Category Archives: 09 – 1 Samuel

Dealing with a Fool


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 25, 26; Psalm 63; Matthew 9

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 25:1-38

 

It is funny how sometimes God sends you a passage of Scripture right when you need to hear it most.  On the day I wrote this message, I was on the phone with a man I know quite well.  In the interest of time, I will skip the boring details of our conversation and simply say that we were not seeing eye-to-eye.  We disagreed about a course of action to take, and as our conversation progressed he started to demonstrate his irritation by raising his voice and using some rather course language.  Now, I have to admit that my initial reaction to this was not exactly what it should have been.  I began thinking in the flesh, and the more he talked the more my anger began to burn inside me.  My mind raced with thoughts of “how dare he talk to me this way” and the like, and I noticed that my tone of voice was also beginning to rise.  It is at that point that God stepped in and spoke to my heart that I was not walking down the right path.  I was beginning to respond to rudeness with rudeness, and I immediately had to take a deep breath and say a quick prayer for grace.  A few hours later when I read today’s key passage, I had to just stop and smile at the divine providence of God.

In today’s key passage, David had to deal with a fool.  Please understand that a fool in this context does not have anything to do with mental capacity.  A fool in a Biblical context refers to someone who is foolish in the eyes of God.  David and his men spent a good deal of time and energy protecting Nabal’s possessions, but when David sent some of his men to Nabal to ask for some supplies they were treated with hostility and rudeness.  David’s immediate reaction when he heard the news was to take an army and wipe out Nabal and all of his men.  Along the way, Abigail, Nabal’s wife, stopped David and talked some sense into him.  From their story, we can learn four valuable lessons about dealing with a fool:

  1. We must recognize a fool for what he is.  Abigail gave David good advice to not let Nabal’s foolish actions ruin his testimony for God.
  2. Even if it is our initial reaction, we must refrain from trying to “get even” with the fool.  Abigail makes it clear to David that it would not be right for him to take matters into his own hands to try to get revenge on Nabal.
  3. When in doubt, receive Godly counsel from others.  Fortunately for David, Abigail was willing to try to talk him out of his foolish response, and, perhaps more importantly, David was willing to listen.
  4. Allow God to deal with the problem.  Instead of taking matters into his own hands, David decided to let God deal with Nabal.  In this case, God decided in His infinite wisdom to kill Nabal.  In other cases, He may simply give you the strength and grace needed to deal with the fool in the future.

The Bible is so good at teaching us valuable life lessons through others experiences.  I pray that the next time you have to deal with a “fool”, you will remember this story and apply its principles to your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Facing a Giant


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 17; Psalm 9; Matthew 2

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 17:1-50


In today’s key passage, we read the popular story of David and Goliath.  Most of us have likely read this story before or have at least heard of it.  It is the type of Bible story that we are often told as kids in Sunday school, and there are many lessons to be learned from it.  Today, I would like to focus on the practical aspects of this story that we can all use as we walk through our lives.  The Philistines had moved into Israel’s territory and set up camp, so King Saul put together an army to face off against them.  The two armies were each perched on opposing hills with a valley in between them.  At this time in history, armies wanted to avoid losing a lot of troops in a long, drawn out battle, so it was common for an army to pit their strongest soldier against the strongest soldier of the opposing army for a “winner-take-all” battle.  Out of the Philistine camp came a giant named Goliath.  He was big, he was powerful, he was armed with heavy weapons, and he wanted to fight one of the Israelites to settle the battle.  When King Saul and the Israelites saw Goliath, they were all filled with fear.  They did not know how they could possibly defeat this formidable foe.  For forty days, Goliath would come out of the Philistine camp and intimidate the Israelites, challenging them to send someone to oppose him, but none of the Israelites would dare go against him.  All of the Israelites, including Saul, were focused on their own self-preservation, so they were frozen in their fear and unable to move forward against their enemy.

