Daily reading

Today’s reading is: 1 Sam. 15:1-17:31

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1st Samuel Chapter Fifteen

  1. Chapter 15 marks another failure of Saul’s, and Samuel’s final message to the reversionistic king.
  2. Samuel commissions Saul for the Lord’s work-assignment against the Amalekites (1st Sam. 15:1-3; Ex. 17:8-16).
  3. Saul defeated the Amalekites, but disobeyed the command of the Lord (1st Sam. 15:4-9).
  4. Saul’s disobedience became a test of Samuel’s faith, in his personal intercessory prayer ministry before the Lord (1st Sam. 15:10,11).
  5. When Saul sees Samuel, he boasts of his success in the Lord’s work (1st Sam. 15:12,13).
    1. Samuel’s sarcastic response exposed Saul for the liar he was (1st Sam. 15:14).
    2. Saul is then left making lame excuses for his disobedience (1st Sam. 15:15-23).
  6. Samuel’s message reveals a seminal truth for all of Scripture—the real issue is not the external ritual, but the internal humble obedience (1st Sam. 15:22,23; cf. Hos. 6:6; Matt. 9:13; 12:7).
  7. Saul confesses his sin, but continues to blame others for his downfall (1st Sam. 15:24-31).
  8. Samuel utters another prophetic word concerning Saul’s replacement—a better man than Saul (1st Sam. 15:28).
  9. Samuel personally administered the Lord’s Divine discipline upon Agag (1st Sam. 15:32,33).
  10. This was the last time Samuel would ever “see” (visit) Saul until after his death (1st Sam. 15:35; cf. 1st Sam. 19:24; 28:15-19).

1st Samuel Chapter Sixteen

  1. The Lord arranges for David’s private anointing (1st Sam. 16:1-13), much as He arranged for Saul’s private anointing (1st Sam. 10:1).
  2. Samuel’s arrival at Bethlehem prompted a degree of fear (1st Sam. 16:4). חָרַד chārad #2729: to tremble, be terrified.
    1. The elders of Bethlehem asked, “Do you come in peace?”
    2. Our modern idiom of “hanging judge” pales in comparison to Samuel’s renown as the “dismembering judge” (1st Sam. 15:32,33; Hos. 6:5).
    3. The Lord Jesus Christ prompted a similar response (Lk. 5:8; 8:37).
  3. Samuel proclaims a sacrifice, and invites all of Bethlehem to participate (1st Sam. 16:5).
  4. Samuel carefully observes the arrival of Jesse and his sons (1st Sam. 16:6-11).
    1. Samuel is impressed by Eliab’s stature and appearance (1st Sam. 16:6,7).
    2. The Lord admonishes Samuel to not be misled by the outer appearance (1st Sam. 16:7).
    3. Six additional sons pass by Samuel, and one-by-one the Lord informs Samuel that His selection has not yet appeared (1st Sam. 16:8-10).
    4. Samuel concludes that there must yet be a son remaining, and calls for his immediate appearance (1st Sam. 16:11).
  5. The description of David (1st Sam. 16:11,12).
    1. The youngest (smallest) of eight according to this text, the seventh born according to 1st Chr. 2:15. Seven sons was a reference in Ruth (Ruth 4:15).
    2. A shepherd, the perfect preparation for kingship (2nd Sam. 7:8; Ps. 78:70,71).
    3. Ruddy (red), an attribute of a man’s complexion, indicating vigorous health (Song. 5:10).
    4. Beautiful eyes and handsome appearance, like Joseph and Moses (Gen. 39:6; Ex. 2:2). Disdained by Goliath (1st Sam. 17:42).
    5. After God’s own heart (1st Sam. 13:14; 16:7).
  6. The Lord positively identified His anointed one, as He did for Saul (1st Sam. 9:17), and as He will do again for John the Baptist at the Jordan river (1st Sam. 16:12; Matt. 3:16,17; John 1:32,33).
  7. The result of this anointing is the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit (1st Sam. 16:13b).
    1. This indwelling was powerful.  צָלַח tsālach #6743: to rush, break forth.  This expression was also used of Samson (Jdg. 14:6,19; 15:14), & Saul (1st Sam. 10:6,10; 11:6).  An evil spirit will also come upon Saul mightily (1st Sam. 18:10).
    2. This indwelling was life-long (cf. Ps. 51:11).  This was very unusual for an OT saint.
  8. After the anointing, the Lord arranged for David to obtain some experience in the King’s court (1st Sam. 16:14-23).
    1. King Saul’s indwelling of the Holy Spirit is revoked (1st Sam. 16:14).
    2. In place of the Holy Spirit, an evil spirit is sent to terrorize King Saul (1st Sam. 16:14,15).
      1. There are innumerable demons, evil spirits, and fallen angels eager to function within God’s permissive will, and anxious to afflict believers (1st Kgs. 22:19-23).
      2. Satan was eager to function within God’s permissive will, and afflict Job (Job 1:11,12; 2:5-7).
      3. Paul’s thorn in the flesh is also a Satanic messenger (2nd Cor. 12:7).  ἄγγελος σατανᾶ angelos satana.
    3. Saul’s servants suggest that soothing music would ease the king’s demonic terror (1st Sam. 16:15-17).
      1. They don’t suggest Saul humble himself before Samuel.
      2. They suggest a pagan method for calming the mind.
    4. The servant’s description of David (1st Sam. 16:18).
      1. A skillful musician.
      2. A mighty man of valor (גִבּוֹר חַיִל gibbowr chayil).
      3. A warrior.
      4. Prudent in speech.
      5. A handsome (well-formed) man.
      6. The Lord is with him.
    5. David’s youthful service to Saul was a time of blessing for both men (1st Sam. 16:21-23).

