Numbers 3–The Levites, God’s Firstborn

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The Levitical tribe had a unique place in Israel.  They were set apart to perform all the duties related to the spiritual functions of the nation.  They were in charge of the Tabernacle and the tent of meeting.  They would care for the furnishings and the Ark of the Covenant.  They would be the priests of the tribes and always be spread through the tribes and not left on their own.

But, the Lord said something unique to Moses–These are to be the replacement for the 1st born males from every Israelite woman that I lost in Egypt.  God had not forgotten the horrible act Pharaoh had ordered.  The Levites were to replace the first born males lost to Israel–the ones that would normally be committed to God. What a seat of honor–to be truly set apart as a tribe, to replace such a grievous loss.  The men of Levi would hold that distinction from then on.

In our lives, God set us apart as well.  We are to be his chosen.  We are to be his ambassadors among the people of the world.  We are to wear the LORD’S name boldly as we live our daily lives.  God treasured the Levitical order; just as He treasures us. We simply need to live as His people, It is as great an honor to live as God’s ambassadors while we walk among those we know each day!

God Bless You

This is the account of the family of Aaron and Moses at the time the Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai.

The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab the firstborn and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.Those were the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests, who were ordained to serve as priests. Nadab and Abihu, however, died before the Lord when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai. They had no sons, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron.

The Lord said to Moses, “Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him. They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle. They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle. Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him.[a] 10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests; anyone else who approaches the sanctuary is to be put to death.”

11 The Lord also sai

I Samuel 19 Part 1–Saul Does Not Get It

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Jonathan understood–David was God’s man and what David did for Saul and Israel was making the nation a leader again.  But, Saul saw that God was with David–Saul was afraid of losing his kingdom, He was afraid of God and he was afraid of David.  So, while David was doing everything Saul could hope for, Saul wanted David dead. David tried to remain loyal and faithful, but Saul continued to seek to have him killed.
 
The world is very similar.  The Lord gives everyone the opportunity to be saved from their sin and cared for by God.  It is a simple choice to submit to God’s lead or to try to do life independent of God. Those that choose to live independent of God–loath those that follow God’s lead.  Even in circumstances where the world benefits greatly from God’s people and their contributions, they would rather see Christians dead. They are forever plotting and planning on ways to wipe any influence of God and His people from the face of the planet.  
 
God’s chosen still follow Him and trust Him, and, while the world makes every effort to destroy us, we continue to watch the Lord guide and protect us from the world’s attempts to make us public enemy #1. It is often difficult and sometimes seems hopeless–but, like David, God always cares for His own. 
 
God Bless You

Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”

Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”

Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”

So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.

Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.

But an evil[a] spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

I Samuel 18 Part 2–Saul Tries to Outsmart God?

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Saul was not stupid.  He knew God was with David.  He was afraid of David and of God.  God made him king, but he quickly abandoned God and tried to run the kingdom on His own.  After several chances, God withdrew his spirit from Saul and allowed Saul to do what he wanted–run the kingdom on his own.  He then anointed David as King.  It was not long until Saul could see God’s blessings follow David in his battles.  The victories were God led, the people’s favor obvious. Saul grew more fearful of David and of God.  

As a result, Saul began to look for ways to eliminate or at least undermine David.  He made him a commander with hopes David would be killed in battle. He offered him his daughter’s hand in marriage, hoping to silence him as his son-in-law. Saul was unable to grasp the reality that God was watching over David and would bless all that David put his hand to.  It was driving Saul crazy.  Still, David remained loyal to God and loyal to Saul. David trusted God as a shepherd, as a warrior and now as the future King of Israel. Saul would not change David–a man after God’s own heart.

We need to decide which character we will be–Saul or David. If we think we can manage our lives better than God, like Saul, we need to expect to receive what Saul received–fear, chaos, and ultimate destruction. If, however, we can trust God, follow Him and allow the Lord to execute His plan in our lives–then He will order our steps and bless our lives.  We will not live a life without trial or temptation; but, we will not have to face life’s struggles alone and without hope. Objectively, it is really an easy choice. God is God–trust Him, follow Him and allow God to bless your life!

God Bless You

Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul.13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.

17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage;only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself, “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!”

