Tag Archive | I Samuel

I Samuel 17:4 “A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over 9 feet tall.”

Goliath was a formidable giant who taunted the Israelite army.  His very appearance struck fear in the hearts of the Jewish soldiers.  For Goliath was decked out in a bronze helmet, 125 pounds of bronze armor, carried a bronze javelin with a 15 pound iron point, and required a shield-bearer to  carry his huge shield ahead of him.  But when David saw Goliath, he didn’t see an overwhelming threat…a overpowering force or potential danger…he saw rather, a miracle waiting to happen.  For David kept his eyes on God – not the situation or extenuating details surrounding it.  Yes, David was up against insurmountable odds…but he had a secret weapon Goliath didn’t know about…David had God.

I Samuel 3:10 ” The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for Your servant is listening.’ “

If you have ever been part of a marriage conference or counseling…they teach you the art of active listening.  Each has the others undivided attention as they converse back and forth…repeating back to the person what they heard and asking, “Is this what you meant?”  There is much more listening done than speaking, and more unselfish attention given than self-centeredness.  Listening to the Lord is a lot like that.  It is not  blabbering on incessantly about our own feelings and emotions…it’s listening with all our being…taking the time to be quiet…hearing and then heeding His voice.

I Samuel 16:13 ” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.”

God had sent the Prophet Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s seven sons as King.  As six strapping young men paraded past Samuel…each time he thought to himself, “This has to be the one!”  But God reminded Samuel in verse 7, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  It wasn’t until the youngest son, David, was called from the pasture,  that God declared, “He is the one.”  This should give all of us encouragement…especially those who have said to themselves, “I have nothing to offer God.”  The Lord doesn’t consider outward appearances.  He looks only at what He can do through us if we’re a willing worker.

Isaiah 1:11 ” The multitude of your sacrifices – what are they to Me? Says the Lord. I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.”

God looks carefully at what we offer Him.  But He looks even more closely at what we don’t offer Him.  Are you withholding some area of your life for fear He’ll tell you to stop it?  Are you denying Him a corner of your world because you enjoy it way too much?  What we offer up to the Lord is much more important to us than to Him…for what He’s looking for is a total surrender…a relinquishing of ourselves…and a giving up of control.  As  I Samuel 15:22 states, “To obey is better than sacrifice.”   God’s looking for our obedience not some ritual.

II Chronicles 20:15 “He said: ‘Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ “

In so many struggles we can find ourselves totally defenseless…outmanned and outmaneuvered.  And as the fighting escalates, we are worn down and demoralized by the toll it takes on us…mentally, physically, and spiritually.   For when you are ill-equipped for battle…you have no chance.  Why then do we think we have to do all the fighting,  when God tells us He’s got our back?  Spiritual warfare is His specialty, not ours.  All He asks of us is to stand and watch Him work.  For in Psalm 91:7-8 says, “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only observe with your eyes…”

I Samuel 25:25 ” May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name, his name is Fool, and folly goes with him.”

David and his men were holed up in the Desert of Maon where a wealthy landowner with thousands of sheep and goats pastured his livestock…his name of Nabal.  He was married to a beautiful and intelligent woman named Abigail.  David and his men had protected Nabal’s shepherds and sheep…so when shearing started, his men had come with greetings, looking for favor…but instead, found insults being hurled at them by Nabal.  When David got wind of this, he gathered his men to launch an assault on the household.  Meanwhile, Abigail had been told of her husband’s faux pas and quickly intervened by packing up a large quantity of provisions,  and setting off to intercept David.  When their paths crossed, Abigail was able to very eloquently and diplomatically change David’s mind…and so halting the annihilation of her entire household.

I Samuel 13:19 ” Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, ‘Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!’ “

Israel was weaponless…the armaments to protect and defend themselves- swords and spears –  were absent…leaving them vulnerable to the enemy.  We too can be open to attack from the enemy if we are swordless, for it says in Ephesians 6:17, “Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”   The Word of God…the Bible, is the mightiest weapon we have  in our arsenal against the enemy.  Without our sword of the Spirit, we are as unprotected as the Israelites facing the Philistine army were.  That’s why memorizing Scripture is so important…for you never know when you might be ambushed and need that trusty sword at your side.