1st Samuel Chapter Seventeen

  1. Chapter 17 is the famous David & Goliath chapter in the Bible.
  2. The Philistine-Israel War is summarized, and Goliath is introduced (1st Sam. 17:1-11).
    1. The United Philistine forces were gathered, as was the army of King Saul.
    2. The Philistines put forth a champion to determine the outcome of the war (1st Sam. 17:4).
      1. אִישׁ־הַבֵּנַיִם iysh-habbenayim. בַּיִן bayin #996: an interval, space between.
      2. Goliath.  גָּלְיָת golyāth #1555: splendour(?) conspicuous (?).  גָּלָה gālāh #1540: to uncover, remove, reveal, carry to exile. The etymology of the name is uncertain, perhaps even an Anatolian Hittite origin.
      3. Gath was one of the five Philistine cities (with Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Gaza), and by this time was considered the capital of the five cities (1st Sam. 6:17).
      4. Six cubits and a span (MT). 117” or 9’9” alternatively four cubits and a span (DSS:4QSamA, Codex Vaticanus, Jos.Ant. 6.171, LXX Lucian) 6’6”
      5. Heavy armor, 5,000 shekels of bronze.  Over 126 pounds!
    3. The challenge is issued daily for 40 days (1st Sam. 17:8-11,16).
      1. The result of the single combat between the Philistine champion (Goliath), and any champion Israel cared to send forth would be the enslavement of the defeated side (1st Sam. 17:9).
      2. This custom was known among the Greeks, and Homer’s Iliad contains accounts of Paris and Menelaus, Hector and Ajax, Achilles and Hector. Apparently the Hittites of Asia Minor also practiced individual combat to a limited extent.
    4. Israel fails to take up the challenge for 40 days.
      1. King Saul does not take up the challenge, even though he has been anointed by the Lord to judge (deliver) Israel.
      2. Jonathan does not take up the challenge.  He is mentioned in 1st Sam. 18:1 as being present, and was possibly under direct orders from his father to not go into battle.
      3. David’s three oldest brothers were present, and also failed to step forward by faith (1st Sam. 17:13).
      4. David is not present, as his duties had placed him among his father’s flocks (1st Sam. 17:15).
  3. David finds out about the challenge, and cannot believe that nobody has gone forward to kill the uncircumcised Philistine (1st Sam. 17:12-30).
    1. His work-assignment as King Saul’s minstrel was a part-time job, with extended time off to care for Jesse’s flock (1st Sam. 17:12,15).
      1. We don’t have specific information regarding David’s age, but it appears that he is too young for regular military service under King Saul.
      2. We can estimate an age of 10 for David’s anointing by Samuel (1st Sam. 16:13).
      3. We can estimate an age of 11 for David’s musical ministry in Saul’s court (1st Sam. 16:21-23).
      4. We can estimate an age of 12 for David when he kills the lion and the bear (1st Sam. 17:34-36).
      5. We can estimate an age of 13 for David when he kills Goliath (1st Sam. 17:50,51).
      6. We can estimate an age of 14-16 for his marriage to Michael (1st Sam. 18:27).
    2. Jesse sends David to his brothers with provisions for them and their commander (1st Sam. 17:17-19).
    3. David overhears some Hebrew soldiers speaking of the reward Saul was offering for possible champions to fight the giant (1st Sam. 17:20-27).
    4. David’s brothers are angry at his presence, and accuse him of seeking glory from a wicked heart (1st Sam. 17:28-30).

(Chapter Seventeen continues tomorrow)