Friday, October 30, 2015


O. T. #625  "Stripped"
October 30, 2015
1 Samuel 19-Part 3
And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. 1 Samuel 19:24a


Have you ever been stripped of your position or job? I realize looking back on my career that when people wanted me to go along with them and their ways, I could not. I had to follow God's ways and Word instead of theirs. I doing so, there were times that my teaching contract was not renewed. However, God always provided for my family. It was a very humbling and heart breaking experience. I love teaching children and my opportunity to do so was taken away. Today, we read of Saul being stripped. Read on to find out what it was.

We left David in the city of Naioth with Prophet Samuel where prophets were meeting.

It was the quarters where the men in the school of the prophets dwelled because Naioth literally means dwelling. (Falwell)

These prophets were declaring the Word of God, probably with musical accompaniment. (MacArthur)

In the Hebrew, the word takemeans carry away, fetch. (Strong's Concordance)

Again, Saul sent messengers to fetch David while he was at Naioth.
What happened in this city of prophets shows the Lord has a sense of humor, to me:
  • The Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul and they also prophesied. (verse 20)
  • Two other times Saul sent messengers to capture David, but they were unable to do so.      (verse 21)

The Spirit of God thwarted the messengers' evil intentions. (Life application Study Bible)

Are we depending upon God to protect us from the evil intentions toward us?


How did Saul react to the failures of his men?
  • Since Saul's men could not fulfill their task of capturing David, he went to do the job himself.
  • As Saul approached Naioth, the Spirit of God came upon him, too. Saul walked along prophesying until he came to the city.
  • As Saul entered the city, he stripped off his armor and royal garments, figuratively naked, signifying God's rejection of him as king over Israel. He prophesied in Samuel's presence.
  • Saul lay down that way all day and night. This is why people asked if Saul was among the prophets.
Saul was consumed with jealousy over David's growing popularity, but the Spirit of God immobilized him so he was unable to harm David. Although Saul was receptive to the Spirit of God and was caught up in prophesying, his heart and mind were far from loving God and thinking God's thoughts. (Life Application Study Bible)

MacArthur refers this to being the last time the Spirit of the Lord rested on Saul.
Do we know folks who have not obeyed the Lord and He no longer works with them and through them due to their rejection and disobedience? I'm not saying they lost their salvation. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. However, the blessing of the Spirit can be hindered by our sins.

Saul was not only stripped of his throne, but he was stripped of his dignity in the process.
The Lord knows what it takes for us to be humbled before Him. Hopefully, our stubbornness does not take us to that point.
What does God have to strip from us in order to humble us? So we will surrender to do His will?
Let's bow our knees to King Jesus.


Be alert to the evil intentions of others.

Seek the Lord's will in my situations.

Surrender to God before He has to strip me of something.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Release, Let it Go

O. T. #624 "Release, Let it Go"
October 29, 2015
1 Samuel 19-Part 2
Let me go...  1 Samuel 19:17b


Do you ever get to the point where you throw up your hands and give it up to God? I don't know what to do. I give up. I let go. I can't do anymore. Why do I wait so long to release my situation to God? Isn't my faith strong enough to trust Him in the first place? David had to get to that point, also.

Jonathan patched up things between Saul and David. Once again, David forgave Saul and fought for him against the Philistines in a great slaughter. The Philistines fled. Awe, peace in the valley. Except, the battle took on a different form. Saul's mental state was so unbalanced.

Jealousy, rage, and anger once again dominated Saul, who was enraged by David's success against the Philistines. (MacArthur)

That evil spirit came upon Saul again and he tried a third time to kill David with the javelin, but without success. Then, Saul sent  messengers to David's house with instructions to kill him in the morning. Some how, Michal, David's wife, found out and warned him of the plot. Do we see a faithful wife demonstrating covenantal love for her husband?


David's wife found out the plot to assassinate him some way or the other. Perhaps she knew the messengers that her father had sent to David's house. Anyway, she helped David escape through their window.

What happens next?
  • When Saul's men confront Michal that morning, she tells them David is ill.
  • In the meantime, she disguises an idol and puts it in their bed. I picture it looking like a pillow with the covers over it, which is used as a substitute now days.
  • Saul sends the men back to bring David on his sick bed to him. Then they discover the idol in David's place.
  • Saul asks his daughter how she could deceive him and let David escape.
  • Her excuse was that David told her to let him go or he would kill her. This was the opposite of what actually happened.
  • David had fled to Naioth, the Prophet Samuel's birthplace. He told Samuel all that occurred with Saul. Apparently there were some dwellings where Samuel and his prophets stayed for training, prayer, and fellowship.
With God on your side, anything can happen. Saul's messengers were sent to this place to get David and what ends up happening? The Spirit of God came upon the messengers and they end up prophesying and not killing David. How awesome is our God!

David had trusted in Jonathan, Michal, and Samuel instead of God to protect him from Saul. He fled without experiencing God working for him.

With God, anything is possible, friend. Are we willing to let go of our problems and let God fix them? Are we willing to let go of our children so they can serve the Lord where He leads? I understand how hard it is, for our daughter and her family are living in a state that is a 3 day drive from us.


Release my circumstances into God's hands.

Trust Him to work things out for my good and His glory.

Then watch God work while experiencing His peace of being in His will.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What are Friends For?

O. T. #623  "What are Friends For?"
October 28, 2015
1 Samuel 19
And Jonathan brought David to Saul and he was in his presence, as in times past. 
1 Samuel 19:7b


As a friend, do you sacrifice your time to listen, defend them when others criticize, not judge, but encourage them when it is needed? David had such a friend in Jonathan. After all, what are friends for?

David kills Goliath the giant, enemy of Israel, and Saul the king of Israel wants to kill him. Who can figure? Saul must have been in one of his insane times when he put a contract out on David. Fortunately for David, he had an intimate friend, Jonathan, the king's son who interceded for him and a faithful wife who looked out for him. Saul did not try to disguise his evil intent for he made it known to those who backed David.

God, in His mercy, made sure that David had sympathetic ears within Saul's court to inform him of Saul's evil plans (19:7; 20:2)   (MacArthur)

Do you have a few intimate friends? They are those friends with whom you can share your deepest thoughts and feelings.

Charles Swindoll, in his book David, A Story of Passion and Destiny, explains:
Intimate friends are rare in life. Often we have only one, occasionally two...usually not more than three in our entire lives. There is something about an intimate friend that causes your souls to be knit together. It's what we call a kindred spirit.
Intimate friendship has four characteristics, we find in this story:                                                 
1. An intimate friend is willing to sacrifice. They assist in whatever and in whatever way is needed. Unselfishness prevails. (1 Sam. 18:4)                                        
2. An intimate friend is a loyal defense before others. He won't talk against you when you're not around. Not only did he defend his friend, he also rebuked his father for his attitude toward David.(19:4-5)                                                                                         
 3. Intimate friends give each other complete freedom to be themselves. (20:41)           
 4. An intimate friend is a constant source of encouragement. (23:15-16)

Jonathan is an intimate friend of David's. He informed David of Saul's intent to kill David. When David is at his lowest moment in his life, afraid, and stumbling through the wilderness, Jonathan brings him encouragement.

Are we that kind of intimate friend with others? Do we let them know that we understand how they feel? Do we tell them that tomorrow is going to be a brighter day? Are we with them no matter what happens?


Jonathan told David to go hid in a secret place, near a field. Jonathan would then discuss the situation with his father in the field where David could overhear.
How did Jonathan attempt to persuade his father?
  • Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul.
  • He said that David had not wronged Saul, but described David as the king's servant.
  • What David had done benefited Saul greatly.
  • David took his life in his own hands when he killed the Philistine.
  • The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, which Saul saw, and was glad.
  • Jonathan asked Saul why he would do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for nor reason. (verse 5)
How did this conversation turn out?
Saul took an oath to not put David to death. (verse 6)
Jonathan informed David of the conversation, brought him to Saul, and their relationship was mended, for the time being.

Do we try to mend relationships by being the mediator?


