Thursday, November 27, 2008


5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD." 7 With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way. 1 Samuel 24:5-7

Here's what struck me the first off; David feared the Lord more than anyone or anything else.

David feared the Lord more than his own life.

David feared the Lord more than Saul.

David feared the Lord more than saving his men.

David feared the Lord more than getting revenge.

Then I realized the turmoil that was going on in David. Now, he spared Saul's life, but what he did wasn't trivial. The robe was a sign of the king and David "vandalized" it. It would be kind of like us going into the Oval Office and spray painting the Presidential Seal; it was an act of defiance.

In essence it was act of defiance against God. He raised his hand against God, because God was the one who made Saul king and it was God who would remove him.

That's why David was conscience-stricken I believe, his act was against God, and now he's realizes that.

Isn't that the way Satan works, he gets us to do the "little things" that seem like they are no big deal or even morally right at the time. David had the right to take out Saul, to save the lives of 600 men and he chose only to cut off a corner of the robe, hooray for David, he's so godly!

Wrong! David now realizes this. I think he gets angry with himself, here's why I think this, look at his reaction to his men. He rebukes his men; the literal translation would be he "tore them apart". He knows what He did was against God, even if it was a small thing and he lashes out of them, he knew better.

Are we conscience-stricken over the "little things" we do that go against God's will?

Or do we tend to think it's no big deal, or maybe worse we don't even think about it at all.

David didn't and I think that is when David feared the Lord the most in this passage.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Heart Check

Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul's robe. 1 Samuel 24:4b

Remember "as you wish"? David did as he wished.

What would be going on in a man's heart not to take out his` enemy?

Well, David was a man after God's own heart, right?

Is your heart more in love with God and his ways, or is it more in love with self?

Let's do a heart check; test your heart as you read these verses.

38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

 43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[b] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[c] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt 5:38-48


26Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
      for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

Love for Enemies

 27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

 37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:26-38

God may have brought Saul into David's hands as a test. God may have been testing David to see if he would be overcome with hatred and bitterness.

Are you passing the test?

God might have been training David to develop a heart of forgiveness and love, like that of Jesus.

Do you see your enemy as an opportunity to be trained?

Maybe you should view them as a treadmill for your soul, kind of like cardio for your character. Yeah, it's not fun, but it's good for you!

Here's our workout plan:

19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[d]says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
   "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."[e]
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21

If we take out our enemy we are conquered by evil, but if we obey God's commands we conquer evil with good.

What kind of shape is your heart in?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

He’s all yours

3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said [a] to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.' "1 Samuel 24:3-4

Ok, you've been running for your life and everywhere you turn there is Saul or his men trying to kill you. You are outnumbered 5 to 1, running for your life in the wilderness, the army is approaching quickly; do you stand and fight or do you take cover?

You spot a cave and all 600 of you crawl in. You hear them comingshh, don't give it away! You move further back in the cave. Can you imagine how fast your heart is racing?

Shh, someone's coming!

Are you kidding? It's Saul!

His eyes haven't adjusted to the lack of light in the cave; he doesn't see you, yet.

What's he doing? Taking a leak, you've got to be kidding…is this a bad movie?

Think how your emotions change, the fear is leaving and the anger and rage are growing. Stupid Saul, the one who is trying to kill you walks
into your hands!

The men remind you of the prophecy "God told you He would put your enemy in your hand"; God is good!

Can't you see it; guys rubbing their hands together in anticipation, the smirks on their mouths, the nodding of heads, this is the moment.

What would you do?

Maybe you've had that kind of opportunity before.

Did you take out your enemy?

Did you take advantage of the situation, I mean come on, don't you have the right?

David did…he was to be king…Saul had attempted murder 6 times…he was evil…come on David, take him out!

David, he's yours, deal with him as you wish.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not again

1 After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, "David is in the Desert of En Gedi." 2 So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats. 1 Samuel 24:1-2

Saul just won't leave it alone!

Have you ever had something you just couldn't shake and it seems to get worse?

Think of David, how many times has Saul come after him. This time he's brought 3,000! David's outnumbered 5 to 1!

How many times does David have to be delivered from insurmountable odds?

This is less about David and more about you and me. When the attacks keep coming and it looks like another "no-win" situation, be reminded of how many David faced and how God delivered on His promises.

5 to 1 is nothing for God, are you living with that kind of confidence?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nick of time

19 The Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah and said, "Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hakilah, south of Jeshimon? 20 Now, O king, come down whenever it pleases you to do so, and we will be responsible for handing him over to the king."

