I Samuel
A Bible Study

1 & 2 Samuel Outline

  1. Historical setting for the Establishment of Kingship (1 Samuel 1-7)
    1. Samuel's Birth, Youth and Calling to Be a Prophet; Judgment on the House of Eli. (1 Samuel 1-3)
    2. Israel Defeated by the Philistines, the Ark of God Taken and the Ark restored; Samuel's Role as Judge and Deliverer (1 Samuel 4-7)
  2. The Establishment of Kingship in Israel under the Guidance of Samuel the Prophet. (1 Samuel 8-12)
    1. The People's Sinful Request for a King and God's Intent To Give Them a King. (1 Samuel 8)
    2. Samuel Anoints Saul Privately to Be King (1 Samuel 9:1-10:16)
    3. Saul Chosen to Be King Publicly by Lot at Mizpah (1 Samuel 10:17-27
    4. The choice of Saul as King Confirmed by Victory over the Ammonites (1 Samuel 11:l-13)
    5. Saul's Reign Inaugurated at a Covenant Renewal Ceremony by Samuel at Gilgal (1 Samuel 11:14-12:25)
  3. Saul's Kingship a Failure (1 Samuel 13-15)
  4. David's Rise to the Throne; Progressive Deterioration and an end to Saul's Reign. (1 Samuel 16:1-2 Samuel 5:5)
  5. David Is Anointed Privately, Enters the Service of King Saul and Flees for His Life (1 Samuel 16-26)
    1. David Seeks Refuge in Philistia, And Saul and His Sons Are Killed in Battle.(1 Samuel 27-31)
    2. David Becomes King over Judah (2 Samuel 1-4)
    3. David Becomes King over All Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-5)
  6. David's Kingship in Its Accomplishments and Glory (2 Samuel 5:6-24:25)
    1. David Conquers Jerusalem and Defeats the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:6-5:25)
    2. David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6)
    3. God Promises David an Everlasting Dynasty (2 Samuel 7)
    4. The Extension of David's Kingdom Externally and the Justice of His Rule Internally (2 Samuel 8)
    5. David’s Faithfulness to His Covenant with Jonathan (2 Samuel 9)
  7. David’s Kingship in Its Weaknesses and Failures (2 Samuel 10-20)
    1. David Commits Adultery and Murder (2 Samuel 10-12)
    2. David Loses His Sons Amnon and Absalom (2 Samuel 13-20)
  8. Final Reflections on David's Reign (2 Samuel 21-24)

 

INTRODUCTION TO I & II SAMUEL AND I & II KINGS

THE NAMES

I and II Samuel were originally a single book. I and II Kings were originally a single book called Kings. The Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Old Testament dating from the 3rd & 2nd century before Christ) divided them into four books and named them "Books of Kingdoms." Jerome changed the title to "Books of Kings." In some versions the four books are called First, Second, Third, and Fourth Kings. The King James Version carries these names as sub titles.

THE AUTHORS

The authors of the four books are unknown. The time of writing is likewise indefinite. However, they have always been included in the Old Testament Scriptures.

THE CONTENTS

The four books cover the entire history of the United Kingdom of Israel and of the Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The two books of Samuel cover the history of Israel from the period of the Judges to the end of the reign of David. First Samuel presents the period of Samuel, of the establishment of the kings in Israel, and of the reign of Saul, the first king. Second Samuel presents the reign of David.

First Kings records the death of David, the reign of Solomon, the division of the kingdom into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms (Israel and Judah) and the account of the history of the two kingdoms until about 855 to 853 BC. The Second Book of Kings records the history of the two kingdoms until the Northern Kingdom is destroyed in 722 (723) BC, and the Southern Kingdom is destroyed in the Babylonian Captivity (606 to 536 BC).

THE PURPOSE OF THE FOUR BOOKS

The purpose of the four books is to relate the history of God's people and the history of God's plan of salvation in keeping with God s promise to send the Savior Messiah. The four books present both history and biography. They present human beings, both great and small, as they are, namely, sinners. They neither exaggerate

the greatness and holiness of the people (or individuals) nor gloss over their sins and faults. We may say therefore that the four books reveal to us human beings as they are in true history and especially the Lord God in His merciful dealings with sinful human beings.

THE REASON FOR STUDYING THE BOOKS

As St. Paul writes to the Christians in Rome (Romans 15:4), these things are written for our learning and instruction. Since they are written for our learning and instruction, and since whoever will not learn from history will repeat the mistakes recorded in history, we will study these books:

 to learn the truth about sin and the results of sin;

 to learn and to know better the Messiah Savior prophesied therein;

 to learn and to rejoice in the blessings received by faith in Christ, the Promised Messiah and Savior;

 to learn and to practice living as God's forgiven children.

Accordingly, as we will study the history, we will seek that which is FOR OUR LEARNING.

MAPS OF TIME PERIOD

 Saul's Kingdom

 David's Kingdom

I Samuel 1:1 to 7:17 - The Life of Samuel, the Prophet

I Samuel 1 The Birth and Childhood of Samuel.

Verses l - 2 'The parents of Samuel. His father, Elkanah, had two wives:Penninah who had children, and Hannah who had no children.

Verses 3 - 8 Though Elkanah and his wives and children worshiped the Lord regularly at Shiloh, trouble existed between the two wives.

For Our Learning
(l) The Lord is the Giver of children.
(2) Having two wives brought trouble also into this God-fearing household. The actions of Penninah, whom Elkanah loved less than Hannah, brought sorrow to herself, to Hannah, and to Elkanah.

Verses 9 - 11 On a visit to Shiloh, Hannah in her distress prayed fervently to the Lord. She vowed that, if the Lord gave her a child, she would give him back, lend him to the Lord all of his life.

For Our Learning
(l) Difficulties should not keep us from faithful worship of the Lord; rather they should be a reason for worship of the Lord, for He is our Help.
(2) We are to go in prayer to the Lord in time of difficulty.
(3) We are to go in confidence.

Verses 12 - 18 Eli, the High Priest, misinterpreted Hannah's actions. He thought she was drunk. But Hannah respectfully gave the true and correct conditions and told him about her petition. Eli assured her that she could go in peace and that the Lord would grant her petition. She trusted the promise made, since it came from God's High Priest.

For Our Learning
(l) We are to be careful not to make hasty conclusions, but to obtain all the facts.
(2) We have the right to defend ourselves, but we are to make our defense with all respect.
(3) We are to trust the promises of God given to us in His Word.

Verses 19 - 20 In keeping with the promise, Hannah conceived and had a son. She showed her faith by calling him Samuel (asked of God). Samuel was one of the great prophets, the first after Moses. He was also the last of the Judges.

For Our Learning
(l) As the Lord remembered Hannah, so the Lord remembers all who come to Him in faith and prayer.
(2) The Lord God does answer prayer, in keeping with His promises.

Verses 21 - 23 Hannah did not go to Shiloh yearly until Samuel was weaned. Her husband did not challenge her actions3 but did remind her "May the Lord establish His Word''. Hannah was to do nothing that would interfere with the Word of God.

For Our Learning
(1) Our concern, in whatever we do, must be that the Word of the Lord is established.
(2) Elkanah remained head of the home.

Verses 24 - 28 When Samuel was weaned, Hannah came in worship to Shiloh and presented Samuel to the Lord. Elkanah joined with Hannah in the action. Hannah reminded Eli regarding her person and her vow.

For Our Learning
(l) Like Hannah we are to be faithful in keeping our vows to the Lord.
(2) Regardless of which spouse initiates a course of action, both spouses should be united in the action to be taken - no stubbornness, no independent action by either spouse.
(3) The ideal of worshiping together.
(4) Answered prayer should be followed by pious actions.

I Samuel 2:1 - 10 Hannah's Song of Praise.

Verse 1 Hannah rejoiced in the Lord. She expressed her thanks to the Lord by praising the Lord. Note Mary in her Magnificat, Luke 1 46 - 55, revealed a good knowledge of Hannah's prayer.

For Our Learning
(1) We are to express our thanks to the Lord.
(2) Our thanks are to be a praise of God and a rejoicing in His salvation.

Verse 2 She praises the Lord God because there is no one like Him.

For Our Learning
(1) We are to remember that there is none like our God.

Verses 3 Hannah exhorted that no one be proud or arrogant, for the Lord knows and weighs the actions.

For Our Learning
(1) We are not to be proud or arrogant towards one another, for the Lord knows our actions and He is the One Who judges.

Verses 4 - 8b Hannah mentioned various examples of the Lord's actions. The Lord does not deal as the world deals. The contrast between the Lord's actions and the world's actions. His are better.

For Our Learning
(1) We are to keep our eyes on the way the Lord deals with people.
(2) The Lord exalts those of low degree; the proud and mighty are sent empty away.
(3) The Lord kills and makes alive. The Lord alone has the jurisdiction over death and life.
(4) The Lord makes riches and honor, also He takes them away.
(5) We are to serve the Lord therefore in our personal, public and governmental life.

Verse 8c The Lord is the Creator and Preserver and Ruler of all the world.

For Our Learning
(1) May we in all our thinking and planning and acting remember that the Lord is our Creator, our Preserver, our Ruler.

Verses 9 - 11 The Lord governs and protects His faithful Ones. Contrariwise, He destroys the wicked, A human being does not prevail by might, but by the Lord. The Lord is the Judge of all. He gives strength to His anointed - prophet, priest, king, all types of the Anointed One, the Messiah.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord guards us, also against the attacks of the wicked.
(2) The Lord is our Strength always.
(3) The Lord enables us to do the tasks that He has given us in whatever station in life Be has placed us.

I Samuel 2:11 - 26 Samuel Ministered to the Lord in the Presence of Eli.

Verse 11 Elkanah went home to Ramah. Samuel remained at Shiloh.

For Our Learning
(1) Life continues on.

Verses 12 - 17 The wickedness of the sons of Eli. Their sin was very great in the eyes of the Lord. Their problem was that they did not regard, respect the Lord.

For Our Learning.
(1) The Lord does not gloss over the sins of people, even though they may be part of a prominent family and hold high positions.
(2) We are to be good stewards of the offerings of the Lord.
(3) Sin is sin.
(4) The environment in which Samuel grew up was not the best, but he did not use that as an excuse for going in the way of sin; he served the Lord and not the environment.

Verses 18 - 21 Information and details regarding the family of Samuel after Samuel is presented to the Lord. Samuel ministered to the Lord. Hannah was a faithful mother who provided for her son. His parents worshipped faithfully and regularly. Eli blessed them. Hannah was blessed with five more children. Samuel grew in the Lord s presence.

For Our Learning
(1) Individual members of the family are to be God fearing and worship the Lord.
(2) As such we can expect to enjoy the Lord s blessings.
(3) It is good to be 'in the presence of the Lord.'

Verses 22 - 25 Eli's failure to correct his sons. They refused to listen to the rebuke and admonition of their father, even though he pointed out that their sins were sins against the LORD and thus very serious. "It was the will of the Lord to slay them.!" The admonition of Eli was too late; the sons were confirmed in their wickedness. After a person hardens his own heart, the Lord hardens the person's heart, as in the case of Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus, Exodus 8:15, 19, 32 and Exodus 10:20; 11:10. See also Joshua 11:20.

For Our Learning
(1) As parents and those in authority, we must be firm in our admonitions and corrections.
(2) As children and those under authority, we must listen to those whom the Lord has placed over us.
(3) We must beware that we do not sin against the LORD
(4) We must not become hardened in our sins and experience that God hardens our heart.

Verse 26 In contrast Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with God and with men. Four-fold area: physical growth, emotional maturity, spiritual growth, social growth. Note the similarity with Christ, Luke 2:52.

For Our Learning
(1) We can grow in these four areas in spite of an adverse environment. The latter is no excuse or alibi for evil attitudes and actions.

I Samuel 2:21 - 36 A Prophet Announced the Doom of Eli s Family.

Verse 27a A man of God - a prophet - came to Eli with a message. We do not know who this man of God was.

Verses 27b - 28 The prophet mentioned the blessings the LORD had given to E1i.

1) He had chosen the tribe of Levi to be the priests and made Eli s ancestors to be High Priests.
2) He had provided Eli and his house amply from the sacrifices.

Verse 29 The prophet stated the fault of Eli. He looked with greedy eye at the sacrifices given to the Lord. Seemingly Eli was a silent partner in the actions of his sons, since he did not stop them from their actions, though he had the authority.

Verses 30 - 36 The Prophet Announced God's Resulting Judgment.

Verse 30 The Lord - note the full name for the LORD - reminded Eli of the previous promise and then stated the principle by which He will now act, namely, that the Lord knows who honors Him, and the Lord esteems lightly those who dishonor Him.

Verses 31 - 33 In the days coming - judgment days as well as salvation days the Lord will bring judgment on Eli and his house. Strength will be taken away, and no old man will be in his house

In distress the house of Eli will be envious of the prosperity of Israel. Weeping and groaning will come to any one spared at first. The descendants will die by the sword. 1 Kings 20 27.

Verses 34 As a specific sign, the two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will die on the same day.

Verse 35 In that day - see Verses 31 - the Lord will raise up His faithful Priest and build Him a sure house, and He will serve before the Lord's anointed forever. A messianic promise of a faithful High Priest of the Lord's anointed.

Verse 36 The poverty and the distress which will come to Eli's remaining descendants.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord's revelation of Himself and His blessings to us require that we serve Him in godliness. Sin is repaying the Lord's good with evil. Privilege and blessing demand responsibility.
(2) The Lord does not tolerate sin. There will be a day of judgment.
(3) Nonfirmness in dealing with sin makes us a partner in the sin.
(4) Our sin will not make void the Lord's plan of salvation. The Lord will bring about the day of salvation for those who believe in and serve Him.

I Samuel 3:1 - 4:1a Samuel Established as a Prophet: The Lord Revealed to him the Lord's Punishment on Eli and his Family.

Verse 1 Samuel ministered to the Lord under Eli. Rarity of the Word of the Lord characterized that period of time.

Verses 2 - 9 The Lord called to Samuel.

Verses 2 - 3 The situation: Eli aged and almost blind - Eli had retired to his own quarters, as had also Samuel nearby, both in the temple or tabernacle area - the time was before the lamp of God had gone out, sometime late at night and yet before dawn.

Verses 4 - 9 The Lord called to the sleeping Samuel. Samuel thought Eli had called him and went to Eli. Eli had not and told Samuel to go back to sleep. This happened a second time. Samuel did not know that it was the LORD, as up to this time the Lord had not revealed Himself to Samuel. The Lord called Samuel a third time. Now Eli realized it was the Lord calling Samuel. Therefore Eli told Samuel, "Go, lie down; and if the Lord calls again, say Speak, Lord, for your servant hears."

For Our Learning
(1) May we be as ready to answer and serve as was Samuel, however difficult it may be.

