Thursday, December 26, 2013

1 Samuel 27,28 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 27
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-12
PASSION - David continued to attack the Philistines from inside their borders. (v.8,9) He stayed true to Israel even though he was living with the Philistines, and on the run from the Israel king. David had every reason to betray his country as many of us may have done in the same circumstances, but he stayed true for the sake of His God. Even when things don’t go our way, we need to be faithful to God. When we stay true even when it isn't convenient, it shows God how much we truly love Him. 

1 Samuel 28
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-25
PASSION - David promised Achish that he would eventually see what he could do. (v.2) We can assume that David meant Achish would finally see where his true loyalties lied, though Achish took it as if David would protect him at all costs, which wasn't true. David wasn’t afraid to be honest about his abilities. David could promise Achish that he would see David’s true colors. David was ready to put it all on the line and stop living a lie. He made a bold statement and was ready to back it up with action. There comes a time in our lives when we need to be ready to move, and we need to prove it by declaring it for all to hear.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

1 Samuel 25,26 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 25
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-44
WORSHIP - 1). Abigail began to prophecy over David. (v.26-29) She declared a) that David’s enemies would all be foolish like Nabal, b) that God would make David a lasting dynasty, c) that David would fight the Lord’s battles, d) that David should strive to be free from all wrongdoing and e) that God would keep David alive. She came to ask for help for her family, but wound up blessing David and speaking to Him on behalf of God. God used her to encourage David immensely. 2). Abigail gave gifts to David and his men. (v.26-31) She was doing this as a servant of God, obvious in her message to David. She kept David from making a big mistake through bloodshed, and she kept her family alive as well. In giving her gift, she helped save lives. When we give gifts to God, we are helping to save lives as well. 3). David worshipped God for Abigail and her intervention. (v.32) He realized that he was acting out of vengeance, and his actions were of his own accord and not on the Lord’s behalf. She saved him, and David worshipped God because of it. When we receive help from others, it’s another reason to worship God, because he is the author of it again. 4). David again worshipped God for punishing Nabal for his wrongdoing. (v.39) David had tried to act on his own and punish Nabal but God stopped him. David didn’t know at that time if God would still punish Nabal or not, he just had to trust Him. God did intervene, and ten days later Nabal died. God took care of David’s business, and David was grateful in praise.
PASSION - 1). A servant told Abigail what David and his men had done. (v.14-16) This servant mentioned their request to Nabal based on their character when they were together in the fields. The report was that they were kind, didn’t steal anything, and even protected them from other potential marauders. The servant spoke highly of them and realized that Nabal had made a mistake, so he/she risked their life to tell Abigail and see if something might be done. This servant was so impressed with David, and so loyal to Nabal and Abigail, that he couldn’t stand by and let a mistake develop. 2). Abigail asked that the blame be on her alone. (24) She goes to explain that she knew nothing of David’s emissaries or his kind actions with the shepherds, but she asked the blame. She obviously had nothing to do with Nabal’s poor response, but she stood up for him nonetheless. She was willing to stand in the gap and try to resolve the situation is accepting the blame would help. What a bold, loyal move for her to make? 3). God wants us to be holy. (v.28,29) He told David through Abigail that he would be a dynasty that fights the Lord’s battles and lives long, but his part was to be clean. he was to live in such a way to keep all wrong doing out of his life. God would keep David in victory and David would keep himself from evil. The best gift God desires from us is holiness through obedience.

1 Samuel 26
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-25
PASSION - 1). Abishai was ready to kill Saul for David. (v.8) Even though it was a dangerous task, one that might certainly get Abishai killed, he was willing to do it for his leader. He cared enough about David to risk his life for his benefit. 2). David called out to Abner, the king’s general. (v.14,15) He confronted him on his inability to protect this King. David probably new Abner well, fighting in battles together. Truthfully, Abner was in the place that David would have been if Saul hadn’t been jealous of him. David called out to a man, very much his equal, and confronted him on his inefficiency. David wasn’t afraid to pick a fight. 3). David was ready to let God has His way. (v.19) He told Saul that if he had come to kill David on God’s behalf, then David would lay down his life as the offering desired. But if men had sent them, then they should be killed because they are going against God’s plan. David was passionate about obeying God, even to the point of sacrificing his own life if that’s what God wanted. How many of us would be willing to go that length to please God?




Thursday, December 12, 2013

1 Samuel 23,24 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 23
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-6
WORSHIP - Abiathar joined David's army in this battle with his ephod present as well. (v.6) The ephod was a priestly garment that in some way represented the presence of the Lord. The men of Israel didn't go into this battle on their own, they had the presence and power of the Almighty God with them. Everywhere you go, recognize God's presence with you and stay in an attitude of worship.
PASSION - 1). Ahimilech answered King Saul honestly. (v.14,15) He told of how he had helped David before and he reminded the King of David's loyalty to him through position and relationship. Though the priest must have been surprised, he told the truth and stayed true to David and to the King. He was in a tough situation but he stayed true. 2). The kings officials were unwilling to raise a hand against the Lord's priests. (v.17) They knew that God had ordained them and they didn't want to do anything against God's chosen ones. The king's officials had more passion for God's laws than the King himself did. They risked their lives to do what was right. 3). David invited Abiathar to stay with him under his protection. (v.23) He knew that the priests were killed because of his decisions, so he decided that it would not happen again. He told Abiathar that he would defend is life with his own. David promised him that he would be safe.

VERSES 7-29
PASSION - David sought after God's plan. (v.9-11) He knew that God had led him to Keilah, so when he got in trouble, he went back to God for help. He was completely dependent on God for his direction and he knew that God would take care of him wherever he would go.

1 Samuel 24
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-22
WORSHIP - God had David hiding in an area known as the Crags of the Wild Goats. (v.2) This must have been a remote place, a place where only wild animals knew the paths and the area. Again, a beautiful area, unknown to man, for David to be safe and enjoy the beauty of God's creation. All around him David would see signs of God's care and attention, increasing his faith.
PASSION - 1). David cut off a corner of Saul's robe, and then regretted it immediately afterward. (v.4-6) He knew that he shouldn't have lifted a hand against Saul, God's chosen leader for that time. David held back from killing Saul and taking the easy way out, but he was still sorry for doing even a little action of aggression against God's king. David wanted to be right with God, and he didn't want to do anything now that would hurt his own leadership later on. David's heart for integrity was what greatly pleased God in choosing him. 2). David allowed God to be the judge of Saul. (v.12) He understood that God was in control and he let God handle it His way. David would have known if God wanted him to attack Saul, as God had told him to attack the Philistines earlier in this campaign. He knew that Saul was God’s responsibility, not his own. We must let God have His way, and not try to make things happen on our own accord. 3). Saul went home, but David and his men went back to the stronghold. (v.22) They had no home to go home to. They had made the stronghold their home. They learned to love the place where God had sent them and now it was their home. When we truly love God with all of our hearts, we will love where he has us, even if it wasn’t in our original plans. 4). David asked Saul if he thought he was pursuing a dead dog. (v.14) This is very similar to the term that Goliath used to threaten David before David destroyed him. David remembered how God had protected him from Goliath and he knew that God would protect him from Saul as well. When we remember what God has done it gives us hope for what God is going to do.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

1 Samuel 20,21 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 20
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-42
PASSION - Jonathan asked God to be with David as He had been with his father, the King. (v.13) He wanted the same blessing for David that his dad had been blessed with in the beginning. He realized that David was in line to be king, and instead of being jealous of something that might have belonged to himself, he accepted God's will and supported it.

