Saul & David

Saul David

Wednesday 06/10/20 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message – Saul & David

***Video is HERE***

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Thru the Bible: 1Samuel 20-25

1 Samuel 20:1-42, 

The relationship Jonathan and David had was special and pure. Many have attempted to to assign filthy homosexual intentions in their relationship but such was not the case. God knit these two men’s hearts together in a covenant friendship where the love one had for the other was the type of love God commanded in His law should exist between all His covenant children. To love others AS you love yourself. That is the exact way these two friends loved each other.

When these passages say that they kissed it has the same meaning as it would say in an Italian home. They would kiss the cheek. 

Contrary to the way it is most often used today, the word kiss in the ancient world was rarely used in a romantic way. 

In the overwhelming number of cases it was an exchange between family or friends who were dear to heart and was on the checks.

“(1) David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What did I do wrong? How have I sinned against your father so that he wants to take my life?”  

“(2)  Jonathan said to him, “No, you won’t die. Listen, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without telling me. So why would he hide this matter from me? This can’t be true.”  

“(3)  But David said, “Your father certainly knows that you have come to look favorably on me. He has said, ‘Jonathan must not know of this, or else he will be grieved.'” David also swore, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.”  

“(4)  Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”  

“(5)  So David told him, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I’m supposed to sit down and eat with the king. Instead, let me go, and I’ll hide in the field until the third night.  (6)  If your father misses me at all, say, ‘David urgently requested my permission to quickly go to his town Bethlehem for an annual sacrifice there involving the whole clan.’  (7)  If he says, ‘Good,’ then your servant is safe, but if he becomes angry, you will know he has evil intentions.  (8)  Deal faithfully with your servant, for you have brought me into a covenant before the LORD with you. If I have done anything wrong, then kill me yourself; why take me to your father?”  

“(9) “No!” Jonathan responded. “If I ever find out my father has evil intentions against you, wouldn’t I tell you about it?”  

(10)  So David asked Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”  

(11)  He answered David, “Come on, let’s go out to the field.” So both of them went out to the field.  (12)  “By the LORD, the God of Israel, if I sound out my father by this time tomorrow or the next day and I find out that he is favorable toward you, and if I do not send for you and tell you,  (13)  then may God punish Jonathan and do so severely. If my father intends to bring evil on you, then I will tell you, and I will send you away, and you will go in peace. May the LORD be with you, just as He was with my father.  (14)  If I continue to live, treat me with the LORD’s faithful love, but if I die,  (15)  don’t ever withdraw your faithful love from my household–not even when the LORD cuts off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”  (16)  Then Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD hold David’s enemies accountable.”  (17)  Jonathan once again swore to David in his love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.”

“(18)  Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; you’ll be missed because your seat will be empty.  (19)  The following day hurry down and go to the place where you hid on the day this incident began and stay beside the rock Ezel.  (20)  I will shoot three arrows beside it as if I’m aiming at a target.  (21)  Then I will send the young man and say, ‘Go and find the arrows!’ Now, if I expressly say to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you–get them,’ then come, because as the LORD lives, it is safe for you and there is no problem.  (22)  But if I say this to the youth: ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you!’ then go, for the LORD is sending you away.  (23)  As for the matter you and I have spoken about, the LORD will be a witness between you and me forever.”  (24)  So David hid in the field. At the New Moon, the king sat down to eat the meal.  (25)  He sat at his usual place on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat facing him and Abner took his place beside Saul, but David’s place was empty.  (26)  Saul did not say anything that day because he thought, “Something unexpected has happened; he must be ceremonially unclean–yes, that’s it, he is unclean.”  (27)  However, the day after the New Moon, the second day, David’s place was still empty, and Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why didn’t Jesse’s son come to the meal either yesterday or today?”  

“(28) Jonathan answered, “David asked for my permission to go to Bethlehem.  (29)  He said, ‘Please let me go because our clan is holding a sacrifice in the town, and my brother has told me to be there. So now, if you are pleased with me, let me go so I can see my brothers.’ That’s why he didn’t come to the king’s table.”  

“(30)  Then Saul became angry with Jonathan and shouted, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you are siding with Jesse’s son to your own shame and to the disgrace of your mother?  (31)  Every day Jesse’s son lives on earth you and your kingship are not secure. Now send for him and bring him to me–he deserves to die.”  

