David’s grace to Mephibosheth

Jonathan and David were the best of friends. If we look at their relative ages, which we can determine from when they both first appear in 1 Samuel, it is likely that Jonathan was up to twenty years older than David. Yet they had a healthy respect and love for each other, to the point that Jonathan was convinced that David would be the next king and not himself as next in line to the throne (you can read about this in 1 Samuel 23).

Before David lived as an outcast from Saul for several years, he and Jonathan made an oath that whichever of them survived, the other would take care of their children (1 Samuel 20). After David had reigned a number of years, he remembered Jonathan and his promise. He asked, “Is anyone still left from the family of Saul, so that I may extend kindness to him for the sake of Jonathan?” (2 Samuel 9:1 NET). Continue reading “David’s grace to Mephibosheth”

Relying on God

There is an interesting anomaly that took place while David was king. It is found in the list of the men who were his advisors or, perhaps we might say, his cabinet.

“So David reigned over all Israel, administering justice and righteousness for all his people. Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was court historian; Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was court secretary; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief officials” (2 Samuel 8:15-18 CSB). Continue reading “Relying on God”

Uzzah and the ark

The Ark of the Covenant had been captured when Samuel was a boy. Although the Philistines returned it to Israel, it ended up staying in the home of Abinadab near Kiriath-jearim. 

David was concerned at the beginning of his reign as King over Israel that he have access to the Ark of God. He said, “Let’s move the ark of our God back here, for we did not seek his will throughout Saul’s reign” (1 Chronicles 13:3 NET). It is a sad statement on Saul’s reign that the Ark was not consulted to discover what God wanted of him as king at any point during his forty years reign. Continue reading “Uzzah and the ark”

Saul and the medium

There are times in scripture when we find incidents that are hard to understand or explain. Saul visiting the medium at En Dor is one of those instances. This is compounded by people wanting to believe that they can contact those they love after the person dies. Sometimes this incident is used in an attempt to show that mediums can summon the dead.

Saul had led his army to meet the Philistines in battle. The Israelite army camped at Gilboa. Just seeing the Philistine army encamped across the valley from them at Shunem terrified Saul (2 Samuel 28:5). He wanted to consult the Lord God of Israel, but God had given up on Saul. So he decided to turn to a medium and one was found in En Dor. Continue reading “Saul and the medium”

Trusting in God

I would guess that most of us have been there. Someone has made themselves our enemy. They torment us and make our life miserable when they are around us. Then one day an opportunity presents itself to get them back, to humiliate them in some way. After all they have done to us, they deserve it! (or so we reason). What do we do?

David faced something similar many times in his life. As you read through the Psalms, time and again he talks about his enemies being against him and doing things to him. One of those enemies was King Saul, who also happened to be David’s father-in-law. Continue reading “Trusting in God”

Trusting in God

The account of David and Goliath stirs the imagination. Children love to hear about the boy David defeating the ‘giant’ Goliath. Even as adults we like it when the underdog wins.

The army of Israel was fighting against their enemy, the Philistines. Each army was camped on opposite sides of the Valley of Elah, a wide valley ideal for a conflict between armies. Rather than instigating a battle, the Philistines suggested an alternative: Continue reading “Trusting in God”

God sees the heart

“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:6-7 NIV).

God had rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 16:1). He sent Samuel to anoint another to be the next king over Israel. God had already selected the one that he wanted, one of the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. Continue reading “God sees the heart”

Are we listening?

Samuel had been dedicated to the Lord as a child (see 1 Samuel 1). His mother had been unable to conceive and she promised God that her first child would be given to serve him. God answered that prayer and his mother took him to serve in the tabernacle with the high priest, Eli.

One night, as he was going to bed in the house of God, Samuel heard a voice calling to him. He assumed it was Eli – as Eli’s eyesight was failing that was a logical conclusion. He ran to Eli but Eli hadn’t called him; he was told to go back to bed. And it happened again, with the same conclusion. Continue reading “Are we listening?”

A shining example of faithfulness

The short book of Ruth introduces us to a family from Bethlehem who moved to Moab due to a famine in Israel.

“During the time of the judges, there was a famine in the land. A man left Bethlehem in Judah with his wife and two sons to stay in the territory of Moab for a while. The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife’s name was Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They entered the fields of Moab and settled there. Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, and she was left with her two sons. Her sons took Moabite women as their wives: one was named Orpah and the second was named Ruth. After they lived in Moab about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two children and without her husband” (Ruth 1:1-5 CSB). Continue reading “A shining example of faithfulness”

Names from the past

“Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah. The sons of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth” (1 Chronicles 1:1–4 NIV).

Names. Genealogies. People who lived long ago.

These usually don’t mean much to us. In fact, we probably think these are the most boring parts of scripture and perhaps we even skip over them when we read them. The Reader’s Digest Condensed Bible left them out as being irrelevant. Continue reading “Names from the past”