Series: Thru the Bible
PDF of Outline: Harmoney of Israel’s Kingdom Books
The Books of the Kingdom and their Chronicles Pt. 2
In our first review we only covered two weeks of content in review and preparation for our game nights. I told you as we continued forward we would cover more ground quicker and tonight is a proof of that in that we will cover 13 weeks tonight which will take us up to over half way through 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles.
Now you may remember that I said that Samuel was Israel’s last OFFICIAL judge, and he was. However, 1 Samuel 8 begins with Samuel making his two sons Joel and Abijah judges in Israel.
- People are sheep. Even though Samuel was simply a prophet and judge – he was seen as Israel’s leader. If people do not have someone to follow they will appoint one.
- Samuel’s two sons were both ungodly and perverted justice for bribes.
- This is just one of many reasons why Jesus tells us to love Him more than anything. Samuel, though a prophet, lacked the vision and spiritual sight to see the bad character of his sons.
- We do not sin unto ourselves – it affects everyone and this is INCREASINGLY true the more God given authority you have.
- This decision to make his son’s judges and their subsequent perversion of justice precipitated Israel’s desire for a king.
- 1Sam. 8:4, “(4) Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, (5) and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
- Samuel warned them against kings and their behavior.
- Israel insisted
- God granted them a king – picked him out and even anointed him with His Spirit.
- God will often teach and/or judge you by letting you have what you want.
- MANY times I’ve heard people say, “well it worked out so I guess it must have been God’s will” – This event in Israel’s history is patent proof that such IS NOT TRUE!!!
- God picked Saul – a Benjamite (smallest tribe)
- He was a warrior who was also physically attractive.
- We cannot just by appearances –
- Saul was a warrior, tall and strikingly handsome. He came from a lowly and humble background but was of good reputation.
- David was a short man, with red hair though also handsome. He was of NO reputation being the 8th son who continually kept his father’s sheep. He was also from a humble background from Judah.
- Paul was reportedly a man with crooked, short legs, severely bowlegged with large eyes – a thick unibrow and a long nose even for a Jew.
- The point being – you cannot judge a book by it’s cover.
- Samuel washed his hands of the affair
- Saul was chosen and anointed as their king
- He had only a few dissenters.
- We are told that God gave Saul a different heart
- He prophesied
- People were drawn to him seeing in him something different than before
- The scriptures tell us that valiant men attached themselves to Saul BECAUSE God had touched their hearts – influencing them to offer their strength and skill in support of him. This helps to illustrate how it is God Who appoints a leader.
- Saul started off with a humble, even timid heart and seemingly good intentions, but power and most of all fame, went to his head.
After this a leader of the Ammonites threatened a city of Israel. The details are not as important as the lesson.
When Saul heard about it, the Spirit of the Lord took control of him and he became very angry. Saul commanded everyone to follow he and Samuel into battle or they would die.
The result was that:
- God caused Israel to fear and obey.
When they prevailed, the crowd wanted to kill some Israelites who had initially said they did not trust Saul to go before them in battle. But Saul would not allow it, since God had given them victory that day. So they all went to Gilgal and offered Fellowship offerings to God.
After all of this Samuel officially stepped down out of his “leadership” position which Israel had thrust him into.
Samuel was aware that all of this was the result of his son’s behavior in perverting justice for money. So when he addressed Israel he did so by saying this:
“(1) Now Samuel said to all Israel: “Indeed I have heeded your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you. (2) And now here is the king, walking before you; and I am old and grayheaded, and look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. (3) Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed:
- Whose ox have I taken, or
- whose donkey have I taken, or
- whom have I cheated?
- Whom have I oppressed, or
- from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes?
I will restore it to you.”
“(4) And they said, “You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand.”
“(5) Then he said to them, “The LORD is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they answered, “He is witness.”
He then recounted all of Israel’s history before them and their terrible track record of dishonoring God through disobedience.
He wanted them to know that in asking for a king to rule over them – even though God gave it to them AND gave them victory over their enemies by him – these were NO proof that God was FOR this decision.
To make it this super clear to them – Samuel called for a great thunderstorm that evidently was so severe that the people greatly feared both God and Samuel as a result.
Then Samuel predicted, perhaps by the spirit of prophecy regarding Israel at the inauguration of their first King Saul that if they did not honor God with a true heart both they and their king would be swept away. As we closed out the last chapters of 2 Kings and 2Chronicles we found his predictions to be true…
“(20) Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. (21) And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. (22) For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people. (23) Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. (24) Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. (25) But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
- Saul’s son Jonathan was an honorable man, son, warrior and a very dear friend to David Saul’s enemy.
- Saul offers a sacrifice to God being impatient to wait for Samuel and this action brought judgment on himself.
- Saul was intimidated by the people and honored and obeyed them instead of God.
- Even still, he wanted Samuel to honor him before the people.