18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 So[b] when the time came for Merab, Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.”

22 Then Saul ordered his attendants: “Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law.’”

23 They repeated these words to David. But David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man and little known.”

24 When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, 25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines

1 Samuel 18 Part 1–David’s Adventure Begins

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There is an inherent danger that comes from following the Lord.  David had just followed God’s lead and killed the giant Goliath. His victory saved Israel and allowed the nation to regain its respect.  The king, Saul, should have been overjoyed–but, that was not the case.  Saul knew that God had abandoned him as king.  So, as Saul grew older, he also knew God was preparing his replacement. So when this young man, David, rose from nowhere to become the hero of Israel, Saul became fearful and jealous.
 
Jonathan, however, was thrilled to see David rise. Jonathan never lost sight of God being in charge of the kingdom.  Jonathan, the heir to the throne, became David’s best friend. So as Saul watched–he saw David taking everything he had built away from him. Saul became increasingly suspicious and jealous. David was becoming public enemy number 1 to Saul. There was nothing David could do–He was loyal to both Saul and to Israel. David played the Lyre to ease Saul’s torment. David stayed at Saul’s side–even at the risk of his own life.
 
Following God’s lead is never easy–Saul was simply unable to do it. David was beginning to find that despite his faithfulness to God, he was in a spiritual war that would be much more difficult than any battle with a giant. In our lives, the same holds true–we often find that following the Lord is difficult. It is far easier to do what we want–rather than trust God and allow Him to lead. What is more, when we do allow God to lead, the enemy will throw everything he has at us to try to neutralize our impact on others and to try to make us live a life independent of God. 
 
We, like David, must focus on God. We must gratefully walk the path laid out for us. What we will see, over time, is that God’s path is the only sustainable path to take. We will struggle, we will fail, and we will doubt ourselves and God in the process. When we look back through our lives, however, we will see that God’s plan was right and His leadership prepared us for the battles and victories we were able to experience.  David’s son–Solomon, said it best, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge God in all your ways–and HE, God, will make your path straight!” Proverbs 3:5-6
 
God Bless You

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.”

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

10 The next day an evil[a] spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

I Samuel 17 Final–Battling on God’s Behalf

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David went to battle on the Lord’s behalf.  As he faced Goliath, David never considered his own name, nor was defeat ever a consideration. David battled for the Lord and the entire Israelite nation was the victor.  Israel plundered the Philistine camp. They gathered weapons, armor, treasure and supplies.  David took Goliath’s Head and returned it to Jerusalem. But, David also took Goliath’s weapons and kept them for himself. 
 
Saul was impressed, but, here this young man saved the day and Saul knew nothing about him–He did not even know his family–even though several of David’s sons served with him.  David did not fight Goliath to win the throne of Israel–but, God had David fight, Goliath, because David was his chosen king for Israel.  Saul had no idea what God had in mind–Saul no longer heard from God. So, now God began the process of preparing the new king–God’s plan, God’s way.
 
In our lives, if we will seek the Lord and follow His plan, everybody will win. The battles will be tough, but, God will always provide the means and opportunity to meet and defeat whatever giant crosses our path. If we will trust the Lord, He will win the victory, and we will receive the reward. If we then give Him the glory, God will bless us beyond our wildest imagination.  It is not our job to figure God’s ways out. It is our job to trust, follow and obey Him–He will do all the rest!
 
God Bless You

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath[f] and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.

54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.

55 As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is that young man?”

Abner replied, “As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.”

56 The king said, “Find out whose son this young man is.”

57 As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.

58 “Whose son are you, young man?” Saul asked him.

David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”

1Samuel 17 Part 3–I Come Against You with The Lord God Almighty

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David never had any illusions about who he was.  As a shepherd, he faced lions and bears without fear. He was able to do that because of his faith and trust in God. Now as he left the presence of King Saul, He walked to the battle line to meet Goliath.  He left the premier armor, tunics, and weapons that Saul possessed–David knew that those things would neither save him nor would they carry the day. David marched forward with his shepherd’s staff, sling, and a bag of rocks.  Truth be told, he did not need the staff. 
 
