Tag Archives: 1 Samuel

Hidden Faults

We are all sinners. We all need Jesus! When we face our sin, we are to turn to Jesus with repentant hearts and we are forgiven. The question then is what about the sin’s we don’t know about? The sins we cannot see?

The Psalmist asked God to provide cleansing from “hidden faults.” He admitted that he was unable to “know all the sins lurking in (his) heart.” God knows all, and He can see everything within our hearts. He could see that David had a heart for Him. We know that the Lord searches our hearts and examines our minds (Jeremiah 17:10)

Today, pray like the Psalmist. Remember, that you cannot see like God sees and you cannot think as God thinks (1 Samuel 16:7, Isaiah 55:8). Even you cannot understand everything that is within you. Ask Him to cleanse you of any hidden faults—to reveal to you any sin issues and wash you clean.

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” – Psalm 19:12 [NLT]

Prayers of a Parent

As a parent, life changes completely. Our focus, our time, everything is different. We want the very best for our children. The most important part of our lives should be the most important part of their lives – Jesus. As both a Christian and a parent, the ultimate question that we hope is answered with a “yes” is a simple one—Did they accept Jesus? It is the most important decision. It is the difference between life and death!

My children both are believers; however, the fruit for one is more bountiful than the other. I find myself often on my knees praying that my child will let Jesus in deeper, that my child will give up the control, the emotions, the wandering focus, and allow the Spirit to move freely. The past few weeks, I’ve noticed things have been changing. The once more hardened heart is starting to soften up. It certainly has been interesting.

I am excited to see the awesome work God will do through my children for His Kingdom. Thank you Lord for holding my children in Your hands. I know You have promised that not one could be snatched from Your hands. Friends, keep praying for your children. Pray like Hannah (see 1 Samuel 1). Keep lifting them up to Him. Understand that your prayers for your children are of the most important part of parenting.

“For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him.” – 1 Samuel 1:27 [NASB]

As an Angel

In 1 Samuel 29, we read of Achish telling David that he is “blameless in (his) sight as an angel of God.” Those are some kind words for David. Even so, the Philistines were going off to battle, but they didn’t want David to go with them. They were concerned that he would become an adversary if he accompanied them.

In verse 3, we read, “I have found no fault in (David) to this day” (ESV). Though “the lords do not approve” Achish recognized David as “honest” and “found nothing wrong” (v. 6 ESV). David was a man with a good reputation. He was trusted by those who knew him.

Today consider the words one would say about you. Would people say you are honest? Would people find any fault with you? Would they speak kind words? We are to please God rather than man (Acts 5:29). As we live a life pleasing to God – obeying His Word and following His will, we too will be on the receiving end of kind words. People will take notice as you rebel against the world, as you live differently than what the world says. Stand up for the truth and you will stand firm.

“And Achish answered David and said, ‘I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’” 1 Samuel 29:9 [ESV]

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When it was time to go to battle against the Amalekites, there was a group of people who were exhausted so they stayed back. I can certainly understand exhaustion. Sometimes I barely can find the energy to swing my legs over the edge and rise in the morning due to my health. This group was “too exhausted to follow David” so they stayed behind.

After the battle, they returned with the spoil. Those who went off to fight did not want to share the spoil with the others who stayed back. They didn’t feel those who failed to show up to fight deserved anything. The only thing they considered acceptable was for them to take their wives and children. No more. But David stepped in. He reminded each of them that God gave them everything.

Some people do more than others. It’s a fact. Some people are equipped to do more. Some people are more gifted in some areas than others. Some people are in better health or have the finances to do things others aren’t able to achieve. Each of us is to do our part as if we were doing it all for the Lord. At the end of the day, we each must remember that everything the Lord has given us. We are blessed to be a blessing. We should never cling to it all like it was all ours – share alike. To God be the glory.

“But David said, ‘You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us.’” – 1 Samuel 30:23 [ESV]

Fat of Rams

Saul disobeyed the command of the Lord to utterly destroy the Amalekites. He saved the best sheep, oxen, calves and lambs. Anything that was good he kept. Anything that he saw as worthless he destroyed. But God commanded everything was to be utterly destroyed.

Saul said the best was spared to sacrifice to the Lord, but that was not what God requested. His disobedience he tried to justify with sacrifice. Samuel said what pleases God is obedience and submission more so than sacrifices. As Hosea 6:6 states: “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know Me more than I want burnt offerings” (NLT). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15 ESV).

What God wants from each of us is for us to know Him, to love Him and to obey Him. If we love Him, we will want to know Him more and to obey Him. If we know Him, we will love Him more and want to obey His Word. Sacrifice is important. Sacrifice is part of obedience. But the fat of rams is nothing compared to a loving, obedient heart for God and an intimate relationship and growing personal knowledge of Christ Jesus.

“But Samuel replied, ‘What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams’” – 1 Samuel 15:22 [NLT]

Fill Your Horn

King Saul was told to destroy the Amalekites; he was given a command from the Lord. He disobeyed that command and God said, “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 (1 Samuel 15:11-12 NIV).

Samuel was greatly disturbed when the Israelites wanted to have a king over them instead of recognizing God as their King. He was upset again when the anointed king would not follow the command of the Lord. He mourned. He went to Ramah and continued to grieve. God asked Samuel how long he would mourn—because there was still more to be done. God was to have him anoint a new king, King David.

