1 Samuel 25-26

You know when you see a really legit person with a horrible spouse who has no idea how good they have it? That’s our girl Abigail for sure. Whether you’re a man or woman, single or married, we have some really great things to learn from her.

She’s loyal without being blind. She recognizes her spouse’s stupidity, yet covers him well in his mistakes. She has great negotiation skills, promotes peace, makes a plan, and then leaves plenty of room for God to get involved in it. Dang! This lady is legit. (Come on, David, do you really need two wives at this point? Abigail is clearly enough woman for you.)

Personally, I love how homemaking is such serious business in the Bible. Western culture tends to frown upon it, thinking less of it. Even as a stay at home mom, I tend to think that too sometimes. Like it’s just Netflix and folding laundry (eh, truth be told, sometimes it is). But whenever I read about homemakers in the Bible, they are gettin’ it done. They work hard and are a huge asset to their husband’s success. Readers, whether you work full time out of the home or in the home, are single or married, read Proverbs 31. Women: let’s strive for this. Men: look for this. A woman of noble character gets up early, cooks breakfast (I hope Poptarts count), is trustworthy, wise, energetic, strong, and a hard worker. She helps the poor, uses her skill set to earn money, plans ahead, has a good sense of humor, kindly corrects, fears the Lord, focuses on inner beauty and suffers nothing from laziness. 

What good motivation for a Monday morning!

 

-Carly

 

 

 

 

 

1 Samuel 23-24

These passages have me thinking about fear and authority.

First, David’s men are afraid to go to Keilah. Things were already sketchy for them at home. But David kept his cool, asked the Lord and trusted His answer.

Next, the people of Keilah are afraid of Saul and plan to sell out David, even though he just saved them.

When Saul is within reach, David’s men urge him to put an end to their fears and troubles, by killing this crazed King.

But there is something David fears most, and it’s the Lord. He anointed Saul king and that still means something. Even though he’s crazy now (even, at times, possessed), he’s still God’s appointed leader of His people. The worthiness God puts on Saul trumps the actions that have made him seem worthless. 

David knows he will be the king one day, but he’s not in any hurry about it.

Often times when God promises me something, I’m like, “Awesome! Leave the rest to me, I’ll make it happen ASAP!” I’m pretty impatient and compulsive.

More important than doing God’s will, is doing it God’s way and in His timing. When He lets us in on stuff, it’s not an invitation to take over. His promises are sure, even when the situation seems out of control or headed in the opposite direction.

God’s purposes will stand and this is important to remember (especially since we could be facing the appointing of a crazed king of our own soon).

The Psalm that goes with this time is 54. Even in the face of “arrogant foes”, “people without reguard for God”, David says, “the LORD is the one who sustains me.”

What does it look like for you to fear God only?

-Bethany

1 Samuel 21-22

These chapters are rough. Here are some bright spots I noticed:

Even though God hand-picked David to replace Saul, by all technicalities the spot belonged to his son, Jonathon. However, he doesn’t jockey for position or make a move to become the next king, but bypasses this opportunity out of love for God and his friend. What a great example of sacrificial love. (Okay we’ll cool it on their friendship now, can you tell we love them?)

David pulls together a band of men out of people who were “in trouble, or debt or discontented”. I see the gospel in that. It’s easy to pull together a group of qualified, respectable people and lead them. It takes godly leadership to lead the kind of men David did. We’ll see these men stick with him for a while.

A good chunk of the Psalms are written by David, and quite a few of them were written when he was being hunted by Saul. According to my chronological Bible, Psalms 34, 57, 142 & 52 align with today’s chapters. Check them out; I find deeper meaning in the Psalms when I read them in context. Here are a couple of my favorites in those chapters:

“Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace and work to maintain.” (Ps 34:12)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Ps 34:18)

What’d you notice?

-Carly

 

 

1 Samuel 19-20

Jealousy is making Saul insane. He can see the kingdom slipping through his fingers. His son is BFFs with his arch nemesis and his daughter is married the the guy. No one is on his side anymore. I guess this is a kind of destruction that pride goes before.

Can we take a minute to talk about how awesome friendship is? “He loved him as he loved his own soul”! That’s beautiful. I know Car touched on this yesterday, but really think about the friendships in your life. I think they often get the short stick because they’re not marriage. We are less and less inclined to be committed to people these days. That’s a real tragedy. This obviously isn’t the only part of the Bible that talks about friendship, but it’s important enough to slow the story down and spend a few chapters on it. 