The lessons we learn from Saul are very hard and relevant to EVERY ONE of us. King Saul was not entirely a bad guy or king…at first. It was the same human tenancies we all have of concern of what others think about us, pride when confronted over doing wrong and when someone under you and younger than you exceeds you in your area of expertise. These were the sins of Saul – but the sobering truth is they are in some ways the sins of us all – which is what makes his life such a lesson and warning to us!
The real lessons here are that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine or a little yeast rises the whole lump of dough AND those who are in positions of greater authority are subject to stricter judgment.
That may seem unfair since no one calls & anoints themselves with authority from God, but….
- when God gives authority He also gives additional grace.
That increased influence causes your heart to be more aware of God and His direction in your life, that comes at the cost of being held responsible for that increased awareness.
Synopsis of the lesson:
Samuel is told to not mourn for Saul since he has been rejected by God.
God sent an evil spirit to torment Saul but allows music to offer a relief from their torments.
Saul sends for David – a skilled musician to played for him.
David slays Goliath
- He was unfearful and confident in God.
- His mind was not on how small he was nor on how big and capable Goliath was – but only on the fact that the God is Israel was being defamed and so he had perfect confidence in God’s power to defeat him.
- His motive was pure – “You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel’s armies–you have defied Him. (46) Today, the LORD will hand you over to me. Today, I’ll strike you down, cut your head off, and give the corpses of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the creatures of the earth. Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, (47) and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the LORD saves, for the battle is the LORD’s. He will hand you over to us.”
It was after this rousing speech and subsequent interview with Saul that God knit the hearts of Jonathan and Daivd together as friends who stick closer than brothers.
Saul became envious of David and sought to kill him
Something odd which stands out about these passages is that even though the Spirit had left Saul and even though he had already given orders to kill David due to his envy of him, the Spirit of the Lord still came upon Saul to prophecy – so much so that the people began to ask, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
To be honest I do not know what this teaches us other than God is not limited. We already learned during the wilderness wanderings that God used the non-Israelite Balaam to prophecy for Israel.
The scriptures tell us that Daivd acted wisely and prospered in all his ways because God was with him.
- When God rejects someone or something – do not devote any more of your heart to it. To do so is idolatry.
- God is more involved with the progression of our lives than we realize.
- God’s judgment of Saul, His provision of music to sooth him and David being brought into Saul’s presence as a musician were NOT chance events!
- David was not afraid of Goliath. He did not consider the size of his problems or advisories, only the size of His God. David’s focus was not on delivering Israel, but bringing honor back on God’s name which the Philistines were showing contempt for. These are just a few of the reasons why David was a man after God’s Own heart.
- Some relationships are ordained by God.
- God can use nearly anyone – so the fact that someone is used is no proof of belonging to Him
- David, more often than not, acted in wisdom.
One thing we’ve learned is that it seems that lying and deception is in Israel’s blood. Even all of the great men of Old have histories steeped in it.
Saul was a great example of just how twisted and dark a mind can become. Saul orders the execution of the Lord’s Priests and later believes he has the favor of God and that He was handing David over into his power.
Also, even though David proved his loyalty to Saul in that he didn’t kill him even when he easily could have – and even though Saul had momentary times of softening and repentance, he always returned to that dark place where he considered David his enemy.
In a woman named Abigail we have an example of a godly wife.
There was a wealthy man who after David and his men had protected his shepherds from danger, denied David and his men food and comfort. David sought to return the evil by killing the man. His wife Abigail sent a gift ahead of her to Daivd and his servants and she followed. She begged him to receive the gift and pardon the wrong of her husband.
David accepted the aid and praised the woman for stopping him from killing the man.
She did not disobey her husband, but she did not ask either.
When she came home her husband was very drunk, so she waited until morning to tell him what she had done. He became so angry that he had a seizure and became paralyzed for 10 days then the Lord killed him. Afterwards David married her.
It is a VERY helpful real life story that only takes up one chapter, but it illustrates the actions & heart of a godly wife. It also shows some of the freedoms she has if her actions are done with wisdom.
- Darkened minds cannot see. They pervert justice and can still believe they are honored by God.
- You cannot reason with a darkened mind.
- A godly woman and wife will act for the benefit of her home and husband.
- Godliness needs no permission.
- Honor those above you even if they are evil.
- Trust in the Lord and do good and He will be your deliverance.
- Only two things of note here…
- God abhors necromancy which is a practice of conjuring the dead in order to obtain answers from them. The primary reason for God’s disdain of this practice is that it sidesteps God entirely.
- David, became discouraged due to Saul’s unending attempts on his life so he fled to the Philistines and pledged allegiance to them. He almost went to war with them against Israel in fact. This is another example (like that of Abigail) where Daivd was kept back from doing evil by something other than his own decisions. Proverbs 3:6 tells us that if we will “…acknowledge God in all our ways, He will make our paths straight.” What is typically understood about this passage is that God will make it clear what way we should walk – and that is of course a primary interpretation, However, it seems that God also will upon occasion, make our paths straight FOR us. If a person’s heart is overwhelmingly towards God, He is able to make straight his steps.