 21 Saul replied, "The LORD bless you for your concern for me. 22 Go and make further preparation. Find out where David usually goes and who has seen him there. They tell me he is very crafty. 23 Find out about all the hiding places he uses and come back to me with definite information. Then I will go with you; if he is in the area, I will track him down among all the clans of Judah."

 24 So they set out and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the Desert of Maon, in the Arabah south of Jeshimon. 25 Saul and his men began the search, and when David was told about it, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Desert of Maon. When Saul heard this, he went into the Desert of Maon in pursuit of David.

 26 Saul was going along one side of the mountain, and David and his men were on the other side, hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his forces were closing in on David and his men to capture them, 27 a messenger came to Saul, saying, "Come quickly! The Philistines are raiding the land." 28 Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. That is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth. [b]
29 And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.
1 Samuel 23:19-29

Have you ever been in a place where God has to come through or you are doomed?

David was, he was surrounded and Saul was closing in. But, in the "nick of time" God used the unlikely, the Philistines, to deliver David from the hands of Saul.

Take some time to read through Psalm 107 and call out to him if it looks desperate for you. Or maybe you just need to thank God for he is your deliverer who came and will continue to come in the "nick of time".

1-3 Oh, thank God—he's so good! His love never runs out.
   All of you set free by God, tell the world!
      Tell how he freed you from oppression,
   Then rounded you up from all over the place,
      from the four winds, from the seven seas.

 4-9 Some of you wandered for years in the desert,
      looking but not finding a good place to live,
   Half-starved and parched with thirst,
      staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.
   Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God.
      He got you out in the nick of time;
   He put your feet on a wonderful road
      that took you straight to a good place to live.
   So thank God for his marvelous love,
      for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
   He poured great draughts of water down parched throats;
      the starved and hungry got plenty to eat.

 10-16 Some of you were locked in a dark cell,
      cruelly confined behind bars,
   Punished for defying God's Word,
      for turning your back on the High God's counsel—
   A hard sentence, and your hearts so heavy,
      and not a soul in sight to help.
   Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
      he got you out in the nick of time.
   He led you out of your dark, dark cell,
      broke open the jail and led you out.
   So thank God for his marvelous love,
      for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
   He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors,
      he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!

 17-22 Some of you were sick because you'd lived a bad life,
      your bodies feeling the effects of your sin;
   You couldn't stand the sight of food,
      so miserable you thought you'd be better off dead.
   Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
      he got you out in the nick of time.
   He spoke the word that healed you,
      that pulled you back from the brink of death.
   So thank God for his marvelous love,
      for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
   Offer thanksgiving sacrifices,
      tell the world what he's done—sing it out!

 23-32 Some of you set sail in big ships;
      you put to sea to do business in faraway ports.
   Out at sea you saw God in action,
      saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean:
   With a word he called up the wind—
      an ocean storm, towering waves!
   You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out;
      your hearts were stuck in your throats.
   You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk,
      you didn't know which end was up.
   Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
      he got you out in the nick of time.
   He quieted the wind down to a whisper,
      put a muzzle on all the big waves.
   And you were so glad when the storm died down,
      and he led you safely back to harbor.
   So thank God for his marvelous love,
      for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
   Lift high your praises when the people assemble,
      shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!

 33-41 God turned rivers into wasteland,
      springs of water into sunbaked mud;
   Luscious orchards became alkali flats
      because of the evil of the people who lived there.
   Then he changed wasteland into fresh pools of water,
      arid earth into springs of water,
   Brought in the hungry and settled them there;
      they moved in—what a great place to live!
   They sowed the fields, they planted vineyards,
      they reaped a bountiful harvest.
   He blessed them and they prospered greatly;
      their herds of cattle never decreased.
   But abuse and evil and trouble declined
      as he heaped scorn on princes and sent them away.
   He gave the poor a safe place to live,
      treated their clans like well-cared-for sheep.

 42-43 Good people see this and are glad;
      bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks.
   If you are really wise, you'll think this over—
      it's time you appreciated God's deep love.
Psalm 107    

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Went home?

18 The two of them made a covenant before the LORD. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh. 1 Samuel 23:18

This particular verse has meant
so much to me over the past year. Here's why.

I have some of those covenant relationships in my life. But, I was beginning to doubt whether I was upholding my end of the covenants. It's been almost two years ago that I got the call in my life to leave the church I loved, the one that God used to change my life, to physically leave the people that I walked with.

