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1 Samuel 13-16


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson  
Thru the Bible in a Year 
       In this section, Saul takes religious matters into his own hands because he is impatient with Samuel’s tardiness. Perhaps he feels Samuel is simply too old for the job, or out of touch with what is really needed. Perhaps he feels that anyone, after all, can offer a sacrifice and prayer. But God has an established pattern. He calls certain people to certain positions and tasks, and it is not wise to challenge or simply disregard this.
       The plight of Israel at this point (the iron age has just begun) is made clear by their inability to make anything out of the new metal. This seems to put them at the mercy of the Philistines; yet God is with them. So Jonathan, strengthened by the LORD goes on a one-man crusade against the Philistines and is so successful that the rest of the Israelite and Philistine armies begin to believe that no one can withstand those who follow the God of Israel and the Philistine army is routed.
       Samuel already knows that because of Saul’s decision to take on himself the role God did not intend him to have, Saul cannot continue as king of Israel. God reconfirms this and points out David as the one who must come next. The process is informative as it shows how God’s will was determined using a series of Yes and No questions (the kind that would lend themselves to casting lots which is what the Urim and Thumim in the Ark essentially were). So Samuel, in an unexplained ceremony, anoints David with oil (as a sign he will be the next king; yet one which only he and David fully understand).
       At this point, the Spirit of the LORD which had empowered Saul as he began his rule has left him due to his unrepented sin. David is taken on staff as a musician who can sooth Saul’s spirits whenever he becomes depressed by the evil spirit God has sent to torment him. This is a perfect opportunity for a shepherd boy to learn the ways of palace life (as primitive as they must have been after so short a time). The experience would later make his transition to leadership much more expeditious.
       Do you understand the nature of God’s Spirit?  He enters people who are devoted to Him and who are open to His leading and control. When we turn away from God’s directions and follow our own wills we quench the Spirit as we are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
       Notice how God uses every event in David’s life to accomplish His will. He provides the opportunities to learn, develop and assume the position He wants Him to have. Do you believe He is doing the same in your life?  Thanks Him today for some problem you have had to go through and praise Him in advance for what He will do as a result.       

© A. Eugene Pearson 2011