One day David, a young shepherd who was tending his father’s flock was sent to the front lines to bring provisions and to get a report on the war.  As he arrived, he saw Goliath come out of the Philistine camp for his daily taunting of the Israelites.  Unlike the rest of the Israelites, David’s focus was not on his fear or on self-preservation.  His focus was on the glory of God.  He said, “Who is this unbeliever, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (Vs. 26)  David was confident that God would defeat this enemy.  He knew that this giant was no match for the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, so he decided to step up and face off against the giant.  Though the other Israelites did not believe David could defeat Goliath, David still made the lonely walk to face off against the giant.  David had the faith to know that while he could not defeat the giant alone, God was with him in the battle.  In the end, David defeated Goliath using only a slingshot and a single stone.

As we walk through our lives, every single one of us will face off against “giants”.  These “giants” might be people who oppose us.  They might be habitual sins that we have trouble standing up to.  They might be difficult circumstances, illnesses, or financial problems.  Whatever the case may be, these “giants” will be a very real threat to us just as Goliath was a very real threat to the Israelites.  When we face these giants, we have a choice to make.  We can choose to be paralyzed with fear like Saul and the Israelites, afraid to move forward against the “giant”, or we can choose to have faith in God to solve our problems like David.  We can choose to focus on our own self-preservation, or we can choose to focus on the glory of God.  With the right faith in God, we can trust that He will deliver us from our “giants”.  With the right faith in God, we can be sure that He will bring us victory in His own time.  With the right faith in God, there is nothing we cannot overcome.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.


Moving On


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 15,16; 1 Chronicles 5; Matthew 1

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13

Life is filled with disappointments.  We will be disappointed by our own actions, circumstances, or health conditions.  We will be disappointed by others.  There are so many things in this life that will disappoint us, and it can be very easy to let these disappointments get us so discouraged that we stop serving the Lord.  When things are not going the way we would like them to go, we can have a tendency to give up, but there is a time to accept the disappointments we have faced and move on to whatever God has planned for us next.  In today’s key passage, the prophet Samuel was disappointed.  He had anointed Saul as King of Israel, but because Saul chose not to follow God’s instructions, he had failed.  Samuel was in deep mourning over Saul’s failure, but through his pain God teaches us four lessons about moving on after a disappointment.

The first lesson we learn is that there is a time to stop mourning.  In Verse 1 we read, “The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”  Even though Samuel was disappointed about Saul’s failure, God knew that his mourning would never change the situation.  There is a time to stop grieving and realize that in spite of whatever disappointments we have faced, God is in control.

The second lesson we learn is that we must accept God’s will.  Samuel believed that Saul was going to be a good king when he anointed him, but God rejected Saul because of his own actions.  Samuel had to accept the fact that God had another plan for Israel and for him.  Many times, we tend to hold on to what we think God’s will should be for our lives, when in reality God might have an entirely different plan for us. No matter what we might think at the present time, God’s plan for us is always the best plan, even if it does not fit into our current way of thinking.

The third lesson we learn is that there will come a time when we must simply move on to the next thing God is calling us to do.  God’s plan was for Samuel to go to Bethlehem and anoint another king.  Although Samuel was afraid of what Saul would do if he heard about Samuel anointing another king, he still chose to obey God and go to Bethlehem.  When we finally stop mourning over a disappointment and accept God’s will for our lives, we will find we can move forward and do as God directs.

The final lesson we learn is that we have to follow God’s directions as we move forward.  When Samuel first saw Jesse’s son Eliab, he immediately assumed that this would be the new king.  It was not until he heard from God that he realized his mistake.  He had to listen for God’s guidance and God ultimately led him to David as the new king of Israel.  Following our disappointments, we need to spend time getting back in tune with God.

