1 samuel

SSquared

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1 Samuel 1-3

Chapter 1 is a beautiful example of something special we can give our children. I think it's important for us to give our children to the Lord. I mean that in a figurative way. Just to realize that our children are not our own, and are a gift from God. It is also placing our trust in God to take care of them. I'll be the first to admit, that's hard at times. Many times my wife needs to remind me to trust God's protection in their lives.

Chapter 2 is a sad statement of Eli not passing on God's word to his children. For whatever reason, his children ended up being corrupt. Eli sat passively and allowed them to do it. When he confronted his sons, there was no consequence given for their behavior.

Chapter 3 is one of those life-changing chapters for me. Many years ago, I told God the very same words Samuel said. I told God, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." It totally changed my life. These few words also made a huge impact on Samuel's life. As we'll read, he truly was a servant of God.
 

SSquared

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1 Samuel 4 - 8

Today is a huge low point for Israel. The loss of the ark. We've seen the ark be so successful in the past. What was different this time? The difference was, it is NOT the ark that brought the defeats, but God Himself. In today's reading, the people brought the ark forward thinking it was the object itself that would let them win. They forgot God needs to choose to go with them as well.

What brought the defeat? God's displeasure with the Israelites.

Once the ark is taken by the Philistines, God shows who the real God truly is. It is not Dagon, as the Philistines had thaought. I find God sort of humorous how He topples the statue. TWICE!!! And as the Philistines continue to hold onto the ark, bad things happen. It takes them awhile...seven months. And they finally decide, "Uhhh, maybe this is all through the God of Israel." Eventually, the ark is sent back to Israel.

On a different note, we end the reading with Israel asking for a king. I remember reading about this earlier, in fact, I think I remember Moses giving a warning to the Israelites about asking for a king. Well, now it's Samuel's turn. How unfortunate. God has already stated He is to be their King. But the Israelites decide to put their trust in what is visible. Someone who they can visibly see and who other nations can see as a ruler, a symbol of power. A king, or any country leader, is a symbol of power and authority. And this is what they were asking for.

This passage also reminds me to not fear what non-Christians think about my walk with Christ. It's not me they reject, but Jesus.
 

SSquared

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I did a little more research.

Dagon is a deity of fertility and is represented by the head and hands of a man and the body of a fish.

The other thing I looked up was the true root of tumor. Here's what I've found. There are a few interpretations. Tumor may be referring to hemmorhoids. It may also be referring to a type of swelling, or possibly boils. It's not like a tumor as we think of it today.
 

SSquared

New Member
1 Samuel 9 - 14

I didn't really have anything to say in yesterday's reading. It was sort of a build up to today's.

Saul has two mishaps today. In the first, it's fairly clear Saul was impatient in waiting for Samuel to arrive. For me, it was just a good reminder to wait on the Lord and his timing. Not that I'm going through anything like that at the moment, but it just kick started my brain to remember that. And the consequence for Saul's impatience is fairly drastic. The kingship was taken from his line and will go to another.

The second problem of Saul was his command for no one to eat anything. At first, it may seem noble. Whey should the men eat when there is still an enemy at large? The problem is, he didn't consult with anyone, not even God, before making his oath. He was depriving his men of necessary strength for battle. Saul fought it all the way, even telling his son "you shall surely die." Boy! What pride he has. In the end, his foolishness set him apart from his men and his own son, Jonathan.

Speaking of Jonathan, Chapter 14 is one of my favorites. I love Jonathan's words regarding God. This is from New King James, "For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few." Here is someone who knows God very well. He knows nothing is too big or too small for God. Size is not the point. God took two people to make an army flee. God can accomplish big things through those who are willing to be used by Him.

Just a note on armorbearers: In addition to carrying weapons for commanders, they also completed the killing of enemies their masters had brought down.
 

SSquared

New Member
I Samuel 15 - 20

I'm going to just cover one thing from yesterday's reading and one from today's.  Here goes.

David vs. Goliath - It was common in ancient times to have one person represent the many.  For example, we recently read about Achan's sin, which brought judgment on Israel, his clan and family.  In David, he is not only representing the Israelites, but he is also representing God.  David understood who was really fighting the battle.  It was not unusual for a fighting champion to represent their army in a one-to-one combat, which is what we have here.  Goliath stood 9 feet tall.  His armor weiged anywhere between 150 and 330 pounds.  It could only be through the power of God that Goliath was defeated.

The other point I wanted to bring up was simply the relation between Jonathan and David.  When I first read these chapters several years ago, I was really touched by the incredible bond these two men had.  They truly care for each other and love each other.  The point at which they depart and are weeping on each other's shoulders just shows the true character's of both men.  They were unashamed of their friendship and bond.  For me, I am delighted to have had two Jonathan's in my life.  We started out as an accountibility group. We were assigned to each other and had never even met before. We started in Feb/March 1994 and met every week (we rarely skipped a week) up until I and one of the other guys moved out of state 6 years later. These guys have been a big blessing and know me inside and out. It is a huge blessing to have friends like this.
 

SSquared

New Member
I Samuel 21 - 24

King Saul is unbelievable. He is pursuing David of all people. Saul stoops even lower by really showing who he is. He kills the priests. He had no religious convictions. Even his guards refused to obey the command to kill the priests. They knew it was wrong.

On the opposite side of things, David shows who HE is. He had an opportunity to kill his pursuer, but instead trusted in God.

As we read some of the related Psalms, we will find out this wasn't exactly a joyful time for David.
 
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