                                 ...of past hurts and forgive.

Persuade others to forgive.

Be a faithful friend.

*We had a wonderful time visiting with our daughter, son in law, and 6 grandchildren last week. Wish it could have been a week longer. We took a couple of days just the two of us and drove to the beautiful state of Vermont during the fall foliage and saw huge mountains. Gorgeous is not describing our awesome God's creation appropriately.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


We will pick up the life of David and Saul tomorrow. We are flying back home from my vacation today, so we would like your prayers.
(Actually, I am typing last week's posts ahead before we leave, and have to pack now.)

Have a great day in the Lord.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Life Long Enemy

O. T. #622 "A Life Long Enemy"
October 26, 2015
1 Samuel 18-Part 4
Saul became still more afraid of him (David), and he remained his enemy the rest of his days. 
1 Samuel 18:29


Life is real. People hurt one another because they are sinful. That is just the way it is in this world. I don't like to have to inform you of this, friend. (You probably have realized it long before now, though.) People just won't forgive and forget the wrongs and harbor resentment all their life. What a waste.
Even on his wedding day, we read of David having a life long enemy. Want to know who?

Everyone loved David, except one-Saul. (Keep that in mind when it appears their relationship is fine.) Twice David fled and escaped Saul's spear. This will become a means of survival in David's life. He had been brought into the army, proved himself faithful, even heroic. David will never again serve in Saul's army. His good position is removed.

Saul had promised his daughter to the man who killed Goliath. Now we know that Saul had at least two daughters. The oldest, Merab, was the one Saul intended to give David, but she came with a condition- if he would serve Saul bravely and fight the battles of the LORD. However, when it came time, Merab was given in marriage to another, Adriel. (verse 19)

What do we know about Merab?
  • Her name means compensation or substitute.
  • She married Adriel the Meholathite instead of David.
  • She bore him children.
  • Five of their sons were later executed by David as punishment for Saul's disregard of Joshua's covenant with the Gibeonites (2 Sam. 21:8; Joshua 9:20). (MacArthur)
Sounds like an earlier retraction of betrothal and Laban's trickery with Jacob to Rachel (Gen. 29:25)

Don't give up David, there is another who will be a better wife for you than the first-Michal.
What do we know about this other daughter of Saul's?
  • Most importantly, she was in love with David. (verse 19)
  • Therefore, we can conclude that she would not do him harm but good.
  • She was given to David with the intent of Saul to be a snare, which did not happen.
  • The king required a dowry for her, which required David killing a hundred Philistines (hoping he would be killed in the process).
  • David delivered more than Saul asked, in fact it was double. So Michal and David and lived happily ever after. (I wish it were so, but it did not turn out that way. There was no fairytale ending to this story.)
Do we trust God to give us the best instead of just good? It would have been a mistake for David to marry Merab instead of Michal. He found out later. Can we look back and see through our disappointments that God had something better when we don't get what we wanted?


Saul realized that the LORD was with David. Saul became still more afraid of him and remained his enemy the rest of his days. It was a 12 year on-going thing, Saul seeking to kill David so he would not overtake his throne as king. Saul became obsessed with it. (I don't want to leave this out-David became will known.) It was in spite of his father in law's horrible treatment, too.

David was more successful than any other officer in Saul's army against the Philistines. (verse 30)

Do you have a lifelong enemy? You have tried to make amends with them, but they will not? God can change things so hand in there. I am still waiting for mine to have a change of heart.


Trust God to work things out for my good and His glory.

Keep loving my enemy and pray for them.

Realize that God knows what it takes to bring folks down on the knees of repentance.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pinned to the Wall

O. T. #621  "Pinned to the Wall"
October 23, 2015
1 Samuel 18-Part 3
Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, "I'll pin David to the wall" but David eluded him twice.   1 Samuel 18:11


Skipping ahead to verse 15, Saul put David in charge of a thousand troops. He was demoted from the king's personal bodyguard to merely a captain over some troops. did it change David? He remained faithful to the Lord and serve and honor his king.
 In everything David did, he had great success because the LORD was with him. When Saul saw how successful he was, Saul was afraid of David. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their battles and campaigns against the enemies.

How do we react when we are demoted? Do we maintain humility and service? Looks like David had several giants to kill.


After killing the Giant Goliath, David did not return home to report to his father. Verse 2 says that Saul did not let him. Do you think Saul thought David would be an access to him kingdom? Well, it didn't turn out that way. You'll recall that the women would come out of their towns and sing unto those returning from the battlefield. Specifically, in contrast, Saul killed his 1,000's and David his 10,000's. Saul got very angry and jealous of David through that. Verse 9 says that Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
Well, the next day didn't get any better, only worse. Saul was prophesying in his house while David was playing his harp. Then an evil spirit came forcefully on Saul. He had a spear in his hand, hurled it at David, saying to himself, "I'll pin David to the wall." (verse 11)

That spear was thrown with the intent to kill. Have you had anyone who tried to pin you to the wall? Tried to nail you down, keep you from doing good, tried to get you to quit a job or leave? That is a very difficult situation, trusting the Lord to bring good out of it all. People can be mean and conniving. When it was God's time, I left. He provided another job. Come to find out, others knew the situation, but were afraid to encourage me in fear they would be attacked also.

Thankfully, David was able to elude Saul's spear, not once, but twice. Wow! He strikes out after the one who helps him. (I understand that those with dementia do the same, treating their loving caregivers ugly and hateful.) 

Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul. So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men. He no longer stayed in the palace with Jonathan and Saul. David led the troops as their captain, successfully in battles. Know why?
In everything he did he had great success because the LORD was with him. (verse 14)
You go David. God bless you.

Do you know there are folks who actually get jealous of spiritual leaders? In some churches, some people want to be the leaders, usually those with money, instead of submitting to the spiritual leaders. We have experienced the battle of the wills. Once, it took 18 years for the breakthrough. Sadly, those folks died off. Now they are submitting to the Lord Jesus in heaven. If only they had submitted while here, they would have been an access and not a detriment.

Beware of them. They are out there, striving to achieve their own agenda and not the Lord's. They hurl spears in various forms-critical words, lies, schemes of harm, selfish deeds, talk behind your back, and the list goes on.

What can we do? Stay true to God; be sure the Lord is with us and leading us through the battle. Live godly before them. Ask God to help you love them.


Recognize my enemies are not the people, but the devil and his demons. They want to destroy the good work I do and my witness.

Trust God to open a door when it is time to leave.

Otherwise, don't quit, don't give in, be an overcomer. (as the song goes)

Trust the Lord to give me success as He is with me.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Jealous Eye

O. T. #620  "A Jealous Eye"
October 22, 2015
1 Samuel 18-Part 2
What more can he get but the kingdom? And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:8b-9 NIV


That person got the promotion instead of us. There may not be a jealous bone in my body, but do I have a jealous eye? Am I happy for that person? Glad, happy? What? Well, God knew what was down the road and it wasn't the best thing for me. Hind sight is 20/20.  Maybe His best is coming. How am I dealing with it? How did David deal with it?

What phrase is mentioned four times in this chapter? "He prospered" is it.

Prospered is derived from the Hebrew word sakal. It can have two descriptive meanings-wise and discretion. A person who is wise, prospers, knows how to keep his mouth shut. (Prov. 10:19) When the wise person opens his mouth, he opens it with discretion (Prov. 21:11) This sakal person is teachable. David was like this. (Swindoll)

Do we guard our lips and keep a teachable spirit? Does promotion or recognition change us? Are we above criticism or no long need the input of others? Remaining positive and wise is our best reaction to an enemy. Who needs to practice this with me?


When the Israeli army men were returning home after the battle with the Philistines and the big fall of their giant champion by David, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing. They sang joyfully, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands."
Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him, displeased him.
Angry in the Hebrew is the word charah, which means to burn within.
Displeased refers to inner turmoil.