During David’s alliance with the Philistines he had led his men to go into battle against Israel which God “made his path straight” so that he did not get to fight. Upon returning to their home in Ziklag, they discover all the households had been plundered and their wives and children taken.
The men blamed David’s leadership and spoke of killing him
Daivd sought the Lord and strengthened himself in God.
God restored to David & his men all their households
Daivd, though not even king yet, established a law of war in Israel which was observed from that time forward. Those men who remained at home, not going into battle due to some good reason, were to be included in all the spoils of battle – since the battle was won BY GOD not man and it was FOR Israel not just it’s warriors.
Saul died even as it was foretold by the witch of Endor.
David began his reign by lamentiong Saul’s death and that of Jonathan.
- If our hearts are devoted to God, then even in times when we lose sight of Him He is able to “make our paths straight”.
- David did not look to himself, but strengthened himself in the Lord. The Lord WAS David’s safe place.
- David’s laws honored God first and man second
- Even if a person successfully predicts the future it does not mean they are of God.
- David was a man of honor.
The beginning of David’s reign makes little sense if viewed from nearly any angle except for politically. He seems to honor those who were dishonorable and did wrong and dishonor those who honored him.
This is seen most clearly in Abner – a man who was a political opportunist, but who had considerable influence. Abner was the murderer of David’s loyal servant Joab’s brother. Yet David honored him and scolded and berated Joab for killing him. In the end, David’s actions seem to be somewhat motivated by political advantages.
- By agreeing to meet and decide over terms with Abner would bring the war to an end, would work towards a unified Israel and in the end save lives – it was a win, win, win!
- Another political advantage to this move is that no one in a new position of power, is loved for killing his way to the top. So David reacting as he did exonerated his house from the guilt of the blood of those attached to Saul’s continued reign and the people loved him for having such “integrity”, but it seems to have come at the cost of morality.
David required Michal back again, the daughter of Saul whom had been given to David as wife, but then taken away and given to another man.
This makes sense from a biblical perspective in that Michal had literally been David’s wife for a while and it seems unlikely that they had not been intimate. After Saul drove David from the kingdom, he gave Michal who was already married to David, to another man – this entire time this man was committing adultery by taking her as if she were his wife. David was simply reclaiming his wife. The fact that this man’s heart was broken was his own fault. He should never have taken her as wife in the first place because she really wasn’t. God had joined her to David and man cannot “undo” that – this is why this man’s entire relationship with Michal was one of habitual adultery with David’s wife.
- Sometimes those in positions of leadership have to make decisions which are BEST for the big picture and less so for the individual.
- To quote a wise proverb from Sarek of Vulcan, “The needs of the many outway the needs of the few”
- God does NOT honor and is not obligated to recognize marriages we “create” outside of His laws for marriage, divorce and remarriage. All such relationships multiply one’s sins!
- When we surrender our control and allow God to right & avenge wrongs and establish His order we are acting in trust as His true children.
- The call and anointing of God distinguishes a person before others. This does NOT always have a positive effect, but when God places His anointing on person, delegates authority to them and influences them with a revelation of Himself…it causes them to stand out and spiritually it makes them both a light and a target.
- It is in the reign of David that God makes the connection between a leader and a shepherd which continues to be among the most favorite examples given in scripture for leaders appointed by God which of course continues in the letters of Paul regarding Pastor/Elders.
- David determines to bring the Ark back from Kirath-Jearim where it had been left.
- It is “speculated” that the Priestly family in Beth Shemesh who originally received the Ark back from the Philistines, sent it to Kiriath-jearim because it was the closest Israeli city to them or because the family of Abinadab was of the tribe of Levi and the family of Kohath. We do not know.
- David unwisely allows the Ark to be transported on an ox cart.
- Uzzah, one of Abinadab’s sons reached up and touched the Ark to stabilize it and was struck dead by God from it.
- David became angry at God.
- David clearly sought God and eventually repented for not seeking the Lord regarding the proper way to transport the Ark.
- Then David arranged for the Ark to return to them the right way having made a tent to house it.
- David danced before the Lord without shame – even at the disdain of Michal his wife.
- Seek God not only for what to do, but how
- It falls to us to study to show ourselves approved workmen
- We are the carrier’s of God’s presence before the world – we “shoulder” that responsibility – we must do so the right way out of honor for the Presence we carry.
- When you become angry with God – use it to pursue Him rather than avoid Him. Know that God is truly beautiful, delightful and full of pleasure – so if you are offended, it is because you are seeing things or thinking of things the wrong way.
- Honor God, be quick to repent, worship Him and humble yourself before Him.
- Those who disdain you for your worship of God will have to deal with Him like Michal, David’s wife who died childless as a result of her hard and chiding heart.
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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