Verses 10 - 14 The Lord came and stood forth - revealed Himself in human form and called to Samuel. This time Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant hears." Thereupon the Lord told Samuel what judgment - a

judgment that would tingle the ears - the Lord was going to bring on Eli and his family because Eli failed to restrain the wickedness of his sons. The Lord affirms the judgment with an oath. Eli will not be able to take away the iniquity with some sacrifice or offering.

For Our Learning
1) May our attitude be: "Speak, Lord; for your servant hears."
(2) Sin is ultimately a blasphemy against God.
(3) The Lord does punish.
(4) To fail to use our authority to restrain evil is a sin in God's sight.
(5) Some of the physical, material results of sin cannot be removed by bringing a sacrifice to the Lord, even though brought in repentance and faith.

Verses 15 - 18 Samuel waited till morning and hesitated to tell Eli. When Eli questioned him, Samuel told Eli everything. Eli replied: "Since it is the Lord, let Him do what He thinks best to Him!" While this is a submission to the Lord's will, do Eli's words reveal an attitude of non-concern and helplessness?

For Our Learning
(1) We should be hesitant to reveal evil news to a person, and yet we are to be open and honest in speaking God's judgment.
(2) We are to accept submissively God's judgment, but show more concern of repentance than did Eli.
(3) We are to be thankful that the Lord reveals Himself by and through His Word.

Verses 19 - 21 The Lord revealed His Word to Samuel and established him as a prophet in all Israel. The Lord was with Samuel and let none of his words fall to the ground; they always came to pass, they hit the mark. What the Lord revealed by and to Samuel, the Lord did.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord's Word is true. The Lord today also establishes His Word.

Chapter 4,Verse 1a Samuel spread God's Word to all Israel.

For Our Learning
(1) The Word God gives to us must be shared, spread.

I Samuel 4 The Lord's Judgment on Eli's Family Came to Pass.

Verses 1b - 4 In a battle with the Philistines, encamped at Aphek, the Israelites, encamped at Ebenezer, were defeated. In trying to learn the answer to their question. "Why has the Lord put us to rout?" the leaders of Israel decided to get the ark of the covenant at Shiloh and to take it into battle with them. They looked at the ark of the covenant as a 'good-luck' charm. Hophni and Phinehas went with the ark. Eli, the High Priest, though he had the authority, did not stop them.

For Our Learning
(1) We must look first of all to ourselves when things go wrong.
(2) It is wrong to make articles of worship and of God 'goodluck' pieces.
(3) Religious and political leaders are responsible to prevent such actions.

Verses 5 - 9 The Israelites rallied and made a great noise. The Philistines were terrified, remembering that the gods of Israel had smitten the Egyptians centuries before. They exhorted one another to fight so that they would not become slaves of the Israelites.

For Our Learning
(1) Using the things of the Lord may seem to give a courage to self and to make the enemy afraid; but they do no more.

Verses 10 - 11 The Philistines fought and defeated Israel in a great slaughter. The ark of the covenant was captured. Hophni and Phinehas were killed.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord alone gives victory.
(2) Him we are to trust and not religious symbols, no matter how sacred they are.

Verses 12 - 18 Eli was anxiously waiting for news about the ark. When a man of Benjamin came and told him about the defeat, about the death of his two sons, and about the capture of the ark, Eli fell over backwards, broke his neck and died. He was 98 years old and had judged Israel 40 years.

For Our Learning
(1) Anxiety and worry come when we do not trust in the Lord and do not act in keeping with our God-given tasks.
(2) God's judgments come to pass, just as God has said. May we heed their warning.

Verses 19 - 22 When the wife of Phinehas heard the bad news, she went into labor and gave birth to a son. She named him Ichabod, saying 'the glory of the Lord has departed from Israel.' She died in child-birth.

For Our Learning
(1) How the results of sin and its judgments affect also the family!

I Samuel 5 The Ark in the Hands of the Philistines

Verses 1 - 5 The ark in Ashdod in the house of Dagon, the god of the Philistines.

Verses 1 - 2 The Philistines took the captured ark to AsUdod and set it beside the god Dagon in the temple (house).

Verse 3 The next morning the god Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. The people put Dagon back in his place.

Verses 4 - 5 The next morning the god Dagon again had fallen down before the ark. This time his head and arms were broken off and lying on the threshold of the house. This explained the custom of the Philistines of not stepping on the threshold of the house of Dagon.

Verses 6 - 7 The hand of the Lord was heavy on the people of Ashdod and afflicted them with tumors because of the ark. The men of Ashdod determined that the ark could not remain in their midst, because the God of the ark was heavy on them and on Dagon.

Verses 8 - 10 The leaders of the Philistines resolved to take the ark to Gath. The Lord afflicted the people of Gath also severely. They determined to send the ark to Ekron, but the people there objected.

Verses 11 - 12 The people of Ekron gathered all the leaders of the Philistines and insisted that they send the ark back to its place in Israel, so that the hand of the Lord would not be heavy on them.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord can defend Himself and His honor. We do not defend Him, rather He defends us.
(2) We cannot escape the Lord by moving from place to place. The Lord's hand is everywhere and is powerful.
(3) The Lord is the only God; all others worshiped as gods are as nothing before Him.
(4) We are to worship Him and to rejoice that He is in our midst, and not plan to get Him out of our midst.
(5) The afflictions that the Lord sends do not by themselves cause people to turn from their false gods and to the Lord. The Word of the Lord is also needed.
(6) Continued worship of false gods is foolish.

I Samuel 6 The Ark Returned to Israel.

Verse 1 Seven months the ark was in the country of the Philistines. Seven months they were plagued because they did not respect and honor the Lord of the Covenant and His ark. Seven months the Israelites were without the visible sign of God's gracious presence, because they misused the Lord's ark of the covenant.

For Our Learning
(1) May we never misuse the 'signs' of God's covenant and presence.

Verses 2 - 5 The religious leaders of the Philistines and the people resolved how they would send back the ark. They determined to make a guilt offering of five tumors and five mice (representing the tumors that they suffered from the Lord and the mice that the Lord caused to overrun their land). At the same time they were to give glory to the God of Israel. They were to do all this in the hope that the God of Israel would lighten His hand on them and on their gods and on their lands.

For Our Learning
(1) Adverse judgments from God compel us to take steps to solve and relieve our difficulties. If we refuse to be lead and drawn to God's love, we will be driven by His mighty judgments - to our sorrow.
(2) To recognize the Lord God as one god among many gods is not sufficient

Verse 6 The Philistine priests and diviners warned the people not to harden their hearts as did the Egyptians and Pharaoh.

For Our Learning
(1) May we learn from past history,
(2) but fully and not just partially.

Verses 7 - 9 The Philistine priests gave further instructions about returning the ark. They were to take two milk cows that had never been yoked, yoke them to a new cart, take away their calves, place the ark on the cart, put in a box the gold figures, and send them on their way without a driver. If the cows pulled the cart directly to Bethshemesh, they would know that the Lord referred to only by a pronoun - was the cause of their harm. Bethshemesh is one of the cities given to the Levites.

For Our Learning
(1) Do we put God to the test, instead of listening to and following His Word?

Verses 10 - 12 The men followed the directions. The cows went straight to Bethshmesh. Their lowing revealed that they missed their calves.

For Our Learning
(1) Our Lord is in control, no matter how hard we may make it for Him.

Verses 13 - 15 The people of Bethshemesh were glad to see the ark. The cart came to the field of Joshua and stopped. The Levites unloaded the ark and the box containing the offerings. They used the cart for wood and sacrificed the cows on the great rock for a burnt offering to the Lord.

For Our Learning
(1) Are we glad to worship and to make use of Word and Sacraments?
(2) Does our gladness show itself in our worship and actions?
(3) The Lord revealed His complete control.

Verse16 The Philistines returned to Ekron.

For Our Learning
(1) Are we ever like the Philistines - happy to be rid of a trouble and yet not learning anything from it?
(2) How the Philistines wasted a wonderful opportunity to know and to come closer to the Lord!
(3) Though the Philistines did not learn to follow the Lord God, may we learn from our troubles to follow Him.

Verses 17 - 18 The number 5 of Verses 4 is explained. One for each of the lords of the Philistines and the five capital cities. The great stone remained as a witness in the field of Joshua.

Verses 19 - 21 The Lord revealed His concern for the ark of the covenant. He slew 70 men (or 50,070 men, or 70 men of Bethshemesh and 50,000 of the Philistines). The people asked, "Who can stand before the Lord, this holy God?" They asked the people of Kiriathjearim to come and get the ark.

Having misused the ark, the sign of God's covenant, they did not examine themselves for blame, but instead they tried to get rid of the ark, which would have been such a great blessing to them.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord will not let His Things be profaned among us.
(2) Do we hallow God's name?
(3) Are we ready to examine ourselves and determine to get rid of our wrong-doing, instead of trying to get rid of the Lord?
(4) May we make good use of the opportunities the Lord gives us!
(5) The Lord punishes non-believer and believer alike when they profane His Holy Things.

I Samuel 7 The Israelites Turn to the Lord - Ebenezer.

Verses 1 - 2 The men of Kiriathjearim brought the ark to the house of Abinadab and consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark. The people were not much concerned about the ark; they did not bother using it as the Lord had commanded. For 20 years they were without the Word and without the priesthood.

Finally, after about 20 years they began to lament, to seek after the Lord.

For Our Learning
(1) Indifference to the 'things' of the Lord usually brings about a loss of the Word and God's revelation - a famine of the Word.

Verses 3 - 4 Samuel called the house of Israel to repentance: to put away the false gods and to serve the LORD. Re added God's promise that the Lord would deliver them out of the hand of the Philistines. The people of Israel heeded the call.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord calls us to repentance in like manner.
(2) Our general physical welfare has a direct relationship to our spiritual welfare.

Verses 5 - 11 The Philistines were defeated by the Lord's intervention.

Verses 5 - 6 The people gather at Mizpah (Mizpeh). Samuel prayed for them to the Lord. The people fasted and confessed their sins.

Samuel was welding Israel into one nation. He served as teacher or prophet, as religious leader, as government leader and judge. He is a 'second Moses,' some have said.

For Our Learning
(1) In Samuel we have a type of Christ: our Prophet, Priest, and King.
(2) In repentance we too are to serve our Lord.

Verses 7 - 9 The Philistines determined to attack Israel. The people were afraid of the Philistines. The people asked Samuel to pray to the LORD for them that He may save them. Samuel made an offering to the Lord and prayed. The Lord answered him.

For Our Learning
(1) Like Israel we are attacked by trials and tribulations.
(2) Like Israel in our fears we turn to the Lord, asking that others pray for us too.
(3) As Samuel prayed for the people, so our Savior prays for us and is heard.
(4) The Lord God does answer prayer.

Verses 10 - 11 While Samuel was offering the burnt offering, the Philistines attacked, but the Lord thundered with a mighty voice and threw the Philistines into confusion. They were routed by the men of Israel who pursued them and smote them at Bethcar (seemingly a place close to the land of the Philistines).

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord can and does defend His people and gives them victory over their enemies.
(2) The importance of repentance, confession, trust, worship, and prayer for our national welfare.

Verses 12 - 14 Israel enjoys peace under Samuel's judgeship.

Verse 12 Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen (Jeshanah) as a memorial, and called it Ebenezer (stone of help) and said, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

For Our Learning
(1) Thanksgiving is in order when the Lord gives victory, help, and blessing.
(2) Enjoyment of past blessing gives hope in facing the future and any difficulty that may come.
(3) Thanksgiving is a prerequisite for peace.

Verses 13 - 14 The Philistines are subdued all the days of Samuel. Israel regained lost territory. There was also peace with the Amorites.

For Our Learning
(1) Temporal, national prosperity and peace are given by the Lord.
2) Pray for the blessings of God-fearing leaders like Samuel.

Verses 15 - 17 Samuel judged - governed and delivered - Israel all his life. He lived at Ramah but traveled throughout the land and administered justice. He built an altar to the Lord and worshiped the Lord.

For Our Learning
(1) Government leaders should be concerned about justice between citizens and between local citizens and neighboring peoples and nations.
(2) Pray that we have leaders who worship the Lord.
(3) Note that Samuel was a prophet, served as the head judicial official (government), and carried out the duties of a priest in building an altar and worshiping. As such he is a type of Christ, who is our Prophet, King, and Priest - truly our Deliverer.

I SAMUEL 8:1 - 31:13 - THE REIGN OF SAUL

I Samuel 8 The People of Israel Demand to Have a King.

Verses 1 - 3 In his old age Samuel made his sons to be judges over Israel and placed them in the outlying regions. But they were not like Samuel; they were greedy, taking bribes and perverting justice.

For Our Learning
(1) We often cannot expect that children will be like their parents.
(2) How sad it is when leaders are greedy, taking bribes and perverting justice.

Verses 4 - 6 As a result the leaders of Israel came to Samuel and requested that Samuel appoint for them a king to govern them like all the other nations. Samuel is displeased and goes to the Lord in prayer.

For Our Learning
(1) The wrong deeds of a child create problems for parents.
(2) We are to go to the Lord in prayer in displeasing situations.
(3) Do we ask our leaders to do what we are unwilling to do?

Verses 7 - 9 The Lord told Samuel to listen to the people. The Lord declared that the people were not rejecting Samuel but the Lord. The people were treating Samuel as they had treated the Lord ever since the day the Lord had delivered them from Egypt. The Lord told Samuel that, as he would do what they say, he should warn them about the ways of a king

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord continues to be concerned (He warned them about the people who reject Elm.
(2) Are we guilty of rejecting a leader because we are actually rejecting the Lord? We need to examine our actions and their motives.
(3) Before we demand a change, we should be clear about that for which we ask.
(4) Forsaking the Lord's ways is often the reason for our decisions and actions. Whom are we serving?

Verses 10 - 18 Samuel relayed all the words of the Lord to the people. He was a faithful prophet. He gave a vivid and detailed description of what it would mean to have a king and not the Lord to rule them. He also warned them that, when they would become unhappy with the king they chose and they would cry to the Lord about him, the Lord would not answer them in that day.

For Our Learning
(1) As parents, pastors, etc. we are to be faithful teachers of the Word of the Lord, even though the words may not please the people.
(2) Are we ready to listen to the Lord's warning?
(3) If we serve the Lord and have Him as our King, will we be happier with our rulers and with our lot in life?
(4) Our foolish and sinful actions in the face of warnings from God can cause our prayers to go unanswered.

Verses 19 - 20 The people refused to listen to Samuel - and to the Lord - and insisted on having a king. They wanted to be like the other nations and to have a king who would fight their battles for them. The latter is a shirking of personal responsibility.

For Our Learning
(1) What are our motives for not listening to the warnings of the Lord?
(2) We need to examine our motives when choosing our leaders. Could it be greed? selfishness? shirking of responsibility?

