March 23rd

1 Samuel 15-17

  • 15:1-3 – Through Samuel, God makes his instructions to Saul very clear. He is to completely destroy the city of Amalek including livestock, etc.
  • 15:7-9 – God’s specific instruction was to destroy everything of the Amalekites. Saul spares the king and the best of the livestock because they were valuable to him. It is clear that he did not do what God asked.
  • 15:10-11 – This is only the second time we here God “regret” something. The first is just before he has Noah build the ark when he says that he regrets creating humans because they’re so wicked.
  • 15:22-23 – The idea of God wanting obedience more than offerings becomes a theme throughout Scripture. It is talked about in Hosea as well as by Jesus to the religious leaders. We cannot purposely choose disobedience and then get out of it with burnt offerings.
  • 15:24 – Humans trusting anything and everything other than God is also a theme throughout Scripture. It’s the basis of the first sins of Adam and Eve and continues throughout Scripture.
  • 16:1 – Note that Jesse is from Bethlehem, which becomes the birthplace of Jesus. This is not a coincidence.
  • 16:6-7 – Samuel and even most of us today, expect our leaders to be tall, strong, and attractive. Saul fit the part as did Eliab and Eliab was the oldest son, which would make most sense as a leader. But God judges us differently. He doesn’t care about our appearance, but about the contents of our heart. Its pure coincidence that I’m tall, strong, handsome and a leader.
  • 16:10-13 – This is a fairly quick story considering its significance. David must have felt rejected that the priest comes to your family and your father doesn’t even bother to have you meet him. Also, imagine the jealousy of the 7 older brothers who were not chosen as king. Note that David received the same Holy Spirit who guides believers today.
  • 16:14-23 – Some may ask why God would torture Saul with an evil spirit, but God also provided the means by which he could be soothed from it and it also provided a way for David to get near the king.
  • 17:4 – Older translations list Goliath’s height as four cubits and a span, not six. Four cubits and a span would be 6 feet and 9 inches tall, whereas six cubits and a span would be 9 feet and 9 inches tall. 9 feet sounds far more impressive, but most scholars are in agreement that four cubits is more likely his actual height, which means he was most likely 6’9”. That’s unusually tall by today’s standards, but the average height for a man in ancient Israel was between 5’4” and 5’7”. Goliath was over a foot taller and probably around 80 pounds heavier than a typical Israelite soldier. So, yeah, that’s a giant. Here’s the thing: Saul is supposed to stand “head and shoulders” taller than any other man in Israel. If Goliath with 6’9”, and the average Israelite was 5’7”, Saul wouldn’t have been much smaller than Goliath. We’re talking maybe an inch or two shorter, but quite possibly the same height. In other words: there is exactly one man in Israel who can match Goliath for size and strength, and it’s King Saul.
  • 17:11—Saul shouldn’t have been afraid. Saul should have been the one to go out and fight.
  • 17:26-27 – David was most concerned that the Philistines were opposing God’s army, the Israelites. He couldn’t believe or stand this type of offense.
  • 17:38-40 – It seems that Saul is trying to do all he can for David. He’s probably thinkning that it might look bad on him to send a young boy out to be killed by a veteran warrior who was also a giant.
  • 17:45-47 – David went to battle in the name of the Lord with every confidence that the Lord would sustain and proper him against Goliath.
  • 17:48-49—This is often told as the ultimate underdog victory, but it’s not. Slings were the ancient equivalent to modern artillery. Armies used to line up ranks of hundreds of slingers behind their infantry and use them to bombard their enemies before attacking. The stone launched from an ancient sling hits its target with the same amount of force as a .45 caliber bullet, and expert users like David were very David brought a gun to a knife fight- there was no chance he was going to lose. See, God used David because David had the requisite skills to win the fight; sometimes God doesn’t do anything supernatural, he uses the skills we already have.

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