Did Saul's stomach turn and churn? Did his face get red with anger resulting him to blow his stack? Did he think, "I've got a giant-killer who's gonna become a king-killer?"
Well, God had Saul's thoughts recorded here in our key verses. Aren't we glad that god doesn't record or thoughts, or is He? We are going to answer for them.

I found some good comments concerning this thing called jealousy.

With the Lord's authority removed from him, Saul's authority rested almost entirely on his military achievements. To maintain his position, he had to be recognized as the strongest man in the kingdom. The women's song sparked Saul's insane jealousy of David, marking the turning point in their relationship. From that day forward Saul would seek to remove David as a threat to the throne. (David Jeremiah)

Saul's appreciation for David turned to jealousy as people began to applaud David's exploits. In a jealous rage, Saul attempted to murder David by hurling his spear at him. Jealousy may not seem to be a major sin, but in reality, it is one step short of murder. Jealousy starts as you resent a rival; it leads to your wishing he or she were removed; then it manifests itself in your seeking ways to harm that person in word or action. Beware of letting jealousy get a foothold in your life.  (Life application Study Bible)

Did David deserve that kind of treatment from Saul? Hardly. David had served God, killed a giant, submitted himself to his superior, and behaved properly. Did Saul realize that God was on David's side and not his? It became more than he could handle.

We need to watch out for jealousy. It likes to raise its ugly head every now and then. Define it in a person when they make comments about someone or something leaning in that direction. (Ask: Do I detect a bit of jealousy here?) Help them to identify it, then the reason for such, and their need to remove it. If it isn't dealt with, well, the results can be devastating and critical.

Maybe we need to ask our self if there is anyone we are jealous of in our own life.


 ...of those thoughts that lead to jealousy. Ask myself why I am jealous. Don't let it develop into anger.

Keep my mouth shut more often. Listen, discern, speak wisely.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fair Weathered Friends

O. T. #619  "Fair Weathered Friends"
1 Samuel 18
October 21, 2015
They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands...
 1 Samuel 18:8


If you live long enough, you'll have some fair-weathered friends. Your friendship keeps the phone lines hot (if cell phones have such) for a while. Then something happens and you find out they back-stabbed you with their words, lied to your face, and your friendship grows cold. Yep, had a few of those. It hurts, too. You forgive them, but keep them at arm's length, so they don't hurt you again. Saul and David had a good relationship until something happened.

God's hand was on David. Ultimately, the Lord was going to use him as the greatest king in the history of Israel, but in order to do that, He had to break him and hone him and sharpen him, which included crushing him. David was about to enter the crucible of pain. Thankfully, he had no idea how excruciating the pain would be.  (Swindoll)

We see some things happening to David after he became the giant-killer:
  • Saul would not let David return to home to his sheep. (verse 2)
  • Whatever David was sent by Saul to do, he behaved himself wisely and was successful. (v. 5)
  • Saul set David over his army in high rank.
  • David was accepted in the sight of the people and Saul's servants.
The champion of champions was a loyal and submissive servant to the king. Whatever he did, David prospered at it. Four times in this chapter it is mentioned. What a guy! He did what God led him to do, submitted to authority, and God lifted him up above his peers. David is a king in the making.

Are we behaving our self wisely? Do we submit to authority God has set over us?

Things were going good for David and then... Saul got jealous. When David returned from his slaughtering the giant Philistine, the women came out of the cities singing and dancing with instruments of music. Great welcome from the battlefield. Except the women sang about Saul killing his thousands and David killing his ten thousands. That did it. Saul was very angry, comparing their credits. David was credited for a better hero.

We have to guard our self from being jealous of others, don't we?


We don't know how much time has passed between chapters 17 and 18. There must have been some time for a friendship to develop between David and Jonathan, King Saul's son. To describe their friendship, we read where their intimate friendship was like their souls were knit (to tie, bind, strong) together. They became close buds, blood brothers, best of friends, a kindred spirit. Do you recon God knew David was going to need such a friend to walk with him through the valley which was ahead of him?

Swindoll, in his book David, describes intimate friendship having 4 characteristics:
  1. They are willing to sacrifice, not stingy, assists, unselfish. (verse 4) Jonathan gave David his robe, armor, sword,bow, and belt. This prince of Israel realized he would not be the next king.
  2. They are a loyal defense before others. Jonathan defended his friend while rebuking his father (verses 4-5)
  3. They give each other complete freedom to be themselves. (20:41) You don't have to explain why you do what you do.
  4. They are a constant source of encouragement. (23:15-16) There was a hit man after David named Saul. When David is the lowest moment of his life, frightened, beleaguered, stumbling through the wilderness, Jonathan brings him encouragement. This was a wholesome, God-honoring relationship that God used in the lives of both men-and even in the future lives of their families. (Don't let people tarnish this friendship with the word homosexual. God would not have approved.)
Do you have one or two intimate friends? They are rare today and to be cherished. Having a close friend helps us face whatever comes our way, don't they? There are times we need their encouragement and support to keep us hanging in there.

Do  know any fair weathered friends-hot one day and cold the next, letting their words fly like a whirlwind against our back? Are we one?


Be a friend that is unselfish, loyal, gives space, and encourages.

Guard against jealousy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Go Before the Governor/King?

O. T. #618  "Go Before the Governor/King?"
October 20, 2015
1 Samuel 17-Part 8
"Whose son are you, young man?" David said, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem."  1 Samuel 17:58


Last year, we got an invitation to the inauguration of the new governor of our state. It was exciting to get a personal invitation with our name on it (though stamped instead of hand signed), even though we don't know him personally. I think it was only because we had attended a conference for Christians concerned about our nation.  Sadly, due to circumstances, we were unable to attend.
David had an invitation to go before his king (and so do we-King Jesus). Shall we see what happens?

The giant was dead. David had accomplished an incredible feat, a remarkable achievement, became a national hero, an overnight celebrity. Yet, he didn't let it go to his head. Here was this young man, not even 20 yet, who never wore an army uniform, never carried a sword, never went into battle, ran onto the battlefield, faced an almost 10 feet tall giant, then killed him with one throw of a sling. Rather incredible, I'd say!
Here are two things which are outstanding about David, as I see them. His bravery to confront the giant in the first place. Next, his faith in his God to bring down the giant. Those are the admirable traits that I see in this young David.

King Saul was watching David's actions as he confronted the giant. He asked Abner, the Israeli army captain, who David's father was. Abner didn't know the answer. Guys, you two have had David come and play the harp in the palace numerous times, and you don't know anything about him? Hm. The king has to inquire about one of his men?

David's king may not have known much about him, but we can be assured, friends, our King, King Jesus knows all about us, His child.
In Isaiah 49:16, God tells us that He has engraved us on the palm of His hands.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made, according to Psalm 139:14.
God knows our thoughts because in  Isaiah 55:8, He says that His thoughts are not our thoughts.
He sees what we do, since in the same verse, God says that our ways are not His ways.
I know God loves us forever; Jeremiah 31:3 tells us that He has loved us with an everlasting love.
He chose us to be His child before He created anything, as Ephesians 1:4 says.

Thank You, heavenly Father!!

In the last verse of this chapter, Saul asks David whose son he was. David admitted that he was just a son of a Bethlehemite. (It was a small town, yet important enough to be the birthplace of a king in the future-King Jesus, who would be King of the Jews and King of us.)

Dear one, do you know King Jesus, the Savior? He invites you to come into His kingdom to be His prince or princess. If you will accept the invitation, and ask Him, Jesus will become your Savior and reign in you heart as King, forever. There is nothing better!


Whew! The battle was over. The giant Goliath was dead and some of the Philistine army was killed. Now all the guys can go back home. Before they are disburse, there is one thing I noticed-Israel and Judah were united in their faith. Verse 52 informs us that they were.

Together they were victorious over the Philistines and had been saved from what looked like certain destruction. (Falwell)

The God of Israel had given them victory and unity.

I like leaving on a happy note, don't you? So we will leave it there-peace in the kingdom of Saul, for the time being.


Thank You, Jesus, that You invited me to be a child of the King, accepted me and adopted me as Yours.

