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1 Samuel 27-31


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                                               
Thru the Bible in a Year
       As the book of 1 Samuel ends, David is in exile among the Philistines for more than a year, and Saul is wounded badly enough in battle that he decides to kill himself rather than die a slow death.  His popularity is seen in the fact that he can take 600 men with him into exile among the arch-enemies of his people.  None of them actually change sides emotionally, but all are willing to live as double-agents in support of David.
       Sanctuary is given David, largely because in the current custom such sanctuary obligated its recipient to militarily support any venture undertaken by those who gave it (although David and his men never fought against Israel).  The arrangement is immediately successful from David’s point of view as King Saul feels unable to pursue David and his men into the Philistine controlled areas.
       David’s contingent uses its time to raid the Geshurites, Girzites and Amalekites.  All living things are destroyed so no evidence is left of what David is doing.  Since each of these groups were hostile to Israel and threatened it, the raids are particularly important.
       Meanwhile, Saul, in disobedience to God’s injunction against consulting mediums (Leviticus 19:26), seeks counsel from the recently deceased Samuel regarding what he should do in the latest threat posed by the Philistines.  Samuel informs Saul that the LORD has become his enemy, and that he will be handed over by God to the Philistines in the following day’s battle. 
       At about this same time, David’s city of Ziklag has been sacked by the Amalekites (who have evidently figured out that David is attacking them from there), and his wives have been taken away.  In contrast to Saul, David consults a legitimate priest, Abiathar, and is advised to go into battle with confidence that the LORD will be with him.  David’s victory is followed by generosity.
       Saul is defeated after receiving a critical wound, falls on his own sword.  After his body is placed on display as a battle trophy by the Philistines, it is removed by Israelites and buried.
       Notice the difference between David and Saul.  David waits for the LORD to deliver him, puts his trust in the LORD to deliver him, and seeks counsel from the LORD’s priest.  Saul seeks to achieve his own victories and only asks the outcome after already committing to fight, and because he senses he is out of favor with God, consults
a medium.
       How much do you trust God?  Are you willing to wait for His direction, approval and strength?  Make a commitment today to seek His will and follow it more diligently.  Double check to see whose counsel you are taking as you plan and carry out your life.  Be sure your counsel has its source in God.      
 A. Eugene Pearson 2011