1 Samuel 21
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-9
WORSHIP - David ate the bread of God's presence. (v.6) When David was in need on the run, he ran to a priest and filled himself with God's Presence. Time with God and in worship will always be a place of refuge when we need it.
PASSION - 1). David ran from King Saul and first went to a priest. (v.1) When he ran away the first time, he had gone to Samuel, a prophet. David knew that God was his strength and wasn't afraid to run to Him in times of need. 2). Ahilimech offered David consecrated bread, as long as David and 'his men' had abstained from women. (v.4) He was willing to adjust for the situation, but not compromise his standards. Though David was ready to lie, Ahimilech would not follow suit. He stayed true to his values for God, a good priest indeed.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

1 Samuel 18, 19 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 18
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-30
WORSHIP - 1). The women worshipped when their men returned. (v.6) God gave them the victory, and they weren't ashamed to give Him praise for it. They used variety in their worship; singing, dancing, playing instruments. They wanted a full, lively celebration of God. We need te remember the great things that God does, and worship Him exuberantly for them. 2). Saul prophecied as David played the harp. (v.10) Prophecy is a form of worship, welcome at all times of praise and worship of our King. Worship God with spiritual songs.
PASSION - 1). David did his job the best he possibly could. (v.5) He didn't just do is successfully, but SOOO successfully, much more than anyone else would have done in his position. He had a passion for excellence as an act of worship to God. 2). Saul threw spears at David, and he eluded them twice. (v.11) After the first murder attempt, David still played for his king, risking his life. For most of us, one spear thrown in our direction would be enough to allow for our exit, but David was true. David was faithful to his king even when his king wasn't faithful to him. 3). David resisted King Saul's first attempt to have him marry his daughter Merab. (v.17) He could have become Saul's son-in-law, and had a pathway, albeit an improbable one, to the throne. But he resisted, knowing that God had something better in store. He didn't take the easy way out, but waited for God's plan. 4). David brought Saul 200 foreskins. (v.27) Saul had only asked for 100, but David went above and beyond and brought back double the amount. He also wanted to do his best for his king, and he proved his loyalty by being so excellent. True passion can be soon in a pursuit of excellence in all that we do.

1 Samuel 19
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-24
WORSHIP - Saul acted strange in the presence of God. (v.24) He lay naked on the ground, prophecying. We don't see that happen much today, but it could. When God intervenes in the affairs of men, we respond physically to spiritual things. Sometimes, something is lost in translation, and our physical response seems strange and abnormal. We shouldn't look down on those who respond in strange ways, but allow them to experience God however they can.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1 Samuel 16,17 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 16
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-13
WORSHIP - 1). Samuel admitted that he was scared. (v.2) He was afraid that Saul would hear about his plans and kill him. God didn't really address his fears, but moved him into the next step in His plan. God answered his worries with a call to worship, to sacrifice an offering to Him. When we are afraid, the solution is to lose ourselves in worship. 2). Samuel consecrated Jesse and his  sons before they came to sacrifice. (v.5) They made themselves clean before they worshipped God. God will accept us just as we are, but we can still do our best to worship God not just with our best song, but also with our best appearance and behavior.
PASSION - David was anointed as the next king. (v.13) What a powerful moment in David's life. One moment he's watching sheep all alone, the next he's standing in front of his family being anointed as the next great leader of Israel. He would always be able to look back to this moment as the start of his incredible journey as the greatest king Israel had ever seen.

VERSES 14-23
WORSHIP - Whenever Saul was tormented, David would play his harp and Saul would find relief. (v.23) The music soothed Saul's stress, brought on by the evil spirit from God. God brought relief through the worship of His servant David. Worship is powerful; it has the ability to change us and make us better for God.

1 Samuel 17
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1- 58
PASSION – 1). David arrived while the armies were drawn for battle. (v.22) Rather than waiting for them to relax, he left his gifts with the keeper of supplies and ran to be with them on the battle lines. David wasn't afraid and he wanted to be in the action. God is looking to promote leaders who run into battle for His kingdom. 2). David declared what his strength was. (v.45) He didn't talk about his slingshot or the stones, he talked about the name of His Lord. He knew that if He won or lost, it would be completely because of God. His confidence was in God and God alone. 3). David turned Goliath's threats back on him. (v.46) He told Goliath that he would destroy him in the same way Goliath promised to destroy David. He wasn't going to back down at all, and wanted Goliath to know that in his heart, he was even a bigger warrior than he. 4). David was brought before King Saul, still holding Goliath's head in his hands. (v.57) He had been brought before the King and encouraged him not to lose heart because of that Philistine. He came back to the King after the battle and the rout of the army, with the head still there. He wasn't about to let the head go yet, the sign of his victory for God.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

1 Samuel 14,15 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 14
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-14
WORSHIP - Jonathan would let God show them what to do by the reactions of the Philistines. (v.8-10) Rather than sneaking up on them, he revealed their presence, looking to their response as the sign. We should always seek to know God's will and look to Him to give us signs of His desire for our lives.
PASSION - Jonathan wanted to pick a fight. (v.6) He had faith that God would save them. He trusted in God enough to go on the offensive for His glory. Our faith in God should be great enough to tackle the obstacles the stand in our way.

VERSES 24-48
PASSION - No one in the regular army would eat any honey because they feared their King. (v.26) Though it was oozing at of the trees in the woods, the men resisted. What a faithful group of men to their king. We must learn how to resist the many temptations the devil throws at us in the same way.

1 Samuel 15
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-35
WORSHIP - 1). Saul forgot who had made Him King. (v.17) He built a memorial for himself, when he should have been building a memorial for God. We must remember to worship God for everything good that happens in our lives, because it's all because of Him. 2). God wants us to worship Him with all of our lives. (v.22) It's not enough to sing the songs, we must act them out. It's not enough to praise Him in church, we must do it everywhere. Obedience is one of the highest forms of honor and worship for God. Obedient Christians are true worship leaders.
PASSION - 1). God asked Saul to utterly annihilate the Amalekites. (v.3) He was supposed to destroy everything they had. God always gives His all and demands that we do the same. When following out God's commands, we must give it everything we have. 2). Samuel went back with Saul to kill King Agag of the Amalekites. (v.31-33) Saul thought he came back to make him look good in front of the elders, but Samuel took care of the business that Saul was supposed to  accomplish for God. He took matters in his own hands and did want God wanted. Saul wasn't known for being a physical warrior, but he became one that day for God.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

1 Samuel 11,13 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 11
Worship

VERSES 1-11
PASSION - When Saul heard about the distress of the people of Jabesh, he was moved to anger. (v.6) The Spirit of God burned within him and moved him to action. With the Spirit of God in our lives, we will be moved to action as well.

VERSES 12-15
WORSHIP - Saul wouldn't allow anyone to be put to death because it was a day of rejoicing. (v.13,15) He recognized that a great victory was achieved, and God was worthy of the praise. When God does wonders among us, we must immediately turn our affections upon Him in worship and celebration.

1 Samuel 13
Worship

VERSES 1-15
PASSION - The men of Israel hid in caves and quaked with fear. (v.6,7) When we face a great enemy, God is looking for warriors that will be brave and stand their ground.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

1 Samuel 9,10 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 9
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-27
PASSION - 1). The servant sacrificed for the sake of Saul. (v.8,10) Only after the servant gave of his own hard earned money would Saul relent and allow them to approach Samuel. This servant is more impressive here than Saul, because  he was ready to give for the sake of another. 2). Samuel set apart the best for Saul. (v.24) Our leader deserves our best. We need to set aside the best of what we have for God. Giving our best to God shows our loyalty as an act of true worship.

1 Samuel 10
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-8
WORD OF GOD - Saul encountered three men, one who was carrying three loaves of bread. (v.3) The bread is symbolic of the Word of God. God was teaching Saul that he needed to be dependant on God for everything in life. The Word of God is like food for our souls.
WORSHIP - 1). Saul met the three men on the second leg of his journey at Bethel. (v.3) Bethel was the place were Jacob met God. It was an altar, a place of worship. God wants his leaders to regular attend his place of worship and spend time in his presence often. 2). Saul came across three men, one of which had a wineskin. (v.3) Wine represents the Holy Spirit, as does oil as well. This wine symbolizes God's desire for us to be full of His Spirit, and led by it as well. The Spirit must be within for God's power to be displayed with-out. 3). Saul encountered three men who gave him some bread. (v.4) They willingly gave him some bread, even when they only had enough for themselves. They gave him two and kept one. They gave a double portion away. Saul was learning that giving is a part of worship, and we should always be willing to give our very best. 4). The prophets at the Phillistine outpost were worshippers. (v.5) Worship is a part of spiritual warfare. As those prophets worshipped, God attacked the demonic forces of the Phillistines in the heavenly realms. When we worship, God confronts the enemy.
PASSION - Samuel encouraged Saul to do whatever was on his heart after God was with him. (v.7) When we are full of the Spirit of God and changed into a new person, God encourages us to dream and create new things for Him. We can take initiative to bring God glory.