Go before my King in prayer.

Seek unity and peace with others.

*We're off in the blue skies today for a week visit with our daughter in the east. I would appreciate you prayers for our safety traveling. I am working hard to get all the posts ready ahead of time, but if it is lacking, you'll understand, I'm sure. Goin' to spoil those grandbabies.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Just One Stone

O. T. #617  "Just One Stone"
October 19, 2015
1 Samuel 17-Part 7
...taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead.  1 Samuel 17:45


I used to spend a lot of time skipping rocks over the top of my grandpa's creek. When I got good enough, I could count how many times it skipped across the water. Why, I could even use a rock of any shape, for it didn't have to be a flat, flint rock. What can one little stone do? It makes ripples on top of the water. We could say it has a ripple affect, with the circle getting bigger and bigger. So is the influence of just one stone. David's one stone had a giant affect which influenced a whole army. Follow me as we read the details.

Giant Goliath meets his match today. He tried intimidation of young Davie, cursing David by his gods, which was actually against God, challenged the teen to come to him to fight, threatened to give Dav,'s flesh to the birds and beasts.

David was there in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel.

All the mockery and fierceness of the man could not shake the confidence and faith of David. He knew the faith of the whole army of Israel would rally when they saw the giant fall down dead. (Falwell)

What was David's  reply to Goliath?
  • This day the LORD will deliver, hand you over to me.
  • I'll strike you down and cut off your head.
  • I will give the Philistine carcasses to the birds and beasts .
  • The whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.
  • All the witnesses here will know that it isn't by the sword or spear that the Lord saves.
  • The battle is the LORD's.
  • God will give all of you into our hands.
Are we trying to fight your own battle, our own way? Trying to outfox your enemy? Attempting to outsmart that intimidating giant of a financial problem, marital disagreement, job insecurity, neighborhood upheaval? If we do it our way, we are bound to fail; if we do God's way, and we will honor Him and have the best solution.


Goliath moved closer to attack David.
What did David do?
  • David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. (I always though he stood waiting on Goliath to get to him in the ravine.)
  • While running, David reached into his bag and pulled out a stone, placed it on the sling. (He was loading up on the run.)
  • Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, one stone flew through the air.
  • It hit Goliath, sinking into his big forehead; the giant fell down like a sack full of rocks. (did the earth quake?) After all, how could he miss such a big target?
  • This giant fell flat on his face-doornail dead, stone cold dead.
  • David did it with just one stone, no sword was in his hand. (Can you see the terrific force of God that took over the stone, sending it to the right place where no armor or helmet was protecting the giant?
  • Goliath fell face down, not on his back. Even in his death, Goliath bowed before the God of Israel.
  • David ran and stood over the giant he had killed. Then he cut off Goliath's head with his own sword, just as David said he would do.
How amazing is that! God used a sling and a stone to bring a giant down. Isn't that the way our heavenly Father does things? He can use the smallest of things to accomplish His huge purposes.

The Philistines high tailed it out of there after they saw their champion brought down. The Israeli army pursued them and wounded those Philistines. Really? Is this the same army which was greatly afraid previously for 40 days? What an affect David's faith had. They even plundered their tents, taking their possessions.
Well, we can breath easy now. David took Goliath's head all the way to Jerusalem, mind you. Also, he took the giant's armor into his tent.

Goliath was the dwarf and David was the giant. And to think, David did it without any manpower, only with God's power.

Give God all of our weapons, skills, fear, worries, and confusion. After all, the battle is the LORD's. He always wins, one way or another. Sometimes it only takes just one stone to do it, too. What assurance for His children!


Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not unto my own understanding. In all my ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct my path. (Pro. 3:5-6)

Let the battle be the Lord's battle; He delivers and wins.

Allow my life to be like a small stone skipping across the top of water-affecting others' lives with the love of Jesus.

Let others see the affect of faith in God in one's life.

Friday, October 16, 2015

O. T. #616  "Sword, Spear, Shield vs. Smooth Stones
October 16, 2015
1 Samuel 17-Part 6
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you..."  1 Samuel 17:45 NIV


We heard David turn down King Saul's heavy armor to wear when he went to fight Giant Goliath. What was he thinking? No body protection at all? What was this young man up to? What was his strategy? He was not a warrior; his brothers were and his king was. Uhhhh, David...

In verse 45, we read of Goliath's armor: a sword, a spear (javelin), and a shield. He was prepared and ready for battle.

Look at verse 40 to find out what David eventually took into battle:
  • a staff, which refers to a stick for walking, in Hebrew; his shepherd's staff;
  • five smooth stones from the brook; if rough stones, they would not easily pass through the air, nor readily dispatch from the sling (David Guzik);
  • a shepherd's bag, which held essentials for the shepherd out in a field;
  • a scrip, which is a traveling pouch.
  • and his sling in his hand. The sling was a piece of leather where the stone was placed, with a string on each side; the sling was whirled around his head 2 or 3 times. This required practice in order to be accurate at hitting a target. (Guzik)
David could have gathered his tools and never went into battle, but he put walk to his talk instead. Do we?

David had the faith not just to talk, not just to renounce, not just to prepare, but also to draw near the Philistine. That's real faith.  (David Guzik)

Why five stones?
Perhaps the 5 smooth stones were picked up since Goliath had 4 brothers (21:18-22) and 1 to kill Goliath. Maybe it was just in case 1 stone didn't get the job done. It was possible that his estimation of distance was off and he needed more chances to get it to reach the giant. Guess we will have to ask David for the answer when we get to heaven.

Can see the young shepherd teenager ready for battle with only his equipment that he used in protecting the sheep back home?

Are we preparing to meet our giant when our faith is challenged? Do we have Bible verses memorized for when the need arises? Can we sling them at the giant that is attacking us?
Jesus resisted the Devil's temptations in the desert with the Word of God.


Meanwhile, the Philistine giant, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. (Was he smiling or laughing at such a sight?

How did Goliath see David and react to him?
  • Goliath saw David as only a boy, ruddy and handsome. (verse 42)
  • Goliath despised David; scorned him.
  • He asked David, "Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?"
  • Goliath cursed David by his gods.
When Goliath cursed David, he cursed God Himself (Gen. 12:3). God was bound by His covenant to curse Goliath in return. David's moment of truth had come. If God was not who He claimed to be, David was as good as dead. The plan of redemption for the whole world was at stake, because the Savior was to come through David's descendants. (David Jeremiah)

No worry. God will come through for you David. Keep trusting Him. Don't give up and run away now. The whole nation of Israel is counting on you. (Wait a minute. I know how this turns out.o sweat. Do you know the ending?)

When the devil hurls accusations and lies at us, how do we react?


Get my 5 smooth stones (5 Bible verses) ready to use in my spiritual battle.

Be ready to go for God when commissions me in His army.

Pray, study God's Word, surrender to the Holy Spirit's leading.

Daily get the armor of God on (Eph. 6).

Be filled with the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal.5)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Preparing for Battle the Wrong Way

O. T. #615 "Preparing for Battle the Wrong Way"
October 15, 2015
1 Samuel 15-Part 5
David said to Saul "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."  1 Samuel 17:32 NIV


I'll go. I will do it. Count me in. You can count on me. When do we start? Do we volunteer for difficult and challenging tasks or just the easy, small ones? Also, do we continue until the task is done or do we quit in the middle of it? David volunteers to fight a giant. How does he prepare? Is David preparing for battle the wrong way?

Forty days the giant Goliath of the Philistines challenged Israel to send a man to fight him. The loser's people would be slaves of the winner. David shows up on the frontline because his father sent him on a mission-take food to your brothers and bring me a report on their battle, if are they still alive. So when David arrived, he saw and heard the giant taunting challenging Israel and their God. The Israeli army was greatly afraid. This young man could not understand why no one took the challenge.
Let's watch and listen as David converses with Saul in his kingly tent and comfortable chairs (well, maybe). Gather your grandsons around your rocking chair, for this is going to be a good story (which actually happened).

