Masters Degrees, PhDs or Doctorates to run his Church. He needs men and women who have pure hearts, and the willingness to be used by God. He desires men and women who are obedent, and humble to be used for His kingdom purposes. God loves to use the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary and this should encourage you today because it encourages me greatly.
(R) Respond: LORD, use me for your Kingdom purposes. I am just an average ordinary man who wants to be used by you. I trust that you have called and commissioned me inspite of my appearance and education. May I be used by you because your Spirit is upon me and because you have anointed me to be your servant.
Scripture Read: I Samuel 13 - 14
Title: King Saul Sins Against the LORD
(H) Highlight verse: "And Samuel said to Saul, 'You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which He commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.''" I Samuel 13 - 14
(E) Explain: King Saul was preparing for battle against the Philistines and the people were nervous and afraid to enter this battle. Saul waits seven days for Samuel to come to offer the burnt offering at Gilgal but he did not show up at the appointed time. Saul saw that the people were beginning to leave, so he ordered the burnt offering to be brought to him so he could offer it up to the LORD. This offering was reserved for the appointed person only, and in this case it was Samuel. Since Saul made the offering, he sinned against God's commands. Samuel confronts Saul and declares that his sin has disqualified him as king of Israel. His kingdom was coming to an end and God had sought out another man to take his place.
(A) Application: At the onset of this passage we can think that King Saul's punishment is a bit harsh. I mean what he did was not something that would bring harm to others, he simply offered a sacrifice to God. In fact, I am willing to bet that Saul's motive and heart was completely pure. I think that he did not intentionally disobey God... But the fact remains, he did. God has standards and rules and we must keep these rules. When Samuel came around, he could have easily overlooked this minor infraction and blessed Saul to go forth and conquer. Instead, Samuel confronts Saul. He confronts Saul because he committed a sin and this sin must be confronted head on.
Confrontation is never fun. I don't like to confront and I certainly don't like to be confronted. But as I look back over my life those many times when a person who cared for me and loved me confronted me (sometimes harshly and other times gently) I am thankful, because I realized I was doing something wrong and I needed to repent and change my ways. Unfortunately, we do not see this with Saul. We actually don't see any sign of remorse, he just went on with his life, his plan for battle and continues to spiral down a path that will lead to his eventual destruction. Godly confrontation may never be fun, but when done and received in the Spirit of Christ, it always leads to repentance and a changed heart.
(R) Respond: LORD, thank you for those people in my life who cared enough about me to confront me on my sins or disobedience to you. Thank you that these people lovingly confronted me and graciously led me to a place of humility and repentance. I am a better person for this and I am striving to become an obedience follower of Jesus, through the power of your spirit, as well.
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I currently live in Florida with my beautiful family. The Lord has blessed me with 20 years of full time ministry. He is and has been faithful. I am currently serving at a church as an Associate Director of Discipleship.