As I pursued the call
of God in my life and moved to Tallahassee, I watched as my friends faced persecution, lost their jobs, got involved in major accidents and the church I love split. I carried an incredible burden that I should be there with them in those crises.

But notice the verse above, Jonathan went home. Why? Wasn't he the one who made three eternal covenants with David? Why not stand and fight with him? Why leave?

Then it hit me. If I am a man of faith, then my faith tells me that there is a battle going on that is much bigger than me.

12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12

How do I fight in a battle like that?

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Eph 6:13-18

This was a spiritual battle and all Jonathan could do was go back and pray for both David and his father.

My greatest weapon in this battle, the thing I can do best, is prayer, which I have done every day since I left.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


17 "Don't be afraid," he said. "My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this." 1 Samuel 23:17

Fear causes you to forget who God is and His promises.

David forgot the promises of God and became afraid. What are you forgetting?

We need friends to point us to Christ, to push us to depend on God and not them.

Yesterday I wrote about Jonathan strengthening David's hand in God. He did it by reminding him of a promise that God had made and of his destiny.

He reminds David that he will be king after Saul.

Who does that for you?

How'd he know
that David would be king over Israel?

They were deep friends and so it is hard to imagine that David had not told Jonathan about the time when the prophet Samuel had anointed David as a boy to be king over Israel.

Do you have someone in your life that you share the secret stuff with? Someone who is safe enough to share the "crazy" things with? Think about it, how crazy would it be for the shepherd boy to say to the heir of the throne, "Samuel said I would be king." David trusted Jonathan enough to share everything.

"And I will stand with you."

Really? He intends to stand by David, a throne that should have belonged to Jonathan. What a picture of selfless, personal sacrifice; Jonathan is not jealous of David.

Who will you stand with?

Monday, November 17, 2008


15While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.
1 Samuel 23:15-16

David still had one loyal friend, Jonathan (which means "Jehovah has given"). Remember, he was God's gift to young David, strategically placed in David's life at the very time David needed a genuine friend. From the beginning Jonathan loved David just as he was. David was a "nobody from nowhere" (shepherd boy, last one in line), but Jonathan saw something in David. Their friendship was born in the presence of God and in the love of God; it stood the test of time.

He hears that he is in the Wilderness and goes.

It's the start that stops most people.

Do you know a friend that's in trouble?

Have you done anything about it?

Jonathan didn't accidentally meet David; he didn't wait until he ran into him. He PLANNED to go and strengthen him. You don't just do it on the fly; you rise and go.

The mark of maturity is that you build into your life the intention and occasions to strengthen someone's hand in God; not in themselves, not their self-confidence, but in God.

David needed someone to point him to the rock that will protect us in all storms.

We all need a friend who will say something or do something that will cause us to depend on God and not ourselves.

We must have a radical God-centeredness in all we do, even in our friendship. It must be a friendship FOR Jesus, one that always points us back to Him!

Whose hand are you going to strengthen in God?

Do you have a friend like Jonathan who is committed to helping you fight?

Even when times are tough?

David had one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How Long?

7 Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, "God has handed him over to me, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars." 8 And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.

 9 When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod." 10 David said, "O LORD, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, God of Israel, tell your servant."
      And the LORD said, "He will."

 12 Again David asked, "Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?"
      And the LORD said, "They will."

 13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.

 14 David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands. 1 Samuel 23:7-14

How long?

Have you ever asked that question?

Of course you have, it starts when you're a child on a trip, right? And then, we ask that about so many other things in our lives. But, have you asked God that?

Ever felt that God didn't care because He kept letting the attacks come? David must have, "come on God, can't you take care of Saul?"

Actually he probably had been reciting this prayer over and over since the cave in 1 Samuel 22;

I cry out to the Lord;
      I plead for the Lord's mercy.
I pour out my complaints before him
      and tell him all my troubles.
When I am overwhelmed,
      you alone know the way I should turn.
   Wherever I go,
      my enemies have set traps for me.
I look for someone to come and help me,
      but no one gives me a passing thought!
   No one will help me;
      no one cares a bit what happens to me.
Then I pray to you, O Lord.
      I say, "You are my place of refuge.
      You are all I really want in life.
Hear my cry,
      for I am very low.
   Rescue me from my persecutors,
      for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison
      so I can thank you.
   The godly will crowd around me,
      for you are good to me."
Psalm 142

Funny how we don't trust that He knows what He is doing, but if we are patient and endure trials our character is shaped and our hope in Him is increased.