This is my version of what happens:
  • David offers to be Saul's servant that will go and fight with this Philistine. (verse 31)
  • Your are just a youth, David; Goliath is a man of war. (verse 33)
  • David tells Saul about his previously experience of fighting resulted in killing a lion and a bear while tending his father's sheep. (verses 34-35) (Keep in mind, the Spirit of the Lord left Saul and came upon David (16:13-14). God enabled David.
  • King Saul, this Philistine is defying the army of the living God. (verse 36) You can't let him get away with that, sir.
  • Our God delivered me from the paws of a lion and a bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. (my emphasis) (Can you see Goliath's hand being the size of both of ours?)
  • Do you not understand, the lion and bear are the strongest animals in the wilderness? Their roar and growl are ferocious; their body is so heavy and fast; they attack, not retreat; they destroy, not become pets. The God who created these animals can surely tame them and kill them. That is exactly what He did through me-killed the enemy and rescued the sheep. He wants to do the same for His people, his sheep. Nothing can defeat our Almighty God. Where's your faith, Saul?
These words are not in the Bible, but...
Do we let people discourage us from doing what we know is God's will for us?
Do we let our size, age, or experience disqualify us from serving God?
Are we waiting to be delivered from a roaring lion, a huge bear, or a giant?
How big is our faith? How big is our God?
David believed his God was bigger than any 9'9" tall giant; that's for sure.


Finally, David convinced Saul. "Go, and the LORD be with you," Saul told David.

Isn't it remarkable how people can use spiritual cliché's to cover up their empty lives? They know all the right words to use...all the pious-sounding sayings. Saul sure did.  (Swindoll)

Let's get you dressed-take my armor, that's the least I can do for you. We'll fix you up for battle, David. I have to laugh here, thinking what David would have looked like dressed in Saul's armor. Saul is a big man physically (not spiritually, though) and David is a only a teenager in smaller man size. The helmet probably covers his eyes; the heavy armor probably falls down and covers his ankles; a sword may as well have been made of iron as far as David was concerned for he wouldn't have been able to throw it.

How did David react? Thank you sir, I'll do my best, just point me in the right direction. No, he was frank and sensible. David told Saul that he couldn't use those, after all, he had not even tried them out. He couldn't even walk in all that heavy garb. Can you hear the clink and clunk as David slid out of it?

What are you going to do David? Time is wasting. There is no local armor store where you can be fitted in the best suit just your size. We will find out in the next post. Keep those grandsons intrigued.

Swindoll reminds us that what works for one person will not necessarily work for someone else. God provides unique techniques for unique people.

Do we try to put on someone else's armor or put ours on someone else when we have to fight a battle? Do we try to give them our faith to trust God in their situation? Do we try on someone's faith when facing a giant problem? It doesn't work, friend.
We need to be our self. Allow God to use me as me.


When faced with a giant, drop my armor and put on God's armor. (Eph.6)

Don't allow others to discourage me from doing God's will.

Keep trusting my Giant God.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tiny or Giant Faith

O. T. #614  "Tiny or Giant Faith"
October 14, 2015
1 Samuel 17-Part 4
David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:37a


Is your faith the size the seed of a mustard seed, tiny? Doesn't it start out small? Then the more we depend on God to work and experience Him working in our life, the bigger our faith in Him grows. Like the tiny mustard seed that grows into a tall plant, so our faith is intended to grow. How big is our faith-tiny or giant?  Is David's faith tiny or giant faith?

David was sent to the battle ground by his father to check up on his brothers and take them food. While there David heard and saw Giant Goliath, a Philistine, who issued a challenge for Israel to send a man to fight him. He had been taunting the Israeli army for 40 days. David started asking questions and his brother Eliab accused him of wanting to see a battle.

Now the focus is turned to David and Saul, who sent for David. David heard about the rewards the king offered to the man who killed the giant.
What happens next?
  • David offers to go kill the giant. (verse 32)
  • Boy, you don't have the size for it and besides, you're just a kid, look at that giant over there, was what King Saul meant in his reply to David.
  • Was David wondering what giant? God is the only giant in my life. Saul's giant is only a dwarf. My God is all-powerful. He isn't impressed with the externals, for God looks at the heart.
  • David describes to Saul how God had proved Himself faithful in the past when David slew a lion and a bear. (verse 37)
  • David caught the lion by its beard, hit it, and killed it, rescuing a lamb from its mouth.
  • David recognized his strength came from God and believed God could do the same again for David when confronting this giant. Let me at him.
Do you see how God prepared David for this day? His simple faith in God was simply enough.

Just as David tended his flock of sheep and protected them from the lion and bear, his new responsibility as shepherd over Israel required him to eliminate the threat of Goliath. David had wholehearted faith in the God of Israel.  (MacArthur)

Before he gained public prominence as Israel's champion and king, David learned humility and confidence in the Lord while out in the fields tending sheep, with no one but God watching. Only faithfulness in the small things prepares God's servants for greater service in His kingdom (Luke 16:10) (David Jeremiah)

We have to admire young David. He didn't let criticism stop him from doing God's will. (Even when those surrounding him were greatly afraid) David became a man on a mission. In his heart, David knew God's strength wasn't tiny, but giant.

What does it take for us to stop doing God's will in our life? What does it take to turn us away from our God? I hope the answer is nothing.


 Did you catch it again? David mentioned a second time that Goliath has defied the armies of the living God (verses 26 and 36).

Webster's Dictionary gives several definitions for the word defy:
  1. to challenge to combat
  2. to challenge to do something considered impossible-dare
  3. to confront with assured power of resistance-disregard
  4. to resist attempts at-withstand.
Oh my, did Goliath think of his dare for a little Israelite to fight him as an impossible feat for them to win? Goliath disregarded God's ways, all right. Yep, the challenge was on: tiny faith vs. giant faith.

 Friends, dare we defy our God, without a giant price to pay? When we trust God in our small things and He comes through for us, then surely we know we can trust Him with our giant things. Are we?
He can do it again.
Go catch a lion by its beard (figuratively, of course).


Remember how God has demolished my tiny problems and giant ones.

Keep my faith growing.

Stay in God's Word, praying.

I have a GIANT GOD!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What Have I Done Now?

O. T. #613  "What Have I Done Now?"
October 13, 2015
1 Samuel 17-Part 3
And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?   1 Samuel 17:29


Have you ever had a day that it didn't matter what you did or said a person was going to snap your head off anyway? And you wonder, what have I done now? That seemed to be how David's day was going since he arrived at the frontline with his brothers.

David, the youngest of 8 sons of Jesse, was sent by their father to take provisions to his brothers on the front line, and find out the situation. David saw Goliath for the first time and heard his challenge to Israel-send a man down to me to fight.

David asked who was the uncircumcised Philistine that defied the armies of the living God? (Whichever man won the battle signified their god was victoriously supreme god/God.)

Then the "older brother" syndrome showed itself in Eliab, David's oldest brother:
  • had an anger which burned against David (Was jealousy of David being chosen king over him the cause?);
  • asked why David came down there;
  • asked who David left the handful of sheep with in the wilderness;
  • stated that he knew David's motive for coming was to see the battle, better yet, to be seen in the battle.
David was misunderstood and falsely accused by his big brother. David didn't waste his energy fighting with his brother. Did he know who to fight and who to leave alone!

We need to choose our battles wisely. If we don't watch it, all our battles will be fought among fellow members of the family of God. Meanwhile, the real enemy of our souls roams around our territory winning victory after victory. (Swindoll)

Who is our enemy? Not each other. Our real enemy is a giant with a "S" on his shirt-Satan. He lies, causes disagreements, selfishness, pride, jealousy, divisions, hurts us, tries to destroy us, etc.


What have I done now? Can't I even speak? There's nothing wrong with asking, is there?
David, David, it's not you, but your brother.

Sometimes we can't win for loosing, can we? Have you found that it doesn't matter what we say or don't say, the other person will disagree, accuse, discourage, or ignore us?

Then David turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

We are going to leave David there. A giant coming up the ravine and family accusing him.