David faced Goliath with the only weapon any Israelite warrior ever needed–faith in God Almighty. He had long before realized that it was God’s battle to win, not his. So as David charged and launched the stone from his sling–the young warrior knew the battle was over. Sure enough, Goliath went down in a pile and David drew the giant’s weapon from his belt and finished the battle–One dead giant and one mighty victory for Israel.
 
We will never be able to win the spiritual battles we face without God’s intervention. Each day, the war rages and the Lord calls us to simply trust and follow Him.  As we do, God provides everything we need to win the battle.  It becomes so obvious that it is His battle to fight and win, that we grow excited and expectant to face the attacks each day.  Still, in the midst of those battles, we have to remain focused upon the Lord and not on the giants facing us. When we do, we can rest easy knowing that God will carry the day.  It has always been, and still is, a step of faith in our God that is all-powerful, all-knowing and in all places and times at once.
 
Thank you, Lord, for being the author and perfecter of our faith.
 
God Bless You

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

1 Samuel 17 Part 2 -A Matter of Perspective

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The Army saw a giant, but David saw a heathen. Goliath was almost 10 feet tall and was by appearance unbeatable—But David, like God, did not look at the appearance, he looked at the power of God.  Compared to a God that created the universe, Goliath was a mere speck.  The idea of fear and or uncertainty was never an issue.  That was why David, the newly anointed King was a man after God’s own heart.

In our world, like David’s, our perspective will dictate our fear.  If we dwell on the giants in our lives, we will live enslaved by fear.  But, if we focus on the size and greatness of our God, we will be confident, protected and provided for.  God does not change, He simply is. We are the only ones that become a variable.  Paul Reminded Timothy, as a young pastor in a dynamic church—“God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind.” 2 Tim1:7

God Bless You

Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other.22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with angerat him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

I Samuel 17 Part 1–Facing the Giants

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The people in Israel were in the midst of regaining their standing as a nation. Saul, their king had been making a name for himself by attacking the Philistine outposts. The battles had gone back and forth–but on this day, Israel had a big problem. His name was Goliath he was 9’6″ and armed to the teeth.  He stepped out to the battle lines and made a challenge. Send anyone from the Israelite army to face Goliath and winner takes all.  From Goliath’s standpoint, there was no one that was nearly close to a match of size or strength.  He neither feared God or men.
 
Across the valley, the mighty army of Israel sat in paralyzing fear.  Their King, Saul had rejected God’s leadership.  He no longer heard from God or trusted God to battle on Israel’s behalf.  So when a mighty warrior almost twice as large challenged them–rather than looking to God; they looked hopelessly at each other. What do we do now?  Israel had become a mighty nation by looking to God for direction and seeking His leadership in war and peace.  Now, since they no longer had God’s direction, they wandered aimlessly and fearfully through the battle.  Make no mistake, God still cared for His people, but the Lord was unwilling to bless a king who rejected Him and His leadership.
 
Israel’s problem was huge–but it was not the giant. Israel’s problem was chasing other gods.  Some had names like idols–Rah. Baal, Asherah. Other God’s were not named–power, riches, lust, and rage. Israel had simply lost sight of the God that freed them, protected them, provided for them and prepared them to take their place as a mighty nation. Never-the-less, God had a plan.  God would, as he always does, bring a warrior like none other.  When he was done, the warrior would make clear that it was God that would battle Israel’s enemies, and God would make Israel victorious.
 
In our lives, we, like Israel, get easily distracted by other gods.  Some have names–Hollywood, sports, politics. Others are unnamed like stress, finances, power, or lust. Still, when we lose sight of God, we begin to be overtaken by fear and confusion.  Our problems seem to be gigantic and armed to the teeth–but, as we learn, they are not the giants we think we see. Instead, it is our lack of submission to God as our Lord. When we humble ourselves, confess our sin and resubmit to God’s leadership; then the Lord himself will battle the giants we face. He will be victorious and He will get the credit. The beauty is that, when God takes the credit–everybody wins.
 
God Bless You

Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

I Samuel 16 Part 2–God Anoints David

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It is a little bit funny, God had David selected from the start. But neither Jesse or David’s brothers would have ever expected that. When David entered the room, God told Samuel–“This is the one, anoint him”–Samuel did as God commanded; and, with that anointing, came the Spirit of God. David had no idea what was about to happen, but, he had already started his preparation for being a king.
 
