August 19, Reading 1 – 1 Samuel 30, 31

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Providence, not chance is at work here. The Amalekites are the original enemy of God’s people as they came up out of Egypt. David’s rescue of his own from their hands, is a divine beacon to the fact that David is the Christ/Messiah of God. His kingdom is to succeed Saul’s.

SJA Notes

“But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”

This is a coin-story, two sides.

We see David continue to rise, and act like a king should.

We see Saul, the Lord’s anointed, suffer death.

It is a violent end for Saul and his sons. Killed in battle, bodies mutilated afterward.

It is good to read of the courage of the people of Jabesh-gilead (who Saul rescued early on) in retrieving the bodies of Saul and his sons and burying their bones.

And David’s story starts very low, with the city they lived in sacked and burned. His men mutter, mutiny is at the door.

What does David do?

The writer tells us, the Holy Spirit tells us, that David had a personal relationship with God, and that he turned to his God for wisdom and guidance.

He did not try to work in his own strength or intellect, did not try and find a way through on his own.

He turns to the Lord.

God graciously allows David’s wives and all the people to be rescued, and more abundantly on top of that.

We can be encouraged to persevere as David did, and in turning to the Lord in times of trial as well as success – That our trust and faith in the Lord and His working for  our good is evident. That He loves us and works for us, even at the darkest points in our lives.

* Lord God Above,

Saul was a broken man, who in the darkest moment died on his own sword.

David was a broken man, who in the darkest moment turned to You.

Please help us turn to You each day Lord God. To bring You thanks for what You have already done, what You are doing, and what You have promised You will do. To hand over to You our worries and concerns. To confess our sins.

Please forgive us our sins Lord God, wash us clean today.

Amen.

August 18, Reading 1 – 1 Samuel 28, 29

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Saul starts his messiahship with a feast to the Lord (ch.9) and finishes using necromancy. Saul is religious, but he has never had a close relationship with God. He tries to talk to the dead Samuel, rather than the living Lord. Can you and I avoid Saul’s error?

SJA Notes

“And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him,”

The LORD did not answer Saul.

What Saul then does is not the action of repentance at the Lord’s silence. He doesn’t come in humility before the Lord seeking forgiveness.

Instead Saul does what he always does, repeating the same pattern of seeking out the solution himself, using his own wisdom.

Saul is mired in foolishness.

This is a stark witness to us about how we make decisions, what wisdom should be to us, and also of what Jesus has done and is doing for us.

Because the Lord does answer His people.

He did answer in the act of sacrifice and love at the cross.

And He does answer as we walk this road, listening to Him, talking with Him, sometimes even crying out to Him with groans that cannot be made into words.

How good is it then that in Jesus we have a high priest who answers us and intercedes for us!

* Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your Spirit that works within us, Your people, as we walk the narrow road.

Please guide our steps, Your word as the lamp for our feet.

Please write Your word on our hearts Lord God, please plant it deep down and grow it, please Lord God open the eyes and ears of our hearts today.

That we might not sin against You. That we might be good soil and bear much fruit. That we might see and hear what You have for us today.

Amen.

August 17, Reading 1 – 1 Samuel 26, 27

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

David flees to Gath and its king. 600 men of Gath follow David later and become his bodyguard. David acts like Odysseus in the Greek myths. He deals craftily with Israel’s enemies. Appreciate the differences between David and Jesus. When Jesus visited Gentile territory, he healed a Canaanite woman’s daughter. Matthew 15:26.

SJA Notes

“But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?'”

These words shows again what we have seen over the last passages. David’s sheer absolute conviction in the sovereign will of God Almighty, and our adhering under it.

When Jesus taught us to pray, He gave us these words,

“… Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

It is good for us to be encouraged in this. That we are to be as David was here in this passage, but deeper and more profound and perfectly as Jesus was. To both submit under God’s will for AND go about God’s will in obedience.

When we read here in verse 9 of David and Abishai standing strong over a sleeping king Saul, we can think about Jesus.

Who can put out their hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?

What a question. What a weight. The trembling fear that can come when we think on this.

Because we crucified the Lord’s anointed! We are not guiltless! He went to the tree for our sins, our guilt!

Praise God that while we are absolutely guilty of putting our hands against Jesus, in Him, the Lord’s Christ in total fulfilment, in Him we are absolutely saved.

* Lord God Above,

We praise You for Your grace and mercy to us.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour You are!

Thank You for dealing with our guilt, the sacrifice made like no other by You.

Please help us rest in You, rely on You and find our refuge in You today.

Amen.