Moving on from disappointment can be a hard thing to do, but it is something we will all need to do in this life.  Fortunately, God provides us with a road map to follow on our journey.  As we read His Word daily, we can learn His tips for moving on, and we can ensure we are following Him.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Creating Our Own Storms


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 11,12; 1 Chronicles 1; 2 Corinthians 11

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 12:12-25

After serving Israel for years as a judge, Samuel made a farewell speech to the Israelites.  In it, Samuel affirmed in the minds of the Israelites that he was trustworthy.  He reminded them of their history and pointed out their wrongs against God.  He also reminded them that it was their idea to appoint a king over Israel against God’s clear instructions.  Once the stage was set, Samuel then said, “‘Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes! Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call upon the LORD to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king.’ Then Samuel called upon the LORD, and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.” (Vs. 16-18)

To fully understand this passage, it is important to point out a few things about Israel at this time.  This event took place during the wheat harvest, which was near the end of the dry season in Israel during May and June.  During the dry season, rain was a rarity, so having a thunderstorm at this time was considered a miracle.  Unlike most “good” miracles, however, a thunderstorm during this time of the year could have been disastrous for the Israelites.  Any amount of rain during the wheat harvest could damage the crops and cause them to rot.  With this historical information in place, we can now see that this thunderstorm clearly illustrated God’s anger with Israel over asking for a king.  If they had never asked for a king, they would have never had to face that storm.

Sometimes the storms we face in life are created by our own actions.  If we fail to work hard at our jobs, we might find ourselves unemployed.  If we fail to treat our spouse the way we should, we might find ourselves with relationship problems.  Understand that not all of the trials we face are caused by our own actions.  Many times our periods of distress will have nothing to do with what we did and will instead be caused by the evil present in this world.  It is still important to note, however, that when we go against God, He will sometimes send us storms as a way of correcting us.  For this reason, anytime we face a storm it is important that our first step is to search our hearts for any unconfessed sin.  If we discover sin in our lives, our natural reaction as humans might be to try to hide from God.  Samuel offers a much better solution in verse 20 –  “‘Do not be afraid,’ Samuel replied. ‘You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.'”  When we discover that we have created our own storm, we must take that opportunity to press in closer to God instead of turning away from Him.  After all, God is the only one that can save us from the storms, even if we have created them ourselves.  If you have found that you are in the midst of a storm that you have created, find comfort in Samuel’s words in verse 22 when he says, “For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.”  If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are one of His people.  You are one of His children.  He alone will not reject you.  He alone will calm the storm.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Being Stubborn


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 8-10; 2 Corinthians 10

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 8:4-22

For many years, God knew that at some point the Israelites were going to want to anoint a king against His wishes (see Deuteronomy 17:14-21).  In today’s key passage, we see this desire for a king finally came to fruition.  The Israelites wanted to be more like their neighbors, and they wanted a king to call their own, so they came to Samuel and asked him to appoint one.  Now Samuel was a man of God, and he knew God’s wishes.  He knew that God was against the Israelites having any king over them other than God himself, so he took this request to God to ask for guidance.  In response to his request, God provided Samuel with a warning to pass on to the Israelites about appointing a king.  Samuel shared with the Israelites God’s warning about what would happen if they appointed themselves a king.  God promised that the king would:

  1. Make the sons of the Israelites serve him either in the army or in working his land
  2. Make the daughters of the Israelites be perfumers and cooks for him
  3. Take the best of the fields, vineyards, and olive groves away from the Israelites
  4. Take a tenth of the Israelites grain
  5. Take the Israelites best servants, cattle, and donkeys and make them his own
  6. Take a tenth of the Israelites flocks
  7. Make the Israelites his slaves

Now, I do not know about you, but none of these things sound very attractive to me.  Despite God’s warnings, however, the Israelites refused to listen and decided that they still wanted a king.  The Israelites were simply being stubborn.

Most of us have a tendency to be stubborn at times.  Sometimes this stubbornness can be a good thing, like when we refuse to quit a task despite its difficulties.  More often than not, however, stubbornness can lead to many problems, and when we choose to be stubborn despite God’s warnings those problems are guaranteed.  Like the Israelites, we will not have to guess when it comes to God’s warnings.  Just as God made His warnings clear to them through Samuel, He makes His warnings clear to us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.  We know what the Bible says about sin, yet we sometimes still choose to turn away from God and sin anyway.  When the Holy Spirit convicts us that something we are doing, saying, or thinking is wrong, we sometimes still choose to do, say, or think those things anyway.  Looking back on the Israelites choosing a king despite what God told them the king would do seems crazy to us, yet we continue to turn away from God despite the fact that His warnings against sin are far worse than just losing our possessions or our time.  Join me today in asking God to take away our stubbornness towards Him.  Join me in asking God to help us get rid of any “kings” we might want ruling over us other than Him.  Do not choose to be stubborn despite God’s warnings.  Choose instead to live in obedience to Him all the days of your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Acknowledging God in Our Own Way


