Thursday, December 31, 2015


O. T. #667  "Appreciation"
December 31, 2015
2 Samuel 1-Part 2
The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! 2 Samuel 1:19


I am so thrilled at the progress my brother is making in his rehab facility. He is walking with a walker and driving a wheelchair. On my way out after visiting him the other day, I stopped by the desk and thanked a couple of ladies for their work there and expressed my appreciation. They smiled and thanked me, also wished me a nice day. It only takes a couple of minutes, but makes others feel good about what they are doing, although they get paid for it. Kindness goes a long way. Look for an opportunity today.

We, friends, we are almost at the end of our road traveling in this year. Are we looking back or forward?
Keep traveling steadily along His pathway and in due season He will honor you with every blessing.  Psalm 37:34

We can see the deep grief David had for Saul and Jonathan when he learned of their death in the battle against the Philistines in verses 17-27.
How does he pay tribute to Israel's fallen?
  • He describe them as the pride and joy of Israel and mighty heroes. (verse 17)
  • They shed the blood of their enemies and pierced the bodies of mighty heroes. (verse 22)
  • They were beloved and gracious; swifter than eagles and stronger than lions. (verse 23)
  • Saul dressed the women luxuriously in scarlet clothing, decorated with gold. (verse 24)
  • David loved Jonathan so very much like a brother and Jonathan's love for David was deep. (verse 26)
The commitment shared between David and Jonathan was a noble, loyal, and selfless devotion.  (MacArthur)

How strong is our friendship to friends and family, and the Lord Jesus? Do we talk with Jesus throughout the day, as though He was sitting next to us in the car, walking with us as we shop for groceries, share a meal with our loved ones? Are we thanking Him for all the blessings running over as tea poured into a filled cup?
I have stared sending 3 different people a hand written thank you card each week that are serving in some capacity in our church. Everyone needs appreciated and acknowledged for their faithfulness. Some have even thanked me for the card. Card? What card? Oh, yeah, that one. We both smile. Shouldn't we do that while they are alive, letting folks know we love them and appreciate them?


David showed a gracious and forgiving attitude toward Saul, who spent years seeking him in order to kill David. The commitment shared between David and Jonathan was a noble, loyal, and selfless devotion. (MacArthur)

What an example for us to follow is David right here. When we are battered and bruised, can we forgive those who caused it?

Life application Study Bible explains this poem:
He had every reason to hate Saul, but he chose not to. Instead, he chose to look at the good Saul had done and to ignore the times Saul had attacked him. It takes courage to lay aside hatred and hurt and to respect the positive side of another person, especially an enemy. David restated the deep brotherhood and faithful friendship he had with Jonathan. He was not implying any wrong relations, as homosexuality was forbidden in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.

How loyal are we to our friends? Are we there for them when times are tough, as well as easy? Love never fails. Is Jesus our best friend and Savior?


Be forgiving and faithful to others.

Show my appreciation to others.

Share the love of Jesus today.

Keep looking forward, learn from the past, and live in the present.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Hero vs. Not a Hero

O. T. #666  "A Hero vs. Not a Hero"
December 30, 2015
2 Samuel 1


Who do you consider to be a hero? I think the military people who protect our country against the evil ones in the world are mine. There are a few personal ones, but I won't name them here.

We pick up the life of David, continuing where we left off. In this book, named after the great Prophet Samuel, David experiences triumphs and troubles.

Who killed King Saul of Israel? We read in 1 Samuel 31 that Saul was injured by a Philistine's arrow during their battle, then fell upon his own sword after his armor bearer wouldn't put him out of his misery. However, today, we read of an escapee Amalekite who comes into Ziklag from Israel's camp, and becomes another suspect in the matter. This guy said that Saul asked him to slay him, so he did just that. Now, either the man is lying or telling the truth. Several tend to think he was lying because he gave to David the king's crown and bracelet. Probably the man expected a reward, medal, or a life pension. The unexpected happened instead-David had him killed for killing the king, if he actually did it. If it was a lie, then it turned out to be a fatal lie. The man expected to be treated like a hero for killing God's anointed one. If this Amalekite actually did kill Saul, it would have been due to Saul's rebellion by not obeying God in slaughtering the Amalekites back in 1 Samuel.

Do we have discernment to tell if one is truthful or lying? Can we tell when a person plotted and schemed an evil deed instead of  the truth?


At any rate, that the stranger gave David the news that Saul and Jonathan and many Israelis died during the battle with the Philistines. Recognizing the articles of the king, David and his men wept, mourned, and fasted for the death of Saul, Jonathan, and his men. (verse 12)

David told his people to teach the children of Judah how to use the bow. (verse 18)
The Israelites had no iron weapons of war, so Saul taught them how to use the bow. (McGee)

So something good came from Saul's life. Will there be something good come from our life after we are gone? Are we teaching our children and grandchildren about the Lord Jesus? Will we be considered a hero because of our faith?


Be a hero by obeying and pleasing God, and sharing the plan of salvation.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Lookng Backwaards and Forwards

O. T. #665  "Looking Backwards and Forwards"
Introduction to 2 Samuel

As another year comes to an end, a new one is around the corner. It is always good to look back and reflect on events, choices, challenges, changes, answered prayers, and faith. What did God allow into your life this year? How did it change you? Was it for the good or not so good? What things brought you closer to the Lord and to others?

Ah, looking back on my 2015 year of life. It was my extended 14 year of my breath and life. Let me repeat here, God extended my life all this time since 2001 when I almost died after surgery. Again in 2014, He sustained my life when my potassium and sodium was so low that I almost died. Yes, I have had another blessed year to life. I am so grateful to the Lord Jesus and His providing for me.

It as quite a challenging year for my husband and me, for we both had surgery and time of recuperation. Because of it, we chose not to go on a foreign mission trip. Instead, our missions was at home-Dedication of our new sanctuary, revival services, Vacation Bible School, and  Princess Girl Retreat. He baptized 21 into our church, most of whom had received salvation through one of those activities.

Our family was blessed with another baby boy added; Andrew was born in July. Oh, I almost forgot, we went to visit our daughter and her 6 children back in November. Roger and I drove on into the beautiful state of Vermont and spent a couple of days in celebration of our 43rd anniversary.

Just two weeks ago my brother had a stroke, leaving his left hand, arm, and leg without control. His is doing alright now, and is in a rehab facility. I am going to visit him this afternoon and take some homemade fudge and banana bread to him.

One of the challenges I faced was that of sharing my testimony about childhood abuse. It was very difficult, since only few knew about it. Since then, I am working on writing a book in hopes to help girls and other women who have experienced similar things and how the Lord has healed me through this process.

Yes, the Lord has blessed me indeed, enlarged my territory, kept His hand on me, kept me from evil, and kept me from causing others pain, as Jabez prayed, which was answered (1 Chronicles 4:10). He has definitely kept me this year. Thank You Jesus!

Shall we look backward into David's life, then forward?

The Life Application Study Bible gives us some background on this 2 Samuel:  
  • Author? It is unknown. Some have suggested that Nathan's son Zabud may have been the author (1 Kings 4:5). The book also includes the writings of Nathan and Gad (1 Chronicles 29:29).
  • Date written? 930 B.C. , soon after David's reign, 1010-970 B. C.
  • Setting? The land of Israel under David's rule.
  • Key people? David, Joab, Bathsheba, Nathan, Absalom

Back in 1 Samuel 13, David, the youngest son of Jesse, a descendant of Judah, the son of Jacob, descendant of Abraham, was anointed king of Israel. Also, David was the ancestor of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. King Saul and his son Jonathan were killed, along with many others, in a battle with the Philistines. Saul was so jealous of David that he was intent on killing David. Therefore, David spent around 12 years running for his life. During those times, he wrote songs (Psalms) as prayers to the Lord. As a lad, he would sing and play his harp to his sheep as their shepherd, then to Saul to sooth his restless spirit. This former shepherd would soon be the shepherd of his kinsmen, Judah and Israel. He acknowledged the Great Shepherd of the God of Israel.