VERSES 9-27

WORSHIP - Saul finished prophecying and then went to the high place. (v.13) The high places were places of sacrificial worship. Saul finished ministering to others, and then he went to a place where he could minister to God. We should spend all of our time with God, in His presence and in His will for ministry.
PASSION - When Saul went home, valiant men went with him. They left their own homes because God had touched their hearts. They were now servants of their King. When God touches our hearts, we forsake all else to follow His plan and go where He goes. A desire to stay close to God shows valiance in our lives.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

1 Samuel 7,8 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 7
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-17
WORSHIP - 1). The men of Kiriath Jearim came to recover the Ark. (v.1) They placed it on a hill and consecrated Eleazar to minister with it. They treated it with respect. They placed it high on a hill, so people could look up to it and God can be over all. They consecrated a priest to be obedient to God's commands, and utilize the Ark to it's full extent. Though not ideal, they adapted to the situation so they could still worship. We need to be flexible in our worship, and allow God to change the circumstances. 2). They poured out water before the Lord. (v.6) Then they prayed and fasted, confessing that they were sinners before an Almighty God. The pouring of water was symbolic of the pouring out of their hearts before the Lord. It's OK for us to use culture symbolism in reflecting our true motives before God. 3). While Samuel was sacrificing offerings, the Philistines were coming for war. (v.10) Worship is a form of warfare. As we worship, the enemy is preparing His battle plans as well. If we want to be strong against the enemy, than we need to worship God often and with all our might.
PASSION - 1). The Israelites showed us the steps to reconciliation. (v.3-9) First, they turned from their sinful ways. Then they came together in prayer and fasting. They humbly confessed their sins, and then sacrificed in worship to God. This shows a proper pathway to becoming right with God. 2). The Isrealites took back the towns from Ekron to Gath. (v.14) These were towns that had been stolen by the Philistines. When God steps into our lives, we will win the victory over sin and take back what the enemy had stolen from us as well.

1 Samuel 8
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-22
PASSION - Samuel was displeased, so he prayed to the Lord. (v.6) When we have troubles and difficulties in life, we must turn to God and speak with Him. He is our helper in times of need.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

1 Samuel 5,6 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 5
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-12
WORSHIP - Dagan's head and hands were broken off and lying on the threshold to the pagan temple. (v.4) The head represented the mind, the hands represented the actions. We worship God with our mind, but also with our actions. They were laying on the threshold, showing that we worship God in the temple, and outside of the temple as well.

1 Samuel 6
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-21
WORSHIP - 1). The Philistines knew God was worthy of honor. (v.3) He had proved His power to them, and they wanted to appease Him. They wouldn't think of sending the Ark back to Israel empty handed. We should always be willing to worship God because we should always be living in admiration of all that He had done. 2). They sent the Ark back to Isreal. (v.7) They placed the Ark on a new cart with cows that had never been yoked before. They gave God their best. We should always be willing to give God our best in all that we do. 3). The Philistine leaders watched the people of Beth Shemesh worship God, and then they went home. (v.15,16) They could have just left once they had seen that the cows were going into foreign territory. But they were intrigued and wanted to see what God would do next. People are watching us worship, and it is a great opportunity for us to allow God to do great things in their midst. 4). God punished 70 men for looking in the Ark. (v.19) In their worship, the people forgot about pleasing God and desired to please themselves. They directly disobeyed God and tried to peer into the Ark. We must remember to keep God as the focus of our worship, and never put the attention on ourselves. We worship Him because He is great, not for how great it makes us feel.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

1 Samuel 3,4 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 3
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-21
WORSHIP - Samuel was resting in the general area where the ark of the covenant was kept. (v.2,3) The lamp representing the Holy Spirit was still lit. Samuel literally slept in the presence of God. He was constantly surrounded by God and all of His goodness. What a wonderful way to grow up as a young boy!

1 Samuel 4
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-11
WORSHIP - The people shouted when the Ark came into the camp. (v.5,6) They were so loud that the ground shook. Later, they were defeated. They were able to shake the ground with their enthusiasm, bu they couldn't win the battle. Loud, enigmatic worship is nothing without actions to back it up. We need to fight for God with the same intensity that we worship Him in the safety of our churches.
PASSION - The Philistines rose up to defeat the Israelites again. (v.9) The heard the shouting, realized the Ark had come into the camp, and were afraid. But they channeled their fear into action, and slaughtered the Isrealites. When we face frightening situations, we've got to trust in God and be passionate in our pursuit of Him. Let fear make us stronger in our fight against the devil.

VERSES 12-22
PASSION - A Benjamite ran to tell the people of Shiloh the news of the battle. (v.12) He was in a state of morning, with his clothes torn and dust on his head. He was undoubtedly tired from the battle, yet he ran to spread the news. This was the only way to communicate over long distances in that time period. He did his job well.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

1 Samuel 1,2 - Notes on Worship

1 Samuel 1
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-20
WORSHIP - 1). Hannah was pouring out her soul to the Lord. (v.15) She was so focused on connecting with God that when others looked on, they couldn't understand what she was doing. It didn't matter to her what others thought, she was going to praise God with all of her heart. When we worship, we shouldn't worry about what others will say; we should just worship God the best that we can. 2). Before they went home, they woke up early to worship at the temple one last time. (v.19) Rather than just hitting the road for the long journey home, they remembered God one last time. There is always time for more of God in our busy schedules.
PASSION - 1). Elkanah was a faithful man. (v.3) Year after year, he worshipped and sacrificed. Being faithful to God always makes us candidates for God's wonders. Faithfulness pleases God and gets his attention. 2). Hannah promised to give her children back to the Lord. (v.11) She had been longing for a son, which brought her closer to God. Now, even if she has a Son, she will give him back to God and continue to come to Him in prayer. God has finally become enough for her. All needs in our lives should bring us to a place where God is enough for us as well. 3). Hannah was praying silently before the Lord. (v.13) Her lips were moving, but only God could hear what she had to say. God is Spirit, and when we pray in Spirit, He hears and responds.

VERSES 21-28

WORSHIP - 1). Hannah took a 3 year old bull to slaughter as a sacrifice. (v.25) After the sacrifice she came and gave her son to the priest. The bull was symbolic of her son, both being young and full of potential. Her sacrifice was her praise. She gave God her best. 2). Hannah testified to Eli. (v.26,27) She reminded him that she was the lady praying for a child, and she proclaimed that God had answered her prayers. When God works in our lives, we must share it with others to worship God and encourage them in their journey.
PASSION - Elkanah went to offer his annual sacrifice to the Lord. (v.21) We've already seen his faithfulness and prayer and worship, and once again we see him carrying out his duties as expected. It's important for us to remember special times with the Lord and be obedient in all the tasks he desires of us. A promise to the Lord is more important than any promise on this earth.

1 Samuel 2
Notes on Worship

VERSES 1-11
WORSHIP - Hannah praised the Lord. (v.1) She rejoiced in the Lord who answered her prayers. She realized that her horn, symbolizing strength, was in God alone. When we worship God, He gives us all the power we need.
PASSION - Hannah boasted over her enemies. (v.1) Peninnah had been verbally abusive to Hannah. But God gave Hannah a child so Peninnah has nothing to tease her about anymore. God silenced her enemies. Hannah can boast in the Lord’s deliverance. She knows who is responsible for the change in her life.

VERSES 12-26

WORSHIP - Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. (v.21) He knew the ways of the temple, the customs of the priests, the mysteries of God. He was familiar with the things of God. We need to stay close to God and His people and study it in our lives. Part of the journey of getting to know God is making sure that we are in the right place.
PASSION - Eli's sons were wicked, but Samuel grew closer to God. (v.25,26) They all grew up in the temple and were surrounded by the things of God. Yet only Samuel remained holy. Just being in the right place isn't enough, we've got to make a personal committment in our lives to embrace God with all that we have.





Thursday, September 26, 2013

1 Samuel 30,31 - Notes on God's Plan


1 Samuel 30
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-30
GOD’S PLAN - 1). David returned all of the items which had been taken, including new livestock from the Amalekites as well. (v.18-20) It was a tremendous time of grief for David’s men, but in the end, they came out better and stronger. They didn’t lose anything, but because of their struggle, they gained. The trials that we go through are always for the good, and God desires to make us better for Him. 2). David destroyed the Amalekites, because they had stolen his things. (v.17) This was a task that Saul was supposed to have done, but he failed. Now God raised David up and had him complete the task. We need to do all that God has called us to do, because if we don’t, He’ll raise others up to do His will. Either way, God is sovereign and His desires will be accomplished.

1 Samuel 31
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-13
GOD’S PLAN - The Philistines annihilated the Israelites as God had promised. (v.1-3) David’s sons were killed, including Jonathan, whom we know well because of his relationship with David. Saul himself was wounded critically, so death was only a matter of moments away. What a devastating battle for the Kingdom of Israel. God was destroying them because of Saul’s continual disobedience.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

1 Samuel 27,28 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 27
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-12
GOD’S PLAN - David built a life for himself and his men in a foreign land. (v.2-4) They moved to a place where Saul could no longer pursue them and uproot their lives. God wanted to bring them to a place of stability. They had been on the run for years, coming together as an army and defending themselves. God finally allowed them a time of rest.