God’s greatest commandment is to love people. How good am I at that, really? The love He specifies is sacrificial. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John‬ ‭15:13‬) FRIENDS. I think it’s more common to view your friends as the people you can get away with disrespecting. 

I’m about to spend the next 5 days in a car with a friend, and I know exactly how to get under their skin. I’m going to attempt to take this time to instead bless, encourage, sacrifice, etc. 

Who do you want to commit to loving better?

-Bethany

PS. I think it’s kind of funny Saul flips out and starts in on Jonathan with “your mom” stuff. There’s nothing new under the sun!

1 Samuel 17-18

David & Goliath. Easily the most referenced story of the Bible, at least by secular culture. I won’t grab for some over-spiritualized connection here; the story speaks for itself. If you didn’t read it today, I’d highly encourage you to do so. I read it aloud to my son last night (in a very theatrical voice with around fifteen interruptions) and it was as if it was my first. The Bible really does have the best stories. The worst villains. The craziest plots. The greatest heroes.

Meanwhile, in chapter 18, things get sad. Sad for Saul, and really sad for David. I love the gift of friendship that God gives him with Jonathon. As an extrovert, I make it a lifestyle to meet new people, but it is a gift to meet someone and have an immediate bond. I have many fiercely wonderful friends in my life that I don’t deserve. But some of them I am especially endeared to, because they came into my life during a dark time and their friendship lightened it up. I suspect you have friends like that too.

I encourage you to reflect on the people in your life. True, healthy friendships are a gift from a relational God. Let’s thank Him for them and steward them well.

 

-Carly

P.S. We love when you guys chime in! I’ve loved having a platform to eavesdrop on what God tells other people through Scripture, keep the comments comin’. If you’re interested in submitting a post, visit the Contributor page or email us at biblewithus@gmail.com. 

 

 

 

1 Samuel 15-16

“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and presumption is like the evil of idolatry.” (15:22-23)

Say what is just as evil as idolatry?! Arrogantly presuming to know what would actually make God happy regardless of what He commanded. (Uh, whoops, I do that). Israel’s King was supposed to write himself his own copy of the law and study it every day. Humility and obedience is the name of that game.

What are some other red flags? He set up a monument to honor himself (v.12), and this nice little sentence he used to defend himself: “I was afraid of the men so I gave in to them” (v. 24). In contrast, you’ll soon notice when David is king he often flies in the face of popular opinion and does something culturally outrageous, since he fears the Lord more than he fears people.

It can be really easy to skip over Saul to get to David, but he is (unfortunately) super relateable, well meaning, insecure and a way more familiar leader. We’re about to get to David, but keep a close eye on Saul. We still have a lot we can learn from him. Tell us what else you notice. 

The first contrast I see, is Samuel assuming the oldest, tallest brother would obviously be the king. Why would he assume that? Maybe because Saul was the tallest, most attractive guy around when he became king, so those are the prerequisites, right? Nope, not anymore! The Lord is looking for a good heart this time.

-Bethany

1 Samuel 13-14

Saul’s story can be a little hard to read. I hate reading about his hungry soldiers being caught up in a power struggle to get them under his thumb. My stomach twists at his frantic efforts to succeed. His disobedience and lack of trust in God’s timing send him in a panic that spirals him far away from being the man God deemed worthy to lead his people.

But still, I love what Saul’s story tells us about God.

God doesn’t want our religious tendencies or our obligatory offerings. He always, always, always wants our hearts. Saul misses this when he gets impatient, gives in to fear and then sacrifices the burnt offering without Samuel. If you don’t understand the significance of burnt offerings and why Samuel had to do it, that’s okay, I don’t really either. The point is, several times in just two chapters, Saul fails to trust God and wait for his timing. Unfortunately, he is not by any means the only person to get swept up in a God-appointed task and lose perspective.

Notice the stark contrast between Jonathon and Saul. Jonathon is brave. He takes decisive action with great confidence in God. He shouts ” for the Lord will help us defeat them!” and I can practically see him raising his sword high and leading the weapon-less army into his daring plan.

But Saul’s pride grows as his trust in God shrinks. He treats God like a vending machine, jamming coins in and slamming buttons to get what he wants. (Is that a fair analogy or do I need to take snacks less seriously?) He forgets to consult with God and in a scramble to succeed, he fails.

When you’re under a lot of pressure and there’s plenty of reason to be afraid, do you respond like Jonathon or do you respond like Saul?

 

-Carly