Adversity is the test of faith; prosperity is the test of integrity. (D. Jeremiah)

Looking forward into David's life, we see that he will encounter successes and struggles, consequences of sin, and renewed worship of God within Israel. God establishes the Davidic covenant, which guaranteed the throne of David to last forever.

How will we react when an unexpected fork in the road of our life confronts us? Although we don't foresee what temptations, decisions, and opportunities we will face this year, we can seek God's wisdom, counsel, protection, and companionship each day. He will guide our every steps along the way as David said in Psalm 63:8.

So let's look to the author and finisher of our faith-Jesus.

Monday, December 28, 2015

When Troubles Come

O. T. #664  "When Troubles Come"
December 28, 2015
Summary of 1 Samuel-Part 2

When troubles come, we realize how blessed we were and are. My family is so very blessed. On the 19th my brother had a stroke because of high blood pressure. It paralyzed his left hand, arm, and leg due to blood vessel bursting deep in his brain. It could have been so much worse than it was. He was moved to a rehab facility, where his hopes are high for recovering usage of his limbs. I pray we will all appreciate each other instead of taking for granted others in our life. Please keep Larry in your prayers in the following weeks.

Now, back to the summary and highlights of this book.
After David killed the Philistine Giant Goliath, King Saul became mad with jealousy, desiring to kill David, the anointed next king of Israel. Saul remained David's enemy for the rest of his life. David married Saul's daughter, Michal, as a reward of this victory. David's wife and friend Jonathan helped him escape his death threats from Saul. As a result, David is on the run for his life. He is joined by hundreds of troubled, indebted, and discontented men, who form his army. It is during these times (about 14 years) that David writes many of the Psalms we have to encourage us in our low times.

David protects his parents, taking them to the land of Moab. Priest Ahimelech aids David and ends up slaughtered along with 85 other priests in Israel, by Doeg the Edomite. David and his men end up hiding in the wilderness from Saul after David's army protects the town of Keilah from the Philistines who took their crops.

Other events occur:
  • David spares Saul's life while in the same cave. (chapter 24)
  • The Prophet Samuel dies. (chapter 25)
  • Rich Nabal angers David by not showing gratitude for his men's services. Red-headed and hot-headed David intends to kill Nabal when his wife, Abigail intercedes and prevents it as a result of her kindness. David marries Abigail.(chapter 25)
  • David reveals that he spared Saul's life a second time as he possessed Saul's spear and jug of water. (chapter 26)
  • David considered the best solution for his running for his life from Saul was to go live in the land of the Philistines. they are given a town named Ziklag. He attacks some of the Philistine cities, while deceiving their leader Achish into thinking David annihilated Israeli cities.  (chapter 26)
  • The Philistines were marching to battle with King Saul. He asked God if he should go to war with them, but because of Saul's rebellion, God did not answer him. Saul sought a witch to bring Samuel back from the dead so he could ask whether Saul should go to war with the Philistines. He is told that he and his sons would die, which happened. (chapter 28)
  • The providence of God intervened and the Philistines refused for David to join them in fighting the Israelites. While David and his army of men are away from Ziklag, the Amalekites burn their town and take captive their families. All is recovered by them, all but 400 of the Amalekites are killed, and David shares the captured goods with the Israelites who had previously aided him, as well as the 200 men in his army who were too weak to fight. (chapter 30)
  • David had 7,000 troops join him forming a great army. (1 Chronicles 12)
  • Saul and his three sons, one of whom is David's best friend Jonathan, die during the battle of Israel and the Philistines, as well as many Israelis. (chapter 31)
So much killing and drama due to Saul's foolishness and David's running from Saul.

Life Application Study Bible shares with us some insight:
Although we are free from the sacrificial system of the Jewish law, we may still rely on outward observances to substitute for inward commitment. God desires that all our work and worship be motivated by genuine, heartfelt devotion to Him. Heroic spiritual lives are built by stacking days of obedience one on top of the other. Like a brick, each obedient act is small in character itself, but in time the acts will pile up, and a huge wall of strong character will be built-a great defense against temptation. We should strive for consistent obedience each day.
Since God is faithful, we can depend on Him to be merciful to us. It is HIs faithful love that motivates us to obey Him and dedicate our life to serving Him.

Charles Swindoll gives us three lessons we can learn from this book and David's life here:
  1. Whatever we do when conflicts arise, be wise. Look at the whole picture before jumping to quick conclusions and seeing only your side. Pray and get God's perspective. He gives us the wisdom we need when we ask Him for it.
  2. Take each conflict as it comes and handle it separately. Treat yesterday, today, and tomorrow as a new day.
  3. Whenever you realize that there's nothing you can do, wait. Wait patiently. Restrain from anything hasty. When you wait, your situation may not change, but will.
See Psalm 40:1-2 to see how David waited. According to other writings, David's running from Saul lasted around 12-14 years. What a long time to be in turmoil.
How do we react when troubles come?
Make today count.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!

Sending to all a belated Merry Christmas!

I was busy making homemade rolls and a big dinner for family yesterday, so I didn't post this as I intended to do.

Here is what a Day Spring card sent by friends to us says:

The Faithful One
The confidence we have...
the trust we hold...
the hope we carry...
rest in His faithfulness.
Every promise He has made He purposes to fulfill.
He has the authority to accomplish all He has spoken.
His power is limitless...
His character changeless...
His love endless!

Another card by an unknown author says this:
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old from ancient times. Micah 5:2 (Written 740 years before Christ was born.)

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14  (Written 700 years before Christ was born.)

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (Spoken 2,000 years ago.)

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 1 John 5:11 (Words for all of us today!)

Thanks to all of you who are so faithful to join me in studying God's Word. I pray for His blessings, peace, and love upon you today.

In His Name,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Summary of 1 Samuel

O. T. #663  "Summary of 1 Samuel"
December 24, 2015
1 Samuel 1-31


It is easy for us to read about all these things which occurred in this book, but it another thing to experience similar challenges-temptations of material things, giants. If you wrote a book about your life, what struggles would you include? Both Saul and David theirs. Let's take an overview of 1 Samuel, getting some nuggets of spiritual value.

The main people we read about in this book are Hannah, Eli, Samuel, Saul, and David.
The Philistine 40 year oppression of Israel is broken in the battle of Mizpah, found in chapter 7.
This book opens with the family of Elkanah and Hannah, who were childless. We read of her prayer and promise to give her son back to the Lord for His service, if God would give her a son. This child Samuel grew up in the Taberncle in Shiloh, which should have been a good influence upon the boy. However, due to the sinful sons of Eli, it was not until the Lord removed them.

Here are some verses which stand out to me, from the NLT:
  • There is no Rock like our God. (2:2)
  • For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done. (2:3)
  • He will protect His faithful ones. (2:9)
  • but I will honor those who honor Me, and I will despise those who think lightly of Me. (The God of Israel said) (2:30)
  • And Samuel replied, "Speak, your servant is listening." (3:10)
  • "It is the LORD is will," Eli replied. "Let Him do what He thinks best." (3:18)
The Philistines captured the Ark Of the Covenant, also called The Ark of God, and kept it for 7 months. A Deadly plague from God swept across the Philistine land and they returned it. It remained in Kiriath-jerrim for 20 years. Its presence represented God's presence, so that is why it was important for Israel to have it in their possession. Samuel told Israel it was due to their idolatry that God had abandoned them.

The people of Israel demanded a king to rule over them, so they could be like other nations (pagan) surrounding them. So God allowed this, and gave them Saul, a farmer of donkeys, was Israel's first king. Samuel anoints Saul as king in chapter 10. We see God's permissive will here, for He wanted to be His  children's king.

We must recognize the close friendship between Saul's son Jonathan and David, the next king of Israel. Jonathan actually helps save David's life when Saul sought to kill him later.

Is Jesus King of our heart? One day He will return to earth to reign as King.


Saul reigned for 42 years, was a profound military leader of the Israeli army. He destroyed the Amalekites, but disobeyed God and selfishly took the spoils. Samuel confronted Saul in chapter 15, who blames the men. However, the evidence is clear in verse 14 where Samuel asks,
"Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?"

Samuel explains to Saul in verses 22-23: Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and the stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, He has rejected you as king.