At times like that where do we turn? Is our faith in the Lord Jesus strong enough to withstand such perils?


"Let the wind blow," I say, when people are mess'n with me.

Trust in God, who is bigger than any giant in my life.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Who is This Giant?

O. T. #612  "Who is This Giant?"
October 12, 2015
1 Samuel 17-Part 2
Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
1 Samuel 17:26


Got any giants in your life, trying to take over? Israel did and it had a name. Who is this giant?

Forty days the gigantic Goliath taunted Israel and Saul did nothing about it. Meanwhile, about 1-15 miles away, in the Judean mountains, near little Bethlehem, a teenager name David was keeping watch over his father's sheep.  He was too young to fight in Israel's army. David's three older brothers were off fighting in Saul's army. David's father Jesse was concerned about his sons and sent David on an errand.

What was happening on the front lines at the battle field?
  • David was sent with refreshments and to make sure his brothers were all right. No one knew this would be Goliath's last day, nor David would be a hero. While David was there, he left the food with the keeper of the supplies and ran to the battle lines where his brothers were.
  • As the brothers talked, the Philistine giant, Goliath, came forward and shouted his usual defiance in a loud cry across the ravine. David heard it, yet had never seen this giant or heard his challenge before.
  • The Israelis ran from Goliath in great fear.
  • David wasn't impressed nor intimidated.
Did David think, "No one talks that way about the God of Israel? Why is everyone running away?"

Isn't it interesting how hindsight gives a lot of insight? Have you ever faced a Goliath, and then three days later you look back and said, "Man, I wish I'd done such and such?" That's hindsight perspective...and it's usually infallible! When you look back you always know a better way, but at the time it happens you sort of shoot from the hip. Unless you're a David.  (Swindoll)


David asks a question rather strange,(so I think), "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel?"
The reward offered by Saul is:
  • great riches,
  • his daughter's hand in marriage,
  • and his father's house exemption from paying taxes. (verse 25)
Do you see between the lines? This chicken of a king, Saul, is enticing his soldiers to kill the giant for him. However, even all those incentives were not enough to motivate any man.

Then David gets down to the point, and asks, "For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"   (verse 26b)

Remember that Goliath's challenge was for Israel to choose a man to come down to fight him, back in verse 8? So David asked if anyone had seen this man who is coming up. (verse 25)

In his book, David, A Story of Passion and Destiny, Charles Swindoll explains:
Goliath has now crossed the ravine at the base of the valley and is coming up Israel's side. If you tolerate a Goliath, he'll take over your territory. He'll move into your camp. He'll take your thoughts that normally ought to be on God, and he'll put them on himself. That's why you can't afford to tolerate giants; you kill them.

All right folks, there we have it, plain and simple-destroy, kill, get rid of those giants that taunt us. Got any giants defeating your joy, your love, your confidence as a child of the King, Jesus?
It's time we Christians take back our family, our reputation, our church, our nation from Satan and let Jesus reign as King.

I'm referring to those giants of temptations, sin, lust, adultery, porn, materialism, pride that attack our minds and hearts, which draw us away from serving our God.


Surrender to Almighty God, El Shaddai, and His reigning in my heart.

Recognize the giants who attack and want to run my life.

Stand against those giants in my life in Jesus' name.

Friday, October 9, 2015

That Intimidating Giant

O. T. #611  "That Intimidating Giant"
October 9, 2015
1 Samuel 17
And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 1 Samuel 17:4


I can let the silliest little things grow in my life and become that intimidating giant. Fear comes in various forms, doesn't it? I fear the unknown about situations.  Most of those things don't even happen, so they say. Yet, I find myself dwelling on them, day after day, and throughout the day. Anyone with me? Worry, worry.Then a word in a song yelled at me-RELEASE. If only I would learn: to God I release, I would have more peace. So that is going to be my word to live by the rest of this year and next year. Release for peace. Give it to God to work out. Take it all Jesus. I surrender it. Now that is quite an assignment! Are you with me?

Before we get into this story, which actually happened, let's review.
When Israel had first approached the Promised Land, most of the Israelites had been afraid to enter because of the giants living there (Num. 13:32-33). (Joshua and Caleb were the only spies to say they could capture the land. Others focused on the giants in the land, not their giant God.) King Og needed a bed 13 feet long (Deut. 3:11). (Life Application Study Bible)
These Philistine giants continued to live up to this time.

Looking at the scenery, we find the Philistine and Israelite armies are camped on opposite hills with a valley between them. The Valley of Elah  had steep walls, was a vast canyon, about a mile wide. (This may have been where David picked up his 5 stones.)
The towns of Sochoh and Azekah are in Judah, about 15 miles west and 17 miles northwest of Bethlehem., and 15 miles southwest of Jerusalem.

This is probably the most well-known battle of the Bible-David and Goliath. But then, I think of Gideon and his small army of 300. Whether it is a one-on-one or a small army, the size does not matter when God is on your side.
No matter how big the giant might be, God is greater. (Swindoll)

Why was this all taking place? Goliath issued a challenge to Israel to send out their man to fight him. Whoever won, the loosing army would be the victor's slaves. This prevented so much bloodshed. This occurred day after day, for 40 days (verse 16).

In the ancient world, wars were sometimes decided in a head-to-head battle between two champions. People believed that the gods determined the matter through those two warriors. (Jeremiah)

How do we react when our faith is challenged? Do  we stand for our God or turn away?
It caused fear in Saul and Israel, the challenge of Goliath (verse 11).
Probably Saul expected that his people expected him to fight Goliath. Remember, Saul was a head taller than the Israelites and he was their leader, the king.

How do we react when others expect us to fight? Do we seek God's will first?


Have you ever read such a detailed description of an enemy as if found in this chapter about Goliath?
  • was a champion in the army of the Philistines. Champion means the space between two armies; the middle man who represented his army.
  • was 6 cubits and a span in height, which is 9 feet and 9 inches in our terms. quite a ginormous man! (Modern term) The NBA would have loved him.
  • had some armor, called a coat of mail-a bronze helmet, coat of brass (covered shoulder to knee), which weighed 175-200 pounds, bronze leggings to protect his shins, and carried a bronze javelin or spear (head weighed 20-25 pounds).
  • had a man carrying a shield in front of him (shield the size of a full grown man).
So, every morning and evening for over a month, this gigantic warrior marched out, flaunting his size and his strength, daring an Israelite to come take him on. His yelling across the ravine was intimidating.

Do we have any giants of fear and worry? Are they coming morning after morning, every night, and day after day? They may come in the form of a person, a pressure, a fear, a worry, or in the mail, a lawsuit, unemployment, a job, a roommate, a family member. Do they yell across our personal ravine, challenging us?

What do we do? Do we take the challenge face on clothed in the full armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6? Or do we hide, cower down?
Our Goliath may appear small to others, but a giant to us. That is when we need to get our perspective from God. All things are small to him, so He can handle them all for us.

Put on our spiritual armor-helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, boots of peace, spear of the Word, and shield of faith. They are provided by Jesus and free of charge to us.

1 John 4:4 says, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

May I challenge you to memorize this verse with me?


When facing a giant in my life, release it to my God.

Trust Him, love Him, depend on our Savior who defeated the grave and death, so He can defeat anything.

All right, Linda, put these words into practice today-release it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Refreshing Friend

O. T. #610  "A Refreshing Friend"
October 8,2015
1 Samuel 16-Part 5
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.  1 Samuel 16:23


Do you have a friendship that is refreshing to you? On the other hand, are you the kind of friend that one can say refreshes them? David was that kind of friend.

David was summoned by the king. Saul had heard that David could play the harp. The king's servant suggested music would soothe his soul. David was a music minister before he became king. Obviously,  the music did soothe the king.
Falwell suggests that David played for Saul for a short time, then when Saul recovered, he returned to Bethlehem. The evil spirit on Saul was evidently a mental affliction next to insanity. Probably David's becoming the king's armor bearer did not happen at this time.