Have you ever been at a place where the frequency of "the attacks" just seem to accelerate? You know the saying when it rains it pours? Usually this happens because those attacking us think we are vulnerable and are close to giving up. That's what Saul thought.

David endured and consulted God on every decision. How many decisions do you make on a daily basis? Is God consulted in them?

Another thing I noticed, David didn't let his personal battle spill over into those who had no stake in it. If he would have stayed, the town would have been pillaged and possibly it could have led to a civil war that would have affected generations.

As a leader I must make sure my personal battles don't affect the innocent around me. I've seen how personal battles between opposing leaders can cause people to chose sides and split the flock. David chose not to do this and neither should we; no civil war should ever happen in the church because of leadership struggles.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

He’s good on it

1 One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. 2 David asked the Lord, "Should I go and attack them?"

   "Yes, go and save Keilah," the Lord told him.

 3 But David's men said, "We're afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don't want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!"

 4 So David asked the Lord again, and again the Lord replied, "Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines."

 5 So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah. 6 Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he brought the ephod with him. 1 Samuel 23:1-6

There are some great leadership insights in these few verses.

First thing I noticed was how often we do what we know to do without asking God first. Think about David, he is a warrior, he's been trained to fight, his natural tendency would be just to go and fight, but he didn't. He asked the Lord.

Usually when we are comfortable, confident that we can handle the task, we just go and do it without consulting God. David shows us a different pattern. He didn't rely on his past experiences; he waited and received a fresh command.

Second, when a leader proposes a direction that is unfamiliar or dangerous they will run into objections. The men's concerns were valid, they would now how have two enemies, Saul and the Philistines, that they would possibly have to go against out in the open, away from the stronghold. Besides it was King Saul's responsibility to deal with the Philistines.

In leading Christ followers I've found those are two very prominent issues, comfort and responsibility. We constantly have to lead people out of the safe areas where they've been able to hide to the more difficult open terrain where they will be exposed to greater risk. We also have to challenge people to do the "good works" even if it appears not to be their responsibility, which ultimately is.

Third, David listened to their objections and went back to God. He didn't call them "wimps" and diminish them, nor did he give in and say "okay we'll stay". He took it before the Lord, again.

Fourth thing I noticed is, when those you lead
know that you have spent serious time
seeking the will of God, they will follow you into impossible situations. By doing this it opens their eyes to divine possibilities awaiting them. But it starts with a leader who acts in obedience to the will of God.

God delivered on His promise, or should I say promises.

Did you notice that Abiathar brought the ephod? Who? Brought the what?

Read the blogs from yesterday and the day before about Ahimelech, the priests and Abiathar, who escaped from being killed and came to David.

Here's the other promise that was fulfilled:

27And there came
a man of God to Eli and said to him, "Thus the LORD has said, 'Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? 28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me?
I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29Why then do you scorn
my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?' 30Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,' but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31Behold,
the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32Then
in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33The only one of you
(that's Abiathar)
whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men.
34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day.
1 Samuel 2:27-34

Whoa! He made good on His word!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


20 But Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech son of Ahitub, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD. 22 Then David said to Abiathar: "That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your father's whole family. 23 Stay with me; don't be afraid; the man who is seeking your life is seeking mine also. You will be safe with me." 1 Samuel 22:20-23

Have you ever seen it coming?

David did, and at this point he probably realized he should have taken it more seriously. If David had spoke the truth then maybe Ahimelech could have at least prepared for the trouble, he possibly could have stopped Doeg.

Can you imagine the regret David carried?

Because of his inaction a whole community was destroyed and David probably carried those scars for a long time.

I've made mistakes like that, which has taught me to confront things early. I'm still learning how to do that, but it does come with some cost. Be prepared to be labeled judgmental and prideful; but would you be willing to be called that to save a whole community?

Then, there are those times you were just wrong about your assessment. Those are times to practice humility and understanding, which can lead to better intimacy. It's better to bring those things out than to let them fester and grow inside of you, that whole root of bitterness thing. Bring it out in the open, the light to be seen for what it is.

20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants."
John 3:20-21

When prompted take action, for if you don't you may have to live with regret.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bad Business Meeting

6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul, spear in hand, was seated under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing around him. 7 Saul said to them, "Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? 8 Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today."

 9 But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul's officials, said, "I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelech inquired of the LORD for him; he also gave him provisions and the sword of Goliath the Philistine."