Are we obeying God's Word and the leading of His Spirit in our life?

When Samuel is looking for one that God has chosen as Israel's next king, God tells him, People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (16:7)

Later, the Philistine giant, Goliath, taunts Israel's army, intimidating them. It was young David who kills this giant with only a slingshot and a rock, and with the power of God. David gets the king's reward for such a feat, that he was not willing to do.

Are we facing our giants today? Is fear, doubt, uncertainty trying to rule over you, Christian? If God can use a rock to defeat a giant, He can certainly defeat yours with such a small thing. Just allow Him to do confront your giant and kill it. Release it to Him to take care of.

I'm going to stop here with this summary due to its length. We will pick up in chapter 18 next time.


Trust the King of kings to conquer my giants.

Stay faithful today.

Praise Him, adore Him, the newborn King, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.

Make sure my heart pleases the Lord.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Foolish LIfe

O. T. #662  "A Foolish Life"
December 23, 2015
1 Samuel 31-Part 2
So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD. 1 Samuel 31:13 NLT


Are we living as a faithful servant or a fool? Time for some reevaluating because of the death of Saul. Is my life as foolish as his? Do I want to please God or myself? Am I showing His love to others?

"I have played the fool," Saul said in 1 Samuel 26:21. God was on Saul's side for a while, but he disobeyed, gave religious excuses, convinced himself that he was doing God's will, sought an alternative in spiritism, led his nation down the wrong road, which eventually led to his suicide. He lived a foolish life and died a tragic death. The greatest tragedy of all is that's it need never have been. He chose his path of compromise and disobedience.
Disobedience dulls our senses. We are concerned with what others think instead of what God thinks and what God might say. Also, it nullifies our testimony.
Bethshan was really not that far from where Saul was inaugurated. Isn't that something? His entire forty years, for full decades as the king, and he made little headway territorially for the nation of Israel. He wound up only a few miles from where he started. His body hung only a short ride on horseback from where he was announced king of Israel.(Thoughts by Swindoll)

What will our obituary say about us? How will one wrap up our life in the eulogy? A wasted life or one faithfully served the Lord God?


In his book David, a Story of Passion and Destiny, Charles R. Swindoll gives us six analogies that the lives of Saul and Christ had in common:
  1. Saul's death appeared to be the end of all national hope.
  2. With Saul's death it seemed that the adversary had son the final victory.
  3. Saul's death paved the way fro an entirely new plan of operation and ushered in David's kingly line, which led to the Messiah. (Christ's death led to our salvation.)
  4. Saul's death opened the opportunity for another who would not otherwise have been included in God's line of blessing, namely David. (Christ's death gave opportunity to us Gentiles to experience grace.)
  5. Saul's death ended an era of dissatisfaction and failure. (Christ's death ended an era of law and guilt and brought grace.)
  6. Saul's death displayed the foolishness of man. (What some consider God's foolish plan became a hope for us.)
All of us will have an appointment with death which we cannot avoid or escape. Friend, are you ready? Christ was born, died on the cross, and rose from the grave so we could have eternal life in heaven with Him. Have you accepted this great gift?


Live my life with purpose-serving God.

Let go of my foolish and selfish living.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

When Arrows Hit My Heart

O. T. #661  "When Arrows Hit My Heart"
December 22, 2015
1 Samuel 31
Therefore, Saul took a sword...  1 Samuel 31:4


When people keep showing hate toward me, repeatedly, keep stabbing me with their mean words, time and again, what do I do?
I spew them back at them. Then I mumble and grumble around the house all day, thrashing words back at them, while alone. Chompin' at the bits. When I finally get it all out, I am empty inside with a heavy heart. It doesn't last though. I hear about the love of Jesus through Christmas carols on the radio. Jesus came to end this crazy hate in the hearts of men and women. My heart. I need Him to fill this bruised and empty heart with His extraordinary love again. I bring my emptiness to Him, emptying myself before a Holy God. I need His forgiveness again so I can show His forgiveness to others. Oh, how hard it is-loving those who hurt me! Does Jesus think that about me? Am I hard to love and forgive? (Others would agree, I am sure.) Truth jumps off the page at me as I write, an arrow straight to my heart. Saul gets his arrow today. Read on to see how he handles it.

The Philistines were on their way to fight against Israel when they would not allow David to join them. God's providence intervened to keep him out of it. Meanwhile, the Amalekites burnt David's city of Ziklag and captured their families. David and his 7,000 man army surprisingly attacked their enemy and killed all but 400, who fled on camels. He recovered all their livestock and possessions, as well as families. Also, David took all the loot that the Amalekites had obtained in other battles. He shared the loot with others who had helped him in protecting David against Saul.

You will recall, while this was happening, King Saul of Israel sought the Lord as to whether he should  fight the Philistines, but due to his rebellion and sinfulness, God did not answer him and did not protect Saul. Saul sought a medium, witch, to conger up the dead Prophet Samuel. Well, that was another story, previously studied.That is where we are as we begin the last chapter in this book:

  • The fighting grew fierce, NLT tells us. It is the beginning of the end for Saul.
  • As the Philistines attacked Israel, Israel fled and was slaughtered on the slopes of Mount Gilboa.
  • The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons. They killed 3 of Saul's sons-Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malkishua.
  • A Philistine archer wounded Saul. McGee described it as a "real bull's eye." Sounds good to me. The bully taunting David is finally dropped to his knees. Sorry, that wasn't very nice.(Probably, the archer did not know that he hit the king of Israel.)
How remarkable is this, since earlier Jonathan slew 250 of the enemy at one time. It was tragic for Jonathan to die, such a close friend to David, and believer in God.

So many of our American troops have died while serving our country. It seems that the good do die young. We read of so many stories of this happening. Are we supporting them in prayer?


In verse 4, we read of Saul telling his armor-bearer to draw his sword and thrust into him. Saul was concerned that the Philistines would taunt and torture him. However, the armor-bearer was afraid and would not do it. so Saul fell upon is own sword to his death.  Saul's armor-bearer did likewise. So there was quite a death toll-King Saul, his 3 sons, and his armor-bearer all died that same day. What a sad ending to their lives.

We don't read of Saul repenting of his rebellion and sinfulness before he killed himself. Saul was warned back in chapter 28, by that Samuel which appeared, that Saul and his sons would be with Samuel the next day, meaning in death.

How did all this killing of the Israelite leaders affect this nation, those living beyond the Jordan River? When they found out their king and 3 sons were killed, they fled their towns, leaving them for Philistine occupation.

That isn't all that happened:
  •  Gloatingly, the next day, the Philistines took the bodies of Saul and his 3 sons. These were ruthless pagans.
  • They cut off Saul's head and stripped off his armor. An enemy's decapitated head was a sign of victory. (D. Jeremiah)
  • They spread the news of Saul's death in their pagan temple and to their people throughout the land of Philistia.
  • It wasn't enough for them to place Saul's armor in their pagan temple, they fastened his body and 3 sons' bodies, to the wall of the city of Beth-shan. How gruesome.
Saul's dynasty ended that day. Wait, it doesn't end yet. The mighty Israeli warriors of  Jabesh-gilead traveled through the night and rescued those 4 bodies from the wall, brought them to their town, burnt and buried them under a tree at Jabesh. Israel fasted for 7 days. I'm closing the Good Book. Can't handle any more gruesomeness.

Oh, but wait, looking down through the ages, there was another man brutally beaten, Jesus, King of the Jews. He was nailed on a cross for only declaring, truthfully, Himself to be the Son of God, which the Jews called as blasphame. They thrust a sword through Jesus' side, then He was buried in a borrowed tomb. Now that was not the end of His story. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, making intercession for us His children. 

His birth we celebrate in December; His coming was into such a bitter and hateful world; He showed love to everyone; demonstrated to us the way to live a holy life. His Spirit lives within us Christians-that is our evidence that He is alive today!