Anyway, the king was pleased with David. They probably talked and shared with each other during the times David was there playing music for Saul. Verse 21 says that King Saul loved David greatly. Now that was a relationship developed.

In Hebrew, this word loved is ahab (aw-hab') means to have affection for, like a friend.

Do we have friends that we love? Do we show that we care about them? Do we tell our friends that we love them, or do we take it for granted that they know? How encouraging are we to our friends? Are we there when they need a listening ear?

Saul loved David for his abilities, but later grew to hate him because he knew he (David) was blessed by the Lord (18:29). (MacArthur)


When the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took his harp and played with his hand. It refreshed Saul and all was well once again. The evil spirit departed from Saul. (verse 23)

Refreshed means to breath freely, revive. (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)

In verse 22, Saul sent word  to Jesse, David's father, requesting David to come to the palace. David found favor in the king's sight. What better thing can be said of a person?

When Saul asked David to be in his service, he obviously did not know that David had been secretly anointed king (verse 2). Saul's invitation presented an excellent opportunity for the young man and future king to gain firsthand information about leading a nation. (David kept going back and forth from Saul to tend his father's flock in Bethlehem (17:15). Sometimes our plans-even the ones we think God had approved-have to be put on hold indefinitely. Like David, we can use this waiting time profitably. We can choose to learn and grow in our present circumstances, whatever they may be.  (Life Application Study Bible)

Do we want to find favor in King Jesus' sight? Isn't it all that we need, to be assured that our King loves us greatly?

In Jeremiah 31:3 the Lord says, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love...


Show my friends that I love them, as well as telling them.

Tell the Lord Jesus that I love Him.

Show my love for Jesus by loving others.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Country Girl and a Shepherd Boy

O. T. #609 "A Country Girl and a Shepherd Boy"
October 6, 2015
1 Samuel 16-Part 4
Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.  1 Samuel 16:19


Ok, you have probably realized by now, if you have followed this blog for very long, that I am a country girl. Daughter of a cattle and poultry farmer, I still live in the country after all these years. And I love it! I have lived in big cities, which I so desperately wanted, only to realize that was not where my heart is. There is nothing like a brisk walk in the fresh, cool, fall air on a quiet country road, singing to the Lord.
Then God opened the door of opportunity.
This country girl shared an insignificant part of my past, an unpleasant event that happened in my childhood, which I locked up behind a door in my mind, to not be share with anyone, let alone with over 100 females (and church members). Even though it was painful to share, God used my testimony to touch hearts at our Princess Retreat held at our church. I know of seven girls that were saved that day, and more are coming to know Christ as their Savior. I like to think I had a small part in hearts being changed.
David probably considered his life insignificant as he sang and played songs on his harp to sheep out in the fields. Yet God heard and had a plan. Shall we find out what it was?

We begin today's lesson with verse 14, which is a rather strange one. First, we knew the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul since we are told in verse 1 that God rejected Saul as reigning over Israel as king. Now we read that an evil spirit from the LORD troubled Saul. Do you see the progression? Saul rebelled, offering a sacrifice instead of waiting for Prophet Samuel to arrive to do so, then he was rejected, and an evil spirit came upon him.

Before the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost (Acts 2), the Spirit of God never permanently rested on any believer except David and John the Baptizer. those were the only two. It was not uncommon for the Spirit of God to come for a temporary period of strengthening or insight or whatever was the need of the moment and then to depart, only to return again for another surge of the need of the moment, then to depart, once again. However, at Pentecost and fro that time all the way through our present era, when the Spirit of God comes into the believing sinner at salvation, He never leaves. We remain sealed by the Spirit from that time on. (Eph. 4:30)  (Swindoll)

In the Commentary on the Old Testament, the authors Keil and Delitzsch suggest the evil spirit from Jehovah upon Saul:
  • wasn't merely an inward feeling of depression at the rejection, which grew into melancholy, and occasionally broke out in passing fits of insanity,
  • a higher evil power deprived him of peace of mind,
  • it stirred up the feelings, ideas, imagination, and thoughts of his soul to such an extent that at times it drove him even into madness.
  • The demon was sent as a punishment.
Falwell suggested that the evil spirit was evidently a mental affliction next to insanity and Saul was unable to function with it.

MacArthur says this spirit was a messenger from Satan, to be distinguished fro a troubled emotional state brought on by indwelling sin, or the harmful consequences of the sinful acts of others. This demon spirit attacked Saul from without, for there is no evidence that the demon indwelt Saul. He experienced depression, anger, delusion, initiated and aggravated by the evil spirit assigned to him.

As I read the rest of this chapter, I realize that God created a need in Saul's life that David could meet and would come to the king to learn how to be a future king.
From this I learn that I need to stay close to my God, obeying Him. I sure don't want to have such a thing happen to me. I'm sure you feel the same way.


Who wants to be around such a guy as what King Saul had become? His predicament was so visible to those around him that even his servant recognized that he needed help. What is suggested as help? Bring in a skillful player on the harp so Saul can be well.

So they sought him, this harpist, or whatever he is called, the one skillful on the harp. I wonder as the people heard of this request sent out from the palace needing a harpist for the king, if someone knew a fellow, who knew a guy, who is acquainted with David who plays soothing music.
"I know a guy who can do that," and word travels quickly.

Isn't God creative in His ways to carry out His sovereign plan? David's resume is found in verse 18. Listed first is a skillful musician, and last is that the LORD was with him. Hmm. Now we know that David had spent his whole live put in the fields of Judea. Although, his main audience was sheep. We don't even know if he played for the family on a Saturday night get together. David had not even met Saul, yet he is going to be Saul's replacement. What does God use to bring these two together but music.

Then David gets the message-the king wants to see you. He wasn't even told to bring his harp, the main reason for the visit. David's father gets excited and send along with him bread, a jug of wine, and a young goat as gifts for the king.

So don't discount anything in our past. God can use the most unusual things and abilities in the most incredible ways we may never have an inkling could be used for His purpose.

You never know when something that happened years ago will open a door of opportunity into the future. You may think some skill you learned or used years ago is lost, or that you've wasted all your time doing such and such, but don't you believe it. God can draw what may seem to be a most insignificant part of your past and put you in exactly the right place to use that particular gift or skill.(Swindoll)

And to think, a shepherd teen is summoned to appear before the king. That in itself is amazing. Of course, our God can do amazing things! Sweet friends, don't think you are insignificant in God's kingdom work. Hey, if He can use a shepherd boy and a country girl, He can use anyone to accomplish His purposes. We just need to be surrendered and faithful, ready to say," Yes, Lord."

Are we ready to be used by a king-King Jesus?

(Keep in mind, Samuel's anointing David as the next king of Israel was not announced, but kept in the family.)


Be willing to let God use me in whatever way He chooses.

Look for open doors of opportunity to serve Christ.

Watch Him work.

Trust the results to Him and give Him the glory.

Being Quite a Character with Character

O. T. #608  "Being Quite a Character with Character"
October 5, 2015
1 Samuel 16-Part 3
...and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. 1 Samuel 16:13b


Do people describe us as quite a character? Do our bad qualities outweigh our good ones? Do people mention our bad qualities when asked about us? Or do they describe our good character qualities when someone asks about us? David was quite a character all right. However, he was real and not fake. He had character, which is good qualities. Yes, indeed. I describe David as quite a character with character.

In verse 13 we read that the Spirit of the LORD came upon David after Samuel anointed him with oil, symbolizing David as the next king of Israel. It was a quiet ceremony, with only David's family present.
How is this teenaged shepherd boy described? This "baby of the family" was an obedient son, came when he was called by his father, protected the sheep from harm in the fields. Verse 18 gives 5 more descriptions of David, the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite:
  1. a skilled musician,
  2. a mighty warrior,
  3. a wise man (prudent in speech),
  4. a handsome man,
  5. a godly man (the Lord was with him). (The Jeremiah Study Bible)
Let's take a closer look at these qualities, shall we?

