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.

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