Category Archives: I Samuel

Praying for our leaders (2 Samuel 23:3-4)

I was just reading this passage with my wife this evening, and verses 3-4 really struck me. The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me, his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel spoke; the Rock of Israel … Continue reading

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Working our own salvation (I Samuel 25)

I was reading this story in the ESV, and there’s a turn of phrase that quite’s different in it from the other translations. In verses 26, 31, and 33, most translations have David and Abigail talking about how it would … Continue reading

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My kingdom come. Your kingdom come. (I Samuel 20, 23)

It really is amazing to think about Jonathan. Here he was, the heir to the throne, and yet that didn’t matter at all to him. Saul raved, Every day Jesse’s son lives on earth you and your kingship are not … Continue reading

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The ends and the means (I Samuel 29)

As I looked at this passage today, I saw it in a way I had never seen before. Here we see the Philistines about to battle the Israelites, and the Philistine ruler Achish expected David to join them. Why? Because … Continue reading

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A house on sand? (I Samuel 28)

As I read this passage, something interesting struck me. Samuel’s ministry ended it the same way it began: with a message of judgment. The first message was one of judgment on the high priest Eli. The second was a message … Continue reading

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Mercy and Grace (I Samuel 24)

As I look back on my older blogs, particularly on the Old Testament, I think I looked for a lot of practical, moral lessons. I think to some degree that is fine. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that these things … Continue reading

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The poor in spirit (I Samuel 22)

A couple of things strike me in this passage. First, the kinds of people who joined David. They were desperate, in debt, and discontented. In short, they were as Jesus put it, “poor in spirit.” They were far from perfect … Continue reading

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Barely seeing (I Samuel 3)

Yes, I know I wrote on this fairly recently. But sometimes the 3 different Bible-reading plans I’m using overlap, and today happened to bring me back here. And it struck me even more strongly today than it did the last … Continue reading

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Stop fighting! (Psalm 46, I Samuel 19)

It’s been a few days since I last posted. I’ve either been fighting a cold or hay fever since last week, and it’s hard to tell which. Not to mention the fact that it’s been a slow week for insights … Continue reading

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Your God? My God? (I Samuel 15)

I have probably read this passage dozens of times, but today I noticed something new. It’s always been there, of course, but I never noticed it until now. Three times, Saul talks about offering sacrifices to God or worshiping God. … Continue reading

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Seeking the Lord’s favor? (I Samuel 13)

Here we see the first of Saul’s two major failures that led to his loss of the throne God had given him. He was supposed to wait for Samuel to come and offer a sacrifice before engaging the Philistines, but … Continue reading

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Walking with the Spirit (I Samuel 12)

As I read this passage, I thought about the message I gave this past Sunday. In it, I talked about how the Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, to guide us, and intercede for us in our weakness … Continue reading

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Transformed (I Samuel 10)

This week, I’m preaching from Romans 7-8 in my church. And I hit on a phrase that really got me thinking. But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that … Continue reading

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When we reject God as king (1 Samuel 8)

When I look at this passage, I can’t help but think about Romans chapter 1. Here, though the people legitimately rejected Samuel’s sons as judges, they came up with the wrong solution: they rejected God as king. God said to … Continue reading

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Who can stand in the presence of a holy God? (I Samuel 6)

In verse 20, the Israelites in Beth-shemesh cried out “Who is able to stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God?” Here the Israelites realized what the Philistines realized: No one is worthy to stand before God. The … Continue reading

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No glory? (I Samuel 4)

In this passage, we see the people of Israel, who have been living their own way and not following God, doing something worse: they were treating God like a genie. They thought they could control him and use him to … Continue reading

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Blind and deaf (I Samuel 2-3)

Sometimes, you can see some sharp irony in the Bible. I think this is one of those cases. It says in verse 1, In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread. This … Continue reading

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I Samuel 31/I Chronicles 10 — Reflecting on the good in people

Just a little footnote here.  Or headnote, perhaps, since this is at the top.  🙂 As you may have noticed, from time to time, I’ve been trying to chronologicalize passages in the Bible.  So if a psalm fits in with … Continue reading

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I Samuel 30 — Responding to tough times