Forgive and love.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Share and Share Alike

O. T. #660  "Share and Share Alike"
December 21, 2015
1 Samuel 30-Part 3
We share and share alike -those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment. 
1 Samuel 30:24b NLT


Throughout the years I have attended many local parades. Since they were either football homecoming or Christmas parades, candy was thrown by the riders on floats to the crowd of children. I would share what I received with those around me so the children who lacked had candy to eat. I tried to encourage other children to practice sharing, also. David shared something, which we will encounter today in our reading.

David finally sought the Lord's will after his city was burnt and all the women and children and livestock were taken captive by the Amalekites. "Pursue" was the answer, so David and his 600 men did just that. However, along the way, some 200 became exhausted and did not go all the way with the others, staying at the brook. So David and his 400 men were successful in their attack on the Amalekites. Everything was brought back-all their families and livestock, as well as plunder and animals of the Amalekites. It included what the Amalekites had obtained from there other raids throughout Judah. These were wicked people. (Only 400 escaped on camels.)

On the way back home, David's caravan met up with the 200 men at the brook. A problem arose at the brook, some of the men who fought did not want to share the plunder with those who did not fight.
"Give them their wives and children, and tell them to be gone," the evil troublemakers said to David. David refused the plea because:
  • they should not be selfish with what the LORD had given them;
  • He kept them safe and helped them defeat the band of raiders;
  • who will listen when you talk like this;
  • we share and share alike-those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment. (verses 23-24)
  From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today. (verse 25) Wen David arrived at Ziklag, he sent part of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends. The Scriptures list other towns to whom he sent these gifts, towns that had helped him in David's flight from Saul. There must have been lots and lots of stuff to go around.

David's principle that he established his men live by revealed his fairness and justice. We see what kind of man David was.  He was a man that God could use, a man after God's own heart.

The way David took care of his men and their belongings convinced the people They could trust him. David's wisdom in dealing with his men's jealousy is a concrete example of his remarkable leadership skills. He pointed out that all they had recaptured was a gift from God.  (D. Jeremiah)

Are we willing to share and share alike our gifts? Or are we selfish? Do others see our acts of kindness and love? Do we remember the behind-the-scene supporters when others are on the front line, whether it be ministry, military, business or family? Do we show them respect and dignity no matter how insignificant their job? All are vital to getting the job done, aren't they?


Looking in 1 Chronicles 12:20-22, we read where 7 captains of 1,000 troops each (totaling 7,000 extra men) joined David's army as they passed through Manasseh on their way to fight the Amalekites and rescue their families and livestock. They stayed with David in his 7 1/2 years at Hebron. (2 Samuel 3:1) (Falwell)

Verse 22 says, Day after day men joined David until he had a great army, like the army of God.

Men were drawn to David by the reputation of his great warriors, the news of their victories, and their desire to see God's will done in making David king. If we are brave believers, determined, and faithful, others will be drawn to work with us.

Are we faithful in doing God's work that He has called us to do? Are we brave believers, standing up for God's Word in society? How determined are we to love, forgive, show kindness? Are we encouraging other believers?


Share and care, live and give to others.

Grow and sow the Word.

Pray for those behind the scenes, faithfully working.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A Chipped Tooth or a Burnt House

O. T. #659 "A Chipped Tooth or a Burnt House"
December 18, 2015
1 Samuel 30-Part 2
...they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.  1 Samuel 30:1b-2


When all is taken away, where do I turn? The Lord has the answers, this I know. Just this week, I chipped off a big chunk of my molar tooth. My wonderful dentist was good enough to work me into his busy schedule to put a temporary crown on it after filling it. Now I can't eat sticky and crunchy food until I get the permanent crown in 10 days. Ugh! Do you know that I always have pecan pie during our Christmas dinner? Guess I won't this year. I'll have to bake a pumpkin for me to eat while others enjoy their pecan. Oh, well, so is life. It could have been worse-needing it pulled out. What is worse is a burnt down house and my family captured by enemies, as happened to David. Where does David turn in a time of trouble? (At least I still have my house and family-it could be worse. If I have a choice, I'd take the chipped tooth and no pecan pie any day.)

David and his men were sent home to Ziklag after the Philistine commanders refused for them to join their army fighting against Israel. Upon arrival, they found their town of Ziklag burned down and all of their families taken captive, if not dead. Needless to say, these men were very upset at the realization that they had "no home" to come home to.

Looking at verse 6, we discover:
  • David was greatly distressed.
  • The men spoke of stoning David because they were grieved over loosing their family.
  • Finally, while in the land of the Philistines, he gets a clue. David encourage himself in the LORD his God. He found strength in the Lord, according to NLT.
  • David sent the Priest Ahiathar to bring him the ephod and it was so.
The ephod was a garment of prayer, used in prayer to determine God's will. David couldn't go to the tabernacle in Saul's country, so he had the ephod brought to him. David went to and appealed to God for His directions. (Maybe he should have done this before entering into Philistine land.) At least, now, David talked to his High Priest, his Good Shepherd, his LORD God.

What was the outcome? David asked the Lord if he should pursue after the Amalekites, the and of raiders. (Keep in mind, David had done the same to them, only killing all the Amalekites who were in their city at the time.)

Do we wait until we are in trouble before we seek the Lord's will? Or do we seek it everyday? Are we considering that problems may be a way of God getting our attention to bring us closer to Him?


The LORD told David to go and he would recover all that was taken from him. No time to dilly dally around. David and his 600 men hit the road.

What happened along the way?
  • Before crossing the Brook Besor, 200 of his men were too exhausted to cross and stayed behind.
  • The rest of the 400 men went on.
  • Along the way, they found an Egyptian man in a field, who had been sick and left behind by the Amalekites for dead. They brought him to David, gave him bread and water, fig cake and raisins for he had been without food and drink for 3days. Soon this man regained his strength. 
  • The man admitted that his troop of Amalekites had burnt Ziklag.
  • He talked David into not killing him, nor returning him to his master in exchange for guiding David to his troop. (We can't leave David there, we must read the rest of the story-did he retrieve his family and those of his men?
  • David saw the Amalekites partying hard, now. They were spread out across a field, eating, drinking, and dancing, enjoying their plunder obtained from the Philistines and the Judeans, and oblivious to the presence of their enemies, David and his 400 men.
  • David and his men rushed in and slaughtered them throughout that night and the next day into that evening. Only 400 Amalekites escaped on their camels.
  • David got back everything taken, his two wives, all the families of his men, even their livestock.
What a long battle! It happened as the Lord had told David earlier. How good his God was to these straying Israelites and David! We will see what happens when they meet up with the 200 left behind.

Do we tell others that God keeps His promises and His Word. Do we know what they are? What promises has He kept for you lately?


Repent of my straying, going my own way, turning to God.

Determine to go His way, faithfully serving my God.

Count my blessings.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Aggravations, Problems, Sorrows, and Solutions

O. T. #658  "Aggravations, Problems, Sorrows, and Solutions" 
December 17, 2015
1 Samuel 30
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  Psalm 56:3


Where do I turn when foes are aggravating me? To whom do I turn when I am afraid of the test results unknown? When trouble floods my soul, and bills pill up due to health problems, when sorrows come, what do I do to find peace and comfort and solutions? Like David, I turn to God. He is in control of all things, even my little things which concern me.

The One Year Chronological Bible (NLT) gives 1 Chronicles 12:19  after chapter 29, and inserts Psalm 56 here. It says that this psalm was written "Regarding the time the Philistines seized David in Gath."

The Life Application Study Bible says Psalm 56 was probably written on the same occasion as Psalm 34, when David fled from Saul to Philistine territory (chapter 21).

Whenever it was written is not so significant as to the content of Psalm 56. Will you turn to it and read it? Then we will discuss some encouraging thoughts and prayer of David, especially concerning his enemies:
  • David asks for God's mercy, first of all.
  • He acknowledges his need for deliverance-hounding foes boldly attacking him all day long, slandering him.
  • They twist what David says and spend their days plotting to harm him.
  • They spy on him, watching David's every step eager to kill him.
  • David asks God to not let them get away with their wickedness and to bring his foes down.