1 Samuel 28
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-25
GOD’S PLAN - Samuel told Saul that he and his sons would be with him the next day. (v.19) God was telling Saul that he was about to die by the hand of the Philistines. This would have been very disturbing for Saul, but God had finally come to a point of completion with his mercy towards Saul. David was ready to become King and Saul had used his last bit of mercy when trying to call Samuel back from the dead through a medium. When we continue to walk in disobedience, it will always bring us closer and closer to complete failure forever.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

1 Samuel 25,26 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 25
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-44
GOD’S PLAN - 1). David approached Nabal about some help while he was busy shearing sheep. (v.4) Again, David is familiar with sheep as a former shepherd, and just having that common situation would bring confidence to his heart. God helped David again by bringing him to a circumstance that would encourage him. God was leading him the entire way, according to His master plan. 2). Nabal lived up to his name, which meant fool. (v.25) Abigail said that folly went with him wherever he went; she would know as a wife. God planned for David to meet up with this man and women; God knew that Nabal would live up to his name. Our name can have more meaning for our lives than we realize. Anyone can name us, but only God gives us our true identity. 3). David would never have heard Abigail’s encouraging prophetic words if Nabal hadn’t mistreated him and his men. (v.26-29) He may have never even met her. Instead, she came out to save her family, and God spoke through her to bless David and remind him again of who he was. Just as she was saving her family, God was using her to save David from disaster as well.

1 Samuel 26
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-25
GOD’S PLAN - 1). David and Abishai took Saul’s spear and his water jug. (v.12) Though Saul was sleeping in the middle of his camp, David and his man were able to sneak in and out undetected. God had protected them by keeping Saul and his troop in a deep sleep. David was great in warfare and tactics of spying and such, but he wouldn’t have been successful at all without God’s help. God set this up so David could accomplish this feat. He once again brought David to a place where he could spare Saul’s life, though Saul would not have done the same for him. 2). Saul actually pronounced a blessing on David for triumph in good things. (v.25) He had come to kill David, but God changed the situation and had him bless him. What the devil meant for evil, God turned into good. Only God can change us from being someone that hurts others, to blessing them instead.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

1 Samuel 23,24 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 23
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-6
GOD'S PLAN - 1). God told David to attack the Philistines and save the people of Keilah. (v.2) God had moved David to the wilderness and brought him outcasts to raise into an army. Now, it's time for him to start doing the things a King would do. He is moving out for the sake of Israel and attacking her enemies. He is becoming God's savior for His people. 2). David and his men eventually attacked the Philistines and routed them. (v.5) They had nothing to be afraid of because they were utterly victorious in their efforts. They destroyed the Philistine army, saved the people of Keilah (which would spread news of David's desire to defend Israel across the nation) and they picked up some livestock for their supply as well. God gave them victory on many different levels when they were obedient to Him. We must trust God and do what He says; He has many different things working together for our good which we could never understand with our human minds.

VERSES 7-29
GOD'S PLAN - 1). David and his men left Keilah and stayed on the run, moving from place to place. (v.13) God kept them constantly moving, not allowing them to get comfortable and settle down somewhere. They were not to stay where they were, God wanted them to get somewhere else. Had they not had any trouble, they might have stayed put and never advanced to become the king and warriors of Israel. 2). Just as Saul was about to capture David, God sent a messenger to take him a different direction. (v.27) The messenger told Saul that the Philistines were invading, so he had to leave and deal with that dilemma. God brought a distraction to King Saul that saved David yet again.

1 Samuel 24 
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-22
GOD'S PLAN - 1). Saul went into a cave to go to the bathroom, and it just happened to be the exact cave where David and his men were hiding. (v.3) What a coincidence! With God, there are no coincidences. He has everything working with His master plan. God led Saul to the cave where David would have the opportunity to do something to bring this chase to an end. Saul thought he chose the cave to go in, but really, it was God leading the way. In fact, God probably brought Saul to a place physically where he needed to use a bathroom and was searching for a cave. 2). Saul came to his senses and let David go. (v.16-20) God gave David a chance to kill King Saul because he knew that David wouldn’t. When Saul found out, it changed his mind about David; he knew that he could trust him. Saul admitted that David was more righteous than he, more deserving of the position of King. God took a chance because he knew it would bring Saul to his senses. We can always trust that God will do what is right for us, even if it doesn’t always seem like it at the time.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

1 Samuel 21,22 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 21
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-9
GOD'S PLAN - 1). The priest trembled when David arrived, unannounced. (v.1) David's reputation preceded him. Ahimilech knew what David had done and what a great warrior he was. God was increasing David's influence and legacy amongst the people of Israel; God was making His King. 2). David arrived right when there was hot bread from the Lord's presence ready. (v.6) His timing was perfect, though he wouldn't have been able to plan that. God was ordaining his steps, even if David wasn't totally faithful in his actions. David was ready to give up on God, but God wasn't ready to give up on Him. 3). There was a servant of Saul there, his head shepherd Doeg. (v.7) When David saw him, he would remember where God had brought him from. He would know that God was still in control. The devil wanted Doeg there to inform King Saul of David's whereabouts, but God had him there for a better reason, to encourage His future King. 4). Ahilimech gave David the sword of Goliath. (v.9) This was the only weapon they had. David would know it well, for he used it to cut off Goliath's head. This weapon was a part of one of David's great moment sin his life. God was once again reminding him that He was in control. David needed this reminder, and God gave it to him just in time.

1 Samuel 22
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-5
GOD'S PLAN - David escaped Gath and went to a cave. (v.1) God took him to a place where they could gather and have shelter. God moved him back to the wilderness where he could be safe and have his family come near. God was still in control. He took him to a cave, a dwelling for animals. In this way, David resembled Jesus, foreshadowing the coming of our King. In the most unlikely places, greatness can be born.

VERSES 6-23
GOD'S PLAN - Abiathar was the only priest to escape the rampage of Doeg on behalf of King Saul. (v.20,21) He ran away and joined up with David and his army of outcasts. God had now brought a priest to David and his men. Although it was through a horrible tragedy, God again brings good out of what was meant for bad.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

1 Samuel 19,20 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 19
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-24
GOD'S PLAN - 1). Saul had another evil spirit come upon him from the Lord. (v.9,10) He threw a spear at David and this time David made good his escape. Jonathan had helped them find peace, and God led them to a place of division again. This seems to go against the character of God, but again, God is trying to take David to a time in the wilderness to prepare him to be His King. 2). God moved David away from Saul and Michal. (v.15,16) He wanted to teach David some lessons in the wilderness, and get him away from his home where Michal had kept idols. God was taking him from a place that might have damaged his walk to a place where God would be completely in control. 3). Saul sent 3 groups of men to capture David. (v.19-24)  Each one began to prophecy. Then he went himself, and the same thing happened. God wouldn't let anyone disrupt David's time with Samuel. Again, what Saul meant for evil purposes, God turned into good.

1 Samuel 20
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-42
GOD'S PLAN - David knew that he was only a step away from death. (v.3) He ran to Jonathan for help because he couldn't do it on his own. God brought David to a battle where he would once again have to rely on God in order to excel. At times, we might face danger in our lives, and yet still be in the center of God's will.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

1 Samuel 17,18 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 17
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1- 58
GOD'S PLAN – 1). The Israelites were on one hillside, the Philistines were on an opposite hilltop, and a valley stood between them. (v.1-3) God had the armies positioned in such a way that every soldier from both sides would see the battle in the valley. God wanted all of the people there to see his champion David rise up in victory. God will use us in ways that others will see and be encouraged as well. 2). David was talking about Goliath, and it went all the way to the king. (v.29,30) The men ridiculed David for his bold talk, but eventually the king heard what he was saying. David's akward conversations might have been uncomfortable for him to endure, but eventually it paved the way for the king to hear and David to get into the battle. God took their bad talk and turned it into a good thing for David. 3). David tended his fathers sheep and protected them from aggressive predators. (v.34,35) God taught him how to protect sheep, to prepare him how to be the leader for his people. God taught him how to kill the lion and the bear so he'd be ready to kill Goliath someday as well. 4). Goliath told David that he would his flesh to the birds and the beast of the field. (v.44) David had already proven his authority over the beasts of the field by destroying the lion and bear in protection of his sheep. When Goliath said that, it probably gave David more confidence and courage. God had prepared David for this great battle through the battles in the field. 5). David triumphed over Goliath. (v.50) He beat Goliath without a sword in his hand. God used David, a small boy, with small toys as weapons, and destroyed the mightiest man at the battleground that day. With God, all things are possible. 6). David used Goliath's own sword to cut off his head. (v.51) What a shame for the Philistines to watch their great warrior vanquished by his own weapon. God will take what is meant for bad and turn it into good.

