I Samuel 23

1. Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.”

Now a report reaches David that the Philistines are fighting with the city of Keilah, a city in the lowlands of Judah northwest of Hebron. Keilah means “Fortress,” and assuming this city lived up to its name it had little to fear from a siege. Yet this does not seem to be the object of the Philistines in this battle. Instead, they have come at harvest time, and are robbing their threshingfloors. At harvest time, the fields would have been full of what would have amounted to great wealth, and those fields were outside the walls of the city. Thus the Philistines were raiding to steal their crops, which would mean the impoverishment of the city, and could even mean death by starvation for its people. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following comments:

I think I have spent enough time reading in the last month or so to be able to add a bit more to our discussion. I appreciate the opportunity to bounce a few things off someone whose opinions I respect. I am going to make statements without “wax” and let you respond as directly as you wish. I am still considering both sides at this point.

I understand death before fall to be a natural part of animal life. I understand human death after the fall to be “spiritual” and also physical death for man probably started on that day and concluding at the time of Adams death.

Of course this view of animal death puts me at odds with some, but not at odds with scripture, as I understand it. I am quite confident that the Romans passage applies very clearly just to man. I don’t see why soul-creatures would be included in that verse. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 22

1. David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.

The king of Gath, instead of killing David, ejects him from his house as a madman, and so David escapes the Philistines. Perhaps he now realizes that his attempt to sojourn with Israel’s enemies was ill-advised. At any rate, he heads back into Judah, trusting God to care for him there. He escapes to a cave called Adullam, which means “Justice of the People.” This cave was near the city of Adullam in Judah’s plains. In this case, the cave did mean justice, since it hid David, whom justice proves was innocent of all the jealous accusations of Saul.

David’s family hears of his exile and of his new dwelling place, and they realize the difficult situation they are in. Now that David is branded a traitor his whole family is in danger, since Saul might figure they will know where David is and demand that they turn him over to him on pain of death. Their home is no longer safe for David’s family, so his brothers and all his father’s house come down to the cave and join him in hiding there.

This must have been a difficult thing. We saw back in chapter 17 that at least David’s oldest brother (and perhaps others of his brothers as well) was jealous of David and his choice by God. With them being swept up in this calamity that now had happened to David, they perhaps wished that David had not been chosen by God at all. Yet they were associated with David, and God would care for them along with him. They, unlike Jonathan, threw their lot in with God’s man, and they would go up or down with him. In the short term they might go down, but in the long term they would go up with David, and their faithfulness to him would be rewarded. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 21

1. Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?”

Now we cover the record of David’s flight. First of all, David comes to Nob, which means “High Place,” and was a city of the priests. It was near Jerusalem in the land of Benjamin. There he meets with Ahimelech the high priest. The name Ahimelech means “My Brother is King.” This was a most ambitious name! Yet consider that this man was the great-grandson of Eli. Remember that God had cursed Eli’s line back in I Samuel 2:31-33.

31. Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32. And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33. But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.

The curse of God on Eli’s family was that they all would die young, none surviving to old age until a rival priest arises and takes over. At this time they would be put out of the priesthood and find themselves impoverished, hoping that the family of the new priest would give them even a minor job so that they would have food to eat. This has not happened yet, however, and Ahimelech is the priest. Yet for a man in a family that is under God’s curse, it is interesting that his name is in no way humble, but rather is vainglorious and ambitious. Certainly the family of Eli does not seem to have humbled itself before the LORD in light of the curse they were under! Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 20 Continued

24. Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king sat down to eat the feast.

David does as Jonathan said and hides himself in the field. The next day when the New Moon feast is held arrives, and Saul sits down to the meal, as David and Jonathan knew would happen.

25. Now the king sat on his seat, as at other times, on a seat by the wall. And Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty.

The scene is described for us as if the prophet was there to see it take place, which of course he was not. Yet the LORD was there, and He saw all the proceedings.

Saul is there on his typical seat next to the wall. If a king has his accustomed chair, no one is else is going to sit in it! Jonathan was on the seat of honor by him as his son and heir, and Abner, his cousin and army commander, was on his other side. David’s place, however, the place of the king’s son-in-law and lesser army commander, was empty. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 20

1. Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and went and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?”

