God's unexpected deliverence of his people results in their unshakable trust and unending worship.
The Christians' love for God should compel Gospel-centered priorities.
The Gospel unites us to God and to each other.
The Christian's love for God compels him to sacrificially love his neighbor.
1 Samuel 20:1-24 (HCSB)
David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What did I do wrong? How have I sinned against your father so that he wants to take my life?”
Jonathan said to him, “No, you won’t die. Listen, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without telling me. So why would he hide this matter from me? This can’t be true.”
But David said, “Your father certainly knows that you have come to look favorably on me. He has said, ‘Jonathan must not know of this, or else he will be grieved.’” David also swore, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.”
Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”
So David told him, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I’m supposed to sit down and eat with the king. Instead, let me go, and I’ll hide in the field until the third night. If your father misses me at all, say, ‘David urgently requested my permission to quickly go to his town Bethlehem for an annual sacrifice there involving the whole clan.’ If he says, ‘Good,’ then your servant is safe, but if he becomes angry, you will know he has evil intentions. Deal faithfully with your servant, for you have brought me into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I have done anything wrong, then kill me yourself; why take me to your father?”
“No!” Jonathan responded. “If I ever find out my father has evil intentions against you, wouldn’t I tell you about it?”
So David asked Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”
He answered David, “Come on, let’s go out to the field.” So both of them went out to the field. “By the Lord, the God of Israel, I will sound out my father by this time tomorrow or the next day. If I find out that he is favorable toward you, will I not send for you and tell you? If my father intends to bring evil on you, may God punish Jonathan and do so severely if I do not tell you and send you away so you may go in peace. May the Lord be with you, just as He was with my father. If I continue to live, treat me with the Lord’s faithful love, but if I die, don’t ever withdraw your faithful love from my household—not even when the Lord cuts off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.” Then Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord hold David’s enemies accountable.” Jonathan once again swore to David in his love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.
Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; you’ll be missed because your seat will be empty. The following day hurry down and go to the place where you hid on the day this incident began and stay beside the rock Ezel. I will shoot three arrows beside it as if I’m aiming at a target. Then I will send the young man and say, ‘Go and find the arrows!’ Now, if I expressly say to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you—get them,’ then come, because as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no problem. But if I say this to the youth: ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you!’ then go, for the Lord is sending you away. As for the matter you and I have spoken about, the Lord will be a witness between you and me forever.” So David hid in the field.
At the New Moon, the king sat down to eat the meal.
The Christian rests securely in God and His power to transform the world even in the face of great danger.
Jesus is alive!
God sovereignly uses both the sinfulness of man and the faithfulness of his people to accomplish His loving will.
God sets great pain in motion for the sake of completing His will and His redemptive plan.
1 Samuel 18:1-9 (HCSB)
When David had finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan committed himself to David, and loved him as much as he loved himself. Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him return to his father’s house.
Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as much as himself. Then Jonathan removed the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.
David marched out with the army and was successful in everything Saul sent him to do. Saul put him in command of the soldiers, which pleased all the people and Saul’s servants as well.
As the troops were coming back, when David was returning from killing the Philistine, the women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing with tambourines, with shouts of joy, and with three-stringed instruments. As they celebrated, the women sang:
Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.
Saul was furious and resented this song. “They credited tens of thousands to David,” he complained, “but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward.
The Christian finds true courage in God alone, and steps out in obedience.
Real courage must come from trust in God alone.
Real courage must come from trust in God alone.
Spiritual relief only comes from God through the Man of His own choosing and in the context of His glory.
God chooses unlikely people, and sovereignly empowers them to accomplish His plan.
1 Samuel 15:32-35 (HCSB)
Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of Amalek.”
Agag came to him trembling, for he thought, “Certainly the bitterness of death has come.”
As your sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless among women.
Then he hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.
Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. Even to the day of his death, Samuel never again visited Saul. Samuel mourned for Saul, and the Lord regretted He had made Saul king over Israel.
1 Samuel 15:10-31 (HCSB)
Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, “I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from following Me and has not carried out My instructions.” So Samuel became angry and cried out to the Lord all night.
Early in the morning Samuel got up to confront Saul, but it was reported to Samuel, “Saul went to Carmel where he set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gilgal.” When Samuel came to him, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you. I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
Samuel replied, “Then what is this sound of sheep and cattle I hear?”
Saul answered, “The troops brought them from the Amalekites and spared the best sheep and cattle in order to offer a sacrifice to the Lord your God, but the rest we destroyed.”
“Stop!” exclaimed Samuel. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” he replied.
Samuel continued, “Although you once considered yourself unimportant, have you not become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel and then sent you on a mission and said: ‘Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.’ So why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why did you rush on the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”
“But I did obey the Lord!” Saul answered. “I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back Agag, king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites. The troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder—the best of what was set apart for destruction—to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
Then Samuel said:
Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?
Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.
Saul answered Samuel, “I have sinned. I have transgressed the Lord’s command and your words. Because I was afraid of the people, I obeyed them. Now therefore, please forgive my sin and return with me so I can worship the Lord.”
Samuel replied to Saul, “I will not return with you. Because you rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” When Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the hem of his robe, and it tore. Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingship of Israel away from you today and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you. Furthermore, the Eternal One of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for He is not man who changes his mind.”
Saul said, “I have sinned. Please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Come back with me so I can bow in worship to the Lord your God.” Then Samuel went back, following Saul, and Saul bowed down to the Lord.
The care and the love for orphans is part of the nature and person of God.
1 Samuel 14:47-15:9 (HCSB)
When Saul assumed the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies in every direction: against Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he caused havoc. He fought bravely, defeated the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hand of those who plundered them.
Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua. The names of his two daughters were: Merab, his firstborn, and Michal, the younger. The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of his army was Abner son of Saul’s uncle Ner. Saul’s father was Kish. Abner’s father was Ner son of Abiel.
The conflict with the Philistines was fierce all of Saul’s days, so whenever Saul noticed any strong or brave man, he enlisted him.
Samuel told Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people Israel. Now, listen to the words of the Lord. This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘I witnessed what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt. Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
Then Saul summoned the troops and counted them at Telaim: 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men from Judah. Saul came to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the wadi. He warned the Kenites, “Since you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, go on and leave! Get away from the Amalekites, or I’ll sweep you away with them.” So the Kenites withdrew from the Amalekites.
Then Saul struck down the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is next to Egypt. He captured Agag king of Amalek alive, but he completely destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword. Saul and the troops spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, cattle, and choice animals, as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things.
Luke 2:8-20 (HCSB)
In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”
Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!
When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.