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. So says James in verse 2 of chapter 1.  Of course that’s a lot easier said than done.  I don’t know of anyone who enjoys going through … Continue reading

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I Samuel 28:3-25 — When we disobey

The fall of Saul happened pretty rapidly.  And it reaches its depth here. Unable to hear from God through prophets, priests, or dreams, he turns to a medium to try to call up Samuel’s spirit.  There is some debate among … Continue reading

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I Samuel 27-28:2; 29 — But it’s for a good purpose

With Saul constantly chasing after him, David was getting tired, and so he returned to Philistia, hoping to convince their king Achish to take him in.  Perhaps by this time, Achish had heard of David’s troubles and was more inclined … Continue reading

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I Samuel 25:25-31; 26 — Let no wrongdoing be found in you even though…

“But he hit me first!” How often do we hear this from kids when they get into fights?  And yet, so often as adults, we make the same kind of excuses when it comes to unforgiveness and revenge. “Why should … Continue reading

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I Samuel 25 — The difference between a fool and a wise person

Lots of lessons to be learned in this passage.  About forgiving not only big sins, but slights. (It’s amazing to me that David was willing to spare Saul who was trying to kill him, but was unwilling to show any … Continue reading

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I Samuel 24 — Did God really say that?

So often in our lives, we struggle with hearing God’s voice in our lives.  God speaks to us and leads us in many ways.  He may do so through the people around us giving us advice that comes from him.  … Continue reading

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I Samuel 23:19-29; Psalm 54 — When the world seems against you

“Everyone is against me!” Sometimes things seem that way to us, even if it’s not strictly true.  David must have felt that way at times.  The Ziphites, who didn’t even know David, offered to help Saul find and capture David.  … Continue reading

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I Samuel 23:15-18 — Giving words that meet the need of the moment

True friends are a gift from God.  And David surely must have felt that most keenly at this time in his life. Once again, he heard that King Saul was after him, and he must’ve been getting tired.  He’d been … Continue reading

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I Samuel 23:1-13 — Betrayal

I suppose on the list of betrayals recorded in the Bible, this is near the bottom of the list.  No one ever thinks about the betrayal of David on the part of the people of Keilah, mostly because it never … Continue reading

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I Samuel 22:1-5; 23:1-5 — Influencing the hurting people around us

Even when David was in fear for his life, he still managed to make a difference in the lives of the people around him.  It says in verse 2 of chapter 22, All those who were in distress or in … Continue reading

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Psalm 34 — A song of God’s deliverance

I remember enjoying the last day of school before summer vacation when I was in elementary school. There was an old rhyme I learned at that time. No more pencils, no more books. No more teacher’s dirty looks. And I … Continue reading

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I Samuel 21:10-15; Psalm 56 — In God we trust

In America, written on all of our coins and bills is a simple phrase written that says, “In God we trust.”  It seems a little ironic to me, considering that nowadays, people tend to trust money a lot more than … Continue reading

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Psalm 52 — Our words and what is behind them

“I really shouldn’t have said that.” How often do we look back and say that?  The tongue is very small, but also very powerful, as the book of James points out.  It has the power to give life, building people … Continue reading

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I Samuel 21:1-9; I Samuel 22:6-23 — Lies

I hate lying.  I don’t even like telling “white” lies.  The only time I ever really lie is when I play the guessing game “True Lies” where you tell two true things about yourself and one lie, and the other … Continue reading

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I Samuel 20 — A selfless love

The love that Jonathan had for David was probably one of the greatest examples of love we have in the Bible.  In I Corinthians 13, it says that two characteristics of love is that it does not envy and is … Continue reading

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I Samuel 19:8-24; Psalm 59 — Remembering God’s goodness

“Why is this happening to me?  Don’t you care God?  Where are you?” When bad things happen in our lives, that’s typically how we respond.  And if there were someone who had a right to say that, it was David.  … Continue reading

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I Samuel 19:1-7 — When people we love are wrong

“I’m just no good at confrontations,” replied George McFly when asked by Marty why he wouldn’t stand up to Biff, in the movie Back to the Future. We kind of laugh at that line, but for many of us, including … Continue reading

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I Samuel 18 — Responding to God’s discipline

