Thursday, March 28, 2013

1 Samuel 1,2 - God's Character Notes

1 Samuel 1
God's Character

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

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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.