Within this psalm, David has a change of heart, turning to his God:
  • David puts his trust in God when he is afraid.
  • He praises God for what He has promised.
  • He acknowledges that God keeps track of all his sorrows; He collects all his tears in a bottle; He records each one in His book.
  • He believes that his enemies will retreat when David calls to god for help.
  • David knows that God is on his side.
  • He says he will fulfill his vows to God.
  • David will offer a sacrifice of thanks for God's help.
  • He admits that God had rescued him from death and kept his feet from slipping.
  • David says he could walk in god's presence and in His life-giving light.
Let me add, David asks why he should be afraid and what could mere mortals do to him. After all, he is trusting in God.

People can inflict pain, suffering, and death. but no person can rob us of our souls or our future beyond this life. (LASB)

Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, Don't fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.

It is God who has control over our soul and He is the One we should fear, not people. God understands us, loves us, and cares about what happens to us.

Friends, we should take all our troubles, concerns, mistreatments, and disappointments t our God as David did. We too can say, "When I am afraid, I will put my trust in God."


David and his men were sent home to Ziklag after the Philistine commanders did not trust him being on their side in the battle against Israel. what should have been a joyful homecoming ended not being one. While they were gone, the Amalekites invaded the south, including Ziklag and burned it, as well as taking the taking their families captives. Can you imagine the sinking feeling in their stomach when confronted with deserted and smoldering homes? As far as these men knew, all their loved families may have been killed. What a blow! What a tragedy!

What does the Scripture say happened next?
  • The men wept loudly.
  • David's beloved Abigail was missing, also. The one and only woman who was a blessing to him.
  • David was greatly distressed.
  • His men talked about stoning David. They were turning against their next-in-line-to-be-king? Yeah, it was David's leading them away to help the Philistines; yes, he made a blundering boo-boo; but where is their love for their leader, the one who had been providing for them all this time? Remember, these men were grieving over the loss of their wives and children, who could have possibly been slain.
  • Why were they not planning a rescue instead of a stoning?
What will David do next? How will he convince his men to support and follow him? Who will God send to help in David's time of need? We will find out.


Don't fear, trust in my God for all things.

Release it to God to solve, protect, provide.

Trust, TRUST, TRUST!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Just Send Him Back

O. T #657  "Just Send Him Back"
December 17, 2015
1 Samuel 29
After much discussion, they sent them back, for they said, "It will cost us our heads if David switches loyalties to Saul and turns against us."  1 Chronicles 12:19


When a child continues to act up, complain, disobey, respond in a hateful tone, do we think, for only a second, "just send him back?"  The Philistine commanders to send David back. Want to know why? Keep on reading then.

Well, King Saul found out, the wrong way, that he and his sons were soon going to die, and that the Philistines would defeat Israel. David and his men were marching with the Philistines, toward Israel for battle, at the rear of the King Achish's army. Some of the Philistine commanders questioned what those Hebrews were doing with them. David was a servant of King Saul of Israel.

How did this king take up for David?
  • He said that David, a servant of King Saul of Israel, had been with him for quite some time.
  • He added that he found not one single fault in David since he arrived in their land.
What were the  commanders' reactions to the king's answer?
  • That did no suffice those commanders.
  • They became angry after hearing their king defend one that was from their enemy. 
  • These commanders protested that David might turn against them and become their adversary. Switch loyalties is the term used in 1 Chronicles 12:19, NLT.
  • Send him back where you've gotten him.
  • Is there any better way for him to reconcile with his master than by handing our heads over to him?
  • Isn't this the same David about whom the women of Israel sing in their dances, "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands?"
Apparently King Achish was outnumbered by his commanders, who strongly desired David to leave them. He spoke to David concerning this new decision:
  • He swore by the Lord that David had been a trustworthy ally. (verse 6)
  • He thought David should have gone into battle with him.
  • He had never seen a single flaw in David since he arrived in their camp.
  • He blamed the other Philistine rulers for this decision.
  • He asked David to please not upset them, but go back quietly.
  • When David asked the king what he had done that he couldn't go.
  • As far as he was concerned, David was as perfect as an angel of God. (A general meaning of "messenger of the gods," perhaps applies here since Achish was an unbeliever.)
  • He told David
Falwell suggests that David was not able to join the Philistines in battle against the Israelites because of the suspicious Philistines, as well as this being within the providence of God.

Do we stand up the innocent? Are we ready to encourage the discouraged who are accused? Are we being as innocent and perfect as an angel? (Giggle) Who wouldn't like that description read at your funeral?


David and his men headed back to Ziklag, while the Philistine army went on to Jezereel, which was located only 56 miles north of Jerusalem. No wonder Saul was nervous.

This was a narrow escape for David. Had God not intervened, David would have done something that he would have regretted the rest of his life. Perhaps the same has happened to us. When we were headed down the wrong path, He intervened so we did not commit a terrible sin or make the wrong choice.


Thank the Lord for "no" answers to prayers when it would have been disastrous.

Praise Him for the interventions in my life.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Who Was Speaking-Samuel or Satan?

O. T. #656  "Who Was Speaking-Samuel or Satan?"
December 15, 2015
1 Samuel 28-Part 2
Do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD.  Deuteronomy 18:9-14


The Philistine army was about to go to war against the Israelites. King Saul was scared to death, almost; he was at his wits end; he was frantic with fear(NLT); he trembled violently (LASB). This man who was a bully toward David now has the tables turned on him. Saul asked the LORD what he should do-fight or retreat, but He did not answer for Saul had disobeyed God. Evil had entered into Saul's life.

Since God was no longer speaking to Saul, he turned to Satan in desperation. (J. Vernon McGee)

Saul disguised himself and sought an answer from a witch. There are various opinions to the answer to the question, "Who is speaking to Saul?"  Was it actually Samuel who spoke to Saul from the dead, was the witch a ventriloquist and a fraud, or was it a demon?

At first I thought it really was Samuel, and God caused such a thing to occur, since He is all powerful. But then, as I read several commentaries, I tend to agree with them, in that the witch had common information as others around the region. (The Philistines knew David was an Israelite, in
1 Chronicles 12:19.) She probably contacted an evil spirit who came in the form of Samuel.

In Deuteronomy 18:9-14, God instructed the Israelites to have nothing to do with the pagan customs of using divination, witches, fortune telling, etc. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD.

Therefore, Saul's seeking advice through the use of a witch was not tolerated by God. We will read about it later.

Falwell said that Saul's desperate consultation of the medium rather than seeking God was one of the reasons why God killed him. His stubbornness was habitual and chronic. We cannot believe that God would need to communicate with Saul by means of this pagan practice which He condemned. All this information was common knowledge among the Philistines.

Who do we seek when we want answers as to which direction we should go or how we should make a decision? We should only seek God, wait for His answers if they do not immediately come, not evil sources. Christians have been warned as well as Israel.


J. Vernon McGee, in his Thru The Bible Commentary Series, First and Second Samuel, explains:
When the witch told Saul that she saw gods ascending out of the ground, supernatural creatures came up. Saul did not see them, only the witch. When she described the old man covered with a mantle, they jumped to the conclusion it was Samuel. when they did, he answered as Samuel-because demons can impersonate. Saul has laid himself wide open for Satan, and Satan has moved in.
What happens next?
  • The Samuel character asked Saul why he brought him there. 
  • Saul explained that he was distress, the Philistines were making war against him, God departed from him and would not answer him, not by prophets  nor by dreams, so he called Samuel so he could know what he should do.(verse 15)
  • This Samuel ghost repeated to Saul what the Prophet Samuel had told him earlier-God has torn the kingdom from Saul and given it to his rival David.
  • Also, because Saul did not obey the Lord and kill  the Amalekites, He will deliver Israel into the land of the Philistines, as well as tomorrow Saul and his son would die (be with him).
This is nothing new for Saul to hear. Before Samuel's death, he pronounced the death, destruction, and rejection of Saul. Well, going to all this trouble, sneaking around at night to visit the witch, did not gain him any comfort, direction, or new news. He seemed to accept his soon-to-be death. We do not read anywhere about Saul trying to change God's mind.

So who was speaking as Samuel to Saul with the witch there? Guess we will have to ask Samuel when we get to heaven where he resides.

