Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 17:26

“And David said to the men who stood by him, ‘What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?'” (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

David understood something that the rest of the Israelite army, including Saul, failed to see. The conflict with the Philistines and specifically Goliath here was not simply a battle between two opposing armies. It was a spiritual battle between two opposing Gods. Goliath wasn’t just challenging Israel’s ability to field a suitable champion to face him in battle, he was challenging the efficacy of the God of Israel to oppose him in battle. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Matthew 10:17-18

“Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Jesus was nothing if not a realist when it came to the kind of reception His followers should expect when they set out to advance the kingdom by proclaiming the Gospel to the unbelieving world. He made this abundantly clear: We should expect trouble. In these couple of verses He makes clear we should expect three different kinds of persecution. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 16:2

“And Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.’ And the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

Following Jesus can be an adventurous affair. Things had disintegrated under Saul to the extent that he was actively eliminating potential threats to his rule. This is a mark of a truly insecure ruler. Samuel wasn’t someone who could travel freely in Israel. His profile was high enough that when he went somewhere, everyone—including Saul—figured it meant something. If he did anything significant—like, say, anointing someone else to be king—word was likely to get back to Saul who would likely deal with both the threat and its source with ruthless efficiency. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 4:3

“And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, ‘Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines?  Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been to a magic show? I’ve seen a few live, but I’ve watched plenty of them on TV. I love magic shows. I enjoy trying to figure out the tricks, but I enjoy even more being completely stumped. The best magic tricks always leave you feeling a bit like the magician has some kind of power over the natural world. He can make things happen that aren’t supposed to happen naturally. This is the connection modern magicians have with their more ancient counterparts. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 15:20-21

“And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.””
(ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

Have you ever tried to confront someone with the truth and they just wouldn’t see it. Saul had been caught not doing what God had commanded. God send Samuel to confront him about not doing what He had commanded. But Saul just wouldn’t see it. And now that Samuel was getting more insistent with his charge, Saul was trying to deflect and point the blame other places. Read the rest…