“(32)  Jonathan answered his father back: “Why is he to be killed? What has he done?”  (33)  Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him, so he knew that his father was determined to kill David.  (34)  He got up from the table in fierce anger and did not eat any food that second day of the New Moon, for he was grieved because of his father’s shameful behavior toward David.”

“(35)  In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for the appointed meeting with David. A small young man was with him.  (36)  He said to the young man, “Run and find the arrows I’m shooting.” As the young man ran, Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him.  (37)  He came to the location of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, but Jonathan called to him and said, “The arrow is beyond you, isn’t it?”  (38)  Then Jonathan called to him, “Hurry up and don’t stop!” Jonathan’s young man picked up the arrow and returned to his master.  (39)  He did not know anything; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement.  (40)  Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the young man who was with him and said, “Go, take it back to the city.”  (41)  When the young man had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone Ezel, fell with his face to the ground, and bowed three times. Then he and Jonathan kissed each other and wept with each other, though David wept more.”

“(42)  Jonathan then said to David, “Go in the assurance the two of us pledged in the name of the LORD when we said: The LORD will be a witness between you and me and between my offspring and your offspring forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan went into the city.”

Theirs was a relationship based upon covenant and trust. It is a fitting example of the type of relationship we are to experience with God.

1 Samuel 21:1-15, 

“(1) David went to Ahimelech the priest at Nob. Ahimelech was afraid to meet David, so he said to him, “Why are you alone and no one is with you?”  

“(2)  David answered Ahimelech the priest, “The king gave me a mission, but he told me, ‘Don’t let anyone know anything about the mission I’m sending you on or what I have ordered you to do.’ I have stationed my young men at a certain place.  (3)  Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever can be found.”  

“(4)  The priest told him, “There is no ordinary bread on hand. However, there is consecrated bread, but the young men may eat it only if they have kept themselves from women.”  

“(5)  David answered him, “I swear that women are being kept from us, as always when I go out to battle. The young men’s bodies are consecrated even on an ordinary mission, so of course their bodies are consecrated today.”  

“(6)  So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD. When the bread was removed, it had been replaced with warm bread.”

“(7)  One of Saul’s servants, detained before the LORD, was there that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, chief of Saul’s shepherds.  (8)  David said to Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or sword on hand? I didn’t even bring my sword or my weapons since the king’s mission was urgent.”  

“(9)  The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want to take it for yourself, then take it, for there isn’t another one here.” “There’s none like it!” 

“David said. “Give it to me.”  

“(10)  David fled that day from Saul’s presence and went to King Achish of Gath.  (11)  But Achish’s servants said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Don’t they sing about him during their dances: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands?”  

“(12)  David took this to heart and became very afraid of King Achish of Gath,  (13)  so he pretended to be insane in their presence. He acted like a madman around them, scribbling on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.  (14)  “Look! You can see the man is crazy,” Achish said to his servants. “Why did you bring him to me?  (15)  Do I have such a shortage of crazy people that you brought this one to act crazy around me? Is this one going to come into my house?”

Lying and deception is in these people’s blood – dating back to Abraham. I am not sure why these are not repented of or at least spoken against in scripture but here they are, casually mentioned in passing and David even placed this last example as the prelude to one of his Psalms.

Psalms 34:1-22, “(1) I will praise the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.  (2)  I will boast in the LORD; the humble will hear and be glad.  (3)  Proclaim with me the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt His name together.  (4)  I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  (5)  Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.  (6)  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him from all his troubles.  (7)  The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.  (8)  Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!  (9)  Fear the LORD, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing.  (10)  Young lions lack food and go hungry, but those who seek the LORD will not lack any good thing.  (11)  Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.  (12)  Who is the man who delights in life, loving a long life to enjoy what is good?  (13)  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech.  (14)  Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.  (15)  The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help.  (16)  The face of the LORD is set against those who do what is evil, to erase all memory of them from the earth.  (17)  The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles.  (18)  The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.  (19)  Many adversities come to the one who is righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all.  (20)  He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken.  (21)  Evil brings death to the sinner, and those who hate the righteous will be punished.  (22)  The LORD redeems the life of His servants, and all who take refuge in Him will not be punished.”

1 Samuel 22:1-23,

This chapter gives testament to just how darkened a mind can become. Saul orders the execution of the Lord’s Priests and later (in the next chapter) believes God is with him and was handing David over to him.