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 6,7; Psalm 72; 2 Corinthians 9

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 6:1-5

During a battle with the Israelites, the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant.  (The Ark of the Covenant was a large box that contained the Ten Commandments given to Moses.)  The Philistines were happy about capturing the ark because they had heard the stories of God’s great power in saving the Israelites in the past, and they hoped that since they now possessed the ark they would have that same power on their side.  What they found, however, was that everywhere they took the ark, devastation followed.  They took the ark from town to town, but God would always afflict the people in these towns with tumors as a punishment for taking the ark away from the Israelites.  In our key passage today, the Philistines were trying to decide what to do.  They knew they could not keep the ark any longer, because too many of their people were dying, so they decided to send it back to the Israelites.  They did not want to send it back to Israel (and to God) empty handed, so they decided to send with it a guilt offering consisting of five gold tumors and five gold rats.  This type of offering was the type the Philistines would make to their own gods, so they believed this would be acceptable to the God of Israel, even though this was hardly the type of sacrifice that God’s laws prescribed.  The Philistines were trying to acknowledge God in their own way instead of serving Him in the way He requires, and the results would be disastrous when the Philistines were defeated in battle by the Israelites.

Many people in our world today still try to acknowledge God in their own way.  These people have many different theories about God and believe there are many different paths to spending eternity with Him.  Some believe that if they do enough good deeds they will make it to Heaven.  Others believe that if they do not do anything “really bad” they will make it to Heaven.  Some people believe that as long as they go to church every once in a while or read the Bible, they will make it to Heaven.  Still others even believe that Heaven does not exist.  The sad truth, though, is that all of these people are lost.  Like the Philistines, those who are trying to acknowledge God in their own way will face devastating results.  Heaven is a real place, Hell is a real place too, and God has made it clear that there is only one way to ensure you make it to Heaven.  In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Some people believe that this sounds elitist or exclusionary, but in reality, it is actually quite the opposite.  There are no special requirements for coming to Jesus Christ and starting a personal relationship with Him.  The Bible says in Romans 10:9-10, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  Even if you consider yourself a “Christian”, if you have never truly accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, today can be the day that you stop trying to acknowledge God in your own way.  Today can be the day that you receive salvation.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Hearing God’s Voice


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 3-5; Psalm 77; 2 Corinthians 8

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 3:1-15

Awhile back, I flew into Baltimore, MD for a business trip.  As I was driving to my final destination about an hour outside of Baltimore, the radio station that I was listening to kept fading in and out.  As I drove through the rolling terrain, I noticed that when I was on top of hills, the signal came through loud and clear, but when my rental car descended into valleys the signal would fade and I was barely able to hear the song among the static.  I did not think much of it at the time, but I vividly remembered this experience as I was reading today’s key passage.  So often, hearing God’s voice works the same way as hearing that radio station.  As we move through our spiritual life, we all have high points and low points.  At our highs, we are reading God’s Word daily, we are spending time with Him in prayer, we are living in obedience, and we are constantly seeking Him.  In those times, His voice comes in loud and clear.  When we begin to slip, however, things change.  As we begin to allow the business of life to distract us from His Word or from prayer, His voice becomes harder and harder to hear.  If we spend enough time with our focus and obedience away from God, all we will be able to hear is static.