Verses 21 - 22 When Samuel told the Lord what the people had said, the Lord told Samuel to make them a king. Samuel told the people to go home; their mission was accomplished.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord at times lets us have our own wrong way as a punishment on us.
(2) We are to pray, "Thy Will Be Done!" and act in keeping with our prayer.

I Samuel 9 The Lord Reveals to Samuel that Saul Will Be the Future King.

Verses 1 - 2 Saul introduced - his family, his good looks, his stature.

Verses 3 - 4 Kish, Saul's father, sent Saul to look for some lost asses. After much looking over a wide area, they did not find the asses.

Verse 5 Saul suggested that they return home lest his father become worried about his safety.

Verses 6 - 10 At the suggestion of the servant, Saul and his servant went to see the man of God, the seer, the prophet, to learn from him possibly about the lost asses.

For Our Learning
(1) On the basis of outward appearance Saul gives a good impression; yet he reveals a wickedness, for he is easily influenced. His servant actually determines the course of action and sees to it that it happens. (Remember this later in Saul's life.) Do we unconsciously rely on outward appearances, while others actually run our lives?
(2) When we are in difficulty, may we turn to the Lord for guidance and instruction.
(3) The commendable respect for the man of God.

Verses 11 - 14 As they went up the hill to the city, they met and asked some young maidens where they might find the seer, the prophet. As they followed the specific information and direction of the maidens, they saw Samuel.

Verses 15 - 17 The Lord on the day before had revealed to Samuel that the next day the Lord was sending to Samuel the man whom Samuel was to anoint as king over Israel. The Lord declared that Saul would save God's people from the Philistines. In His mercy the Lord saw the afflictions of His people and had heard their cries and prayers. When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord identified Saul as the future king over God's people.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord directs and controls the events of our lives. (The lost asses, the futile hunt, etc., have the purpose of getting Saul and Samuel together.) Things don t happen just by chance, the Lord is guiding.
(2) The Lord's purposes are governed by his mercy and in answer to the prayers of His people.
(3) The Lord is much concerned about the welfare of His people, even when they appear to be rejecting Him.
(4) May we be ready to follow the Lord s guidance.

Verses 18 - 21 Samuel and Saul meet Saul did not know Samuel; Saul must not have been a very religious man, for then he would have known Samuel. Samuel informed Saul

a) that the latter would eat with them at the high place;
b) that in the morning Samuel would tell Saul all that was on the latte s mind;
c) that he need not worry about the asses for they had been found;
d) that Saul was the one whom all Israel desired. Saul did not understand the last statement of Samuel, yet he showed humility in his comment.

For Our Learning
(1) We have the responsibility of becoming acquainted with the Lord's representatives.
(2) The Lord often assures us, even as He assured Saul by telling about the lost asses.
(3) As Saul showed wisdom in following the directions of the man of God, so we are to show the same kind of wisdom.
(4) We do not, at the time, always understand the Lord's words and ways; yet we are to follow them.

Verses 22 - 24 Samuel brought Saul to the hall and had him sit 1n a seat of honor at the meal. Samuel told the cook to bring out the special, the reserved, food for Saul. The Lord through Samuel was preparing Saul and the guests for the future.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord often prepares us for the future through events that at the time mean little or nothing and are purposeless to us.

Verses 25 - 27 Saul stayed with Samuel that day and night. The Lord was introducing Samuel to Saul and Saul to Samuel, so that Saul would be open to Samuel s counsel. As they are leaving the city, Samuel told Saul to tell his servant to go ahead, while they stayed behind. Samuel was going to reveal to Saul the Word of God

For Our Learning
(1) We do well to become acquainted with God's 'men' so that we may be ready to take their counse1 and they may tell us God's Word.
(2) Men of God need to take steps to become acquainted with the 'people.'

I Samuel 10 Saul Made King of Israel.

Verses 1a & b Samuel anointed Saul with oil and declared that the LORD had anointed him to be prince/captain over God's people and to save them from their enemies.

Verses 1c (These words are not in the Hebrew and not in some versions.) Samuel listed some signs that would assure Saul that the Lord had anointed him to be prince/captain.

Verses 2 - 6 The signs listed:

a) Two men will meet Saul by Rachel's tomb and tell him the asses are found, but his father is worried about Saul.
b) Three men will meet Saul at the oak of Tabor and give him two loaves of bread.
c) At Gibeath-elohim/hill of God, Saul will meet a band of prophets. Then the Spirit of the Lord will come mightily on Saul and he will be turned into another man.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord again and again prepares us for future tasks and responsibilities.
(2) The Lord frequently assures us of His help and gracious will in unusual ways.
(3) The Lord by His Spirit equips us for the tasks He gives us.

Verses 7 - 8 Samuel gave Saul further instructions and directions and assured him, "Do as the occasion serves/whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you." Saul was to wait for Samuel's further directions.

For Our Learning
(1) Even though we are assured of God's help and presence, we are to be willing to wait on the Lord and His directions.

Verses 9 - 13 God gave Saul another heart, and the signs came to pass that day. The Lord favored Saul in a remarkable way by enabling him to prophecy with the band of prophets - an added assurance.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord does keep His word of assurance.
(2) He frequently gives added gifts and abilities so that we can be equipped to carry out our God-given tasks.
(3) We do not want to be unwilling to use the God-given abilities.

Verses 14 - 16 In obedience to Samuel's instructions (Verse 8), Saul does not tell his uncle about what had taken place between Samuel and Saul. He remained truthful, however, in what he told his uncle.

For Our Learning
(1) Sometimes it is our duty to remain quiet about something we know, when the Lord has given directions and when the welfare of our fellow people demands our silence.
(2) Yet we are to be truthful and not speak untruths.

Verses 17 - 19 Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah. He spoke to them

(a) about the way the Lord had delivered them from Egypt and from the enemy kingdoms around them, and
(b) about their rejecting the Lord.

Who alone saves them from their distresses and calamities, when they demanded to have a king. He commanded them to present themselves before the Lord by tribes and by clans/ thousands.

For Our Learning
(1) In all our decisions and activities we are to remember what the Lord has done for us and that He alone can save and deliver us,
(2) So that our decisions and activities do not become a rejection of the Lord.

Verses 20- 21a First the tribe of Benjamin was chosen taken by lot, and finally Saul was chosen by lot to be king.

Verses 21b - 23 When they could not find Saul, the inquired of the Lord Who told them to look for Saul among the supplies/baggage. Saul was taller than everyone else.

For Our Learning
(1) May we permit the Lord to be a part of our choosing our leaders.
(2) To consult the Lord in choosing our leaders is true wisdom.
(3) Like Saul we are to be humble when we are being chosen for position and honor.

Verse 24 Samuel presented Saul as the one whom the Lord God had chosen to be king. The people shouted "Long live the king!"

For Our Learning
(l) May we accept our chosen leaders as God's choice for us.

Verse 25a Samuel told the people "the rights and duties of the kingship," wrote them in a book, and placed the book before the Lord. The carrying out of the rights and duties was now a responsibility to God.

For Our Learning
(1) We are to be clear in our understanding of the rights and duties both of leaders and of us as citizens.
(2) This is pleasing to the Lord, who is a God of order.
(3) The carrying out of the rights and duties is a matter between us and our Lord, and no longer a matter of our choice.

Verses 25b - 27 Samuel sent the people home. Saul also went home to Gibeah and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. But some worthless men would not have Saul as king and despised him. But Saul held his peace.

For Our Learning
(1) As long as human beings are sinful, we must expect that not all will support the chosen leader(s).
(2) We are not to be unduly disturbed thereby.

I Samuel 11 The Ammonites Defeated: Saul Enthroned as King.

Verses l - 11 Saul showed himself as a good leader, as he led Israel in defeating the Ammonites.

Verses 1 - 2 Nahash, the Ammonite, demanded that the men of Jabesh-Gilead become his servants and that he make a treaty with them on the condition that he gouge out their right eyes and thus disgrace them.

Verses 3 - 4 The men of Jabesh-Gilead asked for seven days to find out whether they could get help from the people of Israel. If no help came, they would agree to give themselves up. The news regarding this situation came to Gibeah where Saul lived. The people wept

For Our Learning
(1) Into our lives come difficulties that would overwhelm us.
(2) To ask for help is commendable and no disgrace when done in all humility.
(3) Is our weeping one of despair? of true sympathy? of sorrow? of repentance?

Verses 5 - 8 Saul learned about the cause for the weeping. The Spirit of God came mightily on Saul and his anger was great. Saul cut up a yoke of oxen and sent pieces throughout Israel with the message that those who did not follow the leadership of Saul and Samuel would have their oxen cut in pieces. The people responded. In this first incident as king, Saul called the people to unity and to fight for one another. The people gathered at Bezek.

For Our Learning
(l) The needs of our fellow people should make us rise up in righteous concern and compel us to action to help and save them.

Verses 9 - 10 When the messengers returned to Jabesh-Gilead with the message that deliverance was coming, the people were glad. They told -the enemy that; they would give themselves up the next day.

For Our Learning
(1) The deliverance promised the people of Jabesh-Gilead is a type of the deliverance Christ has wrought.
(2) Their need is a type of our helplessness and need.
(3) As they trusted the promise of deliverance and acted accordingly, so we trust the Lord's promises and act accordingly.

Verse 11 Under the leadership of Saul, they completely defeated the Ammonites.

For Our Learning
(1) Christ's victory is likewise complete.

Verses 12 - 15 The people publicly supported Saul as king. They wanted to kill those who objected to Saul as king, but Saul said that no one was to be put to death, for the Lord had brought deliverance to Israel. Samuel suggested to the people that they go to Gilgal and enthrone Saul as king. They made Saul king, they sacrificed peace offerings to the Lord, and they rejoiced greatly.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord's deliverance should make us willing to forgive.
(2) The deliverance of the Lord is a cause for great rejoicing.
(3) A good ruler should follow the Lord and be concerned about the welfare of others.

I Samuel 12 Samue1 Restated to all Israel the Lord's Covenant and Exhorted Them to Serve the Lord Faithfully.

As the Lord kept His Covenant when Israel went in repentance to the Lord when their enemies brought distress on them, and as the Lord delivered them from their enemies, so the Lord will keep His Covenant with present Israel if present Israel turns to the Lord and keeps His Covenant of mercy by serving the Lord. The Covenant of the Lord will abide even though Israel in demanding a king had rejected the Lord, if they turn to the Lord and serve Him. The new era of having a king (going from a theocracy, God-ruling, to a monarchy, king ruling) does not change the Lord's covenant.

Verses 1 - 3 In an assembly of the people Samuel pointed to his own faithfulness to the will of the people and to the will of the Lord. Samuel asked the people to be a witness to the faithfulness and righteous integrity of' Samuel. If he were unfaithful, they should bring a charge against him before the Lord and before the annointed king.

Verses 4 - 5 The people declared that they were witnesses to the faithfulness and righteous integrity of Samuel. The people needed to recognize that they were not fair in wanting a king instead of the Lord and His prophet Samuel.

For Our Learning
(1) May we like Samuel carry out our responsibilities in such a way that we can honestly declare that we have been faithful servants of the Lord and of the people.
(2) At times, we must insist that our faithful service is recognized when God's honor is at stake.

Verses 6 - 7 As a faithful servant to whom the people have witnessed, Samuel declared that he would plead, argue with them in connection with the Lord's past saving deeds for them and their fathers.

For Our Learning
(1) At times we must argue or plead with people on the basis of the Lord's past saving and gracious deeds. We must insist that they listen to what the Lord has graciously done.

Verses 8 - 11 Samuel taught some important truths from their past history.

(a) The Lord kept His covenant when Jacob and their fathers in their affliction cried to the Lord and the Lord brought them to their promised land.
(b) When their fathers forgot the Lord and the Lord sold them into the hands of their enemies, the Lord kept His covenant and raised up deliverers when they repented and turned to the Lord.

For Our Learning
(1) It is wisdom to learn from history the truths

(a) of our own sins,
(b) of the Lord's grace,
(c) of repentance and faith,
(d) of the Lord's deliverance.

(2) These truths we are to follow, and we are to rejoice that the Lord's covenant continues.

Verses 12 - 15 Samuel told them that now they wanted a king, and the Lord has given them a king. But Samuel reminded them that both they and the king must fear and serve the Lord, listening to His voice, accepting Him and His word in faith, and following Him. Then it will be well with them. If they do not, the Lord's hand will be against them and their king. Having a king does not change or abrogate the Lord's covenant.

For Our Learning
(1) Changing times and conditions are no excuse for turning from the Lord's covenant.
(2) Our keeping the Lord's covenant listening to Him, believing in Him, following Him - is all-important.

Verses 16 - 18 As a proof of what he was saying, Samuel declared that he would call on the Lord to send thunder and rain - it does not rain in Palestine during the time of the wheat harvest. Thereby the people were to know what a great wickedness they had done in asking for a king and that they needed to repent. Samuel prayed; the Lord sent thunder and rain; and the people feared the Lord and Samuel. (The physical sign reminds us of the physical signs at the Exodus and at Mt. Sinai.)

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord's covenant stands sure, attested by many signs and miracles in the history of salvation which are recorded for us in Scriptures.
(2) The Lord of the covenant is also the God of Creation and Ruler of the thunder and rain.
(3) May we stand in awe of the Lord of the covenant.

Verse 19 The people asked Samuel to pray to the Lord his God that they may not die for their sins and for the additional sign of asking for a king. Did they actually own the Lord as their own God? They had referred to the Lord as the God of Samuel and not as their own God.

For Our Learning
(1) To confess our sins, in general and in specifics, is a good activity.
(2) To ask others to pray for us is commendable.
(3) To own the Lord only as someone's God is not enough. We are to own the Lord as our God.

Verses 20 - 23 Samuel told the people

(a) that they should not turn away from the Lord because of their sin;
(b) that they should serve the Lord faithfully and not turn to vain things and idols that cannot save;
(c) that the Lord will not cast away His people for His own name's sake - His grace - because the Lord in His love has made them His people. (The Lord's covenant is restated and recalled.);
(d) that he, Samuel, would pray for them;
(e) that he, Samuel, would continue to instruct them in the right way - the teaching, preaching, prophetic ministry would continue. Like Moses and Joshua, Samuel presented to them a choice: Serve the Lord faithfully because of the great things the Lord had done for them (Gospel motivation and power); OR Do wickedly and be lost, both they and their king.

For Our Learning
(1) Our past sins are no reason for not turning to the Lord and serving Him, for the Lord God has forgiven all our sins.
(2) The Lord's covenant of grace in the Messiah/Christ is the motive to serve the Lord
(3) The Lord's actions are based on His grace and love.
(4) The Lord's covenant keeps us from despairing on account of our sins.
(5) However, our wickedness can make the Lord's covenant of no value to us, if we do not repent.
(6) The Gospel Ministry - teaching, preaching, praying, witnessing - will continue to the end of the world.

I Samuel 13 In the Wars With the Philistines, Saul Did Foolishly.