“(1) So David left Gath and took refuge in the cave of Adullam. When David’s brothers and his father’s whole family heard, they went down and joined him there.  (2)  In addition, every man who was desperate, in debt, or discontented rallied around him, and he became their leader. About 400 men were with him.  (3)  From there David went to Mizpeh of Moab where he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother stay with you until I know what God will do for me.”  (4)  So he left them in the care of the king of Moab, and they stayed with him the whole time David was in the stronghold.”

“(5)  Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. Leave and return to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.”

“(6)  Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. At that time Saul was in Gibeah, sitting under the tamarisk tree at the high place. His spear was in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him.  (7)  Saul said to his servants, “Listen, men of Benjamin: Is Jesse’s son going to give all of you fields and vineyards? Do you think he’ll make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds?  (8)  That’s why all of you have conspired against me! Nobody tells me when my own son makes a covenant with Jesse’s son. None of you cares about me or tells me that my son has stirred up my own servant to wait in ambush for me, as is the case today.”  

“(9)  Then Doeg the Edomite, who was in charge of Saul’s servants, answered: “I saw Jesse’s son come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob.  (10)  Ahimelech inquired of the LORD for him and gave him provisions. He also gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”  (11)  The king sent messengers to summon Ahimelech the priest, son of Ahitub, and his father’s whole family, who were priests in Nob. All of them came to the king.  

“(12)  Then Saul said, “Listen, son of Ahitub!” “I’m at your service, my lord,” he said.  (13)  Saul asked him, “Why did you and Jesse’s son conspire against me? You gave him bread and a sword and inquired of God for him, so he could rise up against me and wait in ambush, as is the case today.”  

“(14)  Ahimelech replied to the king: “Who among all your servants is as faithful as David? He is the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your house.  (15)  Was today the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Please don’t let the king make an accusation against your servant or any of my father’s household, for your servant didn’t have any idea about all this.”  

“(16)  But the king said, “You will die, Ahimelech–you and your father’s whole family!”  (17)  Then the king ordered the guards standing by him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD because they sided with David. For they knew he was fleeing, but they didn’t tell me.” But the king’s servants would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the LORD.  (18)  So the king said to Doeg, “Go and execute the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite went and executed the priests himself. On that day, he killed 85 men who wore linen ephods.  (19)  He also struck down Nob, the city of the priests, with the sword–both men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep.”

“(20)  However, one of the sons of Ahimelech son of Ahitub escaped. His name was Abiathar, and he fled to David.  (21)  Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD.  (22)  Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew that Doeg the Edomite was there that day and that he was sure to report to Saul. I myself am responsible for the lives of everyone in your father’s family.  (23)  Stay with me. Don’t be afraid, for the one who wants to take my life wants to take your life. You will be safe with me.”

1 Samuel 23:1-29, 

“(1) It was reported to David: “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and raiding the threshing floors.”  (2)  So David inquired of the LORD: “Should I launch an attack against these Philistines?” The LORD answered David, “Launch an attack against the Philistines and rescue Keilah.”  (3)  But David’s men said to him, “Look, we’re afraid here in Judah; how much more if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”  (4)  Once again, David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him: “Go at once to Keilah, for I will hand the Philistines over to you.”  (5)  Then David and his men went to Keilah, fought against the Philistines, drove their livestock away, and inflicted heavy losses on them. So David rescued the inhabitants of Keilah.  (6)  Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, and he brought an ephod with him.”

“(7)  When it was reported to Saul that David had gone to Keilah, he said, “God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself by entering a town with barred gates.”  (8)  Then Saul summoned all the troops to go to war at Keilah and besiege David and his men.”

“ (9)  When David learned that Saul was plotting evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.”  (10)  Then David said, “LORD God of Israel, Your servant has heard that Saul intends to come to Keilah and destroy the town because of me.  (11)  Will the citizens of Keilah hand me over to him? Will Saul come down as Your servant has heard? LORD God of Israel, please tell Your servant.” The LORD answered, “He will come down.”  (12)  Then David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah hand me and my men over to Saul?” “They will,” the LORD responded.  (13)  So David and his men, numbering about 600, left Keilah at once and moved from place to place. When it was reported to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he called off the expedition.  (14)  David then stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul searched for him every day, but God did not hand David over to him.  (15)  David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in Horesh when he saw that Saul had come out to take his life.”

“(16)  Then Saul’s son Jonathan came to David in Horesh and encouraged him in his faith in God,  (17)  saying, “Don’t be afraid, for my father Saul will never lay a hand on you. You yourself will be king over Israel, and I’ll be your second-in-command. Even my father Saul knows it is true.”  (18)  Then the two of them made a covenant in the LORD’s presence. Afterwards, David remained in Horesh, while Jonathan went home.”