In today’s key passage, Samuel also faced a problem in hearing God’s voice, but his problem was a bit different.  He had no trouble hearing God voice, but he had difficulty discerning the source.  One night while lying in the temple, God called out to Samuel three different times.  Each time, Samuel’s response was correct in that he answered, “Here I am”, but he thought it was Eli, the high priest, who was calling him.  In 1 Samuel 3:7, we begin to understand the problem when we read, “Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.”  Because Samuel did not yet know God, he was unable to realize that the voice he was hearing came from the Lord.  As Samuel’s relationship with God grew, he would eventually solve this problem.  Likewise, as our relationships with God grow, we will not only find it much easier to hear God’s voice, we will also be able to discern when it is His voice that is calling us.  The further away from God we are, the more “static” we will hear.  We will find that we have so many voices speaking to us – the voices of our sinful desires, our past hurts, and our enemy – that we will be unable to distinguish between those voices and the voice of the most-high God.  Whenever you are having trouble hearing God’s voice and discerning His calling for your life, learn to press in even closer to Him.  Spend more time in His Word.  Spend more time in His presence.  As our relationship with God grows deeper and as we shift our focus more on Jesus Christ, we will start to hear from Him loud and clear, and we will be able to answer His calling by saying, “Here I am”.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Healing Through Prayer


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 1,2; Psalm 66; 2 Corinthians 7

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 1:1-18

In today’s key passage, we read the story of a man named Elkanah who had two wives, Peninnah, who had children, and Hannah, who had no children.  Three times a year, Elkanah and his wives would travel to the tabernacle in Shiloh to worship God and bring the required sacrifices to God, and each time Peninnah would insult Hannah because she was barren.  Hannah would get so upset during these trips, that she would end up crying constantly and would not eat.  Finally, during one of these trips, Hannah decided to pray.  She made a vow to God that if He would give her a son, she would dedicate him to a life of service to God.  The high priest Eli saw her praying and gave her encouragement.  When she finished her conversation with Eli, this woman who was so upset that she would not eat, “went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.” (Vs. 18)  In a matter of moments, Hannah went from feeling depressed and discouraged to feeling joyful.  Eventually, God blessed her with a child, and she kept her promise to God to dedicate him to a life of service. (Vss. 27-28)  In addition, God would later give Hannah five more children.  (Vs. 2:21)

In this story, Hannah actually received two different types of healing through her prayer.  She received a physical healing when her prayer was answered and God allowed her to conceive her first child.  In addition, she received emotional healing when she was finished praying.  It is important for us to note that she did not need to wait for her prayer to be answered in order to feel joy.  Her emotional healing came about not by God working on her behalf and making her pregnant, but through her faith in God and through the encouragement she received from Eli.  When she cried out to God in her desperate time, she was able to leave her problems with Him.  Moreover, she received moral support from a fellow believer that further led to her emotional healing.  So often, we have a tendency to hold on to our discouragement until the time comes when God answers our prayers, but we can receive emotional healing long before that ever happens.  When we pray, we can take all of our problems to God and can LEAVE THEM at the cross of Jesus Christ.  We do not have to hold onto our sadness, our anger, or our bitterness.  When we have faith like Hannah, we can finish our prayer knowing that God has heard us.  We can finish our prayer knowing that God is working in our best interest.  We can finish our prayer with emotional healing.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Dealing with a Fool


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 25, 26; Psalm 63; Matthew 9

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 25:1-38

 

It is funny how sometimes God sends you a passage of Scripture right when you need to hear it most.  On the day I wrote this message, I was on the phone with a man I know quite well.  In the interest of time, I will skip the boring details of our conversation and simply say that we were not seeing eye-to-eye.  We disagreed about a course of action to take, and as our conversation progressed he started to demonstrate his irritation by raising his voice and using some rather course language.  Now, I have to admit that my initial reaction to this was not exactly what it should have been.  I began thinking in the flesh, and the more he talked the more my anger began to burn inside me.  My mind raced with thoughts of “how dare he talk to me this way” and the like, and I noticed that my tone of voice was also beginning to rise.  It is at that point that God stepped in and spoke to my heart that I was not walking down the right path.  I was beginning to respond to rudeness with rudeness, and I immediately had to take a deep breath and say a quick prayer for grace.  A few hours later when I read today’s key passage, I had to just stop and smile at the divine providence of God.