1 Samuel 18
Notes on God's Plan

GOD'S PLAN - 1). The women came out to celebrate their victorious army. (v.6) They weren't allowed to fight on the front lines, so they did their part to make their warriors feel loved and cherished. We all have a role to play in God's kingdom, some might be on stage, some in the seats, some on mic, others in the back. But we all worship together to bring glory to God. 2). God sent an evil spirit to torment Saul. (v.10,11) Eventually, this led to Saul throwing a spear to kill David, and forcing him to flee. God set in motion the events that would move David to the wilderness, a time of God preparing him to be king. Sometimes, the 'bad' things in our lives are orchestrated by God, bringing us to the place He's called us to. 3). Israel loved David because he led them victoriously in their campaigns. (v.16) Saul tried to do away with David by assigning him to the battles far away, but instead, it escalated him to even greater fame and favor with the people. God has a way of turning things meant for bad into good. 4). David became a commander in Saul's army and was more successful than all other officers. (v.30) Because of his success, he became well known and admired by the nation. God was putting David on the national stage and winning him favor, preparing him to become King.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

1 Samuel 15,16 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 15
God's Plan

VERSES 1-35
GOD'S PLAN - 1). The army of Israel had grown to an amazing amount of soldiers. (v.4) Now numbering in the hundreds of thousands, they are a powerful force to be reckoned with in that part of the world. God had built His kingdom and was beginning to take His area of land for Israel as well. 2). God tore the kingdom from Saul and prepared to give it to someone else. (v.27) God revealed his plans through the symbolism of Saul's own actions, tearing Samuel's robe. Saul had been given a great gift, but God took it away because of Saul's misbehavior.

1 Samuel 16
God's Plan

VERSES 1-13
GOD'S PLAN - 1). God told Samuel to stop mourning, fill his horn with oil, and be on his way. (v.1) He allowed him to mourn for a time, but then moved him on to the next step in His plan. When Samuel heard God say to fill his horn with oil, he would know that God was planning to anoint someone else as king. God moved Samuel on to lift his spirits, and to bring David into the picture. 2). Samuel went through all the present sons of Jesse, but God hadn't chosen any of them. (v.8-10) It might have been discouraging, but Samuel remembered that God had called him to go there, so he asked if there were any others. There are times when we most go through many ordinary things to get to the extraordinary things of God.

VERSES 14-23
GOD'S PLAN - God sent an evil spirit to torment Saul. (v.14) He didn’t just allow it, He caused it, or rather, He instigated it. It may have been an attempt to draw Saul closer to God. It may have been an act to bring David to the palace, where he would meet Saul and get accustomed to royal ways. Or it might have been a form of God’s punishment. It could be for all these reasons all at once. God's plans are multi-dimentional and truly amazing.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

1 Samuel 13,14 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 13
God's Plan

VERSES 1-15
GOD'S PLAN - God was testing Saul. (v.13) When Samuel arrived late, God wanted to see what Saul would do. Saul couldn't wait for God and did things his own way. God would have let him be the true King of Israel, but instead He would hand the kingdom to someone else because Saul couldn't be true to God in even the smallest circumstances.

1 Samuel 14
God's Plan

VERSES 1-14
GOD'S PLAN - Jonathan and his armor bearer beat 20 men in a very small space. (v.13,14) They were tired from rigorous climbing yet they still won. Obviously the enointing of God was on them empowering them to victory.

VERSES 15-23
GOD'S PLAN - God sent a panic on the Philistine Army. (v.15) They saw that their outpost had been routed, and it sent them into chaos and commotion. God had Jonathan and his armor bearer ignite a fire that would eventually bring down the Philistines. 

VERSES 24-48
GOD'S PLAN - Saul attacked all of the enemies of Israel on every side. (v.47,48) He fought against 6 kingdoms and nations, and God gave him victory in every situation. God was building his kingdom, and using Israel's first king to do it.

VERSES 49-52
GOD'S PLAN - Saul endured years of battles and wars. (v.52) Israel's enemy, the Philistines, were constantly at war with them. God raised Saul up to be King, and his kingdom was full of fighting. God raised up a leader for a difficult time with his people.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

1 Samuel 11,12 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 11
God's Plan

VERSES 1-11
GOD'S PLAN - 1). Saul cut up the oxen and sent them to everyone in Israel as a sign of his committment, and theirs. (v.7) Saul needed the oxen to tend his fields, but he cut them up as a sign that he was finally moving to his role as a king fulltime. He was finally leaving his old life behind to pursue the life God had called him to. 2). God changed the situation. (v.11) He took a divided nation in Israel, brought them together in unity and destroyed the Ammonites. He also took a united enemy, frustrated them in defeat, and sent them away divided and destroyed. Nothing can stand against God's power as He works His plan.

VERSES 12-15
GOD'S PLAN - 1). The people came to Samuel and wanted to condemn the men who had spoke against Saul and his abilities. (v.12) After Saul defeated the Ammonites, the people were ready to follow him. God allowed a troubling situation to challenge Saul and give him the opportunity to prove his worth as king in the eyes of the people. 2). Samuel led the people to Gilgal where they reaffirmed Saul's kingship. (v.14,15) Though he'd already been anointed, God made Saul the king by giving him the challenge of the Ammonites. When he stepped up and defeated them, he truly recognized his role as the king. God wants us to achieve His desires for our lives, and if challenges help us do that, than so be it.

1 Samuel 12
God's Plan

VERSES 1-25
GOD'S PLAN - 1). God told them to be obedient. (v.14,15) He told them to obey his commands and be faithful to Him. He also set up the king in such a way that if the king was disobedient, it would impact the entire nation. As a nation, we must serve the Lord and not rebel against His commands. 2). The people asked for Samuel to help pray for them after God punished them. (v.19) When God destroyed their harvest, they realized that Samuel had been right and they shouldn't have asked for a king. They finally respected his leadership and God's will after they saw a demonstration of His authority and power. When God moves in the affairs of men, they must take notice and respond to Him. 3). Samuel encouraged them to turn away from their sins and serve God with their whole hearts. (v.20) Their sin was a result of half-hearted efforts. When we give God our complete devotion, He will strengthen us to resist sin and stay true to Him.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

1 Samuel 9,10 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 9
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-27
GOD'S PLAN - 1). Saul and his servant looked through 3 or 4 different territories, but couldn’t find the donkeys. (v.4) God was keeping them from discovering where the donkeys were. This could be symbolic of how Saul would try to do things right with God but could never really do it the way that God wanted. 2). Samuel came to meet Saul at the entrance to the town. (v.14) God wanted Samuel to meet them so Samuel could get a good look at Saul. He also wanted Samuel to make a move toward Saul. God brought them together. 3). The donkeys had been found by someone else. (v.20) The donkeys represent Saul's future apart from God's plan. He would have inherited those animals and followed in his father's footsteps, but God called him out. We must be willing to let go of the 'donkey's' in our lives to grab ahold of what God has planned for us as well. 4). Samuel would tell Saul all that was in his heart. (v.19) This is the gift of knowledge and a spiritual gift that is still available to us today. This is also a sign of the Holy Spirit's work in the Old Testament, giving credence to the doctrine of the Trinity.

1 Samuel 10
Notes on God's Plan

VERSES 1-8
GOD'S PLAN - 1). Samuel poured oil on Saul's head, anointing him as King. (v.1) This is the same type of anointing that would happen with a priest. The oil was symbolic of God's Spirit resting on a chosen individual. Saul was being set aside to be covered by God and used for His glory. 2). Saul encountered two men at Rachel's tomb. (v.2) Rachel gave birth to Benjamin, the tribe that Saul belonged to. God was bringing him back to his roots, reminding him where he came from. Our upbringing and childhood are included in God's plan for developing us according to His will. 3). Saul encountered a procession of worshipping prophets. (v.5) They had lyres, tambourines, flutes, and harps, meaning that there was at least 8 of them. Sauljoined this group, and led them in ministry. God moved him from two men at Rachel's tomb, to three men at Bethel, and now he is with at least eight prophets at Gibeah. God is bringing him into more power and responsibility, preparing him to be King. First he led in his family, then he led in the 'church', and then he led in the community.