“(19)  Some Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah and said, “David is hiding among us in the strongholds in Horesh on the hill of Hachilah south of Jeshimon.  (20)  Now, whenever the king wants to come down, let him come down. Our part will be to hand him over to the king.”  (21)  “May you be blessed by the LORD,” replied Saul, “for you have taken pity on me.  (22)  Go and check again. Investigate and watch carefully where he goes and who has seen him there; they tell me he is extremely cunning.  (23)  Look and find out all the places where he hides. Then come back to me with accurate information, and I’ll go with you. If it turns out he really is in the region, I’ll search for him among all the clans of Judah.”  (24)  So they went to Ziph ahead of Saul.” 

“Now David and his men were in the wilderness near Maon in the Arabah south of Jeshimon,  (25)  and Saul and his men went to look for him. When David was told about it, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. Saul heard of this and pursued David there.  (26)  Saul went along one side of the mountain and David and his men went along the other side. Even though David was hurrying to get away from Saul, Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them.  (27)  Then a messenger came to Saul saying, “Come quickly, because the Philistines have raided the land!”  (28)  So Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to engage the Philistines. Therefore, that place was named the Rock of Separation.  (29)  From there David went up and stayed in the strongholds of En-gedi.”

1 Samuel 24:1-22,  

David spares Saul’s life because he believes Saul to still be God’s anointed and God honors David’s conscience concerning this. Yet, later David intended to kill a man’s servants just for snubbing him. The morality seems more than just a little off, but we are dealing with a time of relative light – where men who loved God did so as best as they understood, but their understanding and follow through was often poor.

One thing seems for certain, David was a man of passion – like Peter and God seems to like passion!

“(1) When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the wilderness near En-gedi.”  (2)  So Saul took 3,000 of Israel’s choice men and went to look for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats.  (3)  When Saul came to the sheep pens along the road, a cave was there, and he went in to relieve himself. David and his men were staying in the back of the cave,  (4)  so they said to him, “Look, this is the day the LORD told you about: ‘I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.'” Then David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.  (5)  Afterwards, David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.  (6)  He said to his men, “I swear before the LORD: I would never do such a thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed. I will never lift my hand against him, since he is the LORD’s anointed.”  (7)  With these words David persuaded his men, and he did not let them rise up against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went on his way.”

“(8)  After that, David got up, went out of the cave, and called to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed to the ground in homage.  (9)  David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of people who say, ‘Look, David intends to harm you’?  (10)  You can see with your own eyes that the LORD handed you over to me today in the cave. Someone advised me to kill you, but I took pity on you and said: I won’t lift my hand against my lord, since he is the LORD’s anointed.  (11)  See, my father! Look at the corner of your robe in my hand, for I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. Look and recognize that there is no evil or rebellion in me. I haven’t sinned against you even though you are hunting me down to take my life.  (12)  “May the LORD judge between you and me, and may the LORD take vengeance on you for me, but my hand will never be against you.  (13)  As the old proverb says, ‘Wickedness comes from wicked people.’ My hand will never be against you.  (14)  Who has the king of Israel come after? What are you chasing after? A dead dog? A flea?  (15)  May the LORD be judge and decide between you and me. May He take notice and plead my case and deliver me from you.”  

“(16)  When David finished saying these things to him, Saul replied, “Is that your voice, David my son?” Then Saul wept aloud  (17)  and said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have done what is good to me though I have done what is evil to you.  (18)  You yourself have told me today what good you did for me: when the LORD handed me over to you, you didn’t kill me.  (19)  When a man finds his enemy, does he let him go unharmed? May the LORD repay you with good for what you’ve done for me today.  (20)  “Now I know for certain you will be king, and the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand.  (21)  Therefore swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.”  (22)  So David swore to Saul. Then Saul went back home, and David and his men went up to the stronghold.”

1 Samuel 25:1-44, 

For all his quickness to passion, David was also quick to listen and judge his own heart. This too is a reason for God calling David a man after His Own Heart.