Verse 1 The two numbers are missing in the Hebrew. In Acts 13:21 Paul stated that Saul was king for 40 years.

Verses 2 - 4 Skirmishes with the Philistines. Saul had a group with him at Michmash, and Jonathan had a smaller group at Gibeah. The rest of the people were sent home. Jonathan's forces defeated some of the Philistines. (The brevity of the account makes it difficult to understand all that happened. The purpose of the account is to reveal the character and person of Saul and the Lord as the Helper.) The Philistines hated the people of Israel. Saul called on the men of Israel to join him at Gilgal.

Verses 5 - 7 The Philistines gathered a large group to fight against Israel at Michmash. The people of Israel were very fearful and hid themselves or fled across the Jordan River. Some remained at Gilgal.

For Our Learning
(1) Having a king does not lessen the threats and dangers that can beset us and does not solve our problems. No one can solve our problems for us; we must face them - with the help of the Lord.
(2) Troubled times demand reliance on and the following of the Lord.
(3) The Lord some times permits troubled times so that we learn the more to trust and follow Him.

Verses 8 - 14 Saul foolishly offered sacrifice - an act that only the priests were to do. Samuel informed him that as a result his kingdom would not continue.

Verses 8 - 9 Saul waited seven days for Samuel to come to Gilgal (see chapter 10:8), and then himself offered the burnt offering. He usurped the office of the priest, and thereby revealed his impetuosity and impulsiveness and his lust for power.

Verses 10 - 12 When Samuel came, he asked, "What have you done?" Saul declared that he needed to entreat the Lord before the Philistines would attack. Therefore he forced himself to make the sacrifice.

Verses 13 - 14 Samuel informed Saul that he had done foolishly, because he had not kept the commandments of the Lord his God. If he had, the Lord would have established his kingdom forever. But since he had not, the Lord had sought out and appointed one after God's own heart. Again Samuel stated the reason - Saul had not kept what the Lord had commanded. Note: These verses reveal what kind of a person Saul was.

Verse 15a Samuel left. Saul lost the guidance and blessing of the Lord.

For Our Learning
(1) We are to wait on the Lord.
(2) We can deceive ourselves and make ourselves believe that we are doing the correct thing when we actually are not, but are acting foolishly.
(3) The most important activity for us is keeping the commandments of the Lord (both Law and Gospel).
(4) A show of piety is not enough.
(5) Disobedience to the Lord's commandments - if we fail to repent - brings harmful and lasting results.

Verses 15b - 18 Saul's limited resources of man power in the face of the three-pronged raids of the Philistines. The situation described.

Verses 19 - 23 Saul's limited resources of man power, furthermore little or no weapons. The Philistines had seen to it that no smiths (blacksmiths) could be in Israel. The people of Israel had to go to the Philistines to get their plowshares, axes, sickles, etc., sharpened. Only Saul and Jonathan had some weapons. The situation for the Israelites was very grave.

For Our Learning
(1) In the face of our spiritual enemies, we have either no or limited resources, whether man power or weapons. Of ourselves we have no hope.

I Samuel 14 In the Philistine Campaigns the Personal Character of Saul Was Further Revealed.

Verses 1 - 15 Jonathan and his armor bearer smote a garrison of the Philistines.

Verses 1 - 3 Jonathan and his armor-bearer determined to make a surprise attack on the Philistines. Neither Saul nor the people knew about it.

Verses 4 - 5 The pass is described by which Jonathan planned to attack.

Verses 6 - 7 Jonathan showed humble trust in the Lord. He was confident that the Lord would work for them, for "nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few." Jonathan and his armor-bearer were completely in agreement.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord is not limited by size or by numbers to give help and victory and to save.
(2) In carrying out cur duties may we show the same type of trust and confidence that Jonathan showed.

Verses 8 - 10 The plan of Jonathan:

a) they would show themselves to the Philistines;
b) if the Philistines said, "Come up to us," Jonathan would know that the Lord had given the Philistines into their hands.

Verses 11 - 12 So it came to pass. Jonathan knew that the Lord had given the enemy into their hands.

For Our Learning
(1) We are to seek to learn whether the Lord is on our side and thus to follow the Lord's will.

Verses 13 - 15 Jonathan and his armor-bearer crawled up and attacked successfully. There was panic, the earth quaked. The panic was very great, literally, a panic of God, cf. Genesis 35:5.

For Our Learning
(1) When our efforts enjoy the Lord's blessings, there will be success in keeping with the Lord's will.

Verses 16 - 23 The Defeat and Flight of the Philistines

Verses16 - 17 When Saul s watchmen saw the tumult among the Philistines, Saul called roll to find out who w-as gone He learned that Jonathan and his armor-bearer were missing

Verse18 Saul asked Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod according to verse 3, to come forward with the ark, or with the ephod. (The ark was never used in this manner, and it was at Kiriath-jearim, chapter 7:2 The word for ark and for ephod are very similar. The ephod was used to make inquiry of the Lord. The Septuagint has ephod.)

Verse 19 Saul did not wait for an answer from the priest wearing the ephod: This act revealed Saul as impulsive; he did not wait for an answer from the Lord

For Our Learning
(1) It is a mistake to inquire of the Lord and then not to give the Lord an opportunity to answer, but rather to do what one rashly has determined to do

Verses 20 - 22 Saul and all those with him went into battle- There was great confusion among the Philistines The Hebrews who were slaves/ mercenaries of the Philistines, as well as the men of Israel who had been hiding, joined the forces of Saul and fought hard in battle

Verse 23 The Lord delivered Israel In spite of the impulsive action of Saul, the Lord gave the victory to Israel.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord is the Giver of Victory and Deliverance.
(2) The Lord can give the victory in spite of our wrong and/or impulsive actions.
(3) The Lord can and does find many unexpected resources to give the victory

Verses 24 - 35 Jonathan in ignorance transgresses Saul's foolish oath and command

Verses 24 - 26 The men of Israel were distressed/wearied and faint because of a lack of food Saul had laid on the people an oath that placed a curse on them if they would eat before evening He was foolish and rash in the oath, even though it may have seemed pious, and in its motive, which was his own selfishness (avenged on my enemies). Even when they saw honey dropping to the ground, they did not eat of the honey.

For Our Learning
(1) An unnecessary and/or rash oath is wrong
(2) Beware that our own desires and selfishness do not mislead us Beware of wrong motives

Verse 27 Ignorant of his father's oath and command, Jonathan ate of the honey and was refreshed and strengthened

Verses 28 - 30 When one of the people told Jonathan about his father s oath and curse, Jonathan declared that his father had troubled the land Jonathan pointed out that the honey had revived him, that it would have been better if the men had eaten freely, and that because of the oath and curse the slaughter was not great The rash oath of Saul had brought trouble on the people:

For Our Learning
(1) Rash and unnecessary oaths and curses bring harm. ~ Impulsive actions are often non-profitable and counter productive.

Verses 31 - 35 As a result of the prolonged activity of fighting - from Michmash to Aijalon is more than 20 miles - the people were very faint and hungry. They pounced on the spoil, killed sheep and oxen and calves, and ate them with the blood. When Saul learned of this, he arranged for the proper way, so that they would not sin against the Lord. Saul had an altar built to the Lord Saul did not realize that he was the real cause for the sinful action of the people.

For Our Learning
(1) When faint, we can easily become guilty of sinning against the Lord.
(2) Beware lest we cause people to sin because of our previous actions.
(3) It is praiseworthy to make arrangements so that people do not continue in their sins but may worship and live properly.
(4) Consistent piety must be our desire and goal.

Verses 36 - 46 Jonathan's Danger and Deliverance.

Verses 36 - 37 When Saul suggested that they go after the Philistines during the night and despoil all of them, the people agreed, but the priest suggested that they consult God first. When Saul inquired of God, he received no answer that day.

For Our Learning
(1) As the priest suggested, we are to go to the Lord God in prayer for guidance, when we consider some activity.
(2) The Lord may not answer at once (that day) so that we may examine our actions and come to repentance if necessary

Verses 38 - 39 Saul was determined to learn who was guilty of the sin that caused God not to answer. Note again the rashness and unnecessary harshness. But no one told Saul what Jonathan had done in ignorance.

For Our Learning
(1) Rashness and harshness are not necessary.
(2) He who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing hidden, Proverbs 11:13.

Verses 40 - 42 Saul asked the Lord God of Israel (note the full name) to reveal the one guilty. By means of Urim and Thumnim ('give a perfect lot' is the phrase in KJV) Jonathan was finally taken. Regarding Urim and Thummim, see Exodus 28 30; Numbers 27: 21; 1 Samuel 28 6; Ezra 2: 63, and Nehemiah 7: 65

Verse 43 Jonathan told how he had eaten some honey. He was willing to submit to Saul and to die.

Verses 44 - 45 Saul very rashly by an oath declared that Jonathan should die. But the people intervened and refused to let Jonathan die. They ransomed Jonathan (made some type of offering for him) so that he did not die. They appreciated Jonathan's heroic actions and the injustice of the entire event:

For Our Learning
(1) May we avoid, in addition to rashness and harshness, unnecessary oaths. May we rather appreciate the good actions of others.
(2) Are we ready to come to the defense of one another and do what we can to deliver one who has unjustly become guilty of a 'crime?'
(3) Note how the character of Saul is being revealed and already is slowly deteriorating.

Verse 46 Saul and the Philistines had an undeclared truce.

Verses 47 - 48 Summary of Saul s wars with Israel s enemies. Saul successfully delivered Israel out of the hands of the enemies who plundered them. Saul was above average in his ability and efforts as a leader in war.

Verses 49 - 51 An account of Saul's family: This information gives us an understanding of some incidents that will take place later

Verse 52 All the days of Saul the Philistines were a constant enemy. Therefore Saul conscripted and drafted a good army

For Our Learning
(1) Scripture is honest in acknowledging the good traits a person has, as in the case of Saul. May we learn this trait.

I Samuel l5 The Lord Rejects Saul as King

Verses l - 3 Samuel brought to Saul the Lord's command to destroy Amalek and to spare nothing. Samuel reminded Saul that the Lord had made him king over Israel and that therefore Saul should obey Him (motive for obeying). The Lord gave the reason for commanding the complete destruction of Amalek, namely, what they had done to Israel on the way to the Promised Land, about 400 years before Exodus 17- 8ff and Deuteronomy 25: 17ff

For Our Learning
(l) Past blessings are the compelling motive for obeying the Lord
(2) The Lord does punish people and nations for their past sins also today
(3) The Lord is slow and not hasty to bring punishment; He patiently gives time and opportunity for repentance, 2 Peter 3:9, 15
(4) We are not to misread the patience and apparent slowness of the Lord as either approval or indifference on the Lord's part

Verses 4 - 9 Saul obeyed the command of the Lord. He told the Kenites (Judges 1:16) to depart from the Amalekites. They did. Saul then defeated the Amalekites But Saul and the people spared King Agag and the best of the sheep and oxen, and destroyed the despised and worthless

For Our Learning
(l) As the Lord protected the Kenites, so the Lord protects those who have served Him and/or those who are descendants of those who have befriended God's people.
(2) The Lord keeps His promise that He makes when He gives a command

Verses 10 - 23 Samuel informed Saul that the Lord had rejected him because of his disobedience

Verses l0 -11a The Lord told Samuel that He had repented that He had made Saul king and cited Saul's disobedience

Verses 11a - 12 Samuel was angry and cried/pleaded/prayed to the Lord all night Early the next morning he went to meet Saul Samuel was told that Saul had made a monument for himself at Carmel (south of Hebron)

Verse13 When Samuel met Saul at Gilgal, Saul said: "Blessed be you to the Lord" and stated that he had obeyed the Lord's command.

Verses 14 - 15 When Samuel asked about the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen, Saul explained that the people had spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the Lord, but that they had destroyed all the rest.

Verse 16 Samuel told Saul that he would tell Saul what the Lord had said to Samuel that night. Saul readily said, "Say on."

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord is angry when His commands are disobeyed.
(2) In our justifiable anger, do we pray to the Lord for the person(s) with whom the Lord is displeased?
(3) Pride and a desire for self-praise are dangerous.
(4) It is wrong to try to justify or cover up our wrong actions.
(5) We are not to blame others when we fail to obey.

Verses17 - 19 Samuel related to Saul how the Lord had blessed Saul, how the Lord had sent him on a mission with a specific command. Then Samuel asked "Why did you not obey the voice of the Lord?" (To obey the voice of the Lord includes both the obedience of faith and the obedience of actions.) "Why did you do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?"

Verses 20 - 21 Saul insisted that he had obeyed the voice of the Lord, but he had spared Agag and the people had taken of the spoil in order to sacrifice to the 'Lord your (not 'our') God' in Gilgal.

Verses 22 - 23 Samuel declared that since the Lord delights in obedience more than in sacrifice9 since therefore to obey is better than to sacrifice, and since Saul had rejected the Word of the LORD, the LORD had rejected Saul from being king.

For Our Learning
(l) We can easily deceive ourselves into thinking we have obeyed the Lord when we have actually only obeyed ourselves.
(2) The Lord is not satisfied with partial obedience.
(3) We cannot cover up our disobedience under the guise of piety.
(4) Rebellion against the Word of the Lord is rebellion against the Lord.
(5) Stubbornness is iniquity and idolatry.
(6) If we reject the Word of the Lord, the Lord will reject us.
(7) We must keep our values and priorities correct and proper.
(8) Those in high position and honor car, fall as well as those in lowly position.

Verses 24 - 31 Saul appeared to repent, but his being rejected as King did not change.

Verses 24 - 26 Saul confessed his sin but explained that he had feared the people and had obeyed their voice. Actually he had no reason to be afraid of their voice. When Saul asked Samuel to pardon his sin and to return with him so that Saul might worship the Lord, Samuel declared he would not return with him because Saul had rejected the Word of the Lord and the Lord had rejected him as king over Israel. Seemingly Saul wanted Samuel to go with him and give the impression that all was well. Saul was more concerned about his relationship with the people than with the Lord.

For Our Learning
(1) To alibi our sins is not part of sincere repentance.
(2) To confess a lesser sir. instead of a greater sin is not a part of true repentance. Saul never confessed that he had rejected the Word of the Lord.
(3) A show of piety is insufficient reason for pressing for forgiveness.
(4) What is/are our motive(s) for admitting a fault?

Verses 27 - 29 When Samuel turned to leave, Saul grabbed his robe, and it tore. Samuel declared that the Lord had likewise torn the kingdom of Israel from Saul and given it to a neighbor who was better than he. At the same time Samuel declared that the Glory of Israel does not change or lie, God does not lie or change. These words would remind Saul of the Glory of the Lord as revealed at the Exodus, at Mt. Sinai, and at other places, and would assure Saul that the Lord's mercies never change - a powerful plea for true repentance from a Lord Who would receive him.

For Our Learning
(1) Even in His rejecting, the Lord holds out a gracious invitation and Gospel promise. What a glorious Lord we have!

