I Samuel 21 Part 1–The Sword of Goliath

Now, David was on the run. He had no idea on the day he killed Goliath that it would start a series of events that would make him public enemy number 1 to the king.  He literally left with nothing but the clothes on his back.  So, as he faced God’s priest, he had to take whatever God could provide.  So what did God provide–consecrated bread and the sword of the Goliath.  David would never forget that day.  He had already grown in faith and was a man after God’s heart. 
 
David was entering a time where he would always have many more questions than answers and many more trials than blessings.  In the midst of that, however, he would grow to love God more deeply and understand God more completely than any King that came before or after. 
 
 It is in the trials, struggles, and mysteries of life that we are prepared for the mission. Make no mistake, all people love the blessings and times of joy–God loves those times as well; but, it is the perilous times that burn into our conscious mind the true nature of God’s preparation, protection, and provision. Holding Goliath’s sword reminded David of the power of God that carried him past a hopeless battle. As David ate the consecrated bread, he knew he was anointed by God and would simply have to trust God to provide.  Like David, we have to cling to the truth –God orders our steps and in the midst of the difficult times, it is God’s job to protect us and provide for our needs. Help me, Lord to remember your protection and provision in my life!
 
God Bless You

David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever[b] I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.

David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”

The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah,is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.

I Samuel 20 final–It is Time to Move On

 Jonathan, of course, was shocked and heartbroken as his dad launched a spear at him.  Funny thing was that what broke his heart was his recognition that he had lost two dear friends–his dad and David.  Jonathan did as he promised. He warned David and helped him to make his escape. In doing that, however, the reality of his circumstance became real. Saul had abandoned God. He had become obsessed with holding on to the kingdom in his power and by simple force of will. Jonathan now saw that Saul would do anything and or kill anyone that came between Saul and his kingdom.
 
Jonathan still loved God but was trapped in a mess.  He would have to be strong and honorable, but inside, he knew his dad had taken away any opportunity for a lasting kingdom.  Jonathan must have been an amazing man and his sparing David a sign of true love for God and his friend. For David, it was time to move on and trust God to prepare, provide and protect him from the wrath of Saul. It is a part of the journey that all would gladly avoid.
 
In our lives, we often are given insight when it is time to move on. It is painful, scary and usually not our plan.  If we do believe that God is God and will keep His promises, then making those transitions is a no-brainer.  We have to fully rely upon God to lead and make the path straight. Sadly, it is not about the pain and disappointments in life–it is simply about running the race to win and to become like him. That is what David did, and that is what, I am pretty sure Jonathan did as well.
 
God Bless You

29 He said, ‘Let me go because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”

30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”

32 “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father. 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.

34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” 38 Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master.39 (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”

41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.

42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is a witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.[b]

I Samuel 20 Part 2–Jonathan and David’s Covenant

David knew king Saul’s intentions.  He escaped death several times already. Jonathan was, however, David’s best friend and so David wanted to give him a chance to make things right.  Jonathan and David knew that they would care for each other and their families no matter how the situation turned out; so David and Jonathan made a covenant that day that would last the rest of both of their lives. A covenant to care for each other’s families if the other could not.
 
They made a plan to check Saul’s true intention and Jonathan promised to warn David should he find that Saul was out to kill David.  Jonathan was stuck in the middle of two folks he loved but knew he had to honor God 1st and foremost.  So Jonathan went back to make sure and David stayed hidden. While David knew the outcome in advance, he wanted for His friend to be right.
 
In the most difficult of times, it is those that we love that get us through.  They may not be able to make the tough circumstance go away, but they will be there to support us and pray.  We can never underestimate the power of a friend and we must always be that friend to those we have in our lives. Jonathan and David were friends for life and for generations to come. God, help me to be that kind of friend to others.
 
God Bless You

Then Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, that I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? 13 But if my father intends to harm you, may the Lord deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father. 14 But show me unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, 15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”

16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away. 23 And about the matter you and I discussed—remember, the Lord is witness between you and me forever.”

I Samuel 20 Part 1–Great Friends

In the midst of Saul’s mission to kill his son-in-law, David, Jonathan, Saul’s son and heir to his throne, still was David’s best friend. Jonathan had no idea of his father’s hatred of David.  David had been loyal to the kingdom and to his father.  So when David approached Jonathan to ask the reason for Saul’s wrath, Jonathan was truly surprised and skeptical.  Saul and Jonathan were close. They shared everything. Saul was preparing the kingdom for Jonathan and would never make a move like that without letting Jonathan know…would he?
 
Saul knew Jonathan and David were dear friends. Saul did not want to tell his son of the plan. Saul knew what he was doing was wrong, and he knew Jonathan would side with David rather than with Saul–and Saul did not want to face that. What Saul did not know was that God established the covenant between Jonathan and David. No matter what Saul had in mind, God would not allow Jonathan to be a part of it.  The consequence of Saul’s rejection of God would not harm the covenant between these great friends.
 
God kindly puts great friends in our lives.  We pour our hearts and lives into those friends. Those are the folks that see us at our best and worst but love us just the same.  It is those friends we look to and draw upon when we are seeking honest feedback, heartfelt prayer, and continued life support. It is those friends to whom we are available 24/7-365. We would never question their need, we would never give up on them.  I thank my dear friends for their years of loyalty. I would be long dead if not for you. I hope that I have been a Jonathan in your lives; as you certainly been so in mine.  Friendship is a precious treasure. David knew it and so do we.  Let us never take for granted those friends God has supplied.
 
God Bless You

Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”

“Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”

But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”

Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”

So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem,his hometown, because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’ If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me. As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I am guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”

“Never!” Jonathan said. “If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?”

10 David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”

I Samuel 19 Part 2–The Spirit of God

Saul was now obsessed. He wanted David dead. He started his effort subtly but now decided to take matters into his own hands.  First, Saul sent a death squad. Michal, David’s wife, and Saul’s daughter heard of the plot and helped David to escape. David fled to Samuel–God’s prophet, simply to try and understand what he should do.  So Saul sent 3 sets of troops to take and kill David–but as each arrived they were overtaken by God’s spirit. Finally, Saul went to kill David–but even Saul was again overtaken by God’s spirit.
 
We as God’s children have the Holy Spirit come and indwell our lives.  He guides, comforts, disciplines and prepares us for God’s plan in our lives and for eternity.  If we will trust God, He will allow the spirit to lead us and bring victories and blessing.  We have to understand what a gift God’s spirit is. It stopped armies, led kings, spoke through prophets and built nations. Even Saul, a man that rejected God was overcome by the Spirit of God.
 
As we travel through our days, we must be aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence and allow the Spirit to comfort, guide and prepare us to execute God’s plan in our lives. As David has shown, the Spirit’s presence does not exempt God’s chosen from difficulty or trials. The great news is that as we face those trials we can do so with the confidence that we are not facing them alone.  We have the creator of the universe at our side–if that does not inspire peace, nothing will. 
 
God Bless You

 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.”12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.

14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”

15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.” 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.

17 Saul said to Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?”

Michal told him, “He said to me, ‘Let me get away. Why should I kill you?’”

18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied.22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.

I Samuel 19 Part 1–Saul Does Not Get It

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?

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