 11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub and his father's whole family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king. 12 Saul said, "Listen now, son of Ahitub."
      "Yes, my lord," he answered.

 13 Saul said to him, "Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?"

 14 Ahimelech answered the king, "Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household? 15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father's family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair."

 16 But the king said, "You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and your father's whole family."

 17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me."
      But the king's officials were not willing to raise a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.

 18 The king then ordered Doeg, "You turn and strike down the priests." So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep. 1 Samuel 22:6-19

This sounds like a bad church meeting to me.

Let me set the stage for you.

Saul's that leader in the church who doesn't get their way. You know the person, he usually has money, power, and is used to getting his way. But right now things aren't going his way and he's losing his influence. Can you picture them?

Doeg, okay first things first, he's not member, he's just opportunistic, and sees a way to get ahead. He's the person that's just visited a few times but says "we didn't do things like this at my old church", which at one time or another has been every church in town. Got an idea?

The men of Benjamin, well let's say they're the deacons. I know that might be a stretch, but I'm the one typing this story. Saul, by addressing them is intentionally destroying the unity of the twelve tribes by pitting his tribe (Benjamin) against the tribe of Judah (David's).

Ahimelech and his relatives are the church staff.

And of course, David is the pastor.

So here's the story, Saul isn't getting his way so while David is away on Sabbatical he appeals to the "deacons" self-interest by playing on their sympathy as a betrayed father. He is also going after their greed and status. He lies and exaggerates about the situation between David and Jonathan. He creates division.

Doeg sees an opportunity to get ahead, and to stir the pot. He states what he saw, but spins it to make it look like the staff were involved in the whole conspiracy against Saul.

"Get the staff in here! We'll get to the bottom of this mess, who do they think they are, this is my, uh, our church!"

Ahimelech and the staff respond by saying "look we don't
know anything about this, but David's a man of God, a good man and we pray for him all the time."

"You're covering something up. Deacons you better fire them all!"

Well, the deacons decide not to fire the staff, but choose not to confront Saul either. So Saul uses his power and influence to get the outsider Doeg to do it because he's done it before in other churches. Not only did Doeg fire the staff but he killed the whole community of the church. That was the last business
meeting held in that church because it died that day.

Sound familiar? I've seen it played out in too many churches. One man's
anger and self-interest can kill a whole community and destroy people's lives!

Would you have the courage to stand against a Saul?



Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes and Amen

3 From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?" 4 So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.

 5 But the prophet Gad said to David, "Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah." So David left and went to the forest of Hereth. 1 Samuel 22:3-5

Remember 1st Samuel is about teaching a new generation
obedience; look at David's obedience here.

When the prophet Gad told him to go to Judah he obeyed immediately. Look back at the verse; he was in a stronghold, why leave and go into the forest where danger could come from any direction? That's doesn't make sense!

Wouldn't we want a further explanation?

Gad how'd you get to be a prophet anyway? Can I see your credentials?

God, are you sure? Sure seems to be safe here.

God isn't after your comfort and safety, He wants your obedience. God was training David in perfect obedience and he basically said "yes and amen."

Matt Redman has an incredible song by that title; here are some of the lyrics:

Hear Your people saying yes,
Hear Your people saying yes to You.
Yes to anything you ask,
Yes to anything we´re called to do.

That is not what you hear from most Christ followers these days.

Will you say yes and amen to anything God ask of you today?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Boot Camp

2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him. 1 Sam 22:2

David needed to learn not only to lead the skilled, rich and successful, but also the poor,

David had cared for his father's flock, now he was learning to care for his own. He had to do this while he was in distress at the loss of his position, his friend, and his wife. Do you think that might have made him more empathetic towards his followers? God was giving him a chance to relate to the people He had entrusted David with.

These were the broken; not the warriors David was used to, but he became their captain.

He slept among them, ate with them, trained them, sang his psalms to them, and taught them, he lived life with them. He did this until this group was fit to serve along side of a king, to be warriors.

This is what it means "to go and make disciples", taking the broken, the distressed, the unqualified and training them to wear the armor fit to do battle for our King.

Somewhere, in my opinion, we lost sight of this.

Rarely do you see the called, the anointed leader leave the position and the ones he or she loves to serve the broken. Instead we strive to move up toward comfort, instead of the attitude of Christ, to make ourselves nothing.

Rarely do we share our lives with the people we lead. Oh, we share the Gospel on Sundays, but do we allow them to live close enough to us to see the Gospel lived out in our lives?