In today’s key passage, David had to deal with a fool.  Please understand that a fool in this context does not have anything to do with mental capacity.  A fool in a Biblical context refers to someone who is foolish in the eyes of God.  David and his men spent a good deal of time and energy protecting Nabal’s possessions, but when David sent some of his men to Nabal to ask for some supplies they were treated with hostility and rudeness.  David’s immediate reaction when he heard the news was to take an army and wipe out Nabal and all of his men.  Along the way, Abigail, Nabal’s wife, stopped David and talked some sense into him.  From their story, we can learn four valuable lessons about dealing with a fool:

  1. We must recognize a fool for what he is.  Abigail gave David good advice to not let Nabal’s foolish actions ruin his testimony for God.
  2. Even if it is our initial reaction, we must refrain from trying to “get even” with the fool.  Abigail makes it clear to David that it would not be right for him to take matters into his own hands to try to get revenge on Nabal.
  3. When in doubt, receive Godly counsel from others.  Fortunately for David, Abigail was willing to try to talk him out of his foolish response, and, perhaps more importantly, David was willing to listen.
  4. Allow God to deal with the problem.  Instead of taking matters into his own hands, David decided to let God deal with Nabal.  In this case, God decided in His infinite wisdom to kill Nabal.  In other cases, He may simply give you the strength and grace needed to deal with the fool in the future.

The Bible is so good at teaching us valuable life lessons through others experiences.  I pray that the next time you have to deal with a “fool”, you will remember this story and apply its principles to your life.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Facing a Giant


Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 17; Psalm 9; Matthew 2

Today’s Key Passage – 1 Samuel 17:1-50


In today’s key passage, we read the popular story of David and Goliath.  Most of us have likely read this story before or have at least heard of it.  It is the type of Bible story that we are often told as kids in Sunday school, and there are many lessons to be learned from it.  Today, I would like to focus on the practical aspects of this story that we can all use as we walk through our lives.  The Philistines had moved into Israel’s territory and set up camp, so King Saul put together an army to face off against them.  The two armies were each perched on opposing hills with a valley in between them.  At this time in history, armies wanted to avoid losing a lot of troops in a long, drawn out battle, so it was common for an army to pit their strongest soldier against the strongest soldier of the opposing army for a “winner-take-all” battle.  Out of the Philistine camp came a giant named Goliath.  He was big, he was powerful, he was armed with heavy weapons, and he wanted to fight one of the Israelites to settle the battle.  When King Saul and the Israelites saw Goliath, they were all filled with fear.  They did not know how they could possibly defeat this formidable foe.  For forty days, Goliath would come out of the Philistine camp and intimidate the Israelites, challenging them to send someone to oppose him, but none of the Israelites would dare go against him.  All of the Israelites, including Saul, were focused on their own self-preservation, so they were frozen in their fear and unable to move forward against their enemy.

One day David, a young shepherd who was tending his father’s flock was sent to the front lines to bring provisions and to get a report on the war.  As he arrived, he saw Goliath come out of the Philistine camp for his daily taunting of the Israelites.  Unlike the rest of the Israelites, David’s focus was not on his fear or on self-preservation.  His focus was on the glory of God.  He said, “Who is this unbeliever, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (Vs. 26)  David was confident that God would defeat this enemy.  He knew that this giant was no match for the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, so he decided to step up and face off against the giant.  Though the other Israelites did not believe David could defeat Goliath, David still made the lonely walk to face off against the giant.  David had the faith to know that while he could not defeat the giant alone, God was with him in the battle.  In the end, David defeated Goliath using only a slingshot and a single stone.

As we walk through our lives, every single one of us will face off against “giants”.  These “giants” might be people who oppose us.  They might be habitual sins that we have trouble standing up to.  They might be difficult circumstances, illnesses, or financial problems.  Whatever the case may be, these “giants” will be a very real threat to us just as Goliath was a very real threat to the Israelites.  When we face these giants, we have a choice to make.  We can choose to be paralyzed with fear like Saul and the Israelites, afraid to move forward against the “giant”, or we can choose to have faith in God to solve our problems like David.  We can choose to focus on our own self-preservation, or we can choose to focus on the glory of God.  With the right faith in God, we can trust that He will deliver us from our “giants”.  With the right faith in God, we can be sure that He will bring us victory in His own time.  With the right faith in God, there is nothing we cannot overcome.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.


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