And more Beth Moore...
Principal Question: Why did David settle in the land of the Philistines?
The Philistines were Israel's enemy. It would make sense that Saul would not look for him there.
There is mention in 1 Samuel 27 of the Amalekites... I knew that Saul did not kill all of them--he left the king alive. But did he leave some others alive as well? There are also Amalekites mentioned much later in the Bible. This is confusing to me.
Have you ever battled an enemy so hard and so long that you felt like giving up or doing something rash? (workbook, p. 74)
Yes, unemployment and mysterious symptoms.
Have you ever felt powerless over your real enemy and lashed out at someone who was completely innocent? (workbook, p. 74)
Yes. When I am battling loneliness, I tend to lash out at people for not being around or for things that trigger the feelings.
David's most obvious problem was that he felt so powerless and out of control in one area that he wielded an inappropriate amount of power and control in another. We are also capable of responding destructively when we harbor similar feelings. (workbook, p. 74)
This was worth noting for me.
Does God seem a little unfair to you at first in His lack of response to Saul? Why or why not? (workbook, p. 76)
Without putting the whole story together, yes, God does seem unfair. Why would He not answer? On the other hand, have there ever been times when I didn't answer someone's question? I had one just yesterday. The person asked a question that would have yielded a very obvious and painful answer if he had stopped talking and looked at the situation. Instead of getting angry, which I wanted to do, I just let him talk--and I waited to see if he would come to the "answer" on hid own or if he would keep on talking and searching for the answer he wanted instead of the truth.
Saul continued in disobedience to God. He relentlessly sought the life of an innocent man, and even attempted to spear his own son! He had the priests of the Lord slaughtered and gave approval to an entire town being wiped out. We've seen some regrets, but we've never seen him truly turn from wickedness to righteousness. Notice that Isaiah 59:2 does not say God can't hear, but that He won't. (work, p. 75)
And why should He? What an insult to the mercy of God! And how often have I done something just as sinful in my own life, continuing to slaughter another person emotionally with my attitude, even and especially with the thoughts I think behind that person's back?
One prayer God will surely hear even when we've been rebellious and sought our own way is the prayer of sincere repentance. The prayer for deliverance from sin must precede the prayer for deliverance from our enemies. (p. 111)
I often forget about checking out my life for areas where I might need to repent, especially of small things. It's easy to see when I need to repent of something big; but the small things are things that can really cause trouble for me. I can easily develop an attitude that God should let me get away with just one thing. But why should He? Jesus gave his life for me! Why should I scoff at that sacrifice by thinking I should be able to do what I want to do? Isn't His death worth the price of my faithfulness, even in small things?
When we don't take God too seriously, others don't take our leadership too seriously! Taking a few steps backward in our Christian walk is not very difficult. ...
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 specifically forbids spiritists and mediums. Saul knew God's Word. Early in his reign as king he did what God's Word commanded. After his regard for God shrank and his flesh abounded, he sought the very thing he once had considered wrong. We've done the same from time to time. We've felt convicted to get rid of something or to cease a certain practice; then, when our regard for God began to shrink and our regard for our own flesh began to grow, we were out the door hunting it down. Can you think of any personal examples? (p. 112)
One reason some of my areas of failure have been so painful for me is that they were areas of temptation that I had previously fought and overcome. I thought that there was no reason why I could not overcome them or why I should be vulnerable in those areas. I knew that X and Y were wrong, and I simply would not do them. But the temptation took on just a slightly different form that made Z seem "ok" to do. That is why I was so ashamed: not only because I knew better but also because I had run away from this very temptation in the past--Z was not really a different sin but a variation of X or Y. Past temptations are not just random temptations. They are clues to areas of potential vulnerability in my life.
David was greatly distressed over the blame his men cast on him. He responded by finding strength in the Lord his God." What are a few things David might have done to find strength in his God? (workbook, p. 80)
Maybe he played the harp, prayed, remembered things Jonathan had said to him...
Hurting people often find someone to blame. When we've suffered a loss, just like David's men we often look for stones to throw-and someone at whom to throw them. Notice that David also suffered the loss of his family He did not know if he would ever see them again. He had taken many lives. I'm sure he assumed his enemy would not blink an eye at taking the lives of his wives and children. David cried the same tears the other men cried, but because they needed someone to blame, they focused their anger on him. (workbook, p. 80)
This has been bothering me lately... I've been impressed to think about our war not being against flesh and blood. It has been hurting me to see the amount of blame that people in general throw around at each other. I've been convicted about it in my life, and I'm deeply grieved to see my friends doing it. I'm trying to model gentleness and forgiveness. It's not easy when my friends think I should be angry and "protect" myself from being hurt.
Nothing hurts more than our children in jeopardy. Many things hurt and cause us to search for stones to throw, but, as in verse 6, nothing has the potential to cause bitterness in spirit like matters involving our children. They are our Achilles' heel, aren't they? Someone can treat our child unfairly and we're ready to pounce. We almost can't help living by the philosophy: If you want to make an enemy out of me, just mess with my kid. Can you imagine how many poor decisions have been made when parents have hastily thrown the stones of retaliation in behalf of their children? We are so tempted to intervene. Sometimes intervention may be appropriate. But whether or not it's appropriate to get involved beyond the necessary emotional and spiritual support, no stones are allowed. (workbook, p. 70)
Sometimes the same thing applies regarding friends. We can stone emotionally--and sometimes that's much more powerful than a physical stoning because the person has to go on living in a state of emotional and spiritual death.
Personal Discussion Question: In what ways can you encourage yourself in the Lord?
Writing music, journaling, praying.
Reread 1 Samuel 11:1-11. In your own words, why did the people of Jabesh Gilead owe honor to Saul? (workbook, p. 83)
Saul saved the people from mutilation and bound them to honor him before the Lord. They honored him even though he had fallen. Honor isn't based on what the person is doing now but on honor itself. A covenant that gets broken because one person falls is no covenant at all. These are convicting words I speak to myself regarding divorce... "Two wrongs don't make a right," could never have been more true, but I tried to make it so.
from the following Scriptures, what do you learn about servanthood that parallels the life of a loyal and true armor-bearer of God? (workbook, p. 86)
- Galatians 1:10 A servant is not concerned with pleasing other people.
- Romans 14:4 The servant is made able to stand by the master.
- 1 Corinthians 4:1 The servant is entrusted with secrets.
Principal Question: How was David's relationship with Jonathan distinguishable from all his other relationships?
David says that Jonathan's love for him was "more wonderful than that of women." This is noteworthy to me. It bothered me that Kyle had no male friends, that he was relying on me for all things. There was something I could not be to him.
Personal Discussion Question: Have you ever experienced a loss only time could heal? If so, how much time passed before you started to sense God's healing?
In 1992, I lost a very close friend. Her death was ruled a suicide. I will post about this separately. Her story deserves to be shared, but it is difficult to share and maintain the privacy that I know she would want to grant to the other people involved.