May 20 – (1 Sam. 15-16) As you read this account of the fall of King Saul, remember a very important lesson here found in 15:22. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Another way to say it… It is better to obey what the Holy Spirit is telling you than to keep thinking, saying, doing, what you have always habitually thought, said, or done.
As Samuel was picking a new king to replace Saul, The Lord guided him to pick David. In that process, the Lord made a profound statement that encourages us “not so perfect-looking people”. It also encourages us to continue to renew that “inner man”!
May 21 – (1 Sam. 17-18) David slew the giant. We all know the story. Can you apply it to your life? What “giants” do you face? Do you ever try to kill them with someone else’s weapons? David picked five stones. List five ways you attack those “giants” in your life. Name one stone that has hit “The mark” one time. May I give you an example? At one point I needed a “heart change” and I needed it quick. It was one of those “Lord change how I feel (or I may do something stupid) or change the situation (you know we always just want the situation to go away). My stone was fasting. It took several days but God did a 180 degree in my thoughts and feelings and He revealed something I never saw before in the situation. (I was able to act with genuine “God’s love” whether I agreed with the actions or not). It was a wonderful victory, but it didn’t stop there. There were times since then that I struggled with the same emotions. I would need to go back to the Lord for a refresher in seeing things as He saw them. The renewing of the mind was still not complete in that area. Did you know that even though David kill Goliath and many Philistines were killed, that Israel continued to struggle with them? The Philistines defeated the Israelites on Mount Gilboa, killing King Saul and his three sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malkishua (1 Samuel 31). Hezekiah defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory (2 Kings 18:5–8). Let’s be encouraged that God meets us in those battles we wage while we remember He has already won the war!! Thank you, Jesus!!
May 22 – (1 Sam. 19-20) As Saul becomes more aggressive in his attempt to kill David, David runs to the prophet (and judge) who anointed him to be the next king. I can just imagine David’s conversation with him. “Samuel, you said God has chosen me as the next king. Why is Saul attacking me? Should he not be helping me make this transition into what God has clearly ordained? Why is God allowing this struggle? How can this be good for the Israelites to see?” As I did some research on Naioth, I realized this was a place where a school of prophets were dwelling. It was so anointed that even those who came there would begin to prophesy! What a wonderful picture! It tells me that only seeking God and listening to the Holy Spirit will give us victory as we are listening and patient for God to move…. or move us!
May 23 – (1 Sam. 21-23) When David fled from Saul (for the last time), to whom did he first go? What were the two things he asked for? When we get into difficulties where should we first head? This part of David’s life is such an enigma to me. David knew he was chosen by God to be king and yet he was sought after to be killed. Do you ever feel like you know what God has called you to do but there is someone or something preventing you from walking in that calling? Let’s watch David’s life and see if we can learn more about what to do (or maybe what not to do).
May 24 – (1 Sam. 24-25) David had a choice to get rid of the person who was trying to get rid of him. Why did David choose not to take that opportunity? It’s interesting that when Saul finds out what David has done (or not done) that Saul weeps and realizes that David will be the next king. What is the one thing Saul asks of David when he becomes king (24:16-21)? How does this line-up with what God told Saul would happen to his descendants when Samuel told him his disobedience caused him to lose the crown (I Sam. 13)? I think Saul was still trying to hold onto something God had taken away!
May 25 – (1 Sam. 26-28) When David fled from Saul, where did he settle? Isn’t this interesting that this is the very city Goliath was from? Why do you think the Philistine king allowed him to settle there? It wasn’t just David and a few men either. It was 600 men and their families plus David’s two wives. This just amazes me!
May 26 – (1 Sam. 29-31) Does it surprise you that David and his men are now going with Achish (king of Gath) to help attack Israel? The other rulers of the Philistines make David go back and not fight with them. Do you think David would have killed fellow Israelites, had he gone along? I think God was protecting him from something in the battle. Can you figure it out? (I Sam. 26:9-11; 28:19) Have you ever recognized God protecting you from some life-changing devastation when you weren’t even aware of the danger? Jehovah Nissi!
In light of the last question and discussion, look at this! What city did Achish (king of Gath) attack right after he sent David back to Ziklag? Which of David’s wives were from that very city (1 Sam. 14)? Can you imagine the “conflict of interest” there would have been? So many times, I don’t understand why God does (or doesn’t) do things, to find out later that what I thought should happen would have ended in disaster. More and more, it has caused me to trust in His timing and circumstances!