McGee believed it was an impersonation by a false spirit rather than Samuel who appeared. God no longer spoke to Saul. Worse still, Saul no longer spoke to God. The dead cannot communicate with the living. This was satanic from beginning to end.

The only exception was Jesus Christ who came back from the dead at His resurrection. He holds the keys of the grave and of death. Read Revelation 1:17-18.

So, if anyone wants to communicate with the spirit world, remember that information comes from hell and not from heaven. The devil is the father of lies. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. If we want information, go to Jesus. He holds the future. Although He sometimes reveals His will to come, He may not tell us when it will happen. On the other hand, He may choose not to reveal our future to us.  Either way, He wants us to walk by faith, not by sight.

When we find out God's will for us to follow in our future, obey it.


Seek God's will and ways and obey them.

Learn His Word and warnings.

Stay way from evil practices.

Seek to please God.

Monday, December 14, 2015

To Go or Not To Go

O. T. #655   "To Go or Not To Go"
December 14, 2015
1 Samuel 28
King Achish told David, "You and your men will be expected to join me in battle."
1 Samuel 28:1


Apparently things were going okay for David when the Philistines decided to go to war with Israel again. That put David in a pickle, a sticky situation. The king expected David and his 600 men to join them to fight against his own family and nation. If he refused to join them, then he would give away his loyalty to Israel and endanger his soldiers and family's lives. And then, to join them would hurt the very people he loved and would one day lead as their king.

 David did not have to solve this decision-to go or not to go. God protected him. We will find out how in chapter 29.

Are we trusting God in the little and large challenges we face? He can handle them all, no matter the size.


Now you remember the delusional King Saul of Israel? He is still alive at this time. In fact, he did go one good thing for his nation earlier. He had banded, sent away all the spirit mediums in the country. Leviticus 20:27 had forbidden the Israelites to communicate with dead using them.

If any of them had ever accomplished any supernatural things, it would have been through the power of Satan and not God's power. (Falwell)

When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, what did he do?
  • Saul became frantic with fear.
  • He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him through dreams, sacred lots, or by the prophets. (Saul was abandoned by God to his own insane wickedness.)
  • Then Saul sent his servants to find a woman who was a medium so he could go and ask her what to do. They found one for the king.
  • Saul disguised himself in ordinary clothing instead of wearing his royalty robe.
  • By night he and two of his men went to see her, for he had outlawed her practice and did not want to be seen; he knew he was in the wrong to do such a thing. When Saul asked her to call up the spirit from the dead, she refused because she knew the law the king had made.
  • Saul took an oath in the name of the Lord that nothing would happen to her. Honestly Saul! Bringing the Lord's name into your sinful methods.
  • Scripture tells us of the conversation between Samuel, who came from the dead, and Saul. That was when the medium realized that inquiring man was Saul. 
We are going to leave these three here. Does Saul hear that he will have victory in battle with the Philistines or defeat? Or does he hear other news?


Seek God's answer for my life situation not the evil one's.

Stay true and faithful to my Lord Jesus.

Obey when He tells me to go; stay when He tells me to stay.

Friday, December 11, 2015

What a plan!

O. T. # 654  "What a Plan!
December 11, 2015
1 Samuel 27
David said in his heart...   1 Samuel 27:1


When in trouble or a circumstance that needs a solution, do we devise plan instead of asking the Lord for His direction? Do we look to logic or the Lord? I would think that David, a man after God's own heart, would continue to seek God's will for him. What a plan!

David thought Saul would ultimately kill him, so he devised a plan, I think. That was the problem, he thought about his situation and devised a plan, I think. He, his two wives, and his army of 600 men went to live in the city of Gath, (Giant Goliath's home) where the Philistine King Achish lived and ruled, in order to escape Saul. Later on, David  requested they be given a city of his own so he could be free from the constant surveillance in Gath. While there, David and his men went out killing and conquering some Philistine cities, then telling Achish they were Israeli cities. For 16 months David was able to conceal his actions from the king.
The thing is, in 1 Samuel 22:4 says, the Prophet Gad told David to stay in the land of Judah, after he took his parents to Moab. (I didn't realize this, and must have skipped over it.)
Now, I read of two different viewpoints on this chapter.

Some scholars interpret this time with the Philistines as wholly dishonoring to the Lord; some believe the Lord used it to protect Israel's anointed king, sparing David from the battle in which Saul was killed. (The Jeremiah Study Bible)

So, we can choose which one we favor.
Do which do we listen to-our fearful heart like David, or the Holy Spirit?
God is able to deliver us from any circumstance. As David Jeremiah said, His provision is a promise, not just a possibility.


David was raiding the Geshurites, Girgites, and the Amalekites instead of the Israelites. He didn't leave anyone alive in the villages he attacked. Also, David too the animals and clothing for his possessions. He would tell the king that he raided the land of Judah, which was a lie. No one lived to tell the king the truth of what actually happened. So while living in enemy territory, David was killing their own people, Israel's enemies. This would be beneficial for when he became king of Israel.

King Achish thought the people of Israel would be hating David, so he would stay and serve the king forever. Boy, did David do a good job of fooling him!

I am not advocating that we use David's tactics to solve our problem. We are to stay living the truth of God. There are times our faith wavers and we turn to them. God is faithful and forgives when we ask.


Remember, God does not give me a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.

Release it all to Jesus.

Trust Him to handle it all when we don't know what to do.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Spear and a Jug"

O. T. #653 "A Spear and a Jug"
December 10, 2015
1 Samuel 26
But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let's get out of here!
1 Samuel 26:11b NLT


Some men told Saul where David was hiding and he took 3,000 of Israel's elite troops and went to hunt known David in the wilderness. He camped along the road where David was camped. When David heard about this, he sent spies to verify the report of Saul's arrival.

Then one night, David slipped over to Saul's camp to take a look around. Can you see him hiding behind the rocks? He saw Saul and his commander of his army, Abner, sleeping inside a ring formed by the sleeping warriors. David didn't run back o camp. No, this guy did a very brave thing:
  • He asked for volunteers to go with him inside Saul's camp. Maybe there were no volunteers.
  • David asked two men, Ahimelech and Abishai. Abishai volunteered to go with him.
  • So while Saul and his men slept, David and Abishai snuck into Saul's camp.
  • David took Saul's spear which was stuck into the ground beside his head and a jug of water.
  • Abishai offered to kill Saul right then, but David refused it.
  • Again, David called Saul God's anointed as in chapter 24.
  • He thought God would strike Saul down someday or he would die of old age or in battle. David left that up to his God's timing and technique.
A second time David showed Saul that he ad an opportunity to kill him, but refused the temptation. Do we refuse to kill others with out tongue of destruction?
Verse 13 tells us that the Lord put Saul's men into a deep sleep.


After all of that, David climbed the hill opposite camp, a safe distance from Saul, but within shouting distance. He addressed Abner and accused him of being a terrible guard for the king. He asked Abner where the king's spear and water jug were. Of course Abner could not find them because David had the objects.

By that time, Saul recognized David's voice and David began talking directly to the king.  Again, David questioned Saul as to why he was chasing him and what crime he had committed. What did David propose to do?
  • If the LORD stirred Saul up against him, then David would make an offering to Him for his sin.
  • I this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the Lord.
  • David said that he had been driven away from his home and could no longer live among God's people, so he had the option of worshipping pagan gods.
  • David asked if he must die on foreign soil far from the presence of the Lord.
  • Also, he asked why Saul searched for him like a flea and hunted him down like a partridge on the mountain.
Saul's response, one more time, was similar to the previous one-come back David; I will not harm you because you spared my life. Right! David is no fool.
David offer the king's sword returned to him, so one of his men went and got it from David.
Saul blessed David and admitted that he would do many heroic deeds and would succeed in life.
Finally, both men left.

Do we leave the revenge of evil done to us up to God to hand it? Or do we take matters into our own hands?


Trust God with the details of my life.

Continue to serve Him in spite of how others treat me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Proposals by Letter and Messenger

O. T. # 652  "Proposals by Letter and Messenger"
December 9, 2015
1 Samuel 25-Part 7
David has sent us to take you back to marry him.  1 Samuel 25:40 NIV


Hurry up, we've got a wedding to attend. Abigail and David are getting married! Finally we have some joy to read about. I'm ready for it, aren't you? After all the running from Saul that David has done; after the mistreatment of Nabal (who has died now), he is ready for some joy, too, I think.