Verses 30 - 31 Again Saul declared, "I have sinned," and asked Samuel to honor him before the elders of Israel so that Saul might worship the Lord. Samuel turned back after Saul and Saul worshipped the Lord.

For Our Learning
(l) Samuel is an example
(2) of the godly honoring of the king though rejected by God; Saul was still king,
(3) of real concern for Saul's spiritual welfare.
(4) That the Lord has rejected Saul as king did not mean that the Lord rejected him as a sinner who needed forgiveness. We need to keep this distinction in mind in our dealing with people.

Verses 32 - 33 What Saul failed to do, Samuel now did. He killed king Agag. Agag's sins must be punished. God's will must be done.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord's command and will must be done.
(2) As Samuel served the Lord in this action, so judges and executioners serve the Lord when carrying out the Lord's command.

Verses 34 - 35 Samuel went home. Saul went home. Samuel had no more dealings with Saul, but grieved over Saul. Saul no longer enjoyed the Lord's revelation that he had been receiving through the prophet Samuel - a great loss. The Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

For Our Learning
(1) What sadness comes when impenitence follows on disobedience.
(2) To separate one's self from the revelation, the Word of the Lord, is a tragic loss.

I Samuel 16 David Chosen To Be the Future King

Verses 1 - 5 The Lord sent Samuel to Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint one of his sons as the future king.

verse 1 The Lord rebuked Samuel for his continued grieving over Saul and commanded him to fill his horn with oil and go to Jesse in Bethlehem, for the Lord had provided for himself a king among his sons.

For Our Learning
(1) Continued grieving is not in keeping with acceptance of what the Lord has done.
(2) One of the ways to overcome grieving is to keep busy in doing the Lord's will and work.
(3) The Lord is far ahead of us in planning for the future.

Verse 3 When Samuel asked how he could go since Saul would try to kill him if Saul found out what he was doing, the Lord instructed him to take along a heifer and to state that he was going to sacrifice to the Lord and to invite Jesse to the sacrifice The Lord would show Samuel whom the Lord had chosen. Samuel was to anoint that one.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord takes care of our concerns
(2) The Lord teaches us that we can keep from revealing a secret by speaking another truth. This is not deceit. We do not need to tell all we know.
(3) To know that the Lord is planning far ahead is very reassuring.

Verses 4 - 5 Samuel obeyed Samuel assured the elders that he was coming peaceably to sacrifice. He invited them and Jesse and his sons to prepare to come to the Sacrifice

Verses 6 - 13 David chosen and anointed to be the future king.

Verses 6 - 7 When Samuel saw Eliab, Jesse's son, he was sure that Eliab would be the Lord's choice. But the Lord cautioned Samuel not to look only at the outward appearance. The Lord looks at the heart.

For Our Learning
(1) We are to look beyond the outward appearances and to see what is in the inner person.

Verses 8 - l0 Seven of Jesse's sons came before Samuel, but the Lord had chosen none of them.

Verses 11 - 13 When Samuel asked Jesse if he had another son, Jesse replied that one was remaining, the youngest who was keeping the sheep. Samuel asked that he be sent for. When this one appeared - he was ruddy, had beautiful eyes, and was handsome - the Lord told Samuel to anoint him to be the future king. Samuel did anoint him in the midst of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord came mightily on David from that day forward.

For Our Learning
(l) We can be assured that the Lord's plans, as He has promised, will be done.
(2) We do not need to worry about the Lord finding us for the task He has for us.
(3) As Samuel anointed David in the midst of his brothers, so we are to give the credential of the person whom we have chosen for a task. David's brothers were not to question David's position."
(4) The Lord gives us the special measure of His Spirit to equip us for the task He has chosen us to do.

Verses 14 - 23 An evil spirit tormented Saul. David is asked to join Saul's court and to play the lyre/harp when Saul was tormented.

Verse 14 The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul. An evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. (Saul became depressed, moody, subject to great anger - perhaps a form of mental illness.)

For Our Learning
(1) Disobedience and lack of repentance result in the Lord's Spirit leaving an individual.
(2) When the Lord's Spirit leaves, an evil spirit can easily move in. At times the Lord may send the evil spirit as a chastening to lead to repentance.

Verses 15 - 15 Saul's servants suggested that Saul command his servants to seek out a skilled player of the lyre/harp, so that the music would soothe Saul when the evil spirit tormented him.

verses 17 - 18 Saul accepted the suggestion. One of the servants mentioned that David was a skilled player and was a man of valor, prudent, well-behaved, and that the Lord was with him.

Verses 19 - 22 Saul sent for David' who entered Saul's service. Saul loved David and asked Jesse that David might be in Saul's service.

Verse 23 When the evil spirit from God (God in His power) was on Saul, David played and Saul was refreshed, the evil spirit leaving him at least for a while.

For Our Learning
(1) Note how the Lord arranged so that David would receive knowledge and experience regarding the task of a king and became acquainted with the duties of a king. An example of the Lord's providence

I Samuel 17 David and Goliath

(Note: In chapters 17 through 26, we have the rise of David and the increasing hatred of Saul for David and his persecution of David.)

Verses 1 - 3 The Philistines gathered to battle Israel. The battle lines described.

Verses 4 - 7 Goliath, a giant (perhaps a descendant of the Anakim, Joshua 11:21-22), came out from the Philistines as a champion. His size and his armor are described.

Verses 8 - 10 Goliath challenged the Israelites to a fight. Goliath against one of the Israelites. His proposal if Goliath wins, then Israel would be slaves of the Philistines; and if the Israelite would win, then the Philistines would be slaves of Israel.

Verse 11 Saul and all Israel were dismayed and greatly afraid.

For Our Learning
(1) There can come into our lives dangers and threats that would terrify and overwhelm us.
(2) Of ourselves we are helpless. This a type of our own helplessness in fighting sin and punishment and death. "With might of ours can naught be done."

Verses 12 - 15 Information regarding the family of David - of his father, of his brothers, and of the activities of David.

Verse 16 For 40 days, morning and evening, Goliath challenged Israel.

Verses 17 - 18 Jesse told David, who had returned from Saul to tend the sheep, to take food to his brothers and to their commander, and to learn how they were, and to bring back some token or message.

Verse 19 The fighting was in the valley of Elah.

Verses 20 - 22 David went to the battle and arrived just as the Israelites were going to the battle line. David left the provisions with the keeper of the baggage, went to the battle line, and greeted his brothers.

Verse 23 While David was at the battle line, he heard the challenge of Goliath.

Verses 24 - 25 The men of Israel fled and were terrified. They asked David if he had seen Goliath. They also told David how the king would enrich the person who would kill Goliath (money, wife, freedom for family)

Verses 26 - 27 David asked them what would be done for the man who would kill the Philistine and take away the reproach from Israel. For David the challenge of Goliath was the defiance of an uncircumcised person to the Living God. Note David's attitude and evaluation. Goliath was defying not only Israel but also the Lord God Himself - In reply to his question David received the same answer as before.

For Our Learning
(1) The believing child of God sees in an historical event more than a tidbit of history; he sees the event's relationship to the Lord God. We should always remember the spiritual implication and application.
(2) Our faith is to influence our viewpoint and actions.

Verses 28 - 30 Eliab, David's oldest brother, was angry with David and questioned why he came to the battle, accusing him of leaving the sheep unattended and following his own curiosity. David answered simply, turned away from his brother, and talked to some others. Again he received the same answer.

For Our Learning
(1) Beware of making false conclusions and accusations Was Eliab dissatisfied with his situation and jealous of his brother? Are we apt to be like him?

Verses 31 --33 When Saul heard that David was there, he sent for him. David told Saul not to fear because he, David, would fight Goliath. Saul reminded David that David was ill-prepared and not trained to fight Goliath.

For Our Learning
(l) Are we ready to fight when the Lord is dishonored? even though the odds are against us?

Verses 34 - 37 David related how he had, when keeping the sheep, killed lions and bears, when they threatened the lamb or sheep. David was confident that he would kill also the uncircumcised Philistine, since he had defied the armies of the Living God, and that the Lord would deliver David. Saul consented and declared, "The Lord be with you."

For Our Learning
(1) We can be confident that the Lord will be with us as we 'fight' for the Lord and His honor and His people' doing His work
(2) We can assure the Lord's workers that the Lord is with them.

Verses 38 - 40 When Saul put armor on David, David could not bear it and took it off. Instead he took his staff, his sling, five smooth stones, and put the stones in his shepherd bag. Then he approached Goliath.

For Our Learning
(1) Our victory in life is not in our strength.

Verses 41 - 47 On the one hand, the Philistine approached David, mocked him and cursed him by his gods, declaring that he would give David's flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. On the other hand, David declared that he was coming, not with sword and spear9, but in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom Goliath had defied. David expressed his confidence that the Lord would deliver Goliath into his hands, and that David would cut off his head and give the bodies of Goliath and of the Philistines to the vultures and beasts. David further declared that all this would happen so that all the earth might know that there is a God in Israel and that every one there might know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear, and that this was the Lord's battle.

For Our Learning
(1) Our confidence is in the Lord and His strength and not in physical might. Jeremiah 17:6-7; Psalms 84:12; Psalms 118:8-9
(2) The purpose of our actions is to bring about that we and others know the Lord as our God, and that we are His people.
(3) The fight and struggle we have with sin and evil is more than our battle, it is the Lord's.

Verses 48 -51a In the battle David with his sling hit Goliath in the forehead with a stone. Goliath fell to the ground. David ran to Goliath, took his sword, and cut off his head.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord gives the victory. He uses us to achieve His purpose.
(2) In humble trust we are to be ready to be used by God.

Verses 51b -53 The Philistines fled. The men of Israel and Judah pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and Ekron. On their return they plundered the camp of the Philistines.

Verse 54 We have difficulty figuring out the exact meaning of this verse. Jerusalem was not under Israelite control at the time. Perhaps 'to Jerusalem' might mean 'near to Jerusalem' as Bethlehem was.

Verses 55 - 58 In keeping with the promise that the family of the person who killed Goliath would be free, Saul asked Abner, "Whose son is David?" Abner did not know and finally brought David to Saul. David told him that he was the son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite. Note: Saul did not ask "Who are You?" but "Whose son are you?"

I Samuel 18 Saul Became a Hater of David.

Verses 1 - 4 Jonathan, Saul's son, and David became very close friends. Saul insisted that David stay in Saul's household. Jonathan gave David his armor.

For Our Learning
(1) Jonathan is an example of loving friendship in spite of possible envy and rivalry. Jonathan was a potential heir to the throne of his father.

Verse 5 The advancement and the popularity of David.

Verses 6 - 9 When David returned from slaying the Philistine' the women met Saul and in their rejoicing gave greater praise to David than to Saul. Saul became very angry and eyed David from that day forward, was jealous and suspicious of David.

For Our Learning
(1) Beware of jealousy and suspicion9 for they twist our thinking.
(2) To avoid jealousy and suspicion9 rejoice in the blessings we have and in the success of others, as Jonathan had done.
(3) Do we 'eye' people, becoming suspicious and misinterpreting what we supposedly see?

Verses 10 - 11 An evil spirit from God rushed on Saul. He raved. As David was playing the lyre/harp, Saul tried twice with his spear to pin David to the wall, but David evaded the spear.

For Our Learning
(1) Note how jealousy can lead to hatred and then to desire to murder. Jealousy is unreasonable. We sometimes speak of 'insane jealousy.'
(2) Jealousy opens our lives to an evil spirit.

Verses 12 - 16 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David and blessed David in a11 his undertakings: David was very popular with the people of Israel and Judah Saul stood in awe of him and grew in his hatred for David:

For Our Learning
(1) When we are ruled by jealousy and insecurity, the success of others and the honor given to them are a threat to us.
(2) We need to be careful when we compare ourselves with others. Saul's standing in awe of David made him miserable
(3) Our desire should always be that the Lord's with us and with others.

Verses 17 - 19 In his jealous plotting Saul promised his older daughter Merab to David as a wife. Be asked that David be valiant for him and to fight the Lord's battles. Saul hoped that the Philistines might kill David. David in humility accepted the offer; but when the marriage was to take place, Merab was given to another man.

For Our Learning
(1) We have an example of deceit and hateful plotting and unfaithfulness in keeping a promise.
(2) In David we have an example of humility.

Verses 20 - 21 When Saul learned that his daughter Michal loved David, Saul thought of a plan by which he could bring about what the Philistines would kill David.

Verses 22 - 24 His plan was to get David interested in Michal and to be willing to do something so that he might become Saul's son-in-law.

Verse 25 The plot was to bring about that David would attempt to give a marriage present/dowry of 100 foreskins of the Philistines. Saul thought that David would be killed in the attempt.

Verses 26 - 27 David told Saul's servants that he agreed to the arrangements. David and his men went, killed 200 Philistines, and gave the foreskins in full number to Saul. Saul gave his daughter Michal to be David's wife.

For Our Learning
(1) Unless we repent of jealousy and hatred, they will drive us on and on in lying and deceit and in evil plotting.
(2) Of ourselves, by our own power, we are no match for the evil deceit of the wicked.
(3) However, we see that the Lord is in control. He car and does protect His children.

Verses 28 - 29 When Saul saw how the Lord was with David and that all Israel/his daughter Michal loved David, Saul was even more afraid of David and was his constant enemy. No repentance on the part of Saul.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord's being with us and others loving us make our enemies even more hostile.
(2) The only way of stopping jealousy and hatred and all their evil results is the way of repentance.
(3) We can take comfort that the Lord is with us and does protect us both in known and in unknown dangers and threats.

Verse 30 David had more success than all the servants of Saul against the leaders of the Philistines. David was held in high esteem.

For Our Learning
(1) History does teach that the way of the wicked does not prosper, whereas the Lord blesses the way of the righteous.

I Samuel 19 Saul Continued to Try to Kill David

Verses l - 7 Saul ordered Jonathan and all the servants to kill David. However, Jonathan asked David to hide himself and told David that he, Jonathan, would talk to his father. Furthermore, Jonathan defended David to his father, pointing out everything that David had done to bring blessing to Saul, and pleading with his father not to shed innocent blood. Saul listened to his son. Jonathan called to David who could return in peace in the presence of Saul.

For Our Learning
(1) Unrepented sin becomes bolder.
(2) Like Jonathan we are to be a true friend and to plead for the person intended for destruction.
(3) In defending the absent one intended for destruction, we are to list and recite the good things such an one has done.
(4) The intercession of Jonathan for David is a type of the Savior's intercession for us.

Verses 8 - 10 The animosity of Saul for David stayed away until David again made a great slaughter among the Philistines. Then the jealousy and hatred and the evil spirit from the Lord returned. Again Saul tried with a spear to pin David to the wall, as David was playing the lyre/harp. But David escaped.