Rarely do we see discipleship as a way of life, to walk alongside them day by day. Instead, we put it in a 6 week program.

Rarely are we willing to get our hands dirty in the mess of people's lives. Do we truly stand in the gap for them; carry their mat; beg before God for their lives?

Rarely are we training them how to wear and what to do with the armor of God. Our armor shouldn't be polished and shiny, instead it should be dull and battle tested.

Somewhere we started counting butts, budgets, and baptisms, instead of raising up warriors for Christ!

11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
Rev 19:11-16

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


1David departed from there and escaped to
the cave of Adullam.

Who was David?

Besides being a man after God's own heart, he was a great warrior, who killed
Goliath, "slain 10,000", collected 100 foreskins for a dowry, and faced a lion and a bear.

And he is escaping?

Come on, what happened to "be a man and fight"?

Maybe he was afraid of Saul? I mean Saul has tried to kill him like 6 times so far. Or, could it be he's afraid of the ungodly in Saul? When you've stared evil in the face it can be frightening.

Maybe he feared more harm would come to Jonathan if he stayed.

Maybe he was just tired of the fight. Ever been there?

I'd like to think he was prompted by God and he followed those promptings.

Maybe God was calling David into the wilderness to prepare him before he took the throne, to shape his character.

Everything was being stripped away from David, family,
friends, and position; maybe he was learning that
God is all you need. We usually don't learn that lesson until
God is all we have.

Maybe God was having David go into the wilderness because He knew that one day you and I would worship Him through singing songs based on David's feelings in the desert. Our best worship music comes from the Psalms David wrote while he was seeking refuge in the wilderness.

Maybe it was this:

And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him. 2And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men. 1 Samuel 22:1-2

Maybe those 400 misfits were so precious to God that He would send his best to minister and lead them, the future king and the man after God's own heart!

Whatever reason I'm glad he did because I can find comfort in each!

Monday, November 3, 2008


41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.

 42 Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.' " Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

Man, this verse hits home.

To follow the call of God in my life, I've had to leave some friendships behind and that's hard. David did too!

Funny how God works in your life, yesterday I taught on John 15, where Jesus says "I am the vine" and I realized something.

For my life to be more fruitful, God had to prune me from some friendships. Now that sounds really tough doesn't it? But, here's the deal, I pray every morning to be closer to Him, to abide in Him, and to do that God had to prune me to focus on Him. I must confess that I have tried to abide in Him and others at the same time, and that doesn't work.

8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8

For my life to bring glory to God I must bear fruit and to bear fruit I must go through pruning.

Pruning represents cutting off those priorities or preoccupations, while not wrong, that keep us from significant growth to bear fruit. Without pruning we never live up to our potential.

Ok, now let me bring it back to Jonathan and David. Their friendship was so close they might have gotten to the point where they were dependant on each other instead of God. I've been there; I have some close friends whom I've even said "if I know you're by my side we can tackle anything."

I should have said that about God, I needed pruning.

But here's the promise; that friendship doesn't end for us who follow God. We have a hope that we will spend an eternity together, where friends do not part anymore, at the feet of the One we both love!

David and Jonathan knew that absence and distance would not alter anything between them because their hearts were knitted together and their spirits
bound together to the will of God.

12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13

I know what that means; it's been done for me.

Do you?

Saturday, November 1, 2008


 24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon festival came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, [a] and Abner sat next to Saul, but David's place was empty. 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, "Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean—surely he is unclean." 1 Samuel 20:24-26

Isn't that typical, Saul thought nothing about himself being "unclean". He thought David must have done or touched something that made him unclean to attend the festival. Saul didn't stop to think that his murderous thoughts would have been worse. Hypocrites are always more anxious to see the flaws in others before themselves.

Do you?

27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?"

 28 Jonathan answered, "David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, 'Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.' That is why he has not come to the king's table."

 30 Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he must die!" 1 Samuel 20:27-31

Here we go again, Saul blaming someone else, his wife! Pretty typical though, think about how many times husbands won't take responsibility for their kid's actions, and blame it on their wives, or vice a versa. Be honest, I've done it, maybe not to that extent, but I've done it.

Think about this, when words are spoken in anger they often reveal your fears and your heart. Saul's fear of losing the kingdom is very evident; his heart toward his wife, well, what do you think?

Maybe we all could use a reminder:

"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires…If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." James 1:19-20, 26

Don't be typical!

Practice looking at yourself first and not being hypocritical; practice taking responsibility and not blaming someone else; and practice listening and reigning in your tongue!