David realizes that the LORD had avenged the insult from Nabal, as well as keeping him from doing it himself. Nabal received the punishment for his sin. Keeping his food instead of sharing with David only lasted for one night for the selfish Nabal, for he had a stroke the next morning when hearing how Abigail kept him from being killed by David. He actually died ten days later.
David realized it was God who kept him from murdering the codger and it is God's job to fight when vengeance is required; as He decides to do, it should be left up to God to do it.

Then David sent messengers to Abigail to ask her to become his wife. How romantic can it get? David sent messengers to relay his proposal.

That can't be more unusual than my father in law sending his proposal to his girlfriend, later my mother in law, to marry him. Hey, it is a true story. We found out during the time she had cancer the second time and death was coming for her down the road. Our daughter decided to get some family history before she left us. Otherwise, we have never known how he proposed. Of course, her reply was a yes. Now, let me insert for his defense, he was working in Tulsa, which was a good four hour drive away from her house back then. But then, he is such a shy person, he probably would have proposed that way had they lived in the same vicinity, I think. Oh, me, oh my.

Say, I just had a thought, if David had been this kind of person, he could have chosen to go ahead and kill Nabal, even after Abigail's visit and food. but his heart was changed because this beautiful lady was willing to take a chance and visit David during his angry attitude.
Choices. We all face them so many times throughout each day. How we react to an impatient, insulting, or hateful person we encounter today is our choice.
Will we lovingly respond with a smile or grumble after they left our presence? It's our choice.
Will we show kindness after the person in line  ahead of us acted in such an unpleasant way? Or will we act just like them to the clerk? It's our choice.


What was Abigail's response to the proposal from by way of messenger?
Verses 41 and 42 NIV tell us:
  • She responded saying, "I, your servant, would be happy to marry David." She didn't morn for that husband of hers very long, I figure.
  • She would even be willing to become a slave, washing the feet of his servants! Was she ready to get out of that house?!
  • Abigail quickly getting ready, took along 5 of her servant girls as attendants, mounted the donkey, and went with David's messengers.
  • And so Abigail, the wise and beautiful woman, became David's wife, which would later make her the queen when he became king, I suppose. But then, he did have several wives, so I am not sure about which one was the queen. Hmm.
Sometimes there is noting you can do but wait on the Lord to handle a situation. David did as he indicated in Psalm 40:1-2:
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay;
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

When you wait, your situation may not change, but you will. In fact, you may discover that the reason for waiting was all or your benefit, because you're the one who needed to change. (Swindol)

Verse 43 is rather puzzling-David also married Ahinam from Jezreel. You will recall that Michal, Saul's daughter whom David married first, had been given in marriage to another.

What can learn from David? Swindoll advises us to:
Be wise when conflict comes.
Handle each conflict separately.
Wait when we realize there is noting we can do.

Good advice, right?


Wait patiently for the Lord to act.

Cry out to God in my time of need.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Right Time to Approach HIm

O. T. #651  "The Right Time to Approach Him"
December 8, 2015
1 Samuel 25-Part 6
In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened.  1 Samuel 25:37a


We previously studied about the beautiful and wise woman named Abigail. Her Hebrew name means source of joy. That she was. Her foolish husband, Nabal, would not pay back David and his men for protecting his sheep and shepherds in the wilderness. The custom for that day was such. But greedy gut would not hear of such a thing. David was on a sinful path to annihilate Nabal, his family, and everyone in his little world, which included Abigail, when she stopped David inn his tracks. There she interceded for her husband and prevented David from committing murder. She convince David to change his plans and have a feast instead, to eat the peace offering food she brought as the world's first caterer. So David and his men took the food back to the cave and Abigail went back home. All was well. Not exactly.

When she gets back home, Abigail finds her husband was throwing a big  party while his life was in danger. All he had to do was invite David and his men to the party. Nabal is drunk and Abigail goes to bed without explaining where she had been and what she was doing. He didn't even miss his wife being absent? Hmm. This man sounds like the rich fool found in Luke 12.

Abigail was a wise wife, for she knew when the right time to approach her husband with such news-the next morning when the wine's effects was over. Nabal may have misunderstood her or he may have made a rash decision acting foolishly.

Timing is everything when we need to discuss touchy subjects. We should ask God for wisdom about the right time for the confrontation. Pray, pray, pray.

Do we immediately go when God says to go? Do we wait when He indicates His time is not right now? Are we willing to do whatever so God's purpose is accomplished?


Picture this with me: it is the next morning and hubby has a hangover. He would probably be sitting around resting and not out on the ranch doing work. Wife Abigail approaches him with the news of her actions the day before-she interceded for him with David and saved Nabal's life. (verse 37)

Fear overtook Nabal when he heard what had happened and he had a stroke. He lay paralyzed like a stone for 10 days. Then the Lord struck him and Nabal died. It was a serious thing to reject God's chosen king. Nabal experienced God's judgment.

Charles Swindoll, in his book, David, said:
When you do what is right, without tiring of it, God takes care of the impossible things, As we saw in the previous chapter, "When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." The same could be said of a woman, of course. There is no impossible situation that God cannot handle. He won't handle it necessarily your way, but He'll handle it.  

Do we stop to ask the Lord if we are pleasing Him in a particular situation or decision? Are we seeking His will and His way doing it instead of rushing and doing it our way? Blessings will be experienced if we seek Him.


                                of my anger and seek God's will, not mine.
                                 of my way and intercede for others in prayer.
                                   of my time and find the right time to approach another who is upset.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Using Good Sense

O. T.#650  "Using Good Sense"
December 7, 2015
1 Samuel 25-Part 5
Thank God for your good sense!  1 Samuel 25:33a


How many times have we questioned our children's good sense in making a decision when their actions were contrary? Nabal didn't show it when he fused to reward David.

So far we have read in this biblical saga, that David watched over and protected Nabal's sheep and shepherds. He sent messengers revealing this activity and asked for compensation by means of food for his men. Nabal refused, which stirred up anger within David, resulting in his army going on a rampage of revenge. He was in no mood to listen to anyone that got in his way. Then it happened. (God can use the insignificant to accomplish his will.)

This beautiful woman stopped David in his tracks. Abigail brought him a peace offering of homemade bread, wine, roasted mutton and grain, raisins, and fig cakes in abundance. I don't know if it was her beauty or her food that caused him to listen to this mediator with interrupting. Which ever it was, it worked. Abigail persuaded David to not commit the murder of Nabal, his men, family, and her. Yes, if she had not taken a chance and gone to see David, she could have been killed along with her husband.

How did David react to this kindness?
In verses 32-34, NLT, we read his reply:
  • Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! (He
  • Thank God for your good sense!
  • Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands.
  • For I swear by the LORD, the Great God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal's men would still be alive tomorrow morning.
  • Return home in peace. (After David accepted Abigal's present.)
  • I have heard what you said.
  • We will not kill your husband.
No matter how right we think we are, we must always be careful to stop and listen to others. The extra time and effort can save us pain and trouble in the long run.  (Life Application Study Bible)

Whew! Mission accomplished. Everyone wins. As David's anger subsided, he realized the seriousness of the mistake he was about to make. He had a change of heart and showed once again that he was a man after God's own heart.

What do we do when we are blinded by our anger? Are we willing to listen to a wise person's advice or do we go our way, later sorry for the consequences? Are we willing to help keep another from making a big mistake they would later regret?


Can't you hear Abigail singing the Lord's praises on her donkey ride home? Wellll, her tune changed when she saw that her husband was holding a feast in his house. He was very drunk.

She had stood between her husband and death, but the fool was so drunk she couldn't even tell him about it. So she crawled in bed, pulled up the covers, and went to sleep. I'm sure she poured out her heart to God and got things squared away between herself and the Lord, realizing she might nevcr know what it was like to have a  husband who appreciated her. (Swindoll)

We are going to leave faithful Abigail there, spending the night depending on God. Do we depend upon our faithful God for our needs? Do we praise Him no matter our circumstances?