Discipline is never a pleasant thing.  I remember getting caught lying by my dad once, and he told me, “I can’t trust you anymore.  If I’m ever going to trust you again, you’re going to have to earn it back.”   … Continue reading

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I Samuel 17 — Man of faith, men of fear

This is probably one of the most famous stories in the Bible.  I’ve probably read or heard it hundreds of times in my lifetime.  But as I read it this time, the thing that came out most clearly was the … Continue reading

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I Samuel 16:14-23 — Temporary fixes

After Saul turned his back on God, God turned his back on Saul, and it says in verse 14 that an evil spirit from the Lord tortured him. This is admittedly a tough scripture for us to understand.  How could … Continue reading

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I Samuel 16:1-13 — What God looks at

How God looks at people and how we look at people can be radically different sometimes. When God sent Samuel to search for the next king of Israel from the family of a man named Jesse, Samuel was impressed when … Continue reading

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I Samuel 15 — Lip service

And the downfall of Saul continues. God commands Saul through Samuel to wipe out the Amalekites because of how they had attacked the Israelites while they were wandering in the desert during the time of Moses.  The Amalekites were apparently … Continue reading

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I Samuel 14:15-48 — Bad leadership

When we looked at Samuel, we saw many qualities of a good leader.  Unfortunately the same cannot be said of Saul.  He draws a blueprint of what a bad leader is. 1.  He relied on his own wisdom instead of … Continue reading

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I Samuel 14:1-13 — Standing together in faith

While his father Saul was a man lacking in faith, Jonathan was a man who was full of faith, and he showed it in this battle against the Philistines.  Without telling his father, he went out to the Philistine outpost.  … Continue reading

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I Samuel 13 — Waiting on God

I sympathize with Saul in this passage.  I really do.  Here he is, an army of 3000 reduced to an army of 600.  The enemy is literally knocking on the door, and Samuel, a man he was counting on to … Continue reading

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I Samuel 12 — The qualities of a good leader

Samuel was by no means a perfect man.  But he did exhibit many of the qualities of a good Christian leader, and it shows in this chapter.  How was he a good leader? 1.  He was honest.  He said to … Continue reading

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I Samuel 11 — Doing what needs to be done

Whatever you might say about Saul’s later life, he actually got off to a good start.  One of the cities in Israel was under attack, and all the people could do when they heard the news was weep. When Saul … Continue reading

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I Samuel 9-10 — Where our strength comes from

And so we come to the story of King Saul.  It’s amazing to think about where he came from.  He came from a tribe that was nearly wiped out because of their sin (Judges 20-21).  As a result, they were … Continue reading

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I Samuel 8 — Who are we seeking to imitate?

“But everyone else has one.”  “Everyone else is doing it.” How often do we hear that from children when we ask why they want to do something, whether it has to do with fashion, having an X-box, or whatever it … Continue reading

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I Samuel 6-7 — Who can stand before God?

After the ark was returned to the Israelites, they rejoiced, and offered burnt offerings and sacrifices to the Lord.  But in the midst of rejoicing was sorrow, as the Lord killed 70 people for looking into the ark, treating as … Continue reading

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I Samuel 5-6 — Every knee shall bow

An almost amusing story, were it not for what happened to the Philistines.  After capturing the ark of the covenant, they brought it into the temple of their god Dagon.  The next day, the idol of Dagon was on the … Continue reading

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I Samuel 4 — A form of godliness

As you look at the Israelites, a lot of their problems stemmed from the fact that while they often maintained the outward appearance of godliness, their hearts truly didn’t belong to God. In this passage, they went to battle against … Continue reading

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I Samuel 3 — Hearing from God

I’d like to say that I hear God’s voice clearly and often, but I can’t.  I think that often times, I feel like the Israelites of that time. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were … Continue reading

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I Samuel 2 — Honoring God, despising God

It’s a tale of two kinds of people in this passage.  Two honor God (Hannah and Samuel), while three don’t (Eli and his sons). Hannah starts out the chapter by worshiping God for what he had done. Throughout, she talks … Continue reading

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I Samuel 1 — The God who hears

Names often have great significance in the Bible.  God renamed Abram, “Abraham” which meant “father of many” because Abraham would become a father of a great nation.  God renamed Jacob, “Israel,” which meant “he struggles with God” and also “prince … Continue reading

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