VERSES 9-27
GOD'S PLAN - When the people couldn't find Saul, the inquired further of the Lord. (v.21,22) God had told them what to do, but they couldn't find Saul. Instead of trying to figure it out on their own, they went back to God and let Him lead them. God will give us the details in the time and manner that he knows is best for us, to keep our dependence on Him.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

1 Samuel 6,7 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 6
God's Plan

VERSES 1-21
GOD'S PLAN - 1). The cows went to Beth Shemesh in Israel territory. (v.12) They didn't try to return to their young ones. They didn't stray from the path one bit. God kept them on a mission and orchestrated their path to His people. When God has things for us, He will bring them to us in His will. 2). God showed up at Beth Shemesh. (v.13) The people were going about their everyday routines, when suddenly the Ark appeared. They dropped everything and proceeded to celebrate. God will interrupt our plans and show up when He pleases. We must be willing to drop everything in those moments and worship Him.

1 Samuel 7
God's Plan

VERSES 1-17
GOD'S PLAN - God left the Ark in Kiriath Jearim for 20 years. (v.2) The people grew restless and cried out to God in mourning. During this long time, their hearts changed and they wanted to please God again. God allowed them to go through a long time without 'Him' so that they'd come back to Him with all their hearts. God allowed them to simmer, so they could be better for Him.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

1 Samuel 3,4 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 3
God's Plan

VERSES 1-21
GOD'S PLAN - 1). Samuel was living in a time when they didn't have much supernatural interaction from God. (v.1) There are times when God’s visions and dreams are rare. That doesn’t necessarily mean God is distant. He's just choosing to be quiet. 2). God told Samuel that He was about to exact punishment upon Eli and his family. (v.12-14) God was punishing Eli for not restraining his children in their sins. God spoke to Samuel, passing the mantle of leadership to Him, by allowing Him to know of His plans. God was moving Eli out, and moving Samuel in. God knows when to reward and when to punish, when to move people into positions and when to let them go.

1 Samuel 4
God's Plan

VERSES 1-11
GOD'S PLAN - The Israelites were defeated by the Philistines. (v.2) When the battle spread, 4,000 Israelites were destroyed. We won't always win. There will be times when God allows setbacks in our lives. In those moments we need to turn to Him for guidance, and trust in His sovereign plan for our lives. 

VERSES 12-22
GOD'S PLAN - A baby remains, named Ichabod. (v.21) Israel is defeated, it's priests are destroyed, and the Ark is gone. A new baby is still here, but it's name is Ichabod, meaning, 'no glory'. This boy would be a reminder that God had allowed Israel to be defeated because of its' sinful ways. A warning to turn from sin and live according to God's laws.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

1 Samuel 1,2 - Notes on God's Plan

1 Samuel 1
God's Plan

VERSES 1-20
GOD'S PLAN - 1). Hannah went to the temple to pray and weep before the Lord. (v.10) God uses different things to draw us close to Him. If Hannah had children already, she probably wouldn't have been there, waiting on God. Always let the circumstances of life draw us closer to God. 2). God used Hannah to bring Samuel into the world to help Eli and the Hebrew people. (v.20) Eli had accused Hannah of being drunk. Yet God used Hannah to bring help to Eli. Sometimes, God will use the most unlikely things to help us in our times of need, an answer our prayers.

1 Samuel 2
God's Plan

VERSES 1-11
GOD'S PLAN - 1). He will turn things around. (v.4,5) The warrior might be strong now, but God will break his bow. Those who stumbled will be armed with strength. The hungry will be fed while those who had food will go hungry. God will take care of His people and reward those who worship Him with a humble heart. 2). God oversees the course of life. (v.6,7) The same God rules over life and death, poverty and wealth, humility and honor. All things find their beginnings in God and His plan. We must look to Him for all things, the source of life. 3). God is in charge of our foundation. (v.8,9) He put the earth in its' place; He rules over every place that we set our feet. He will take the righteous to high place, and the wicked to places of ruin. 4). God is the strength of our lives. (v.10) He empowers His kings, His anointed, His ambassadors on this earth. Whenever we are strong, it is because God has given us His power.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

1 Samuel 25 - Notes on God's Character

1 Samuel 25
God's Character

GOD’S CHARACTER - 1). Abigail told David that God would throw his enemies away from him ‘as from the pocket of a sling’ (v.29) This is undoubtedly a reference to David’s exploit over Goliath, killing the giant with a simple slingshot as a young boy. Once again, God reminded David of what He had done for him in the past, so David would cling to Him for his future. God wasn’t about to let David fail needlessly, as Saul had. 2). Nabal died after ten days of being in a coma. (v.38) He came to that place because he was so stressed when his wife told him how she had saved his life. He didn’t realize how horrible he had become. God punished him for his mistreatment of David and his evil, prideful attitude. This is a good example of how God corrected someone because of their bad attitude. 3). God took care of David’s business. (v.39,40) David was stopped from attacking Nabal on his own. When he obeyed and walked away, God fought David’s battle for him, punishing Nabal and giving Abigail to David as a faithful wife. God had also given David another wife as well, which was common in the culture at that time. God was building David up, fighting his battle, preparing His next King. 4). God also saved Abigail from a difficult life as well. (v.41,42) He corrected her husband with death, and set her free from that destructive, abusive relationship. He gave her a union with David, His man with a heart after God. God delivered her and gave her a second chance. We serve the God of second chances.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

1 Samuel 22,23 - Notes on God's Character

1 Samuel 22
God's Character

VERSES 1-5
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). God sent the prophet Gad to David in the cave. (v.5) David had his family and an army, now he has a man of God to help him follow God's plans. David would know that God was still overseeing his life after this events. God took care of David, and was faithful to him in the wilderness. 2). God had David in a well known cave, and then He moved him to a well known forest. These were probably beautiful, remote places, not seen by too many people. God took David to glorious places to encourage him with the beauty of His creation as he got time alone with God.

1 Samuel 23
God's Character

VERSES 1-6
GOD'S CHARACTER - God told David to attack the Philistines two different times. (v.4) After the first time, David heard his men's concerns and came to inquire of God again. God could have been frustrated with apparent lack of faith, but instead, he was patient with his new leader and the new army and gently reinforced what He had already ordered. God is patient with us and our lack of faith. It's OK to double check when it comes to being completely sure about what God has said.

VERSES 7-29
GOD'S CHARACTER - God protected David from King Saul. (v.14) Everyday, King Saul went out to look for David, but God kept him hidden. God wasn't going to let King Saul kill his pick for the next King, and it was God the sheltered David in the desert and the strongholds of the wilderness. No one knew the secret places of God's creation like God Himself, and He directed David to the places that would conceal him best.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

1 Samuel 18,19 - Notes on God's Character

1 Samuel 18
God's Character

VERSES 1-30
GOD'S CHARACTER - God sent an evil spirit to torment Saul. (v.10) Normally, we would assume that an evil spirit was brought on by our enemy, the devil. But God sent this creature of disruption. God has authority over all things, even things in the dark realm; everything surrenders to His desires.

1 Samuel 19
God's Character

VERSES 1-24
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). God protected David when he was with Samuel. (v.23) When Saul sent men or came himself, God took over and had them prophecy. There are times when God has us in powerful moments and He won't let anything disrupt us in that time. 2). God is sovereign. (v.23) God sent an evil spirit to torment King Saul. Later in the same chapter, he fell upon Saul and had him prophecying. He had the power to bring him low and bring him high, and He did them both. God is totally in control. We must trust Him in the valleys and on the mountains; at all times of our lives.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

1 Samuel 16,17 - Notes on God's Character

1 Samuel 16
God's Character

VERSES 1-13
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). God gave Samuel His plans one step at a time. (v.3) He told him to have a sacrifice with Jesse, and anoint the person God indicated at that time. God could have told Samuel his name right then, but He made him wait. He wanted Samuel to stay dependent upon Him, and protected him from failure in his highly emotional state. 2). God selected David and had Samuel anoint him as the next king. (v.13) He wasn't the biggest, strongest, prettiest - but God knew that He was the one. God can see into the real heart of things, things that we can't see. He believes in the unbelievables.

VERSES 14-23
GOD'S CHARACTER - God had taken his Spirit from Saul and sent an evil spirit to torment him. (v.14) God has sovereignty over all things and even commanded an enemy spirit to do His will. If God can control the actions of His enemies in such a way, how much more can He affect our ways.

