Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bible for Dummies - Chapter 9, Part 2

We continue in the book of 1 Samuel by meeting the first king of Israel, Saul.  Then we are introduced to David, who along with Moses and Elijah is one of the three most influential leaders in Israel's history.

Today we cover 1 Samuel 8-18. Listen below and follow along with the notes.  God bless, KM

Chapter 9 – The King and “I Am”: 1 and 2 Samuel

Part 2 – Saul and David

Saul (~1081-1010BC), Israel’s First King

Ask and Ye Shall Receive (1 Samuel 8)

**  Israel demanded a king due, in part, to Samuel’s appointment of his sons to be judges over Israel, and in part to the corruption of Samuel’s sons vis a vis the way they abused their tabernacle responsibilities/privileges.

1 Samuel 8:4, 5 – “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel
at Ramah, and said to him, ‘You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’”

** Samuel wasn’t happy about Israel’s demands, but God directed Samuel to listen to the people (see 1 Samuel 8:7-8), so Samuel acquiesced.

Saul’s Coronation (1 Samuel 9-12)

** There are two accounts of how Saul was chosen to be king:

Account 1: 1 Samuel 9-10 – The Lost Donkey

·      God instructed Samuel to appoint the person looking for his father’s donkey as King over Israel (see 1 Samuel 9:15ff). The next day, Saul finds Samuel…and the rest is history.

Read 1 Samuel 9:27-10:9 for Saul’s Appointment by the Lord through Samuel

Account 2: 1 Samuel 10:17-24, – The “Lot” Draw (v. 20)

·      Samuel announces that God would provide a king for Israel since Israel had rejected God.

·      The tribe from which the king would come was selected by the drawing of lots. The representative from the tribe of Benjamin won!

·      Then the families of the tribe of Benjamin drew lots to see which of the families was chosen…and the Matrites won.

·      Then the sons of the Matrite families drew lots to see who would be king, and Saul won by proxy. (v. 21)

·      Saul begins the long tradition of tall people having an advantage over short people (v. 23)…and the superficiality of people in how they chose leaders…i.e.: by appearances (v. 24).

** Things start well for Saul as he defeats the Ammonites and their king, Nahash.

Saul’s Censure (1 Samuel 13-15)

** Saul became King of Israel in ~1051BC and ruled until 1011-1010BC.

(The unclear variance is due to the inexact “science” of interpreting the Old Testament dates…solar calendar vs. lunar calendar issues.)

·      According to Paul (Acts 13:21), we know that Saul ruled for 40 years.

·      We’re not exactly sure how old Saul was when he became ruler. 1 Samuel 13:1 is unclear. Some believe he was 30, others say he was 40.

** After a short period of time, Saul loses God’s favor. Ultimately, this is his demise.

Censure story #1 - Saul does not Wait on the Lord (1 Samuel 13:1-15)

·      Saul was king for two years when Israel attacked the Philistines.
The Philistines were, once again, threatening the Israelites in retaliation of Israel’s attack at Geba led by Jonathan, Saul’s son.

With more than 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horseman and tens of thousands foot soldiers, Philistia was poised for retaliation. 
      Israel, led by Saul, waited for Samuel at Gilgal, as Samuel had instructed. When Samuel did not show, some of Israel lost faith and began to desert the army.

·      So Saul, taking things into his own hands, overstepped his Kingly role and offered sacrifices to the Lord, something on the priest/judge – Samuel – was suppose to do.

·      Now read 1 Samuel 13:10-14

o   Saul justifies his impatience and lack of faith

o   Samuel declares the consequences…key in on verse 14

Note: Yet…even though Saul was a lame duck king, note God’s faithfulness…

“When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side –against Moab, against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines; wherever he turned he routed them.  He did valiantly, and struck down the Amalekites, and rescued Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.”  (1 Samuel 14:47-48)

Censure story #2 -  (1 Samuel 15:1-35)

·      Because the Amalekites attacked Israel in the wilderness when Moses was their leader (Exodus 17), God wanted Israel to avenge that attack. So God commands Israel to kill the Amalekites…men, women, children and all of the livestock.

·      Saul, in his humanness, decides to spare the Amalekite king, Agag, and their choice livestock.

·      When Samuel (having been prepped by God – vs. 10, 11) approaches Saul after the battle, Saul spins the news for his own good saying he had carried out the command of the Lord, when he had actually disobeyed God’s command/directive.

·      When Samuel points out his lie by referencing the “bleating of sheep and the lowing of cattle” (v. 14), Saul tries to spin things again with another lie, blaming “the people” for keeping the livestock in order to sacrifice them to the Lord (v. 15).

·      Samuel has nothing to do with the lies. He reminds Saul of his duty as the appointed King of Israel, and asks Saul, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?  Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is no less a sin than divination, and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry.”  (vs. 22-23)

·      Samuel concludes with the bad news – “Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,   he has also rejected you from being king.”  (v. 23b)

Application: We can learn from Saul’s mistakes…

1.     God’s plan, being perfect, is worth waiting for. Wait on the Lord and in due time, he gives the victory.

2.     Never try to lie to God…he knows the truth!

3.     God is looking for people after his own heart…people who, even in their imperfections, will seek to please the Lord through obedience.