David realizes he cannot depend on the Spirit to keep Saul and his men in this helpless state for ever, so he flees. Yet he does not fly somewhere far away to hide, but rather he heads back to Saul’s court. Why would he do such a thing? Because he is seeking the aid of his friend Jonathan. Jonathan had helped him when he had fallen out of favor with his father before. Perhaps he can help him again now. Thus he goes to Jonathan to plead his cause. He protests to Jonathan that he has done nothing, so why does Saul his father seek his life? Read the rest of this entry »

goodbye02I Samuel 19

1. Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David; but Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted greatly in David.

Up to this point, Saul has kept his scheming against David a secret. Yet now he brings his desire to murder David into the open, communicating it to his servants and to his son Jonathan. He probably feels that it should be obvious to all now, once he points it out, that David must be the one the LORD spoke of as being His choice to replace Saul as King. Surely he feels that his son, who otherwise would be the next to take the throne, and his servants, who were part of his household and enjoyed all the privileges from it, will be eager to do away with any threat to their position over the country.

We might wonder if Jonathan knew before this time of the prophecy of the LORD against Saul, telling him that he would be taken from the throne and another given it? The two who knew about it were Saul and Samuel, and it seems Saul would not have been very likely to advertise this fact around. Samuel had left Saul after telling him this and never came to him again, so it seems doubtful word would have spread from him. The only way word would have gotten out is if others were with Saul when he came to Samuel in chapter 15, yet from the record it appears that this was more or less a private conversation. Therefore, this may be the first Jonathan has heard that he is not to be the next one to take the throne.

Yet it seems Saul, for all his scheming, has not learned of the close relationship between his oldest son and David. Jonathan loves David, as we saw in I Samuel 18:1, and so he does not react to this news as his father had hoped. If there was a struggle in Jonathan’s heart between his love for David and his own ambition to take the throne, ambition was quickly defeated by love in the heart of this Godly man. Even if it meant that he would not get to be the next king, he would not abandon his love for David. He delighted in David, and if he had to give up the throne to him, then he was willing to do it. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 18

1. Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

Once David has finished his interview with Saul, it seems that Jonathan, Saul’s son, is eager to talk with him himself. It does not take long for Jonathan to be deeply drawn to David. If Saul, who had long since turned his back on the Lord, was impressed by the courage and confidence in God of this Spirit-filled young man, how much more would his zealous son Jonathan be impressed by him, seeing in David a kindred spirit with himself? David was just such a man as Jonathan must have been when he courageously fought the Philistines with only his armor-bearer by his side, convinced that the LORD would give them the victory over the entire Philistine army. How good it is for one who is passionate about God to find another person whose heart beats with the same love and zeal! Thus David’s appeal to Jonathan here.

We probably tend to think of these men as two friends close to equal in age, knowing that Jonathan was the son of Saul. Yet both Saul and Jonathan were older here than perhaps we might think. Jonathan was about forty at this time, and so he was about twenty-four years older than David. Therefore his love for David was fatherly, as well as coming from their common bond of zeal for the LORD.

When it says that Jonathan loved David as his own soul, we might not know what exactly this means. This is a case where the word “soul” is just used for “self.” The point is that Jonathan loved David like he loved himself. Read the rest of this entry »

battleline02I Samuel 17 Continued

31. Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him.

It seems at least the idea that David is willing to fight the giant gets through to the soldiers. The fact that there is someone willing to fight Goliath spreads like wildfire through the army, until the story of David’s brave words reaches the ears of King Saul. This is just what he has been hoping to find among his men, and so he sends for David. Was he surprised when the courageous warrior he had been hearing about turned out to be his young harpist whom he had left behind when he headed out to battle? Probably! Read the rest of this entry »

tunnel02I would like to remind my readers that I am a regular column contributor to the Word of Truth Ministry’s Bulletin. This last Bulletin, my article was on “Near Death Experiences,” discussing the common phenomenon of people claiming to have died and then come back with stories of visiting heaven, seeing their loved ones, and so forth. These stories sell books in Christian bookstores, but do they actually match up with Scripture or the truth? Read this article at:

http://www.seedandbread.org/images/stories/bulletins/June_14_2014Bulletin.pdf

In this issue, I also discuss a question regarding the meaning and definition of “sin,” and if it changes between the Old Testament, the gospel period, the Acts period, and the dispensation of grace.

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