1 Samuel 17
God's Character

VERSES 1- 58
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). God had saved David from the lion and the bear. (v.37) David knew that God would continue to save him from Goliath as well. With God, David was not the underdog, even though he was probably smaller than the shield bearer, let alone Goliath. When we serve God, we are always in the palm of His hand and nothing can touch us without His approval. There is no enemy too big for God to take down to protect us. 2). David told Goliath that God would him over to David. (v.46) He knew that if he won, it would be because of God. God controls all things, and nothing is allowed in creation without his approval. 3). The Israelites plundered the Philstine camp. (v.53,54) David took Goliath's weapons for his own spoils of war. God rewarded Israel and David for their courage and bravery. When we step up for God, He will remember.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

1 Samuel 14,15 - Notes on God's Character

1 Samuel 14
God's Character

VERSES 15-23
GOD'S CHARACTER - God caused the ground to shake in an earthquake. (v.15) He sent a natural disaster to increase the fear in the Philistines. God has power over nature and will make His creation fall in line with His plans.

VERSES 24-48
GOD'S CHARACTER - When Saul sought after God's will, He remained silent. (v.37) Saul took that as a sign that a sin had been committed, which was accurate. The reason God is silent is not always because of sin, but that could be a reason we don't hear from God in our lives.

1 Samuel 15
God's Character

VERSES 1-35
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). God asked Saul to destroy the Amalekites. (v.2,3) He was punishing them for their mistreatment of Israel earlier on. God remembers what we have done and will repay us as He chooses. We must remember that God is sovereign and worthy of our loyalty and respect. 2). God made Saul the head of Israel, though he was small in his own eyes. (v.17) Saul couldn't dream big enough to realize what God could do with him. God made him much bigger than he ever could have made himself. God can always do bigger things than we imagine. 3). Saul tore Samuel's robe, and God used it as an illustration. (v.27,28) God taught Saul through his own actions. He took advantage of the situation to teach Saul a lesson. Everything in creation is at God's exposal, to use as He wants to accomplish His will. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

1 Samuel 9,12 - Notes of God's Character

1 Samuel 9
God's Character

VERSES 1-27
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). Samuel was coming to meet Saul at the entrance to the city. (v.14) Saul had no idea that God was looking for him. As we pursue God, it's important for us to remember that He is also pursuing us, and He is probably closer than we think. Saul was looking for the donkeys; God was looking for His King. 2). God told Samuel that Saul was coming. (v.15,16) He prepared Samuel for the task that he was going to do. When God gives us something to do, He makes us adequate for the ministry. He is as much God in the presentation as He is in the preparation as well. 3). Samuel gave Saul an incredible conversation. (v.19,20) He told him that he had plans to meet with him, the donkeys were found, and God had a great plan for his life. Saul must have been dumbfounded. At any time God can say and do things to us that will amaze us in every way.

1 Samuel 12
God's Character

VERSES 1-25
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). The people cried out to God with sincere hearts, and He answered them. (v.10,11) He sent powerful leaders to come rescue them from their enemies. Every time we cry out to God, He hears and responds according to His will. 2). God punished the people because they asked for a King against His will. (v.17) He destroyed the wheat harvest with a huge storm. Even in this punishment, we see the grace of God, because now He has set up a King for them to help them overcome this difficulty.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

1 Samuel 5,7 - Notes of God's Character

1 Samuel 5
God's Character

VERSES 1-12
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). Our God reigns over all. (v.3,4) Though the Philistines tried to put God on the same level as their idol Dagan, each morning when they woke up, Dagan was laying in submission before our God. There is no other God above Him. The Philistines hadn't defeated the Israelites by themselves, God had allowed it. 2). God punished the Philistines with tumors as well. (v.6) The people were getting sick because of their sinful ways. God was punishing them for stealing the Ark in their pride. God can never accept sin in His presence.

1 Samuel 7
God's Character

VERSES 1-17
GOD'S CHARACTER - The Philistines were coming up to attack, but God is back with the Israelites. (v.10,11) He thundered over them, scaring them out of position. All these Israelite men, who are weak from fasting and not prepared to fight, destroyed them because God led the way. Let God thunder down on your enemies and troubles before you even try to touch them.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

1 Samuel 3,4 - Notes on God's Character

1 Samuel 3
God's Character

VERSES 1-21
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). God was speaking to Samuel. (v.4-6) Samuel was a young boy and had never heard God's voice before, but God was speaking to him. God is faithful to His people, and will speak to them. He also will speak to young and old alike. 2). Eli directed Samuel to respond to God. (v.8,9) Three different times, Samuel had come to Eli, thinking he had been called. Eli came to the realization that God must be involved. When we can't explain what is happening around us, we need only to look to God for direction and help. He is active in the mysteries of this world. 3). God spoke something to Samuel that would make the ears of all who heard it tingle. (v.11) When God speaks, people listen. God's message always brings a response from us. We need to hear what God wants to tell us. Our ears should perk up at the sound of His voice.

1 Samuel 4
God's Character

VERSES 1-11
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). The leaders asked why God allowed them to lose. (v.3) They realized that nothing happens apart from God's will. God is in control of all things and orders the ways of men. He is sovereign and reigns over all. 2). Hophni and Phineas died and the Ark was captured. (v.11) God had told Eli that his family would be punished, and even when it helped the Ark go into pagan hands, God did what He said He would do. He is a 'man' of His word.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

1 Samuel 1,2 - God's Character Notes

1 Samuel 1
God's Character

VERSES 1-20
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). Elkanah gave Hannah a double portion because she didn't have any children. (v.5) In the same way, God knows our needs and He will give us exactly what we need in proportion to what we lack. God is our provider and will give us His blessings. 2). God answered Hannah's prayers and gave her a son. (v.19,20) He saw that the attitude of her heart had changed and he rewarded her accordingly. God loves to answer our prayers, according to His will.

VERSES 21-28
GOD'S CHARACTER - God answered Hannah's prayer. (v.27) She prayed for a child and God gave her one. He loves to answer our prayers and give us what we desire according to His will.

1 Samuel 2
God's Character

VERSES 1-11
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). Hannah praised God for His originality. (v.2) She declared that there is no one holy like our Lord, our Rock. He is perfect and He will never change or waver. We can count on Him. 2). The Lord is a God who knows. (v.3) God sees everything we do, he hears every word that comes out of our mouths. God knows who we really are, and if our words match our deeds. 3). God is our provider. (v.4,5) He gives us children, food, armor, everything we need. We only need to look to Him for our provision, for He is our source of strength.

VERSES 12-26
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). God was angry at the priests who stole from His offerings. (v.17) He wasn't concerned about the portion taken away. He was concerned about the attitude of their hearts, and how they mistreated the people who were entrusting them with their offerings. God will not allow leaders to misrepresent Him in this world without being punished. 2). God continued to bless Hannah. (v.21) She gave Samuel back to Him, and He gave her 5 more children. He remembered her gift and was grateful. We can never outgive our God.

VERSES 27-36
GOD'S CHARACTER - 1). God knew what Eli's sons were doing. (v.29) He saw their sins and held them accountable. God knows everything that is happening in our lives. Nothing is hidden from Him. And He will hold us accountable for the deeds we have done. 2). God will clear out the sin and raise up the righteousness. (v.35) There is no place in His church for evil leaders. God will raise up a priesthood that are interested in pleasing Him. Whereas Eli's family will be cut short in the prime of life, this royal priesthood will be established forever.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

1 Samuel 31 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 31
Leadership

VERSES 1-13
LEADERSHIP - Saul killed himself, and then his armor bearer followed him in suicide as well. (v.5) He didn’t want to kill his king, but after his king was dead, he lost the will to live. Maybe he felt that somehow he might have been accused for Saul’s death. Or maybe he felt that he had failed as the armor bearer, because he didn’t protect his King from death. Either way, he followed his king in disobedience. Even when Saul was dying, he was still leading people down the wrong paths.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

1 Samuel 29,30 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 29
Leadership

VERSES 1-11
LEADERSHIP - 1). The officers in the Philistine army questioned the presence of David with their men. (v.3) They were going into battle with the Israelites, and it didn’t seem right that they had Hebrews fighting with them on their side. They were concerned that David and his men would attack them from the back, turning on them in time of battle. The leaders recognized the problem with compromise and spoke up about it. Leaders need to be watching for things that could hurt us and do something about it. 2). Achish listened to his leaders. (v.5,6) He asked David to turn back and avoid the battle because his leaders cautioned that David would turn on them in battle. Achish could have felt belittled by his men, or even worse, betrayed. But instead, he chose to trust their judgement and utilize their expertise. God surrounds us with other leaders to help us out and advise us according to his plans.