While David was in the fields tending to his father's sheep, he sang and played the lyre. We read 150 of his songs recorded in the book of Psalms (others wrote some, too). This small harp was a stringed instrument made from the small intestines of a sheep, stretched over a piece of wood. It had a hollow chamber and multiple strings stretched to different tautness, very similar to a modern guitar. (The Jeremiah Study Bible)

David is described as a warrior? But fight with Goliath the giant had not occurred yet. So I thought about the duties of a shepherd-kill the lion or wolf when they came to attack and kill the sheep, fight the elements of weather to herd the sheep to protection. Perhaps he had to fight against jealousy toward his brothers, with them going off to war when he stayed behind to care for the sheep, even though we aren't told of such.

David was a wise man in his speech. We pick up on that character trait as he deals with Saul during his depression.
We were previously told that David had red hair and a beautiful countenance (handsome).
David was a godly young man. It would have been hard for a young man to get into trouble while away from town and people, out in the fields, right? Perhaps he learned to be a listener since he had 7 other brothers.

How would people describe us? Do we use our God-given talents and abilities for honoring our God? Are we a spiritual warrior-praying for others, standing up for the Word of God? Does our appearance honor God or draw attention to our self? Are we a godly person?


Remember, God described David as a "man after His own heart."

In his book, David, a Man of Passion and Destiny, Charles Swindoll describes David with these quality words:
  • David was spiritual. His life was in harmony with the Lord; what is important to God is important to David; what burdens God burdens him. David followed the Lord's directions and commands. David's heart was sensitive to the things of God; his heart was completely God's (as in 2 Chron. 16:9). He was authentic in his spiritual walk, not faking it. (After all, who did he have to impress out in the field?)
  • David was humble. He had a servant's heart, tending his father's smelly sheep. A servant obeys, not rebels, respect those in charge, serves faithfully and quietly. He gets the job done so another succeeds.
  • David had integrity. (Ps. 78:71-72) He was a honest-to-the-core servant with integrity. David was bone-deep honest. Making a good impression was not his concern.
Spiritually, humble, with integrity. Now that makes for a good resume, doesn't it? Who would not want that type of person on their team? Especially running a nation, God's chosen people, Israel.

All right, dear ones, you know it's time for self-inventory. What kind of person are we? Are we spiritually, humble, and have integrity? If we want to please God, then we will be developing those character qualities, all mentioned above.


Get to the point where I submit to what God wants me to do, even if the thing is hard and not my first choice.

Develop a heart for God that is always talking to Him, praising Him, loving Him throughout the day.

Kick out that "pride" and stay humble before my God.

Don't compromise my integrity for self pleasure.

Be a wise, godly prayer warrior.

Strive to be a woman after God's own heart.

*May I recommend you seeing the movie War Room. It is a very good example of God answering prayers when we seek Him with all our heart.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Just an Ordinary Day on the Job

O. T. #607  "Just an Ordinary Day on the Job"
October 2, 2015
1 Samuel 16-Part 2
"There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep."
1 Samuel 16:11b NIV


Last year, our Christian radio station ran a contest for  giving away a free ticket to see one of my favorite authors speaking only 20 miles away from my house. I had almost all of her books. Our ladies Bible study group studies her books, too. All that was required was to be a certain number of caller that day when they mentioned it on the air. I tried calling once, with no results. Then the next time they announced it, I tried again. I dialed in the station's number, then hitting send when it was time. Awh! I won. I was so astounded that I could barely say thanks to the D.J. I did a happy dance right there in my house! What started out as just an ordinary day became extraordinary for me!
So I ordered two extra tickets and took two of my friends with me. We got to sit in the audience and listen to Lysa TerKeurst speak. Her book The Best Yes was on the top sellers list for a while. I was so  blessed that I wanted to share it with friends. (I even gave Lysa a small gift while she was rushing down the hall to leave.)
What about David, when he was anointed king of Israel?

It was just an ordinary day like any other. David was out in the field taking care of his father's sheep. That was his job-shepherd of the sheep, tasking care of them. Little did he know that his life was about to change. David, the youngest of the smallest tribe of Israel, Benjamin, was going to be anointed the next king of Israel. He was destined to be on the throne, yet he did not have an inkling.

Meanwhile, back home, David's father Jesse, grandson of Boaz and Ruth, brought his 7 brothers to appear before the Prophet Samuel. What an honor to have Samuel there in the region, let alone talking to one's family. (Kind of like the Pope visiting U.S., but I'm not one of his followers.) Although David did not know any of this was happening.

Samuel was looking at the appearance of those 7 young men. Was he looking for a tall one like Saul? Did he want the next king to be dark and handsome? What was Samuel looking for in a king? Evidently Samuel was looking with the wrong things in mind. The Lord set him straight.
Look at the instructions: Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Samuel needed to be reminded that God's anointed was not chosen because of physical attributes. The Hebrew concept of heart embodies emotions, will, intellect, and desires. The life of the person will reflect his heart (Matt.12:34, 35)
God's favor/choice often fell on the younger and the least, such as Jacob, Joseph, and Gideon. Although David was the youngest, he was considered the first-born over Israel (Ps. 89:27). His humble beginnings was a shepherd, then later to rule as a king. It typified Jesus, the ultimate Shepherd and King of Israel. (MacArthur)

In John 10, Jesus identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd that:
  • gives His life for the sheep,
  • knows His sheep, is known by His sheep,
  • lays down His life for the sheep,
  • is known by His sheep.
Do you know the Good Shepherd? Is He your provider, protector, Savior? He can be today, dear one. Ask Him.

David was evidently not as handsome as Saul, less impressive by human standards, and even less than his brothers. However, David had a heart as big as his kingdom.
It would be good for us to remember that appearance doesn't reveal what people are really like or what their true value is. Only God and you can know what your heart really looks like.
God already had David destined as Israel's next king, though it took a while for Samuel, David, and others to know the heart of God.


Obviously there was favoritism going on in Jesse's family. He didn't even bring David home when he gathered up his brothers as Samuel requested. (opposite of Joseph's situation)

"Are these all the children?" Samuel asked Jesse. Did you deduct that Dad wasn't going to bring teenager David to the meeting? Samuel had to demand that he be brought in. In fact, they were not going to sit down until he arrived. I wonder what thoughts were going through Samuel during that wait. Did he have it figured out by the time David got there, that David was the one? No time for interviews or reading of resumes, not needed. The boss chose him and that was that.

"Hey, David, they want you back at the house." I hope he didn't dilly dally around and hurried home. Everyone was waiting on the king to enter. (thought David didn't know it)
Can you see him, ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features, running through the fields, hair waving in the wind? (verse 12)

Ruddy means reddish (of the hair or complexion).

Then the Lord told Samuel, Rise and anoint him; he is the one.

Here enters a redheaded teenaged boy, smelling like sheep, dressed humbly in shepherd's clothing, perhaps needing a shave and a hair cut.
Samuel didn't ask if God was sure. Samuel obeyed immediately. Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the presence of his brothers. From that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.

Wow! What a coronation. No television coverage, no cameras flashing, no cell phone snaps. Not even a picture of David and Samuel or David with his family on "his day."

Did the aged Samuel whisper in the ear of the young David, "You will be the next king?"
What did David do? Build a castle to live in, set up an office, try on crown at the nearest department store, have business cards printed up, typed a badge saying King of Israel? Not. There wasn't even a shining new chariot awaiting him. He went back to tending sheep. We read it in 17:14-15.

Today, the most surprising moment, the most magnificent things could happen in our life. How will we react? With an attitude of "it's about time!" or a humbly "me?"

Swindoll says, "God's promotions are usually sudden and surprising, so be ready."
He knows where we are and how to find us. Are we ready to carry out the job He has for us?

What have I learned from this?
  • God can take the ordinary and change it into His extraordinary.
  • He can change a nobody into a somebody.
  • God looks inwardly into the heart, not outwardly at the appearance.

Keep serving God faithfully where I am, doing what I know He wants me to do.

Wait on the Lord to change my direction.

Remember I am a somebody with Jesus.

Don't judge others by their appearance.