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David Reading | Week 1 | Day 4



Prayer


Take a moment of silence to simply recognize God’s presence. Repeat the statement, “God you are present” Until you feel Him present with you.

Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 13


Read these verses three times slowly.

Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty- two years.

Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.

Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.

The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuelarrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

“What have you done?” asked Samuel.

Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

Then Samuel left Gilgal and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.

Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim facing the wilderness.

Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened. The price was two-thirds of a shekel for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the pass at Mikmash.

Reflection & Questions


By Pastor Dan Chapin

Ever back yourself into a corner? Maybe it was during a fight at school, or a fight with your spouse? Not sure which is scarier to be honest… The truth is often when we feel threatened or backed into a corner we make decisions that are far from being considered wise. We open our mouths and say the dumb things. We throw the first punch hoping to get the fight over with fast. However, the reality is that when we are backed into a corner, we often want to trust our own instincts rather than God’s direction.

In 1 Samuel 13 Saul is in a great battle where he is backed into a corner and outnumbered. Rather than trusting God’s direction to wait for Samuel to arrive before sacrificing to the Lord, Samuel takes the matter into his own hands. He feels the pressure of caring for his army, and winning the battle for his kingdom. Being cornered like this makes him do something that ultimately disqualifies him from being king, or from any of his descendants taking the throne after he dies. He defiled the worship of God.

In moments of pressure, it’s easy for us to want to take matters into our own hands. We want to rely on ourselves for victory. We want to rely on our prayers to manipulate God to give us what we want. We want to do whatever it takes because we want the pressure to go away and we want to take control of the situation. The only problem is, just like Saul, this distances ourselves from God because we don’t trust Him. We don’t seek his wisdom. We don’t go to wise counsel. We rush to the solution because we think, “I got this.” In reality you never had it.

Or maybe that’s just me?

      1. When have you felt backed into a corner or under pressure that you thought you could never get out of it?
      2. What was God trying to teach you during that time, and how can you prevent making the same mistake again?

Prayer


Talk to God in response to today’s reading.

Worship Song


You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:


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Questions?

Ed Applegate

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  Series Archives Coming Soon Week 4: Psalm 42 Week 3: Psalm 8 Week 2: Psalm 15 Week 1: Psalm 1 Driven (Father’s Day – One-Off) Week 4: Serving Shockwaves Week 3: The Serving Effect Week 2: No Strings Attached Week 1: The Ultimate Server Week 5: The King’s Legacy: David And Solomon

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