There are moments in life when we get stuck in a hole, whether it be the sinking sand of failure or frustration or mourning or comfort (yes comfort), we don’t want to move. We embrace where we are at when God wants us to move forward. God told Samuel to fill up his horn—to get prepared and press onward and accomplish the task at hand. There’s more to be done my friend. Let us keep on keeping on.

“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.’” 1 Samuel 16:1 [NIV]

Pouring Out

Prayer is often overcomplicated. There are so many books, sermons, and seminars telling people how to pray. Over the years I have heard numerous people say that they “don’t know how to pray” or that they think they are “praying wrong.” Some people are closed off when they approach God, despite the truth that God knows what is on each one of our hearts before we even approach Him. Some people stick to a form list or follow the same structure taught to them many moons ago so it is a routine. This is not what we read about when we look at Hannah’s approach.

In 1 Samuel 1, we read of Hannah praying to the Lord for a son. She was “deeply distressed.” She “wept bitterly” (v. 10). She was open. She was vulnerable. She laid it all out before the Lord. She did not follow a particular structure. She did not try to “do it right.” She wasn’t afraid of people seeing her deep in prayer. It was her and God. She truly was coming before the Lord. I can only imagine how she appeared. Eli the priest thought she was drunk.

When she responded to Eli, she said, “I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD” (v. 15). Today consider when you last poured out your soul before the Lord? Do you approach Him with what is truly on your heart or what you think you are supposed to say? Do you approach Him in a way that fits in a box, follows a list, or do you freely fall before Him and speak from your heart? Do you hold back or do you lay it all before Him? He cares what’s on your heart. He wants you to pour out your soul. No holding back. Give it all to Him.

“But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.’” – 1 Samuel 1:15 [ESV]

Hand in Hand with God

When my children were small, I would always grab their hands tight and guide them along. When we were away from home, we were always hand-in-hand so I could get them to move in the right direction, to protect them, to guide them, to keep them secure under my watchful eye.
When you are hand-in-hand, there’s a closeness—a connection, a bond, a deeper understanding. Today’s passage says that Jonathan had worked “hand-in-hand with God all day.” Imagine that—working with God all day long. Jonathan had sought out God before he took action. He followed God’s guidance as he was hand-in-hand walking along with his Father throughout the day.
If you turn back to verse 36, you will see his father King Saul demonstrating the complete opposite. He wanted to go after the Philistines that night, but the priest had to interrupt and slow everything down. He said, “Let’s find out what God thinks about this.” Now you have two choices, to live life hand-in-hand or to keep your hands working for themselves. Today I pray that you ask God to give you His hand and you grip it tightly. His hand is already there, simply ask and reach out. Today is going to be a great day!

“The soldiers rose up: ‘Jonathan—die? Never! He’s just carried out this stunning salvation victory for Israel. As surely as GOD lives, not a hair on his head is going to be harmed. Why, he’s been working hand-in-hand with God all day!’ The soldiers rescued Jonathan and he didn’t die.”
-1 Samuel 14:45 [MSG]

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Making Exceptions

I have always been a big rule follower. When I was in grade school, I wanted to follow each and every rule, though the no talking rule was definitely a challenge. Today I still try to follow all of the rules that come my way. My motto is “we have rules for a reason.” God created order out of chaos and I prefer order over chaos any day!
Recently at work a co-worker didn’t understand why I would not break the rule for one customer. But there is a great problem with making exceptions. We have a serious issue when the rules get bent a bit for someone or something. When we step out of order, we find chaos.
Saul “made an exception for Agag, and for the choice sheep and cattle.” There was a holy ban, a ban that God required they destroy EVERYTHING. Everything was cursed. Everything was tainted. God did not want any of that to corrupt His special people. But Saul and the army thought they knew better. They made an exception. Today recognize that making exceptions when it comes to God’s Word, bending His commands will only bring chaos. Like Saul and his army, we like to think we know better. Truth is, we don’t. Together let us humbly admit it and quit making exceptions.

“Then Saul went after Amalek, from the canyon all the way to Shur near the Egyptian border. He captured Agag, king of Amalek, alive. Everyone else was killed under the terms of the holy ban. Saul and the army made an exception for Agag, and for the choice sheep and cattle. They didn’t include them under the terms of the holy ban. But all the rest, which nobody wanted anyway, they destroyed as decreed by the holy ban.”
1 Samuel 15:7-9 [MSG]

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Get Going

There are moments in life when I need to be given a swift kick to get going. Remember Moses making excuses again and again when God called him to lead the people out of Egypt? Well Moses isn’t the only one who knows how to drag feet. I’m sure we all have been there; my toes have scars.

When Israel wanted a king and chose a human over God, Samuel was upset. Then Saul was anointed king and he did not follow in God’s ways. God then told Samuel that Saul would no longer be king, that He would select a man after his own heart to rule His people. We can sit back and see why God wanted a new king anointed and not feel the sadness, the fear, the frustration of Samuel. This was something Samuel never wanted to do the first time, and now he was going to have to do it again. What would Saul do? Why again? And he moped.

God told Samuel to get going. Get going. Get going. Is there something that is keeping you from moving forward? Perhaps God has something waiting for you to start or to finish, but you are dragging your feet. You are making excuses. You are moping. Repeat these words—get going. Get going. God has a great plan. Trust Him and get going.

“GOD addressed Samuel: ‘So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I’ve spotted the very king I want among his sons.’”
-1 Samuel 16:1 [MSG]

 

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