“(1) Samuel died, and all Israel assembled to mourn for him, and they buried him by his home in Ramah. David then went down to the Wilderness of Paran.  (2)  A man in Maon had a business in Carmel; he was a very rich man with 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and was shearing his sheep in Carmel.  (3)  The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name, Abigail. The woman was intelligent and beautiful, but the man, a Calebite, was harsh and evil in his dealings.  (4)  While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep,  (5)  so David sent 10 young men instructing them, “Go up to Carmel, and when you come to Nabal, greet him in my name.  (6)  Then say this: ‘Long life to you, and peace to you, to your family, and to all that is yours.  (7)  I hear that you are shearing. When your shepherds were with us, we did not harass them, and nothing of theirs was missing the whole time they were in Carmel.  (8)  Ask your young men, and they will tell you. So let my young men find favor with you, for we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you can afford to your servants and to your son David.'”  

“(9)  David’s young men went and said all these things to Nabal on David’s behalf, and they waited.  (10)  Nabal asked them, “Who is David? Who is Jesse’s son? Many slaves these days are running away from their masters.  (11)  Am I supposed to take my bread, my water, and my meat that I butchered for my shearers and give them to men who are from I don’t know where?”  

“(12)  David’s men retraced their steps. When they returned to him, they reported all these words.  (13)  He said to his men, “All of you, put on your swords!” So David and all his men put on their swords. About 400 men followed David while 200 stayed with the supplies.  (14)  One of Nabal’s young men informed Abigail, Nabal’s wife: “Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he yelled at them.  (15)  The men treated us well. When we were in the field, we weren’t harassed and nothing of ours was missing the whole time we were living among them.  (16)  They were a wall around us, both day and night, the entire time we were herding the sheep.  (17)  Now consider carefully what you must do, because there is certain to be trouble for our master and his entire family. He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!” 

“(18)  Abigail hurried, taking 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.  (19)  Then she said to her male servants, “Go ahead of me. I will be right behind you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.  (20)  As she rode the donkey down a mountain pass hidden from view, she saw David and his men coming toward her and met them.  (21)  David had just said, “I guarded everything that belonged to this man in the wilderness for nothing. He was not missing anything, yet he paid me back evil for good.  (22)  May God punish me, and even more if I let any of his men survive until morning.”  (23)  When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and fell with her face to the ground in front of David.  (24)  She fell at his feet and said, “The guilt is mine, my lord, but please let your servant speak to you directly. Listen to the words of your servant.  (25)  My lord should pay no attention to this worthless man Nabal, for he lives up to his name: His name is Nabal, and stupidity is all he knows. I, your servant, didn’t see my lord’s young men whom you sent.  (26)  Now my lord, as surely as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, it is the LORD who kept you from participating in bloodshed and avenging yourself by your own hand. May your enemies and those who want trouble for my lord be like Nabal.  (27)  Accept this gift your servant has brought to my lord, and let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.  (28)  Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the LORD is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the LORD’s battles. Throughout your life, may evil not be found in you.  (29)  “When someone pursues you and attempts to take your life, my lord’s life will be tucked safely in the place where the LORD your God protects the living. However, He will fling away your enemies’ lives like stones from a sling.  (30)  When the LORD does for my lord all the good He promised and appoints you ruler over Israel,  (31)  there will not be remorse or a troubled conscience for my lord because of needless bloodshed or my lord’s revenge. And when the LORD does good things for my lord, may you remember me your servant.”  

“(32)  Then David said to Abigail, “Praise to the LORD God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today!  (33)  Blessed is your discernment, and blessed are you. Today you kept me from participating in bloodshed and avenging myself by my own hand.  (34)  Otherwise, as surely as the LORD God of Israel lives, who prevented me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, Nabal wouldn’t have had any men left by morning light.”  (35)  Then David accepted what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. See, I have heard what you said and have granted your request.”  

“(36)  Then Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was in his house, feasting like a king. Nabal was in a good mood and very drunk, so she didn’t say anything to him until morning light.  (37)  In the morning when Nabal sobered up, his wife told him about these events. Then he had a seizure and became paralyzed.  (38)  About 10 days later, the LORD struck Nabal dead.”

“(39)  When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise the LORD who championed my cause against Nabal’s insults and restrained His servant from doing evil. The LORD brought Nabal’s evil deeds back on his own head.” Then David sent messengers to speak to Abigail about marrying him.  (40)  When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David sent us to bring you to him as a wife.”  (41)  She bowed her face to the ground and said, “Here I am, your servant, to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.”  (42)  Then Abigail got up quickly, and with her five female servants accompanying her, rode on the donkey following David’s messengers. And so she became his wife.  (43)  David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and the two of them became his wives.  (44)  But Saul gave his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from Gallim.”



I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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