1 Samuel 30
Leadership

VERSES 1-30
LEADERSHIP - 1). David brought Ahimilech in to help him pray. (v.7) He wanted to seek after God so he asked the priest to bring the ephod. David respected the way that God had ordained things to be and had the priest help him inquire of the Lord. David wasn’t afraid to involve others in his process of seeking after God. He asked his spiritual leader for help, and so should we. 2). The Egyptian slave had been abandoned by his master when he became ill. (v.13) The master didn’t want to nurse him along and help him so he left him to die. David quickly cared for him and helped him in a time of need. Sometimes, leaders are tempted to look at people not for who they are, but for what they do, which devalues their importance to us as a person and friend. 3). David fought the raiding party for an entire day, with no break. (v.17) He wanted to utterly destroy them so it would never happen again. The only ones to get away were some young men who fled on camels. David’s men were angry and they fought valiantly for their families, to make sure that the Amalekites never came back. 4). The men drove the new livestock ahead of all the others, giving the credit to their commander David. (v.20) They honored him for the victory and for redeeming their lost loved ones and possessions. When our leaders step in to help us, we need to honor them and be grateful in the end. 5). David made sure that all of the men in the army were treated equally. (v.24,25) Whether the fought on the supply lines or the front lines, they are were equally victorious and rewarded accordingly. And to make sure that this skirmish didn’t happen again, David made that a law for the nation. He recognized the value of his followers in all of their various important roles. Good leaders recognize that to be successful, they can’t do it alone. 6). David left 200 men to watch the supplies, and he took 400 men with him to fight the battle on the front lines. (v.9,10) In the end, they all were rewarded equally, but David knew where the majority of his men were needed. It’s important that we analyze our circumstances and place our leaders where they belong, and where they will give the maximum amount of help in areas of need. Had David placed 400 men on the supplies, he might have lost the battle altogether.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

1 Samuel 27,28 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 27
Leadership

VERSES 1-12
LEADERSHIP - 1). David finally learned that Saul wasn’t going to change. (v.1) Instead of giving Saul another chance to chase and destroy himself, he chose to flee to the land of the Philistines. He adjusted based on the situation and adapted his plan accordingly. Sometimes, we have to move a different direction than we planned to achieve the results we want. 2). Achish gave David Ziklag, and it remained with Israel from that moment on. (v.6) Achish probably didn’t realize that when he gave that land to David he would never control it again. In allowing David a little room, he gave him permanent residence. We’ve got to keep ourselves from compromise, because just a little yeast can ruin the whole batch of dough. 3). David kept his endeavors secret from Achish. (v.10,11) He would tell him that he had raided areas in Israel, out of vengeance. Then, he made sure to destroy the entire cities so that no one would be alive to reveal what was really going on. He was a secret warrior for God and was careful to protect his plans. He risked his life to continue fighting for God. This is similar to a missionary who keeps a secular job as a cover, or a school assembly speaker who's not allowed to speak about God but challenging students to live lives of character.

1 Samuel 28
Leadership

VERSES 1-25
LEADERSHIP - 1). When Samuel died and was buried in Ramah, Saul expelled all the medium’s spiritists from the land, in his honor. (v.3) Saul cared for Samuel and wanted to honor him appropiately. God used this moment to bring Saul back in alignment with his commands, though he wouldn’t stay there long. Leaders learn to process information and respond accordingly. Leaders also know how to honor those who've been in their team and supported them. 2). Saul made hopeless promises to help him sin. (v.10) The medium had warned him that King Saul had commanded her not to be active in Israel, but he promised that she wouldn’t be hurt. How can you trust anything he says, when he is acting in hypocrisy and lies? 3). Samuel told Saul why God had abandoned him. (v.17,18) He told Saul  these things before, but now he had to repeat himself because Saul didn’t learn the first time. Samuel didn’t change his message, but reiterated himself and maybe more adamantly the second time as well. Leaders have to be consistent with their life and their message.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

1 Samuel 25,26 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 25
Leadership

VERSES 1-44
LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel died and the entire country mourned for him. (v.1) Samuel was a key leader for Israel, the last in a long line of judges. He anointed Saul and David and was God’s key man for instituting change in the country. Though he didn’t like the people’s decision, he stood by them and supported them through the change. The country was faithful to him because he was faithful to them. Great leadership will always be appreciated; if not now, then somewhere down the road. 2). Nabal was wealthy, with numerous livestock and a beautiful, intelligent wife. (v.2,3) He lived in a desert but was very successful in spite of the lack of resource around him. He was successful in building up a tremendous amount of wealth and a beautiful wife, even if it he acquired these things by being surly and mean. Even poor leaders can find success at times, but it won’t last in the end. 3). David asked Nabal for help because he had been kind to his servants and shepherds when they were near. (v.7,8) David instructed his men to be kind to others and not to harm or mistreat people they were not at war with. Though he could have tried to rough them up and gain a tactical advantage, David chose a path of peace before a path of war. We should always strive to settle problems peacefully before looking at other options. When we treat others well, they are more likely to reciprocate those actions with us. 4). David encouraged the men to gear up with their swords like he had. (v.13) He told them to prepare for battle, and as their leader he would lead the way. He didn’t ask them to do anything he was unwilling to do himself. He set the example and took his sword in his own hand. If we desire to be good leaders, we must lead the charge, set the example, and have people follow our words and deeds. 5). David took 400 men with him to attack Nabal, but left 200 back with the supplies at his base. (v.13) He wanted to defeat Nabal, but he didn’t want to risk losing the supplies in case things didn’t go so well on the attack. David was cautious, and didn’t let his great success get to his head and cause him to pridefully assume that he couldn’t lose. He took 2/3’s of his men to battle, and left 1/3 to watch their supplies. 6). Abigail showed great leadership skills. (v.18,19) She listened to what her servants said, and responded immediately. She loaded up a vast supply of resources and headed out with her servants to approach David, without telling Nabal about it. She didn’t falter in a moment of indecision, but confidently moved about in what she knew was right. We shouldn’t procrastinate when the situation calls for urgency. Had she waited, David and his men might have reached Nabal and had a violent battle with many lives lost. Her quickness in action saved lives. 7). Nabal went into a coma upon hearing the news from Abigail that she had intervened to save his life. (v.37) He was shocked and surprised, and physically his heart failed him. When he realized the error of his ways, it was too much for him to bear. Good leaders will always try to have a handle on where they are at in certain situations so surprises don’t stress them out to the point of depression or physical problems.

1 Samuel 26
Leadership

VERSES 1-25
LEADERSHIP - 1). David sent out scouts to see if Saul was pursuing him yet again. (v.4,5) His scouts returned with the news that Saul was on the move. David must have been disappointed in this development. When he first heard the rumors, he sent scouts to prove if it was true. We should never just take people’s words on delicate issues, we must make sure we have the truth and pursue that with all of our effort. 2). Saul was laying down, with his army camped all around him. (v.5) The last time he was close to David, David snuck up and took him by surprise. This time, though he was in error yet again by pursuing David, he learned from his past mistakes and kept his army close. As he lay down, he was protected by his army on every side. We need to learn from past mistakes so we don’t make the same errors again. Mistakes can be great lessons of leadership. 3). David corrected Abishai, and protected him from disaster. (v.9,10) Though Abishai was ready to kill Saul, David kept him from doing it. Only God had the authority to determine when Saul’s time was up, and David wasn’t about to try and decide that for himself. He already had the opportunity once and didn’t do it, so why ruin his standing with God now in this opportunity? David didn’t let his friend coerce him into making a mistake. 4). David said that Abner and his men deserved to die because they didn’t protect the king. (v.16) As the kings servants, their role was to honor and defend the king at all costs. When David snuck up on the king earlier, his men weren’t at fault. But in this instance, he stole the kings spear and water jug while he was in the midst of his men. David was showing Abner that even their best efforts were not enough to keep God from having his way. 5). David warned Saul that he would be unsuccessful in tracking him down in the wilderness. (v.20) He compared it to a man looking for a flee, or a bird in the mountains which wouldn’t be limited by daring landscapes because of its’ ability to fly. David was confident in his abilities at stealth and his knowledge of the land, and he made sure that Saul knew it as well. He was hoping that this mad chase would end.