For Our Learning
(1) Unless we fill our lives with the right attitudes, etc. the old evil jealousies and sinful attitudes will return when an opportunity arises.
(2) Repentance and righteousness must fill our lives if the houses of our lives are to remain clean.

Verses 11 - 17 Saul sent messengers to David's house with orders to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, alerted David and helped him to escape down through the window. She took an image and made it appear as if it were David in his bed. She told Saul's messengers that David was sick. Saul insisted that the messengers bring David to him in the bed. They discovered that they had been deceived. Michal excuses herself to her father by declaring that David had threatened her life.

For Our Learning
(1) Were Michal's deception and her lie commendable? Deceit and lying are not commendable. But we learn how easy it is to do something wrong as a result of weak faith and from supposedly good motives, as love for husband, as preventing a wrong.
(2) Sin, as in the example of Saul, continues to grow, if not checked.
(3) To be a part of protecting an individual from being wrongfully killed and preventing a crime is commendable.

Verse 18 David fled to Ramah to Samuel and told all that Saul had done. (Naioth may mean a certain kind of dwelling-place.)

Verses 19 - 24 The Spirit of God prevented Saul from killing David.

Verse 19 Saul learned that David was in Naioth at Ramah.

Verse 20 Saul sent messengers to Ramah to kill David. When they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, the Spirit of God came on the messengers and they prophesied. What is meant by 'Prophesying' we cannot determine. Somehow, some way the Spirit of God controlled them, so that they could not arrest and kill David.

Verse 21 Saul sent a second and a third group of messengers, but the Spirit of God kept them from carrying out their evil task.

Verses 22 - 28 Saul himself finally went. The Spirit of God came on him also. Saul prophesies in a very unusual way. The saying arose again "Is Saul among the prophets?" I Samuel 10:11.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord sometimes takes unusual measures to protect His people, whether David or us.
(2) The Lord by His Spirit made it clear that He did not want David killed. Saul should have listened to the Lord. Are we sometimes like Saul?
(3) The Lord frequently gives warnings and thereby gives a person intent on wickedness an opportunity to repent.
(4) We note the wonderful patience and forbearance of the Lord towards Saul. He is the same with us.
(5) Some would use this section as proof for their views regarding 'getting the Holy Spirit' and 'being slain in the Lord'. But note that the messengers and Saul were wicked and ungodly and were not changed in their wickedness by the act of the Spirit of God.

I Samuel 20 Jonathan Delivered David from Saul.

Verses 1 - 4 David asked Jonathan for help.

Verse 1 David asked Jonathan why his father sought to kill him.

Verse 2 Jonathan felt sure that he would have known if Saul was trying to kill David.

Verses 3 - 4 When David insisted that Saul was trying to kill him, Jonathan agreed to help David. Note the deceit of Saul in relationship with his own son Jonathan.

For Our Learning
(1) Faithful friends

a) can share with one another their concerns,
b) can ask for help.

(2) A faithful friend is ready to help.
(3) Even close relatives may not know the evil plotting of another member of the family.

Verses 5 - 11 David suggested a plan by which Jonathan might help.

Verses 5 - 7 The outline of the plan.

Verse 8 David pleaded with Jonathan to deal kindly with him and asked Jonathan to slay David if the latter were guilty, rather than to turn him over to his father.

Verse 9 Jonathan assured David that he would tell David if he found out that Saul was determined to bring evil on David.

Verses 10 - 11 When David asked how he would learn of Saul's attitude, Jonathan suggested they go privately out into the field.

For Our Learning
(1) Godly love for one another is the basis of loving concern for the welfare of one another.
(2) It is good that friends talk over their problems with and to one another.

Verses 12 - 17 Jonathan made a covenant before God and stated that he would reveal how Saul felt so that David might escape, and asked that David spare the family of Jonathan.

For Our Learning
(1) Solemn promises and oaths may be in place when we give pledges to one another and ask for help of the other one.
(2) We have in Jonathan an example of godly love for one another and of unselfishness.
(3) It is commendable when individuals look out for the future welfare of their families, as did Jonathan.

Verses 18 - 23 The signal was arranged by which Jonathan would let David know how Saul felt toward David. Jonathan would shoot three arrows at an alleged target. If Jonathan told the youth with him that the arrows were on this side, David should come to the house of Saul, but if he told the youth that the arrows were beyond, then David was to go away. Both agree to remain silent about their agreement.

For Our Learning
(1) A true friend keeps his agreement.
(2) Love demands that we keep silent about an agreed upon act of love.

Verses 24 - 29 At the feast of the new moon Jonathan excused David before his father, declaring as had been agreed, verses 6, that David had asked to be excused in order to sacrifice with his family in Bethlehem.

For Our Learning
(1) A faithful person not only promises but also carries out his promises.

Verses 30 - 34 Saul became very angry against Jonathan. He called him names, accused him of choosing David to his own shame and to the shame of his mother. Then Saul uttered the reason for his sinful jealousy and anger; namely, he feared that David would be made king. When Saul ordered Jonathan to get David and to kill him, Jonathan pleaded with his father in behalf of David. Saul responded by throwing his spear at Jonathan. Jonathan left in anger, for he was grieved for David and because his father had disgraced him.

For Our Learning
(1) Our defense of the absent one may cause others to be angry with us; but we serve the Lord.
(2) Anger at times causes us to say and do foolish things.
(3) We may have righteous anger when the innocent (including self) are attacked. Often then it is best to leave.

Verses 35 - 40 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field and according to the agreed upon plan warned David to flee. Jonathan sent the youth back to the city.

Verses 41 - 45 Jonathan and David in tears took farewell of one another. Jonathan wished the Lord's peace on David and stated that the Lord would be between the two of them and between their descendants.

For Our Learning
(1) The example of brotherly love between friends as given by Jonathan and David is to be imitated. It rises above jealousy, above personal interests, above ambition, and above personal danger, and is concerned about the welfare of the other.
(2) The motive and the foundation of such love are the Lord and His blessings. It is love 'in the Lord.'

I Samuel 21 Two Incidents In which David Is Revealed as Lacking Integrity and Good Judgment.

Verses 1 - 6 David received the Holy Bread from Ahimelech at Nob.

Verse 1 David went to Nob to Ahimelech (great grandson of Eli, chapter 14:3). Ahimelech trembled and wondered why David was there alone.

Verse 2 David lied about his reason for being there. No reason to lie.

Verse 3 David asked for bread.

Verses 4 - 5 Ahimelech answered that there was only holy bread and stated that it could be eaten only by the young men who had kept themselves from women. David again lied in declaring that the young men had kept themselves from women and their vessels holy.

Verse 6 The priest gave David the holy bread. See Matthew 12:3ff, regarding the way Jesus used this incident.

For Our Learning
(1) The Bible presents also the great men of God as they actually are, namely, sinners in need of repentance.
(2) The lies of David brought harm to the priests, as we note later, chapter 22:11-19.
(3) David needed to learn to trust in the Lord and not his own lies and ingenuity.

Verse 7 Doeg, an Edomite, a servant of Saul, was there. For some reason he had been kept there before the Lord - perhaps to purify himself or to pay some vow to the Lord.

Verses 8 - 9 David asked for a sword or spear and claimed that the haste of the king's business had prevented him from bringing some armor. The priest gave him the sword of Goliath. David is not a good example in this activity. Seemingly the pressure of flight from Saul had its adverse effect on him.

For Our Learning
(1) We need to be even more careful about our actions when the pressures of life are upon us.

Verse 10 - 15 David fled to Achish, king of Gath.

Verses 10 - 11 David went to Achish, king of Gath, whose servants recognized him.

For Our Learning
(1) Fame is not always a blessing.

Verses 12 - 13 David was terrified when he was recognized. Therefore he acted like a madman and changed his behavior. What a contrast between David who fought Goliath and David here!

For Our Learning
(1) Whoever trusts in the Lord can be courageous; but whoever fails to trust the Lord will fear others and will change his behavior.

Verses 14 - 15 Achish did not want a madman around him, even if it was David

For Our Learning
(1) In going to Achish David showed poor judgment. He was deliberately going into danger. May we examine our ways so that we do not show similar poor judgment.

I Samuel 22 David in the School of Experience.

Verses 1 - 2 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. His brothers and his father's house joined him, as well as a varied group of people - about 400 men.

Verses 3 - 5 David and the group fled to Moab (Mizpeh), the home of his great grandmother Ruth. He asked the King of Moab to let his parents stay with him 'till I know what God will do for me.' David stayed at the stronghold until the prophet Gad told him to go to Judah.

For Our Learning
(1) We like David need to learn to follow and trust in the Lord and not our own ingenuity and wisdom.
(2) When we follow and trust the Lord, then the Lord can use our skills.

Verses 6 - 8 Saul learned that David had been discovered, but no one told him the exact location. Saul complained that everyone was conspiring against him and kept information from him.

For Our Learning
(1) When we like Saul become fearful, we can come to feel that everyone is against us.
(2) To examine our own actions is the better way.

Verses 9 - 10 Finally Doeg declared that he had seen David at Nob with the priest

Ahimelech. Doeg told what Ahimelech had done for David.

For Our Learning
(1) Doeg is an example of betraying righteous people.

Verses 11 - 19 Saul ordered Ahimelech and the Priests slain. Doeg obeyed.

Verses 11 - 13 Saul summoned Ahimelech and all the priests with him and accused Ahimelech of conspiring with David against Saul.

For Our Learning
(1) Note how the character of Saul is degenerating. He is suspicious of everyone and makes false accusations. May we learn a lesson from what happened to him. If we take his path, we will go the same way.

Verses 14 - 15 Ahimelech in all humility and righteousness spoke the truth to Saul and defended his own and David's loyalty.

For Our Learning
(1) What an example of obeying the 8th Commandment, and of correcting a fellow human being in love and truthfulness.

Verses 16 - 17 Nevertheless Saul condemned Ahimelech and his father's house to death. When Saul ordered the guards to kill the priests of the Lord, the guards would not carry out the order.

For Our Learning
(1) When sin rules us, we do not listen to reason or to loving admonition.
(2) When sin rules us, we fall to ever greater depths of sin.
(3) We like the guards are to obey God rather than men, Acts 5: 29.

Verses 18 - 19 Saul told Doeg to kill the priests. Doeg did. He killed 85 persons who wore the ephod and put to the sword Nob and everything in it - men, women and children, and all the animals.

For Our Learning
(1) Saul who was to be the protector of the Lord's servants became their enemy; he became more and more the abject slave of his own sinful thoughts and desires.
(2) Sin and hatred again and again find willing servants, like Doeg, to carry out their commands.
(3) In Doeg's actions we see the awfulness of sin and to what degradation sin will bring us unless we repent and turn to the Lord.

Verses 20 - 23 Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, escaped and fled to David. David confessed that his actions, see chapter 21:1 - 8, had brought about the death of the people of Ahimelech's house. 3avid told Abiathar to stay with him and promised to protect him.

For Our Learning
(1) Realizing that our sin may occasion great evil for others, may we be always on the alert and guard against sin.
(2) If our sin causes evil for others, may we like David confess and repent.

I Samuel 23 David Looked to the Lord for Protection.

Note: In this chapter we note that David, pursued by Saul, has learned to look to the Lord for protection and safety. We also note that the Lord in a variety of ways provided protection and help for David. We learn much in this chapter about God's providence.

Verses 1 - 5 David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah from the Philistines.

Verses 1 - 2 The Philistines were raiding the people of Keilah. David inquired of the Lord whether he should go and fight the Philistines. The Lord told David to go and save Keilah.

Verse 3 - 4 David's men question the wisdom of leaving Judah and going to Keilah. Again, David inquired of the Lord. Again, the Lord told David to go to Keilah and promised to give the Philistines into David's hand.

Verse 5 David went. He defeated the Philistines and delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.

For Our Learning
(1) Like David, we are to turn to the Lord for guidance.
(2) If someone questions that we are following the Lord's guidance, we are to check and consult further the Lord's guidance.
(3) Following the Lord's guidance, we can go in confidence.

Verse 6 When Abiathar fled to David at Keilah, he came with an ephod.

Verses 7 - 14 Saul unsuccessfully sought to kill David at Keilah.

Verses 7 - 8 Saul learned that David was at Keilah and assumed wrongly - he had no reason to make the assumption - that God had given David into his hand. He summoned all the men of Israel to go with him and to capture David.

For Our Learning
(1) We can incorrectly interpret events and assume that the Lord is guiding us when He is not.

Verses 9 - 12 David learned about Saul's plans. David asked Abiathar to bring the ephod. David prayed to the Lord and asked two questions: one, whether Saul was coming to Eeilah to destroy the city on David's account; two, whether the people of Eeilah would surrender David to Saul. The Lord gave a 'yes' answer to both. David was concerned first for the people and then for himself.

For Our Learning
(1) Like David, we are to learn to go to the Lord in prayer for guidance.
(2) Like David, we are to be concerned for the people, as well as for self.

Verses 13 - 14 David and his men left Keilah and went wherever they could find safety, to the strongholds in the wilderness of Ziphl. Saul gave up the expedition against Keilah, but continued to hunt for David. Finding David to kill him had become an obsession for Saul. But God did not give David into Saul's hand.

For Our Learning
(1) Like David, we are to impose on self rather than on others.
(2) In keeping with promises and truths God has given to us, God does protect us from those who would destroy. God does hear our prayer: Deliver us from evil.

Verses 15 - 18 Jonathan came to David, who was afraid, and strengthened David. He assured David that Saul would not find David and that David would be the next king (which his father also knew). Jonathan and David made a covenant with one another before the Lord.

For Our Learning
(1) Jonathan is an example for us of selfless brotherly love.
(2) The Lord God provides help and comfort for us in time of fear and distress.
(3) The Lord uses people to bring the help and comfort.

Verses 19 - 29 The Ziphites tried unsuccessfully to turn David over to Saul.

Verses 19 - 20 The Ziphites went to Saul to tell him that David was hiding among them in Horesh. They invited Saul to come. They would surrender David to his men.

Verses 21 - 24a Saul wished them God's blessing because they had compassion on Saul. What twisted reasoning and piety! Saul asked the Ziphites to take note of all of David's hiding places and to report to Saul. He reminded them that David was very cunning.

For Our Learning
(1) Beware of the kind of reasoning and piety displayed by Saul. We can easily deceive ourselves.
(2) Beware of the kind of treachery displayed by the Ziphites.

Verses 24b - 29 Saul and his men sought for David in the Wilderness of Maon in the Arabah. As David was trying to escape, he went to the Rock in the Wilderness of Maon. Saul appeared to be closing in on David, when Saul received the news that the Philistines were raiding the land. As a result Saul had to give up pursuing David. That Rock came to be called the Rock of Escape. David lived in the strongholds of Engedi.

For Our Learning
(1) Again we see the providence of the Lord. The Lord uses the events of life to bring about His care and protection. It is more than coincidence.
(2) The Lord can defeat the best laid evil plans of human beings.
(3) The Rock of Escape is a type of Christ, Who is our Rock of Escape.
(4) The entire chapter teaches us the comfort of the Lord's care and protection and of His providence and control.

