Thursday, July 25, 2013

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

1 Samuel 11
God's Plan

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.