Epitaph: 1 Samuel 15:35 – “The LORD was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.”

“Sorry” = Hebrew: nacham = regret, repent

** There are two primary words for “repentance” in the Hebrew:  nacham and shuv.

·      nacham is used to describe the sorrow one has over a wrong decision and the decision to do things another way

·      shuv has to do with the sorrow over sin AND the decision to turn back to God’s ways

** Here, God is not “repenting” from sin…he was expressing his sorrow over his choice of kings, with the resolution to choose another man for the job.

Transition: Meanwhile, in another scene, God is working on the next phase of the plan…the Calling of David as Israel’s next King.

Charting David’s Rise to Power

** David…

·      lived in ~1040-970BC

·      Youngest son of Jesse of Judah in Bethlehem

·      King of Judah - ~1010-1002; Becomes King of Israel after Saul’s (and Jonathan’s) death at Gilboa - ~1002-970BC

·      Best Friend was Jonathan, Saul’s son (interestingly)

** God informs Samuel that He is done with Saul due to the King’s disobedience, and that Saul’s successor will be one of Jesse’s sons who can be found in Bethlehem of Judah.

Choosing a New King – 1 Samuel 16:1-13

·      God says to Samuel that it’s time to move on from Saul, though Saul is still king over Israel.

·      God sends Samuel to Bethlehem where Jesse, a shepherd, lives in order to choose one of Jesse’s sons as the new king.

·      True to form, Samuel and the rest who are present, do a superficial review of Jesse’s sons, thinking the new king would likely be the oldest, strongest, most visibly capable…but God had another plan.

Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13

The Transition Begins: From Saul to David – 1 Samuel 16:14-23

·      Because of his disobedience, God not only removed his hand of blessing from Saul, but He allowed Saul to be tortured by an evil spirit

·      Since “music soothes the savage beast”, the servants suggested that Saul have the harpists play when he was being oppressed.

·      One servant knew of David’s prowess on the harp, so Saul had David summonsed (v. 19) via word to Jesse.

·      David came…and Saul immediately had an affection for David, making David his armor-bearer.

A Word about Armor Bearers…

o   Warriors of distinction, and certainly kings, had a servant or servants who carried their battle armaments, particularly their swords and large shield, into battle.

o   The armor-bearer was more than a servant, he was a trusted right-hand-man, sometimes a confidant.

o   Armor-bearers also prepared and tasted the warrior’s food and drink.

o   He was the “bodyguard” for the warrior, protecting him from potential “Brutuses”/betrayers/assassins

o   He was the primary caregiver if the warrior suffered wounds in battle.

o   In essence, the armor-bearer had the highest position of confidence and honor of those in direct service to the king/warrior.

Slaying Goliath – 1 Samuel 17

** You know the story…

·      The Philistines challenge Israel, once again. This time, it’s a one-on-one challenge: Our Best vs. Your Best.

·      The Philistines send their champion, Goliath. Goliath is “six cubits (the length between a man’s elbow and fingertip – about 18 inches, on average) and a span (the length between the thumb and the tip of the middle finger when expanded – about 9 inches, on average)” – making Golaith approximately 9’9” tall…a HUGE man in any generation.

·      For 40 Days, Goliath challenged Saul and Israel to send out someone “man enough” to face him. Saul and Israel did nothing…they were completely intimidated by Goliath.

·      David went back and forth between Saul and Bethlehem in order to care for his father’s sheep. When he heard about the impending battle, he returned to Saul’s side as a dutiful armor-bearer would.

·      Arriving at the Valley of Elah (the battlefront), David goes to the front lines at the time Goliath comes forth to issue the challenge again.

·      This time, though, David asks what reward will be given to the one who confronts/defeats Goliath.

·      David’s older brother, Eliab, overhears the conversation, confronts David about his presence being concerned about his father’s herds.

·      Then Saul hears of David’s presence and sent for David.

·      David then tells Saul…

1 Samuel 17:36-37 – “‘Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.’  David said, ‘The LORD, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.’”

·      Saul was willing to sacrifice his armor-bearer…so he let him go…giving David his armor

·      But David was too slight to carry the armor, and took his shepherding weapons – his staff and 5 smooth stones for his sling – to face this “uncircumcised” Philistine.

·      With his shield-bearer in front of him, Goliath saw this Israeli Pretty-Boy and mocked not only David and Saul, but the Lord himself.

·      But David said, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.” (vs. 45-47)

·      You know the rest of the story…David kills Goliath with a strategically placed stone in the forehead and then the beheading of Goliath …the Philistines are defeated.

·      David becomes an instant legend.

·      Also, at that moment, Jonathan and David become best friends…with Jonathan symbolically placing himself under David when Jonathan gave David his armor and sword. (18:4)

·      Saul made David a general/commander in the army…and the people approved of this appointment. (18:5)

·      And the Lord enabled David to have victory wherever he went (18:5)

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