I Samuel 24 David Spared Saul and Showed His Loyalty to Saul.

Verses 1 - 7 David spared Saul's life.

Verses 1 - 3 Saul sought to find David in the wilderness of Engedi. By the sheepfolds there was a cave. Saul entered the cave to relieve himself (go to the toilet). David and his men were in the innermost parts of the cave.

Verse 4 David's men said to him that the Lord was here fulfilling the promise. He had made to David to give his enemies into his hands. David in stealth cut off a piece from Saul's robe that had seemingly been laid aside while Saul was relieving himself.

Verses 5 - 7a Afterwards David was much concerned that he had done the wrong thing in cutting off a piece of the robe. (Was he thinking of the incident in 1 Samuel 15:27-28?) He reminded his men that the Lord had forbidden to put one's hand on the Lord's anointed. Thereby he kept his men from attacking Saul.

Verse 7b Saul left the cave.

For Our Learning
(1) We must be careful whenever we would conclude that a certain circumstance is the result of the Lord's fulfilling a promise. We are to check other promises of Scripture, lest we wrongfully justify a sinful action.
(2) The end does not justify the means. We are always to do it the Lord's way.
(3) To harm the Lord's anointed, chosen leader or representative, is wrong. Romans 13:1. We are to respect and honor them.
(4) In word and action we are to be an influence so that others also do the right things.

Verses 8 - 15 David followed Saul out of the cave and called after him. David honored Saul as king. David said to Saul: (a) Why do you listen to those who slander me? (b) I am innocent of wanting to harm you. (c) I had the chance to kill you but did not, for you are the Lord's anointed. As proof David showed Saul the piece of the robe. David argued that he did not desire to hurt Saul. David in a solemn oath promised that his hand would not be against Saul. David then pleaded his own cause so that the Lord might deliver him from Saul's hands.

For Our Learning
(1) To defend ourselves before our enemies is commendable.
(2)To admonish an enemy and to seek to make him a friend is God-pleasing.
3) Beware of listening to slander.
(4) To let the Lord be the judge among us is the way of the Lord.

Verses 16 - 22 David's actions and word had an effect on Saul.

Verses 16 - 18 Saul in tears admitted that David was more righteous than he in that David repaid evil with good and spared Saul's life when the Lord had put Saul into David's hands.

Verse 19 Saul asked the Lord to reward David for what David had done to Saul that day.

Verse 20 Saul declared that he knew that David would be king and that the kingdom of Israel would be established in David's hands.

Verses 21 - 22a Saul asked David to swear that he would not destroy Saul's family, descendants, and name. David swore to Saul.

Verse 22b David took the precaution of going to the strongholds when Saul left. David did not know how Saul would be in the following days and how lasting Saul's repentance and change of heart would be.

For Our Learning
(1) To admit one's sin and to recognize the good qualities of others is the way of righteousness.
(2) Admission of sin and repentance must be continuing.
(3) While we rejoice over the change of heart, we may need to be cautious regarding future dealings.
(4) In this chapter we have God's patient dealings with the sinner.
(5) We see also the growth of a child of God in the way of righteousness.

I Samuel 23:la The Death of Samuel. He is honored by all Israel.

For Our Learning
(1) It is fitting and proper to give honor to our faithful leaders also at the time of their death.

I Samuel 29:1b - 44 David and Abigail.

Verses 1b - 13 Nabal rejected David's request for some favor for protecting Nabal's shepherds and possessions.

Verse 1b David went to the wilderness of Paran.

Verses 2 - 3 In Maon was a rich man named Nabal, whose business was in Carmel. His wife was Abigail, of good understanding and beautiful. Nabal was churlish/mean and ill-tempered.

Verses 4 - 8 David heard that Nabal was shearing sheep in Carmel. David sent ten young men to Nabal, with a polite message

(a) wishing him peace,
(b) telling how David had protected Nabal's shepherds (see verses 15 and 21), and
(c) requesting a favor of food and provisions.

Note: David was learning diplomacy.

Verses 9 - 11 With impoliteness and disrespect, Nabal refused the request.

Verses 12 - 13 When David's men reported, David became angry and ordered every man to gird his sword and to follow David.

Note: David still had much to learn about diplomacy.

For Our Learning
(1) We often need patient diplomacy in dealing with others.
(2) May we not be like Nabal - mean and ill-tempered.
(3) We are to recognize legitimate requests for aid and assistance. If we must reject the request, we are to do so in politeness and kindness.

Verses 14 - 17 One of the young men of Nabal reported to Abigail regarding what had happened and what was apparently going to happen. The young man reported how the men of David had been good and had protected them, how Nabal had been insulting, and that now evil was determined against Nabal, who was so ill natured that no one could talk to him.

For Our Learning
(1) Here is a good example of one trying to bring about peace and to prevent strife - speaking the truth, concerned for all, and becoming involved.

Verses 18 - 20 Abigail made preparations to go to meet David. She made a variety of provisions and sent them ahead by servants. She did not tell her husband what she was doing.

Verses 21 - 22 Riding the ass under the cover of the mountain, she suddenly met David. David had been musing/saying to himself that he had in vain guarded Nabal's possessions and had received only evil in return, but that by morning he would destroy all of Nabal's people. He reinforced his determination with an oath.

For Our Learning
(1) To keep thinking about a hurt, real or supposed, can lead us to wrong resolves.
(2) As we compare the plans of Abigail and of David, we can learn much and be encouraged to follow the example of Abigail.
(3) Do we seek to cover a multitude of sins with love and godly reasoning?

Verses 23 - 31 Abigail confronted David in humble pleading and godly reasoning.

Verses 23 - 25 Abigail, humbly bowing before David, asked that he fault only her and not Nabal, for folly was with him as his name indicated. Unfortunately, she said, she did not see the young men David had sent.

For Our Learning
(1) As Abigail understood her husband and in all honesty tried to explain and in love cover his fault, so we as God's children seek to explain and cover in love the faults of others.
(2) In keeping with the truth are we ready to admit our own fault and blame?

Verse 26 Abigail pointed out that, as the Lord had restrained David from blood-guilt and from taking vengeance with his own hands, he should let the folly be with David's enemies and those who seek to harm him.

For Our Learning
(1) Recognize the Lord's gracious dealings and use them to motivate the one with whom we are dealing.
(2) Let folly be on your enemy and not on yourself.

Verse 27 Abigail asked that the present she brought, verse 18, be given to David's young men/servants. Not a bribe, but a type of good will and that for which they had originally asked of Nabal, verse 8.

Verses 28 - 29 She asked for forgiveness. She assured David that the Lord would make him a sure house, for he is fighting the Lord's battles, and that when men would seek his life, David's life would be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD, whereas the lives of his enemies will be thrown away. Note Abigail's reliance on the LORD as her God.

For Our Learning
(1) One child of God reassures another child of God and reminds him/her of the Lord's promises, care and protection.
(2) Do our words and actions reveal our faith in the LORD our God?

Verses 30 - 31 She continued her plea and reassurance. When David will be established as king, he will not have cause for grief or pangs of conscience for shedding blood without cause or for taking vengeance himself. She further asked David to remember her when the Lord had dealt well with him.

For Our Learning
(1) We can learn much from Abigail regarding motivation, both on the basis of the Gospel and on the basis of what is right.

Note: Abigail's words with David are a masterpiece in human understanding, in motivation, in turning a person to the Lord's way of thinking and doing. No wonder she is described in verse 3 as 'of good understanding/having good sense/intelligent.'

Verses 32 - 35 David gave thanks to the LORD, the God of Israel, for sending her to him. He thanked Abigail for her discretion and asked God's blessings on her for keeping him from blood-guilt and vengeance. He reminded her of what he had intended to do and stated what she had done for him. He accepted the gift of provisions from her and assured her that he had hearkened to her words and was granting her petition.

For Our Learning
(1) Do we thank the Lord for what the Lord has done Himself and through others?
(2) Do we thank very specifically others for what they have done?
(3) Do we accept the favors of others as a token that we have accepted their plea and admonition?

Verses 36 - 38 Abigail went back to Nabal. She told him nothing until he was sober. He had a stroke and was paralyzed and died ten days later.

For Our Learning
(1) As Abigail was truthful with her husband and yet loving in speaking at the opportune time, so we are to be and do.
(2) The Lord took vengeance on Nabal, for vengeance is His.

Verse 39a When David heard of Nabal's death, he blessed and thanked the Lord for avenging his servant David and for keeping him from evil.

For Our Learning
(1) As one sows, so shall one reap.

Verses 39b - 42 David wooed Abigail and she became his wife.

Verses 43 - 44 David took also Ahinoam as his wife. Saul had given Michal, Saul's daughter and David's wife, to Palti. See 2 Samuel 3: 14.

For Our Learning
(1) The laxity connected with taking a wife or wives was not God-pleasing and again and again brought about trouble.

I Samuel 26 David Spared Saul's Life Again.

Verses 1 - 3a When the Ziphites reported to Saul that David was hiding in the wilderness of Ziph (southeast of Hebron, west of Engedi on the Dead Sea), Saul came and encamped on the hill of Hachilah, east of Jeshimon.

Verses 3b - 5 David remained in the wilderness. By means of spies David learned exactly where Saul was. He saw where Saul was with his army.

Verses 6 - 7 David, with Abishai, went secretly at night to Saul's camp and saw Saul sleeping, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head.

Verse 8 Abishai said to David that God had given David's enemy into his hand and asked for permission to pin Saul to the ground with one stroke of the spear.

Verse 9 David refused permission and told Abishai not to disobey for no one can put forth his hand against the Lord's anointed and remain guiltless. 1 Samuel 24:6.

Verses 10 - 11a David furthermore said that the Lord would smite Saul, or that the day for Saul's death would come, or that he would to into battle and perish. David repeated that the Lord had forbidden that one should put forth his hand against the Lord's anointed.

Verses 11b - 12 David suggested instead that they take Saul's spear and the jar of water by his head. This they did. No one saw or heard them because a deep sleep from God had fallen on them. See Genesis 2:21, Genesis 15:12, and Isaiah 29:10.

For Our Learning
(1) We are not to lift up one s hand against and to harm one of God s anointed (elected officials, clergy, etc.). Romans 13:2 - 7.
(2) To betray the innocent (Ziphites and David) is not good.
(3) Vengeance belongs to the Lord. Let the Lord deal with the one who hates us. We do have the duty and right to defend ourselves if necessary.
(4) We may use legitimate means to cause our 'enemy' to change his attitude and mind.
(5) We can trust that the Lord will help (the deep sleep), as we seek to change our enemy into a friend.

Verses 13 - 16 From a safe distance David called to Abner, the head of Saul's army. In irony David confronted Abner with the fact that Abner had failed as a man in watching over his king and declared that Abner deserved to die. As proof, David showed Saul's spear and the jar of water.

For Our Learning
(1) We have the right and duty to defend our reputation and to prove our loyalty and to point out in love the failures of others if necessary.

Verses 17 - 18 When Saul recognized David's voice, David asked Saul why Saul was pursuing after him and what was David's guilt.

Verses 19 - 20 David pleaded that Saul listen to him. David suggested a manner of dealing with the problem. If the Lord had stirred up Saul against David, then may the Lord be appeased with a sacrifice; but if men had stirred up Saul against David, then may they be cursed, for they are seeking to drive David from the presence of the Lord and from the heritage of the Promised Land. David referred to the heathen idea that a particular god had power and honor only in his own land. David pleaded that his blood not be shed away from the presence of the Lord, for the king was hunting David down like a bird.

For Our Learning
(l) Talk and reason with your 'adversary' or your fellow person regarding an issue. Seek to be a peacemaker.
(2) Come with suggestions for settling the issue or problem.
(3) Let the love of the Lord for us and our love for the Lord be the guiding motivation.
(4) The greatest blessing we have is always the Lord's heritage. Nothing is more important than keeping the Lord's heritage and blessing, and serving the Lord.

Verse 21 Saul confessed that he had done wrong. He promised that he would do no harm to David, because his own life was precious in the sight of David. Again he confessed his wrongdoing.

For Our Learning
(l) May we learn with Saul to confess our faults, our foolish actions.
(2) When we make others realize that we consider their lives precious, we will have an effect on them.

Verses 22 - 23 David asked Saul to send one of his servants to get the spear. David again stated that, since the Lord rewards us for our righteousness and faithfulness, he had not put forth his hand against the Lord's anointed even though the Lord had given Saul into David's hand. The motive for David's action was the Lord and David's faith in the Lord.

For Our Learning
(l) We enjoy the Lord's blessings by means of our faith in the Lord and our resulting righteousness. We are saved by faith active in good works.
(2) We may need to remind the 'other person' of what we have done because we serve the Lord.
(3) The Lord and His love are to be our motive.

Verse 24 David continued by asking that, as Saul's life was precious in the sight of David, so may David's life be precious in the sight of the Lord. David committed himself to the Lord's grace. He asked that the Lord deliver him from every tribulation.

For Our Learning
(1) As we trust the Lord's grace, may our daily prayer be that our lives are precious in our Lord's sight. We know that they are, for the Lord gave His Son to redeem those lives.
(2) We trust the Lord to deliver us. Romans 8:32.37.

Verse 25 Saul said farewell to David and blessed him. David went his own way, as did also Saul. Note. As far as we know, they never met again.

For Our Learning
(1) Agree with your adversary while you have the opportunity.

For Our Learning (from the entire incident.)
(l) We have an example of the way a believing Child of God deals with an 'adversary'.
(2) The Lord gave Saul one more opportunity to confess the errors of his way, to repent, and to walk in the way of faith and godliness. The patience and mercy of the Lord.
(3) The sequence of events was a training and a testing experience for David. The Lord often uses trials to prepare us for the future.
(4) From the incident we obtain an increasing understanding of the Lord's providence and governance.

I Samuel 27 David in the Land of the Philistines.

Note: In this chapter David is not the idealized hero. He does not display the conviction that the Lord would deliver him out of all tribulations, chapter 26: 24. How typical also of us. In an attempt to get away from Saul, he tried a desperate plan that necessitated him to carry out wily craftiness and the hoodwinking of Achish. We can relate to David in his troubles.

Verse 1 David continued to worry that one day Saul would kill him. Therefore he planned the desperate step of escaping to the land of the Philistines, where he would be out of the reach of Saul.

Verses 2 - 4 David and his men and families went to Achish, whose father was king of Gath. When Saul heard that David had fled to Gath, he stopped hunting for him.

For Our Learning
(1) We like David have difficulty remaining on a high plane of faith.
(2) The temptation to worry is always with us.
(3) We too tend to rely on our own ingenuity, rather than on the Lord.

Verses 5 - 7 David asked Achish for a place for him and his men to live. Achish gave him the area of Ziklag, which thereafter belonged to the kings of Judah. David lived in the land of the Philistines 16 months.