He was humble–the youngest of 8 brothers, David was certainly taught humility. He was well spoken. It was probably true as the youngest that David learned in a world of adults. David was a warrior; strong and handsome. Finally, and most importantly, the Lord was with him.  God began preparing David long before his anointing. After his anointing, however, there was no stopping him.
 
God is always preparing His own for the plan He has set out. God calls us to humble ourselves and trust Him–and the Lord accomplishes the rest. If we are willing to seek the Lord with our hearts and follow Him humbly and gratefully, then God will lead us, bless us and transform us into the people He has called us to be.  Help me, Lord to be sensitive to Your Spirit, Help me to walk according to Your leadership.
 
God Bless You

There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

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 powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

David in Saul’s Service

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil[a] spirit from the Lord tormented him.

15 Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”

17 So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”

19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.

I Samuel 16 Part 1–How God Picks Kings

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It was time for Samuel to pick God’s king for Israel.  Samuel was still struggling with the idea that Saul was so far off the mark.  In addition, Saul knew God had rejected him–it would only be a matter of time until He would be removed–so Saul was scared of losing his kingdom.  So when God sent Samuel to the house of Jesse, Samuel was rightly concerned for his safety and the safety of the new king. 

Jesse had some fine sons, each handsome and strong. So when Samuel would see them, each one seemed fine–but not to God.  God sent each of the ones that looked like “Cool Kings” back and called for the youngest–the shepherd.  God flat out told Samuel–do not focus upon the men’s appearance, but, instead look at their hearts.  God wanted a king that was of the right heart. a king that would chase God and shepherd Israel.  God wanted a king that would allow God to lead and bless the people as a result.

In life, we intuitively know that it is the shepherds, the servant leaders that truly impact the world. Yet, we all continue to look for the cool kings that look good and are charismatic.  We want to lead and be led by those that others would expect to be kings of our lives.  Jesus was not that guy–“yet, he was truly the most definitive figure ever to stalk the panorama of human history.” Soren Kierkegaard.  Moses was not that guy, yet in the Judeo-Christian world, he defined faith, leadership true redemption of a free people. We can also be that guy, we simply must deny ourselves, take up Christ’s cross daily and follow Him. Luke 9:23.  God never chooses the most qualified; He instead qualifies those He has chosen–Please, Lord help me to be humble, grateful and qualify me to complete the mission You have set before me.

God Bless You

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

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.”

Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

1 Samuel 15 Part 2–Enough, You are Done!

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Not since the time of Noah, had God regretted something so much as he regretted making Saul king of Israel.  Samuel knew that Saul had destroyed his opportunity to be the leader of the people.  He prayed all night to try to intercede, but God said enough! It was so much more than simply not carrying out God’s command.  The command to completely wipe out a group was extreme–but, to understand the wickedness and abuse that the Amalekites caused; well, it was a horrible abomination of murder, perversion, and evil. God wanted all traces of them gone.
 
The bigger issue, however, was that Saul had decided that his name and reputation was more important than serving God and leading God’s people.  Even after this event, Samuel had to track Saul down to where he was building a monument to himself.  Saul was obsessed with being in charge–just like every other king.  God simply had had enough.  So, God sent Samuel to give Saul his notice–“You are Done!” No more excuses and no more chances–Now, God will pick his kind of king.  The irony has always been and is–those that serve God humbly and gratefully are exalted well beyond their wildest dreams. Those that try to usurp God’s authority crumble in shame, obscurity, and futility.
 
In our lives, we need to listen to the Lord and follow His lead.  It will mean a life of purpose, peace, and joy.  There will be trials, temptation, and difficulty–THAT IS LIFE! But God will provide us with an amazing journey here, and an eternity of blessing for our allegiance and faith.  We need to seek Him, as we do, the Lord will provide for us. He loves us and wants to grant us a life of blessing. God will, however, step back and allow us to destroy our lives if we feel compelled to compete for control.  We need to pray that we do not live a life that causes Him to regret His choosing us as His own!
 
God Bless You

Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”

13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”

14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

“Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”…

22 But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”

Agag came to him in chains.[c] And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33 But Samuel said,