Seek the Lord's way and answer to my questions.

Be willing to be used by Him to be the answer to someone's prayer.

Use good sense.

Give, love, share, go.

Friday, December 4, 2015

World's First Catering Service

O. T. #649  "World's First Catering Service"
December 4, 2015
1 Samuel 25-Part 4
Abigail wasted no time. she quickly gathered...  1 Samuel 25:18


Abigail, the wife of stingy ole Nabal, received the message concerning David's request for compensation for protecting Nabal's sheep and shepherds. He was unapproachable, but the little wife was not. She knew what her husband was and his weaknesses. At a pivotal moment in the lives of all involved, she didn't fight with her husband, but chose to protect the goose, if mean man. I think Nabal didn't have the brains that God gave a goose, as the saying goes.

Look at verses 18-19 and see how Abby protected him. She went straight to the kitchen and began gathering up food to appease David and his request. What could only one lady do to calm down David and 600 hungry men?
  • She took 200 loaves of bread,
  • 2 jugs of wine,
  • 5 sheep already prepared for eating,
  • 5 measures of roasted grain,
  • 100 clusters of raisins,
  • and 200 cakes of figs,
  • then loaded them on donkeys.
Is this the world's first catering service, or what? Sounds like it to me. Listen, she and her chefs were not sitting around drinking coffee and having a chat. That woman went to work immediately and didn't even tell Nabal how she was interceding for him.
Sometimes a wife just acts and tells later, in the best interest of her husband. (Swindoll)
Besides, with him in that mood, she would not have survived the conversation. She was saving his live, literally.

Do we have wisdom within us throughout the day? Will we act when the Holy Spirit prompts us or do we wait and question? Are we using what God has supplied us with for His glory?


Can you see them all loaded down, Abigail on her donkey and her catering servants, as well as all that packed up food, headed down the mountain toward David and his army. Can you hear the horses' hoofs and their riders' growling stomachs as they approach her? She didn't know what kind of welcome they would receive, but she went in faith and with food. who can resist the smell of fresh bread? Abigail was bring a peace offering to David.

According to verses 21 and 22, David went with the intent to kill every male in Nabal house. He was in no mood to listen to excuses, for he was on a mission. Nevertheless, David did stop and talk to this beautiful woman. While riding along, Abigail prayed and planned what she would say and do when she met David. What took place whenever David and Abigail met?
  • When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him, showing respect. (verse 23) 
  • She shows tact-6 times she calls herself David's servant and 8 times she calls him her lord.
  • She accepted all the blame in this matter and asked David to listen to her.
  • She admitted that her husband was wicked and ill-tempered, so Abigail asked for David to not pay any attention to him.
  • She calls her husband a fool, as his name indicated.
  • She never saw the young men David sent.
  • Since the Lord kept him from murdering and taking vengeance into his own hands, Abigail offers for David's enemies and those trying to harm him to be cursed, such as Nabal.
  • She gives the food as a present to David and asks for him to forgive her if she had offended him in any way.
  • Obviously, Abby knows that David has been anointed as the next king of Israel, from what she said in verses 29-31. She challenged David to not let this murdering be a blemish on his record when he became king. Then his conscience would be clear of bloodshed and vengeance.
  • Finally, Abigail asks David to remember her when he becomes king.
We are going to stop there today, since this was rather lengthy.
David was a man who fought the Lord's battles, but this was not one of them. He had to let God handle Nabal in His own way. He could not take matters into his own hands, though he sure wanted to do it.

Abigail was acting as an advocate and mediator between these men. She was asking David to wait, take her provisions, and turn around and go back. Also, Abby was showing loyalty to David when she mentions the future for him as king.

Does anyone have disobedience and compromise in your past? You have a God who cares and does not turn His back. Run to Him, dear one. Get back on your feet of faith, forgiven.


                                ...of anger before it gets the better of me.
                                ...of pride and bow before my Lord Jesus in repentance.
                                ...and stay wise with God.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Short Fuse and a Beautiful Lady

O. T. #648  "A Short Fuse and a Beautiful Lady"
December 3, 2015
1 Samuel 25-Part 3
Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail; and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was...  1Samuel 25:3a


Better go get you a hot cup of coffee, peppermint tea, or hot chocolate. Today's lesson is a long one. Although, David has a short fuse that gets lit. We read about a beautiful lady in our story, so come on, let's get going.

David and his men were in the neighborhood of a man named Nabal. They protected Nabal's sheep and shepherds in the wilderness from wild tribes. It was customary for the owner to show his gratitude for such protection. However, we learned what kind of man this Nabal was-rich, evil, dishonest, unfair, demanding, deceptive, need I continue?

How this kind of man ended up with such a lovely wife as Abigail, I do not know.
How does the Scripture describe her?She was a woman of good understanding and she had a beautiful countenance. Sounds like she was lovely inside and outside, both intelligent and wise, as well as beautiful.

Life Application Study Bible pictures her as:
a sensible and capable woman; a persuasive speaker, able to see beyond herself. Although her culture and her husband placed a low value on her, she made the most of her skills and opportunities. Abigail was an effective counselor to both of the men in her life, working hard to prevent them from making rash moves. By her swift action and skillful negotiation, she kept David from taking vengeance upon Nabal.She saw the big picture and left plenty of room fro God to get involved.

Don't we all desire to be an Abigail in our little world? Do we use our skills to promote peace? Can we look beyond today's situation and see the big picture? Do you face a challenge that needs a person under God's control and insight?


Now that we know somewhat about Nabal and Abigail, let's see how they affected David.
David sent 10 of his men with a message for Nabal:
  • Peace and prosperity to you and your family, and everything you own.
  • I am told it is sheep shearing time.
  • While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them.
  • Add your own men, and they will tell you this is true.
  • So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration?
  • Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David?
Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? We helped you, so will you help us, as a sort of payback?

This man Nabla, whose name means fool, did a foolish thing. He accused David of being a run away from his master.
"Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I've slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where," asked Nabal in his reply.

When David's men returned with this message from Nabal, he immediately strapped on his sword and told his men to do likewise. Then 400 men started off with David to get revenge, while 200 men stayed to guard camp.

In the meantime, (don't you like those?) one of Nabal's servants overheard David's message and Nabal's response, then decided to go to Abigail and relayed the goin' ons. He went so far as to say that Nabal screamed insults at the men. He reinforced those facts that David's men never stole from them and was very good to them. The servant added, "In fact, day and night they were like a wall of protection to us and the sheep." He knew Mrs. Abigail needed to be aware of the situation so she could figure out what to do. He knew there was trouble ahead for Nabal and his family. It was because Nabal was so ill-tempered that no one could even talk to him.

Perhaps David and his camp full of men were hungry and ladies, we know that hungry men can be  a little testy. Maybe they were waiting and sitting around the campfire, talking about leg of lamb, roasting mutton shish kebabs with onions. (Swindoll's idea)

Anger can make people do and say unthinkable things they normally would never do, much less think about doing. Severe anger is a form of insanity. You are insane whenever you are not in control of you behavior. Therefore, when you are angry and out of control, you are temporarily insane. (Someone once said this.)

Anger is a choice that easily becomes a habit. So we need to beware, on our toes, constantly. It is very difficult to not fly off the handle when someone spouts off at you, which I know. Learning to choose our words carefully will keep us from trying to snatch them back into our mouth later.

David is the same man who refuse to retaliate or fight back months earlier when Saul was trying to kill him. Patience must have burned up in the fire as David burned with anger. David didn't think about what he was doing, I don't think anyway. He strapped on that sword and off he went with 400 men. It's like shooting a fly in your house-you may get rid of the pest, but you gain a hole in the wall to repair. Oh, David, stop before you make a huge mistake-murder.

We will discuss the outcome of this saga next time, friend. You may be surprised who God uses and the technique used.


Spend as much time working on beautifying my inner person as I do my outer person. (That's a tall glass of tea.)

Seek God's wisdom and apply it.

Work on a gentle and quiet spirit.

Lasso that ugly anger so it doesn't get me tied down to ugly ways.