Verses 8 - 12 David's raids.

Verses 8 - 9 David made raids on tribes and people who lived in the area south of Judah and who were part of the old inhabitants who were to have been destroyed when Israel came into the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 20 16. David's men killed all the people, but saved all the animals and possessions.

Verse 10 When Achish asked David against whom he had made a raid, David mentioned the area and not the people.

Verse 11 David killed all the people so that no one could report what David had actually done.

Verse 12 Achish trusted David and thought gleefully that David was making himself hated by the people of Israel and would therefore be indebted to Achish. Achish was trying to obtain a personal advantage from the internal unrest and strife among the people of Israel.

For Our Learning
(1) In Spite of the weaknesses of human beings (Achish's greed, David's evasiveness and lack of full trust in the Lord, and the like, the Lord gets His will done (the enemies of God's people are destroyed, the foundation of a future kingdom established, and the like). We are to remember this truth and to trust and to serve the Lord faithfully.

I Samuel 28 Faced with Warfare by the Philistines, Saul Visited the Medium at Endor.

Verse 1a The Philistines gathered for warfare against Israel.

Verses 1b - 2 Achish told David that David would go with him to fight against Israel. David gave a non-committal and evasive answer. Achish assumed David's loyalty and made him his personal bodyguard/keeper of his head. Comments: a) Did Achish have some doubts, was he keeping an eye on David by making him his bodyguard? b) David's previous rash resolve to go to Philistine was bringing pressures on him.

Verse 3 Samuel had died. Furthermore Saul had put the mediums/those having familiar spirits and the wizards out of the land. (See Leviticus 19: 31 and Deuteronomy 18:10-11) Note: The Hebrew word for medium/having a familiar spirit comes from the word for 'skin-bottles'. The Greek Septuagent translates with 'ventriloquist'. The word for wizard in Hebrew is a derivation of the word 'to know' and refers to one who pretends to have and to possess knowledge.

Verses 4 - 7 When Saul saw the Philistine army encamped in Shunem in the valley of Jezreel, he was afraid. When he inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him - not by means of dreams, not by Urim/sacred lot, not by the prophets. As a result in his fear Saul asked about a female medium. He was told there was one in Endor, a village northeast of the Philistine army.

For Our Learning
(1) What a sad state it is for those who have caused the Lord not to answer their prayers. May we learn from Saul.
(2) When we remove ourselves from the Lord through impenitence, we easily resort to activity displeasing to the Lord.
(3) In time of difficulty the better way is to turn to the Lord in humble repentance and faith, and we will have no need to turn to ways displeasing to the Lord.

Verse 8 Saul disguised himself and with two men came to the woman by night. He asked her to bring up for him whomever he would name.

Verse 9 - 10 When she mentioned that Saul had cut off the mediums and wizards and that he was endangering her life, Saul with an oath said that no punishment would come on her. He had no authority to make such a promise.

Verse 11 Thereupon, in answer to her request, Saul asked for Samuel.

Verse 12 When she saw Samuel, she cried out in surprise. She accused Saul of deceiving her and identified Saul.

Verse 13 Telling her not to fear, Saul asked her what she saw. She declared that she saw a god coming up out of the earth.

Verse 14 Asked about his appearance, the woman described the person. Saul knew it was Samuel and honored Samuel by bowing down to the ground.

Question: Was this Samuel that appeared? I think it was. The medium was surprised; what took place was contrary to her expectation. She identified the person as a god; she was afraid. Saul identified the person as Samuel. In verse 15 the Scriptures clearly state "Then Samuel said to Saul." In verses 16-19 the person spoke clearly as Samuel had spoken. At Christ's transfiguration Moses and Elijah appeared, indeed in a different way; but it is possible.

Question: Why did the Lord permit the person of Samuel to appear? Not to give approval to divination and the work of mediums, but to show that even one rising from the dead does not cause an individual to listen to the Lord. Luke 16:31. Furthermore, the Lord once more was calling Saul to repentance and faith, unfortunately in vain.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord is as patient with us as He was with Saul. May we not misuse nor abuse His patience.
(2) Whoever refuses to heed the Messiah Savior Who rose from the dead and His Word will not listen to some one rising from the dead. We must listen to the Lord's Revealed Word/Scriptures.
(3) Saul failed to examine his own actions as he became guilty of many wrong things, such as deceit, lying, giving assurance to the medium when he had no authority, swearing in the Lord's name to verify his wrong actions. May we never fail to examine our actions in the light of the Lord's Word.
(4) See to what depths an original rejecting of God's words, though seemingly small at first, ultimately leads us, if we do not repent.
(5) The Lord at times permits unusual incidents to happen in our lives to bring us to and to keep us in repentance and faith.

Verses 15 - 19 Samuel's conversation with Saul

Verse 15 When Samuel asked why Saul had disturbed him by bringing him up, Saul pointed to his own distress because the Philistines were warring against him and because God had turned away from him and did not answer. Note the self-centeredness of Saul. He was concerned only about himself Note the times that he uses 'I' and 'me.'

To satisfy Saul's needs was for him enough reason to disturb Samuel.

For Our Learning
(1) Beware of self-centeredness. It warps our thinking, causes one to be unfairly demanding, and keeps one from facing up to one's own actions and their motives.
(2) If God fails to answer our prayers, don't blame God or other people. Rather admit one's own faults and repent.

Verse 16 Samuel asked why Saul was turning to him since the Lord had become Saul's enemy. Samuel implied that to have the Lord as an enemy would mean to have Samuel as an enemy.

For Our Learning
(1) Avoid thinking that we can turn from the Lord and yet enjoy the Lord's favor and blessing.

Verses 17 - 19 Samuel thereupon told Saul

a) that the Lord had done as He had spoken by Samuel and taken the kingdom from Saul and given it to David,
b) that the reason was Saul's failure to obey the voice of the Lord in that he did not carry out the Lord's fierce wrath against Amalek.
c) that the Lord would give Israel into the hands of the Philistines;
d) that Saul and his sons with him would die in battle the next day, and the army of Israel would be defeated.

Note: The phrase 'with me' simply means that Saul would be in the realm of the dead and not with Samuel in heaven.

For Our Learning
(1) God's words never change. We are to listen to and to follow God's written Word.
(2) What God says, God does.
(3) We cannot escape the results of our sinful actions - except by the way of repentance and faith, the way of obeying the voice of the Lord (faith and service to God).
(4) Our wrong actions often bring harm to those around us. We are not an island in society, we are not isolated in the world We must consider the effects which any decision on our part will have on others.

Verses 20 - 25 The medium fed Saul

Verse 20 Saul was completely overcome by what Samuel told him and by a lack of food.

Verses 21 - 22 The woman saw how terrified Saul was and asked him to listen to her as she had listened to him and endangered her life. She asked that she be permitted to feed him.

Verse 23 Saul refused. But Saul's two servants, verse 8, and the woman convinced him to listen to the woman.

Verses 24 - 25 She prepared food and Saul ate. Then Saul and his servants left yet that night.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord's Word is to the repentant and believing a word of comfort and joy, but to the impenitent it is terrifying.
(2) Do we insist on following our own thinking and refuse to listen to others?
(3) Fortunate are we if we have people around us who seek to guide us in the right paths.
(4) The entire incident of Saul consulting a medium does not show approval for such actions. The Word of God forbidding such practices apply also here.

I Samuel 29 The Philistines Dismissed David from Their Army

Note David on his own had gone to live in the land of the Philistines As they muster for warfare against Israel, David is in difficulty either with Achish or with Israel. But the Lord, Who in His grace had chosen David to be the King of God's people and a key person in God's plan of salvation, knew how to direct the hearts and minds of men so that God's gracious plan of salvation would come to pass.

Verse 1 The Philistines gathered at Aphek, and the Israelites at the fountain in the valley of Jezreel.

Verses 2 - 5 David and his men were in the group with Achish. The commanders of the Philistines wanted to know what the Hebrews were doing there. Then Achish explained that the Hebrews were David and his men, whom A.chish had found to be blameless. But the commanders were angry and insisted that David be sent back to Ziklag. They did not trust him in battle. They were sure that David would turn on the Philistines in time of battle in order to be reconciled with his king. They remembered that this was the David of whose victory over Goliath the people had sung.

Verses 6 - 11 Achish commanded David, over his protests, to go back, even though Achish found no fault in David. Achish stated that the leaders of the Philistines did not trust David ''though Achish looked on David as blameless as an angel of God."

David finally agreed and went back to Ziklag, while the Philistines went. to Jezreel.

For Our Learning
(1) We can be confident that the Lord's good and gracious will will come to pass. May we always pray "Thy Will Be Done."
(2) The Lord controls the will and thoughts of human beings.
(3) Oh, how often the Lord must have gotten us out of situations into which we have gotten ourselves.
(4) May we recognize God's dealings and thank Him.
(5) The entire incident reveals the grace of the Lord. He deals with us on the basis of mercy and grace, and not on the basis of what we deserve. May we always go to Him in repentance and faith.

I Samuel 30 David Destroyed the Amalekites.

Verses 1 - 6 When David returned to Ziklag, he and his men discovered that the Amalekites had raided Ziklag, burned it, and carried off all the people, including David's two wives, and the animals. They wept very much. The men in bitterness spoke of stoning David. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. He took no vengeance.

For Our Learning
(1) Adverse events remind us that we should follow the Lord in our plans and that we are dependent on the Lord for safety.
(2) In time of adversity we are to go to the Lord and claim in faith His strength. Our own ingenuity is not enough.
(3) Use kindness in dealing with those who disagree with you.

Verses 7 - 8 This time - David was learning - he inquired of the Lord through the priest Abiathar. The Lord told him that he should pursue and that David would rescue the people.

For Our Learning
(1) Do we learn from past experiences to go to the Lord for guidance?

Verses 9 - 10 David and his men went in pursuit. At the brook Besor 200 men were too exhausted to continue.

Verses 11 - 15 They found an Egyptian young man who had been left to die by the Amalekites. After they gave him food and drink, he revived. He reported what had happened. When David asked him to lead them to the Amalekites, the Egyptian agreed if they would swear to give him safety.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord continues to direct events yet today. Things just do not happen simply by chance.
(2) Note the contrasting aftermaths of unkindness and of kindness.
(3) People were as cruel then as they are today.

Verses 16 - 20 David smote the Amalekites as they were celebrating the gaining of so much spoil. He smote all, except 400 young men who escaped on camels. David recovered all (including his two wives) that the Amalekites had taken. They captured also all the flocks of the Amalekites and gave them to David as spoil.

Verses 26 - 31 tell us what David did with the spoil.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord gives the victory and does protect His own. He truly is the Ruler of all.
(2) The Lord keeps His promises.
(3) There is no lasting safety apart from the Lord, but with the Lord there is safety.

Verses 21 - 25 On their return to the brook Besor, some base and wicked fellows did not want to share the spoil with those who had been too exhausted to go along in the pursuit. David overruled them - using reason and kindness. He ended the disagreement by making a rule that all those going into battle and all those remaining and guarding the baggage would share alike in the spoils. Note the fairness, the logic, the kindness that David used in settling the issue. Be was learning to be a godly statesman.

For Our Learning
(1) Fairness, logic, kindness, and respect are always a part of the better way of settling a dispute.
(2) Pray God that we will grow in the ability to deal with people in a God-pleasing way.
(3) Do not be surprised that wicked and base people arise to make a dispute.
(4) Beware that greed does not ruin a joyous event.

Verses 26 - 31 When David came back to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil as a present to friends and elders of Judah in a variety of cities. It was a gesture of good-will and of thanks. As a result these people thought highly of David who very soon would be the new king. He was establishing a method of operation.

For Our Learning
(1) We do well to share our blessings with others,
(2) to express our thanks and good-will to friends and leaders,
(3) and to establish a good pattern of doing things.
(4) In this chapter David is a good example for us to follow in our dealings with those who agree with us or who may disagree with us.

I Samuel 31 The Death of Saul

Verses 1 - 7 The defeat of Israel and Saul's death.

Verse 1 The Philistines fought against Israel and the men of Israel fled. Many fell slain on Mt. Gilboa.

Verse 2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his men. They slew Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.

Verse 3 The battle went against Saul. The Philistine archers found Saul and wounded him severely.

Verse 4 Saul asked his armor-bearer to kill him so that the Philistines would not capture him and make sport of him. When the armor-bearer refused, Saul fell on his own sword.

Verse 5 Then the armor-bearer fell on his own sword and died.

Verse 6 Thus Saul, his sons, his armor-bearer, and his men died.

Verse 7 When the people of Israel saw what had happened, they forsook their cities, and the Philistines dwelt in them.

For Our Learning
(1) What a sorrowful end for a man who started with such a wonderful future! May we live our lives so that our dying day may be the death of a child of God entering heaven.
(2) When we gradually stop trusting in and following the Lord, we have no hope in the day of severe tribulation.
(3) The people of Israel who had rejected the Lord in demanding a king were reaping the harvest of their rejecting. May we learn and not reject the LORD of grace and mercy as the Savior and Ruler of our lives.

Verses 8 - 10 The Philistines rejoiced. They mutilated the bodies of Saul and his sons.

Verses 8 - 9 The Philistines found the bodies of Saul and of his three sons. They cut off Saul's head, stripped off his armor, and sent the good news back to their people and to their idols.

Verse 10 They put his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth. They fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan, a place near the field of battle.

Verse 12 tells us that they did the same with the bodies of his sons. A gruesome way of rejoicing and of shaming the dead king of Israel. They made the dead, decapitated body a sort of trophy.

For Our Learning
(1) The Lord is displeased when we desecrate and mistreat the dead bodies. See Amos 20:1.

Verses 11 - 13 The brave men of Jabesh-gilead (see 1 Samuel 11:1 - 11) came and retrieved the bodies of Saul and of his sons. They brought them to Jabesh and burnt them. Then they buried the bones in Jabesh. The people of Jabesh-gilead remembered how Saul had years before saved them. They fasted seven days as a rite of sorrow and purification, and a token of their turning to the Lord.

For Our Learning
(1) As the Lord's anointed king, Saul was to be honored also in death by God's people, regardless of whatever faults he had.
(2) We do well to remember the good deeds and favors done to us in the past.
(3) This is a type of our response to Christ's work. That the Savior has saved us from sin and death is reason and cause for serving the Lord Jesus.
(4) In troublesome times may we turn to the Lord as did the men of Jabesh-gilead.

CONCLUDING COMMENT

The Central Theme and Truth of 1 Samuel may rightly be stated in the words of young Samuel: "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant hears." 1 Samuel 3:9-10. The entire book is a series of case histories of those who listened to the Lord and His Word to their blessing and of those who did not listen to the Lord and His Word to their sorrow. Jesus spoke the same truth in the words. "Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it." (Luke 11:28) May we always hear and keep the Word of our gracious Lord and keep it to our present and eternal joy.